ALASKA –– In a display of solidarity and unity, local activists, community leaders and Planned Parenthood supporters brought together more than 300 people at Unite For Justice events across Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau to deliver one message: Senator Murkowski, we are calling on you to reject the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The events held across the state included a rally in Anchorage, where more than 100 people participated. People from across the city spoke out and shared their stories about health care access. In Juneau, a postcard writing and storytelling event took place and in Fairbanks a coalition of progressive organizations came together for a panel to discuss what is at stake should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed.
“The Unite For Justice rallies and events happening across the country today are a true display of solidarity,” said Jessica Cler, Alaska State Director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “Folks from all walks of life made their presence known and took action together. This president has made clear that he would only nominate justices to the court who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade and we take him at his word. The nomination of Judge Kavanaugh would be detrimental for reproductive rights, but also protecting workers’ rights, advancing LGBTQ rights, protecting voting rights, and ensuring the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stays intact. Together, we’re fighting for a future where everyone can follow their dreams and live their life on their own terms.”
Rather than being held to Trump’s litmus test, nominees should be held to the Personal Liberty Standard: nominees must declare they believe the 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, have an abortion, and marry who they choose.
Members of Congress continue to put reproductive health care and Planned Parenthood in the crosshairs. Last week, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a misguided amendment that is nothing more than a political attack on the nation's leading reproductive health care provider. The amendment would have blocked Planned Parenthood health centers from participating in critical safety net programs, including the Title X family planning program, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, and Medicaid in Fiscal Year 2019. Senator Murkowski rejected this amendment.
The American people overwhelmingly support Planned Parenthood. Polling from Perry Undem in 2015 showed nine in ten adults (including 79 percent of Trump voters) reject an agenda that includes defunding Planned Parenthood and opposing abortion. In addition public support for Roe v. Wade — the 1973 decision that affirmed the right to access safe, legal abortion – is a record high of 72 percent, including 52 percent of Republicans. Nearly two-thirds of Alaskans want to see Roe v. Wade upheld. These numbers show explain why Gallup polls show support for Judge Kavanaugh is lower than any Supreme Court nominee since 1987.