Roberts Referred to ‘Abortion Tragedy’ in 1985 Memo

A memo just released by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library sheds more light onto John Roberts’ views on abortion rights. In the memo, Roberts wrote that a memorial service for aborted fetuses was “an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy,” according to the Washington Post.

This latest memo is consistent with other details that have been gleaned so far about Roberts’ views on abortion. As Deputy Solicitor General in 1991, Roberts co-authored a brief on behalf of the government in Rust v. Sullivan urging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Roberts’s papers released by the National Archives show that he scoffs at the right to privacy. During his Reagan days, in a memorandum for then-Attorney General William French Smith, Roberts questioned the “so-called” right to privacy – the very right employed in the landmark 1965 Supreme Court decision (Griswold v. Connecticut) striking down a state law banning birth control pills for married women and later used to legalize abortion in Roe.

In other news on Roberts, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) is calling for an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into missing files that contained Roberts’ correspondence on affirmative action., “[g]iven the importance of the documents, and their disappearance in the context of a highly controversial Supreme Court nomination, where the nominee’s opposition to accepted remedies for discrimination may well be a key issue,” Sen. Kennedy wrote in his letter to the DOJ. The files had been in the possession of White House officials and possibly Department of Justice officials, according to Senator Kennedy.

LEARN MORE Read the Feminist Majority’s Background Briefing Paper on the Bray case and clinic violence

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Washington Post 8/17/05, 8/16/05; Kennedy press release 8/16/05; Associated Press 8/16/05

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