News Release – Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
July 10, 2018
Eileen Sullivan, Communications Director, Vermont
Colchester, VT – President Donald Trump announced D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England strongly opposes this nomination, as 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 to prevent a young, undocumented woman in U.S. custody from accessing safe, legal abortion. 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 by Meagan Gallagher, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England: “We strongly oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and call on our Senators in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont to do the same. 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 made that clear. We take Trump at his word that Judge Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v. Wade and get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Generations of people have grown up only knowing a country where they have the right to access safe, legal abortion, and more than 70 percent of Americans support access to abortion. We absolutely cannot allow our children and grandchildren to have fewer rights than we do today.”
Planned Parenthood also 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 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. 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.
About Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE): PPNNE is the largest reproductive and sexual health care provider in northern New England. In 2016, PPNNE served more than 40,000 women, men, and teens, and provided more than $8.1 million worth of free and discounted health care. www.ppnne.org
About Planned Parenthood of Vermont Action Fund: Planned Parenthood of Vermont Action Fund (PPVTAF) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. The Action Fund engages in educational activity, including legislative advocacy, and grassroots organizing.