Abortion Rights Advocates Attack Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon joined a chorus of critics who worry about the impact that U.S. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh could have.

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Abortion rights advocates were quick to rally against President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, which both have chapters in Oregon, said Kavanaugh would vote to end Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that backed a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion.

Kavanaugh opposes abortion and the birth control mandate under the Affordable Care Act. He would replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who’s represented a swing vote on reproductive rights.

His confirmation would be a disaster for women, the groups said.

In a statement, leaders from Oregon-based Planned Parenthood agencies said: 

"Just last year, (Kavanaugh) 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. … 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.”

“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,” said a statement by leaders of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon. “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.”

NARAL also released a statement, announcing ad campaigns in Alaska, Maine, Colorado, Nevada and Texas, urging the Republican senators there to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court:

“These senators hold the keys to women’s futures and our fundamental freedoms in their hands,” said NARAL President Ilyse Hogue in a statement. “Either women will continue to have the legal right to decide what happens with our bodies, and a hope to access to safe abortion, or Donald Trump’s Supreme Court will undo centuries of progress where women have been in control of our families and our lives. Donald Trump has been crystal clear, he wants to end Roe v Wade. Kavanaugh is his path to doing so. Now the only question is whether these senators will stand up and fight for women and families or be a rubber stamp on Trump’s agenda.”

If confirmed, it’s unclear how any anti-abortion ruling would affect Oregon. Abortion rights would likely be determined by the states and Oregon has a liberal policy on women’s reproductive rights, including allowing women to buy birth control over the counter.

Reach Lynne Terry at [email protected].