© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Julie Rikelman, an abortion rights attorney who represented the Mississippi clinic at the center of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe and Wade’s landmark 1973 decision , testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the
By Nate Raymond
(Reuters) – Lawyers representing the Mississippi clinic at the center of a US Supreme Court case that led to the overturning of women’s abortion rights pledged in Senate testimony on Wednesday to comply that ruling even though she had previously defended if she was confirmed by federal judicial authority.
Julie Rikelman, nominated by Democratic President Joe Biden to serve on the Boston-based US Circuit Court of Appeals, told the Senate Judiciary Committee during a confirmation hearing in Washington that she will abide by the ruling. decided in June despite fighting to protect abortion rights.
“Dobbs is now the law of the land, and I will obey it, as I will follow all Supreme Court precedents,” said Rikelman, referring to the Supreme Court case by his name. it, Dobbs sued the Jackson Women’s Health Foundation.
Her role in that and other cases made her the target of Republican criticism throughout the hearing, with some of the panel’s most conservative members questioning her support. her response to what Senator Josh Hawley labeled a “radical” abortion rights law.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz told Rikelman: “You’ve spent most of your professional life as an extreme pro-abortion fervent. “It’s clearly a sincere and personal passion of yours.”
Democrats are seeking to highlight Republican opposition to abortion rights ahead of the November 8 midterm elections, in which control of Congress is at stake. The conservative majority Supreme Court overturned their landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.
Rikelman represents Mississippi’s only abortion clinic challenging a Republican-backed law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Several Republican-led states have since moved to ban or restrict abortion, including Mississippi.
Republican Senator Mike Lee challenged Rikelman’s claim in an Axios article that the Dobbs ruling would lead to “the biggest public health crisis we’ve seen in decades.” .”
“In a world where more babies are born and born alive than are aborted, you call that a public health crisis?” Lee asked.
Rikelman didn’t shy away from advocating for the possibility that “women can make their own personal medical decisions” and against the debunking of Roe suing Wade while working as an attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
But Rikelman said her personal views don’t matter because as a lower court judge she will be bound by US Supreme Court precedent, including the decision of the US Supreme Court. it in the Dobbs case, which she promised to “absolutely” abide by.