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Trump promised nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade, dismantle the Affordable Care Act

Albany, NY - Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts warns that President Trump’s announced nominee for the Supreme Court, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, puts our future health and rights at risk.

Trump has made clear that his Supreme Court nominee would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that affirmed the constitutional right to access abortion in this country. Judge Kavanaugh has already ruled to limit access to safe, legal abortion — just last year, he used his judicial power to try and prevent a young, undocumented woman in U.S. custody from accessing the safe, legal abortion she had asked for. In fact, Kavanaugh would have allowed the government to delay the young woman’s abortion by more than one month, pushing her pregnancy into the second trimester. Fortunately, the full court on which Kavanaugh sits intervened and allowed the young woman to access the health care she needed.

Kavanaugh hasn’t just ruled to limit access to abortion. He’s also ruled against women’s access to birth control. Judge Kavanaugh authored the dissenting opinion in the D.C. Circuit’s 2015 ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, writing that he believed employers have the right to deny their employees’ health insurance coverage for birth control.

Statement from Robin Chappelle Golston, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts:

"The Trump Administration has been unrelenting in attacks on women’s health care from attempting to roll back access to contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act to our constitutional right to safe and legal abortion. This is an unprecedented attack on our health care, and rights by a federal government determined to replace evidence-based medically accurate public policy with politically driven ideology. New Yorkers refuse to backtrack on our health care and rights, and we will resist any attempt to dismantle of our constitutionally protected rights. The power to change the world is at our fingertips – vote in November.”

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“We oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and call on the Senate to do the same. There’s no way to sugarcoat it: with this nomination, the constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion in this country is on the line. We already know how Brett Kavanaugh would rule on Roe v. Wade because the president told us so. We take Trump at his word that Brett Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v. Wade and get rid of the Affordable Care Act. The balance of the Supreme Court is at stake — we cannot allow it to be tilted against the constitutional right to access abortion. Generations of women, especially women of color, will be affected. And generations of people have grown up only knowing a country where they have the right to access safe, legal abortion. We cannot allow our children and grandchildren to have fewer rights than we do today.”

Planned Parenthood calls for the Senate to judge any Trump nominee to the Supreme Court by the Personal Liberty Standard: That is, the Senate must only confirm a justice who affirmatively declares that they believe the U.S. Constitution protects individual liberty and the right of all people to make personal decisions about their bodies and personal relationships — including the right to use contraception and the right to have an abortion. Kavanaugh was on Donald Trump’s short list of potential nominees who were approved by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society, and who satisfied Trump’s test that they would, if confirmed, “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade and work to undermine accessible and affordable health care. We take President Trump at his word that Kavanaugh is committed to gutting Roe v. Wade, and the burden is on Kavanaugh to demonstrate that he does not meet Trump’s litmus test.

More than 70 percent of Americans support access to abortion, including a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. Under the Trump-Pence administration, the courts are often the last and only check on harmful policies that would take away access to safe, legal abortion. The Supreme Court could soon take a number of pivotal cases that could determine the future of people’s reproductive rights in this country, and Kavanaugh’s appointment would determine the health and freedom of countless women’s lives.

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Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts is a non-profit, statewide organization dedicated to protecting and expanding access to a full range of reproductive health care services. It represents New York’s Planned Parenthood affiliates and works to protect and expand access to reproductive health care for all New Yorkers.