NARAL Calls on Senators to Uphold Personal Liberties of All Americans

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2018
Contact: [email protected]

With news reports that President Trump will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue issued the following statement:

“We can’t forget what America was like before Roe and we know the reality today for so many women in so many states across the nation where our right to make the most fundamental decisions about our bodies, our families, and our lives has been all but eradicated. Kavanaugh would use the Court as a tool to doom all women to that fate. Ending Roe doesn’t end abortion; it simply means we have a country where abortion is illegal and women and doctors become criminals. Kavanaugh recently argued that a young woman, despite meeting all of Texas’ burdensome requirements to get an abortion, should not be permitted to access essential healthcare. He has also been a long time conservative activist working to elect anti-choice politicians. It is clear that he will be a reliable vote to end Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion, and punish women.

“This fight goes beyond Roe. This is a battle for the very heart and soul of our country and the result is about nothing less than whether women will be second class citizens for generations to come. Senators hold the keys to women’s fundamental freedoms in their hands. The majority of Americans support legal access to abortion and every senator must vote only to confirm a justice who recognizes and affirmatively declares that the Constitution protects individual liberty and the right to make personal decisions about our own bodies and relationships​. Senators must understand that voters, including two million NARAL members, will not forget a vote to overturn Roe and criminalize women—not today and most certainly not at the ballot box. We need senators who understand it isn’t their place to play judge and jury on women. The message is clear: every senator must stand unequivocally for our fundamental freedoms, or they will pay the price in November.”

President Trump has a long history of promising to nominate justices intent on overturning Roe v. Wade. Here is a brief background on Judge Kavanaugh’s extensive anti-choice record:

Brett Kavanaugh

  • Current position: Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Appointed by anti-choice President George W. Bush
  • Served as Senior Associate Counsel and in various other positions in the anti-choice George W. Bush White House. In these roles, he was responsible for “marshaling the fleet” of George W. Bush’s far-right, anti-choice judicial nominees, including Priscilla Owen and William Pryor.
  • Active in the conservative Federalist Society.
  • Has contributed to anti-choice, extreme politicians including Henry Hyde and Orrin Hatch.
  • Issued a strongly-worded dissent against a D.C. Circuit decision that allowed an undocumented young woman to access abortion care. Kavanaugh argued that despite the fact that the girl had already met all of Texas’ burdensome requirements for young women seeking abortion care (mandatory delay, state court approval, etc.), she should have to wait until she had an immigration sponsor to make “that momentous life decision.” He wrote, “The en banc majority…reflects a philosophy that unlawful immigrant minors have a right to immediate abortion on demand, not to be interfered with even by government efforts to help minors navigate what is undeniably a difficult situation by expeditiously transferring them to their sponsors.”
  • In a heated dissent in Priests for Life v. HHS, Kavanaugh argued that the Affordable Care Act’s religious accommodation to the contraceptive-coverage policy placed a substantial burden on religious employers’ beliefs, even “if the religious organizations are misguided in thinking that this scheme…makes them complicit in facilitating contraception or abortion.”

This is the moment NARAL was made for. NARAL, The People’s Defense, and grassroots activists will hold a National Day of Action, “Stand For Justice” on August 26, 2018, Women’s Equality Day. Americans will rally in all 50 states, to demand that our representatives in Washington oppose Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court and fight to protect our most fundamental freedoms.

NARAL is also launching a 50-state strategy campaign, called the “Reality of Roe,” to create meaningful opportunities for people across the country to take action—to speak out and stand up for our fundamental freedoms. Thousands of NARAL members have already called their senators, and then called their friends to ask them to do the same. NARAL held a tele-town hall with Senators Gillibrand and Merkley to discuss what’s at stake, and over 11,000 NARAL members across 48 states joined to find out how they can help. NARAL has also launched digital ads in Maine and other key markets to educate people about what another Trump Supreme Court Justice would mean for reproductive rights.

new national poll, conducted on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America by Public Policy Polling in key states, finds that the majority of voters, including nearly two-thirds of independent voters, do not want to see Roe v. Wade ended, and would oppose any nominee to the Supreme Court who would overturn it. Moreover, a majority of voters, including 62% of Maine voters and 53% of Alaska voters, also said they would be less likely to support their senator if they voted to confirm a candidate to the Supreme Court who would completely overturn Roe and criminalize abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”