Sen. Jeff Sessions is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to be the U.S. attorney general January 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions was one of the first members of Congress to endorse and support President-elect Donald Trump, who nominated him for Attorney General.
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sen. Jeff Sessions is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to be the U.S. attorney general January 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions was one of the first members of Congress to endorse and support President-elect Donald Trump, who nominated him for Attorney General.
Now playing
02:35
Senate questions Trump's attorney general pick
Now playing
07:38
Keilar points out Fox News host's hypocrisy
Now playing
01:23
'There should be no threats': Biden's message to union-busters
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
PHOTO: CNN
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
Now playing
07:40
Former QAnon believer shares bonkers conspiracy theory about Biden
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
Now playing
01:24
'SNL' has 'Dr. Fauci' helping people get vaccinated
The Pokémon Company announced new games during its 25th Anniversary Celebration
PHOTO: The Pokémon Company
The Pokémon Company announced new games during its 25th Anniversary Celebration
Now playing
01:01
See the new Pokémon games coming soon
PHOTO: nickelodeon/from youtube
Now playing
01:33
'Real World,' 'Frasier,' 'Spongebob:' See the reboots coming to this new streaming service
Now playing
02:28
Fisker is making its next electric vehicle with Foxconn
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky speaks onstage during "Introducing Trips" Reveal at Airbnb Open LA on November 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Airbnb)
PHOTO: Mike Windle/Getty Images for Airbnb
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky speaks onstage during "Introducing Trips" Reveal at Airbnb Open LA on November 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Airbnb)
Now playing
03:51
Airbnb CEO: This is how we outperformed our competitors in 2020
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Now playing
01:46
Watch people struggle to identify second gentleman Doug Emhoff
PHOTO: "The Late Late Show with James Corden" / Youtube
Now playing
01:37
See Prince Harry and James Corden tour LA on open-air bus

Story highlights

President-elect Donald Trump has said he supports overturning Roe v. Wade

"It is the law of the land, it has been settled for some time," Sessions said

(CNN) —  

Sen. Jeff Sessions, in the middle of his confirmation hearing to become President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general, said Tuesday he would respect laws allowing abortion despite his deeply held personal belief that the courts are wrong on the issue.

The Alabama Republican said specifically that he would respect the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that said the right to privacy gives women the right to an abortion.

Sessions, who has consistently voted against abortion rights in the Senate and has a 0% rating from several abortion rights groups, told senators overseeing his committee hearing that although he believed Roe v. Wade violated the Constitution, he would defend it.

“It is the law of the land, it has been settled for some time,” Sessions said. “I will respect it and follow it.”

Sessions said, however, that he believes the decision was a “colossal” mistake by the Supreme Court.

RELATED: Sessions defends himself against allegations of racism

Dawn Laguens, the executive director of Planned Parenthood, suggested in a statement that Sessions’ comments didn’t change her organization’s opposition to his nomination.

“The attorney general plays the critical role of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer of the United States, and Sen. Sessions has failed to demonstrate that he will work to keep the country safe, protect the right to vote for all citizens, and protect health care providers,” Laguens said. “We urge the Judiciary Committee to question Sen. Sessions on this troubling history.”

Trump agrees with Session’s personal beliefs on abortion and has said he plans to nominate justices who want to reverse Roe v. Wade.

“I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life,” Trump said in a post-election interview with CBS, arguing that if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the decision to allow abortions would go to states.

LIVE Trump confirmation hearings: Jeff Sessions’ first hearing