Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions pledged during his confirmation hearing Tuesday to “respect” Roe v. Wade as attorney general, despite the fact that he disagrees with the ruling.
The Alabama Republican tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the Justice Department was quizzed by several of his Senate colleagues about his position on abortion.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Sessions about his stance on enforcing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, even though he is opposed to abortion.
Sessions, who once described Roe as “one of the worst, colossally erroneous Supreme Court decisions of all time,” said the ruling is nonetheless the law of the land and would be enforced.
He added that he believes the decision “violated the Constitution” and “attempted to set policy and not follow law.”
"It is the law of the land, it has been so established and settled for a quite a long time, and it deserves respect and I would respect it and follow it,” he said.
Sen. Jeff Sessions on Roe v. Wade: "I believe it violated the Constitution… It is the law of the land…and I would respect it and follow it." pic.twitter.com/ObnLpFcG7J
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 10, 2017
Prior to the hearing, Sessions, who has a 0 percent rating from several pro-abortion groups, was praised by the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List. In a statement, SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser urged the Senate to confirm Sessions:
Senator Jeff Sessions is a principled pro-life advocate who will bring a lifetime of experience to the role of Attorney General. He will enforce the law and defend the Constitution and fight for the constitutional right to life of every American, including the unborn, and for the civil rights and human dignity of every person.
Planned Parenthood tweeted that, although Sessions pledged to “respect” Roe, his record “shows otherwise.”
His record shows otherwise. He has said he wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned and called it a “lawless” decision.… https://t.co/zqHPT3pIWR— Planned Parenthood Action (@Planned Parenthood Action)1484063915.0
.@jeffsessions has a record of opposing #reprorights & voting to defund PP. He's taken 48 votes against women’s hea… https://t.co/AfYy3pMcdu— Planned Parenthood Action (@Planned Parenthood Action)1484061271.0