Senator Coburn Questions Judge Sotomayor

Washington, D.C. – WASHINGTON (AP) Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor declined repeatedly at Senate confirmation hearings today to reveal her views on abortion rights.

She told Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma she can't answer when Coburn tried to draw her out with questions about hypothetical cases.

Coburn posed a hypothetical case in which a woman wanted to abort a 38-week fetus because it had spina bifida which can cause paralysis and is often associated with brain damage.

He also asked whether technological improvements that help premature babies survive might have a bearing on how the court ruling that established abortion rights is viewed.

Sotomayor said she can't answer that in the abstract. She said such a question would not come to her in the way Coburn formed it as a citizen but would come to her as a judge.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.