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Jim Demint

Jim Demint

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Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- When leaders of various advocacy groups get a chance to testify on the nomination of Supreme Court pick Sonia Sotomayor, a leading pro-life advocate will get a chance to represent the pro-life community.

Senate Republicans have asked Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest to testify.Yoest is the only representative of any pro-life groups to be invited to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which started its hearings on Sotomayor's nomination today.

She will present her comments to lawmakers on Thursday.No representatives of any major pro-abortion groups, including NARAL, Planned Parenthood and others appear to be on the list of representatives invited by Democrats on the panel.�We are honored to have the opportunity to testify before the Judiciary Committee about the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the highest court in the land," Yoest told LifeNews.com about her invitation."I am looking forward to sharing AUL�s extensive legal research about Judge Sotomayor�s record.

In particular, her radical associations and judicial philosophy raises serious concerns in the pro-life community," she said.Yoest is referring to Sotomayor's tenure with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, a group that has submitted numerous Supreme Court briefs arguing for an unrestricted right to abortion and claiming any pro-life limits are racist.Although leaders with the group argue Sotomayor had no involvement in writing or approving the briefs, her longtime position as a member of its board of directors points to her support for the pro-abortion position the group took, Yoest maintains.Yoest told LifeNews.com she plans to focus her testimony on making the connection for the senators and the American public between the positions taken by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund during her tenure on the Board and her judicial interventionist approach to the bench.�Her PRLDEF record proves that she is an abortion advocate," Yoest says."That record includes opposition to parental notification, opposition to informed consent, opposition to bans on partial-birth abortion and support for taxpayer-funded abortions.

These positions are far outside the mainstream of American public opinion," she explained.The documents also show the group, now known as Latino Justice, took a strong stance against pro-life Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.

The Senate went on to reject President Ronald Reagan's high court pick in 1987 after abortion advocates subjected him to intense criticism.Last month, Sotomayor made a comment during a meeting with one senator that also sent shockwaves throughout the pro-life community.Senator Jim DeMint, a pro-life Republican from South Carolina, says he had a "good meeting" with the appeals court judge, but he came away with a telling comment."When I asked if an unborn child has any rights whatsoever, I was surprised that she said she had never thought about it," he said.

"This is not just a question about abortion, but about respect due to human life at all stages -- and I hope this is cleared up in her hearings."Sotomayor has also come under fire for saying she regretted the adoption of a Congressional bill that prevented the Legal Services Corporation from spending taxpayer funds litigating in favor of abortion.Two key pro-abortion senators have also said they think she will uphold unlimited abortions if confirmed to the high court.

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