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Planned Parenthood Leaders in Oregon Oppose Supreme Court Nominee

Yesterday, Donald 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 to prevent a young, undocumented woman in U.S. custody from accessing the abortion she had asked for. In fact, he 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. He 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 Lisa Gardner, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon; Anne Udall, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette; and Emily McLain, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon:

“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 Donald Trump 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 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. There is absolutely no room for uncertainty when it comes to protecting reproductive health care in Oregon and in our country at this time. We are ready to take action and have our voices heard.”

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

Kavanaugh has actively worked to block access to safe, legal abortion.

Kavanaugh has supported allowing employers to deny their employees access to no-copay birth control coverage under the guise of religious freedom.

Trump has promised to appoint biased justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Unless Kavanaugh affirmatively says he will uphold Roe, we can only assume he will undo access to safe, legal abortion on the Supreme Court.

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 Heritage Foundation — a right-wing group devoted to, among other things, overturning Roe v. Wade.

Posted on July 10, 2018 in News.
 
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