Fox host Dana Perino got schooled by NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue.
When Fox News host Dana Perino tried to argue that Trump's Supreme Court nominee can get away with hiding from questions about a woman's right to choose, NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue set her straight in a hurry.
Perino, filling in for Chris Wallace on this week's edition of "Fox News Sunday," asked Hogue if she'd be satisfied with an ambiguous answer from a Trump nominee on the subject of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Other nominees have skirted the question by referring to Roe v. Wade as "settled law," but refusing to elaborate on whether they support abortion rights or whether they would defend Roe against a new court challenge.
Hogue told Perino that Americans "need an affirmative declaration" on whether a Supreme Court nominee supports abortion rights, since Trump has "changed the rules of the game" by announcing an anti-abortion "litmus test" and declaring that his nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Perino replied with a common right-wing myth: that even the strongly pro-choice Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn't give a straight answer on Roe during her confirmation hearings because she didn't want to speculate about future cases without hearing the arguments first.
"But even Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her hearing that she shouldn't be asked — that she would never answer that because she would — it's a hypothetical that she wouldn't answer," Perino insisted.
Hogue was ready with the fact check.
"Actually, Dana, she did answer that," Hogue corrected Perino. "She declared affirmatively that she believed that Roe should be upheld. But she was speaking to what we now call the Ginsburg rule, [which] was speculation on future cases that had not yet come before the court.
"So we believe that actually what Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and we have the clips — said is, in fact, perfect," Hogue continued, "which is that women should be afforded this right to privacy, to make their own decision. It was decided in Griswold [the decision that upheld a woman's right to access birth control]. It was decided in Roe. And it is absolutely what most Americans want."
In fact, during her confirmation hearing, Ginsburg voiced lengthy defenses of the right to choose that included the privacy rights identified in Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut, as well as an equal protection argument.
As Hogue explained, then-Judge Ginsburg only expressed reluctance to discuss issues that were pending, or were "likely to come before" the court. But that didn't include women's basic privacy and health care rights, because the court had already spoken clearly on those issues.
Now that Republicans have the chance to make good on their generations-long threat to end a woman's right to choose — along with many other important rights — they are grasping at any straw they can to hide their unpopular and unjust intentions.
But women's health champions like Hogue aren't about to let the GOP get away with rewriting history — or with ramming through an extreme nominee who will defy the overwhelming consensus among Americans that women have the right to control their own bodies.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.