PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA
For immediate release: Monday, July 9, 2018
Contact: Planned Parenthood media office, [email protected]; 212-261-4433
Senate Must Reject Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh
Trump promised nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade, dismantle the Affordable Care Act
Washington, D.C. - Tonight, President Trump announced D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States.
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 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.
Background on Kavanaugh:
Judge Kavanaugh has actively worked to block access to safe legal abortion.
- Just last year, he blocked a lower court’s order requiring the Government to allow an undocumented woman entering the United States to have an abortion.
- Kavanaugh wrote that it was not an “undue burden” to block this minor—who had already been delayed one month and who had already satisfied all of the requirements of Texas law to obtain an abortion (including getting the permission of a Texas state-court judge)—for another two weeks, pushing her into the second trimester.
- When this order was overturned by the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh said that court had created a “new right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. Government detention to obtain immediate abortion.” Garza v. Hargan, 874 F.3d 735 (D.C. Cir. 2017).
Judge Kavanaugh has supported allowing employers to deny their employees access to no-copay birth control coverage under the guise of religious freedom.
- Kavanaugh disagreed with a decision by the D.C. Circuit upholding the Obama Administration’s birth control benefit. Kavanaugh would have granted more employers the ability to deny women access to no-copay birth control coverage, effectively placing a woman’s boss between her and her health care provider.
President Trump has promised to appoint biased justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Unless he affirmatively says that he will uphold Roe, we can only assume that Brett Kavanaugh will undo access to safe and legal abortion on the Supreme Court.
- Kavanaugh was on Trump’s short list of nominees that was vetted by extreme anti-abortion conservative groups including the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. The missions of these organizations is to reverse Roe v. Wade and shrink government’s involvement in health care.
Kavanaugh has been vetted by, and is an active contributor to, the Federalist Society -- a right wing legal association that does not believe a woman has the constitutional right to access abortion safely and legally in this country.
Kavanaugh has also been given the seal of approval by the right-wing Heritage Foundation -- a group devoted to, among other things, overturning Roe v Wade.