In a move that already has the feathers of leftists extremely ruffled, the Senate confirmed a controversial anti-abortion attorney to the federal judiciary this week by a 49–44 vote.
Sarah Pitlyk was nominated by President Trump to a lifetime lifetime appointment to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Every Democrat present voted to oppose the confirmation; every Republican present except Sen. Susan Collins of Maine voted in her favor.
Pitlyk’s nomination was a magnet for controversy because she opposes not just abortion but also surrogacy and fertility treatments. She currently serves as special counsel to the Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm that works against abortion.
Pitlyk, 42, has spent much of her career opposing technological manipulation of reproduction like gestational surrogacy and in vitro fertilization. She also is a foe of abortion in any form. She told a federal appeals court that the “modern abortion industry continues to target ethnic minorities,” and wrote that states should bar women from aborting a fetus because of abnormalities, accusing these women of engaging in “increasingly widespread eugenic practices that devalue and disadvantage the most vulnerable members of society.”
Pitlyk will now serve as a federal judge in Missouri, whose lone remaining abortion clinic is under constant legal threat. Missouri’s abortion providers may soon ask the federal judiciary to protect their patients’ access to abortion—and wind up in Pitlyk’s courtroom.
Supporters of abortion say they fear that by rapidly approving nominees like Pitlyk, Republicans are ensuring that the GOP platform will be implemented from the bench for decades to come.