Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the largest and oldest pro-life organization in the state, is urging Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey to vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch as the ninth U.S. Supreme Court Justice, said Anne Fox, the organization’s president.
Established prior to the Roe v. Wade decision, the group’s mission is to restore legal protection for human life at all stages of development, Fox said.
The organization would like to see Gorsuch secure the position because of his literal interpretation of the law and belief that the legislature is responsible for making laws, rather than judges, Fox said.
“We feel that he’s the kind of judge who rules on laws rather than trying to make the laws,” Fox said. “He recognizes that the legislature should make the laws. He is easy to get along with, he explains his decisions very well, he’s extremely bright [and] has a terrific judicial background.”
MCFL is not looking for a pro-life judge, Fox said, but rather one who rules on the law properly. Although Gorsuch’s stance on abortion remains unclear, the organization believes he would rule in their favor.
Fox said the court’s current three female justices, including Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, all take “very strong pro-abortion” stances, which she said is disappointing.
“The fact that we have judges now, sitting, who decide what they think the law should say, is a thousand percent undemocratic,” Fox said. “It is scary. I would like to see all of the judges be like Gorsuch where they interpret the law as it’s written.”
The organization vocalizes its desire to overturn Roe v. Wade and restore legal protection by engaging with legislators at the state and federal level and taking part in marches, rallies and protests, Fox said.
Fox said while it would be better for abortions to be “entirely illegal,” she believes the pro-life cause is making progress in terms of garnering support, largely as a result of education and laws.
“The polls show that the majority of people are opposed to abortion,” Fox said. “The people who are hardcore pro-abortion, it’s definitely less than 20 percent, and even they are not for late-term abortion and they’re not for tax funding.”
Rebecca Holder, the executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, also known as NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, said her organization would rather see Warren and Markey oppose the nomination of Gorsuch.
“NARAL strongly believes he should not be confirmed,” Holder said. “We think it’s important to have a voice for women on the United States Supreme Court, and a voice that’s going to uphold the federal law of the land, which is Roe v. Wade.”
In the face of the Gorsuch nomination, Holder said the organization does not believe the U.S. Senate should confirm him because his appointment “endangers the safety and health of Massachusetts women” because he would threaten abortion rights.
Since the election of President Donald Trump, NARAL has seen an overwhelming amount of support for the pro-choice issues the organization fights for, Holder said.
Several Boston residents expressed dissatisfaction with the potential confirmation of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court because of the adverse effects his rulings may have on issues concerning women’s reproductive rights.
Corey Bunnewith, 28, of Allston, said the appointment of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court would put the reproductive rights of women at risk.
“It sounds like it’s at risk,” Bunnewith said. “I think women should have total rights over themselves. It sounds like it would be damaging if he was elected.”
Geraldo Diaz, 19, of Dorchester, said the Supreme Court should protect the reproductive rights of women rather than limit them.
“The Supreme Court pretty much holds all the power in terms of the law,” Diaz said. “I think women’s reproductive rights are protected, and I think they should either stay the same or increase, but not decrease.”
Malika Bristol, 47, of Dorchester, said she does not support Gorsuch’s conservative views, and that she is appalled by the fact that the majority of politicians making decisions on women’s reproductive rights are male.
“How are men making decisions on our reproductive rights?” Bristol asked. “It makes no sense. It’s our bodies, we should have some say on what we choose to do with it.”