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Planned Parenthood Response to Kavanaugh’s Comments
on Chief Justice Roberts and Roe v. Wade

WASHINGTON D.C. - Planned Parenthood Action Fund released the following statement on Kavanaugh’s statement on Chief Justice Roberts and Roe v. Wade:

Quote from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund: 

We’ve been hearing from women across the country who are worried about losing their constitutional right to abortion. For people seeking an abortion, any erosion of this right has a devastating, real-world impact. It is the difference between accessing an abortion or going without. We’ve seen what that looks like in Texas, where many women were left to travel across vast regions of the state to get health care, if they could at all.

Kavanaugh’s reference to Chief Justice Roberts’ as a standard-bearer on abortion is alarming. Roberts also talked about ‘upholding precedent’ and then voted time and again to gut women’s health care and rights. Roberts agreed that forcing Texas women to drive hundreds of miles did not constitute an undue burden. And Kavanaugh agreed that keeping an undocumented woman behind a locked door does not constitute an undue burden. Both certainly agree that blocking women from an abortion does not violate their constitutional rights.

Kavanaugh’s record says it all: If given a chance, he would turn the balance of the Supreme Court against  women’s constitutional right to abortion in this country. We are counting on the Senate to listen to their constituents’ stories, examine his record, and ultimately vote no on Brett Kavanaugh.”

Background

John Roberts assured the Senate Judiciary Committee during his nomination hearing that he believed judges must “be bound down by rules and precedents” — but then he voted time and again against women’s constitutional right to abortion (see this video). He voted to uphold a federal ban on so-called partial birth-abortion — a stance that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg described as “alarming” and as bucking existing precedent.

Roberts also voted against protecting women’s access to abortion in Texas in the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Though he was in the minority, he would have allowed Texas to impose medically unnecessary restrictions in order to close almost all of the abortion providers in the state (going from 40 to fewer than 10) in a state with more than 12 million women.

The constitutional right to access abortion is already at risk in this country. Appointing Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would tip it over the edge. There are 13 abortion cases that are, right now, one step away from being heard by the Supreme Court.

Brett Kavanaugh has already ruled to limit access to safe, legal abortion. Just last year, he attempted to use his judicial power to prevent a young, undocumented woman in U.S. custody from accessing a safe, legal abortion. If Kavanaugh had had his way, he would have allowed the government to delay the young woman’s abortion by more than one month, pushing her into the second trimester. Kavanaugh also praised Judge Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe v. Wade, calling the constitutional right to abortion a "freewheeling" reading of the U.S. Constitution.

He’s also ruled against women’s access to birth control. Brett 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.

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.

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