Anti-Abortion Lobby Takes Another Hit

05/16/2009 01:16 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Anti-abortion activists are really out of luck if the top GOP senator for reviewing Supreme Court nominees sticks by his words that he will support a "pro abortion" pick. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the new ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the remark on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" airing on Sunday (5/17).

"Could I support a pro-abortion nominee? The answer is yes."

Still, Session goes on to say that "shouldn't allow their personal view on abortion to shape how they define the law." (More on Craig Crawford's Trail Mix)

Despite the apparent qualification of his words, Session's first statement shows that pro-lifers might not have gained much when the Alabama Republican replaced party switcher/pro-choicer Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania as the top GOP senator on the Judiciary Committee.

It has been a long time since anti-abortion groups faced a shut-out in a Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Despite Specter's opposition as ranking Republican in past confirmations, they at least had the votes to prevail. Now they lack the votes along with a committee leader and a president favorable to their cause.