For Immediate Release: April 22, 2021
Washington, DC — Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general of the United States. Gupta has fought for civil rights and justice throughout her career, including in her roles as president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. The vote took place against a backdrop of a historic and ongoing reckoning with generations of systemic racism, oppression, and state violence, making the installation of an unwavering champion for freedom and justice in leadership at the Justice Department more important than ever.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement in response:
“We applaud the Senate’s confirmation of Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general of the United States. Gupta is an unparalleled champion for justice and civil rights who will fight tirelessly for our fundamental freedoms. Her historic confirmation to this vital position at the Justice Department comes at a pivotal moment, as our country continues to grapple with entrenched inequity and racism. We need her leadership now more than ever to help move the needle closer to justice.”
Republican politicians waged bad-faith attacks against people of color, especially women of color, nominated by President Biden to positions of leadership in this administration, all in an attempt to tank their confirmations. In the face of these unyielding attacks, Gupta continued to showcase her strength of character, moral leadership, and undeniable qualifications. Her leadership and commitment to fighting for reproductive freedom will help bring a new era of justice and equity to the Department of Justice.
As associate attorney general, Gupta can play a key role in protecting and advancing reproductive freedom. In her past role leading the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Gupta led the charge on a range of major cases, including multiple pregnancy discrimination cases. At a time when Roe v. Wade is on the line like never before and anti-choice state lawmakers are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to criminalize abortion, we need leaders like Gupta.
The Department of Justice can play a key role in protecting and advancing reproductive freedom by:
- Demonstrating a clear commitment to core constitutional protections, including the legal right to abortion
- Combating and preventing violence and discrimination against reproductive healthcare providers, patients, and staff
- Enforcing federal civil rights and nondiscrimination laws that have a serious impact on the lives and legal rights of women, people with low incomes, people of color, LGBTQ people, young people, immigrants, Indigenous people, and other marginalized people
- Enforcing federal laws that have a significant impact on reproductive and civil rights, including Title VII, Title IX, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and the Affordable Care Act
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.