Here’s Why Planned Parenthood Is Rallying Against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh
Last month, President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, as his nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States.
Advocates like Planned Parenthood, along with many Americans who support reproductive rights, are not happy with Trump’s choice for nominee. If the Senate confirms the president’s nomination, Kavanaugh will shift the balance of the Supreme Court toward becoming more conservative, which means the constitutional right and access to safe, legal abortion is at risk.
During the 2016 presidential election, Trump has said that he would only nominate pro-life judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that affirmed the constitutional right to access abortion in this country - and with Kavanaugh’s nomination, he is staying true to his word.
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According to a PerryUndem study, 72 percent of Americans, the majority being Democrats, Independents, and Republicans still stand by the Roe v. Wade decision. If Kavanaugh is appointed, women’s health and freedom to reproductive rights are at risk, which can be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable communities in America.
Kavanaugh has been very consistent in his efforts to block access to safe, legal abortions.
Last year, in the Jane Doe case that dominated the airwaves, he blocked a lower court’s order that required the government to allow an undocumented woman who was entering the United States to have the safe, legal abortion she requested. Fortunately, the court that Kavanaugh sits on intervened and the young woman was able to receive the services she needed.
If President Trump’s plan to appoint an anti-choice judge comes to fruition and Roe v. Wade is overturned, at least 20 states are set to ban abortion. Since 2011, politicians at the state level have passed more than 400 restrictions on abortion, and seven states have introduced 308 new abortion restrictions in the first quarter of this year. These restrictions have caused patients to travel hundreds of miles, cross state borders, and even wait weeks to get an abortion.
Kavanaugh dissented the D.C. Circuit’s 2015 ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit that ruled that the Obama Administration’s accommodation for religious employers did not violate the employers’ rights. He expressed that employers should have the right to deny their employees' health insurance coverage for birth control. If it was up to him, Kavanaugh would have granted more employers the chance to deny their employees access to no-copay birth control coverage.
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of Voting Rights Act and there is much at risk with voting if Kavanaugh is appointed. Over the years, the Supreme Court has weakened the Voting Rights Act, and Kavanaugh’s appointment could swing the balance of the court even further against the right to vote. In 2013, the Supreme Court eliminated the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County v. Holder case, which left many historically marginalized communities, including people of color, out of the electoral process.
A year before that In the 2012 South Carolina v. United States case, the D.C. Circuit voted to uphold a South Carolina voter ID law that the Obama Department of Justice found would likely disenfranchise more than 80,000 minority registered voters who did not have the ID required by the law. Kavanaugh ruled that the measure was not discriminatory, even though the Obama administration claimed it violated the Voting Rights Act.
Kavanaugh also has a troubling record on guns. According to Giffords Law Center, he has issued rulings that are aligned with the gun lobby. Kavanaugh has argued that D.C’s registration laws and a ban on assault weapons violate the Second Amendment. He has also taken the position that since assault weapons are in “common use” today and in the past have not been historically regulated, they cannot be prohibited under the Second Amendment.
His rulings also reflect a radical interpretation of the Constitution where he believes public safety justifications play no role in Second Amendment jurisprudence. If Kavanaugh is appointed, he could upset elected officials’ ability to adopt the public safety measures citizens have consistently demanded since massacres like Parkland.
Kavanaugh’s nomination threatens LGBTQ people's’ basic rights and their freedom. According to the Human Rights Campaign, his nomination threatens transgender troops from serving this nation in the military. In the coming years, the Supreme Court will be addressing critical issues for the LGBTQ community such as whether the nation’s nondiscrimination laws include protections for LGBTQ people and if LGBTQ people and families can be turned away from businesses open to the general public.