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Opinion

Kavanaugh can’t be trusted on abortion

Trump promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade. We should take him at his word.

U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed

U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Judge Brett Kavanaugh has tried to present himself as a family man who cares about women and girls. He has pointed out that he coaches his daughters’ basketball teams, and has said most of his law clerks have been women.

  • But Kavanaugh, nominated to replace a retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, is no feminist hero. In fact, as his record shows, he is a threat to the lives of women and girls and to sexual and reproductive freedom.

President Donald Trump promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who would, in his words, “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade. We should take him at his word.

Here’s why:

  • Kavanaugh has ruled to restrict access to abortion. Just last year, he tried to block a minor who was in federal custody because of her contested immigration status from accessing abortion care. If he was willing to try to prevent this person’s ability to make her own decision, no doubt he would try to do the same for the nation.
  • Kavanaugh doesn’t support birth control access. He wrote a dissenting opinion in the D.C. Circuit’s 2015 ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, writing that he believed bosses have the right to deny them birth control coverage.
  • Kavanaugh recently praised former Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in the 7-2 Roe v. Wade decision that allowed a constitutional right to abortion.
  • Kavanaugh endangers other progressive victories, such as LGBTQ rights and immigration protections because he would cement a 5-4 conservative majority on the court.

The stakes could not be higher. We’re calling on New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to not only reject Kavanaugh’s nomination, but also to block it by any means necessary.

We also call on state lawmakers to put politics aside and protect New Yorkers’ reproductive freedom. The state’s abortion law has not been updated since 1970 and does not provide robust protection to access if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Yet, the state Reproductive Health Act has been blocked by the anti-reproductive health majority in the State Senate. If the state does not act, our abortion access will be at risk.

We stand with our patients no matter what happens in Washington. Everyone deserves access to comprehensive, compassionate health care, including abortion.

Laura McQuade is president and chief executive at Planned Parenthood of New York City.

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