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With Neil Gorsuch on the bench, the U.S. Supreme Court will now be even more hostile to reproductive health and rights.

On April 7, President Trump's allies in the Senate voted to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by a razor-thin vote. To get to this point, it took an unprecedented blockade of President Obama's highly qualified nominee. It took undoing Senate rules and dismantling decades of American democratic tradition. And it meant ignoring the clear threat to our fundamental rights.

“Women marched en masse in January because they feared the worst. Today, those fears were confirmed. Neil Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy and record leave no doubt that he will seek to restrict abortion and cut off access to birth control."

—Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund

How it Went Down

Gorsuch's views are so outside of the mainstream that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to change the rules in order to jam through his confirmation: McConnell upended long-standing Senate rules that require 60 votes to end a filibuster on a Supreme Court nominee to a simple majority. The filibuster rule change signals an end to mainstream candidates who must at some point garner a bipartisan supermajority and opens the door to judicial activists like Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Women’s health champions in the Senate vigorously opposed Gorsuch’s confirmation, referencing reproductive health and rights as their reason for opposing him. In the end, the Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (54-45) along a party line vote with the exception of Sens. Donnelly (D-IN), Heitkamp (D-ND), Manchin (D-WV).

Impact: The Newest Threat to Our Health and Rights

Gorsuch's out-of-touch judicial record will threaten reproductive health and rights for decades to come.  Over the next few years, the Supreme Court could rule on laws that undermine access to basic health care, target the LGBTQ community for discrimination, and deny the essential right to safe and legal abortion. Justice Gorsuch has a history of going to extraordinary lengths to interfere with reproductive health and rights, and his alarming record and judicial philosophy leave no doubt that he will vote to restrict access to abortion.

It's bad enough that the Supreme Court will now have one more justice who does not believe the Constitution protects a woman's right to safe, legal abortion. But this isn't just about the Supreme Court. Now, lawmakers in Congress and state legislatures will be emboldened to pass even more extreme laws targeting birth control, abortion, and other essential care.

"There is a reason that women make up the core of the resistance. Too many people still face barriers to health care, especially young people, people of color, those who live in rural areas, and people with low incomes. Women have made incredible gains, and we will not stand to see that progress walked back."

—Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Who Is Neil Gorsuch?

In every case related to reproductive rights that Gorsuch considered as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, he has ruled in a way that would have blocked women's access to reproductive health care. A few examples:

  • In Planned Parenthood Association of Utah v. Herbert, Gorsuch went to extraordinary lengths to try to allow the state of Utah to block people from coming to Planned Parenthood for health care and education. Had this happened, it would have blocked thousands of Utahns from access to STI tests, sex education, and other preventive care.
  • Gorsuch ruled in favor of the idea that corporations are people and believes that bosses should be able to impede their employees' access to birth control. In fact, he wants to go even further than the Hobby Lobby decision in blocking employees' access to insurance coverage for birth control.
  • Gorsuch has a troubling record of opposing LGBTQ rights and ruled against an incarcerated transgender woman seeking access to medically necessary hormone treatment in Druley v. Patton.

Take Action

We must not let politicians or judges on Capitol Hill take away our right to control our own bodies; our right to vote; and the right of all people in the United States to be free from discrimination regardless of who they love, where they come from, their race, or their religious beliefs.

We need to be ready to fight back against attacks on our rights in the courts, in statehouses, and in communities nationwide. Take action now.

Tags: Donald Trump, Neil Gorsuch

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