Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Anti-Choice Record On Abortion Rights Sparks Debate
With nationwide abortion rights on the line, conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has become a serious point of contention in the Senate.
With the retirement Justice Anthony Kennedy, a former swing vote on various civil rights cases including those involving abortion rights, many worry that Kavanaugh’s conservative views may threaten to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case which established the right to an abortion.
Given Kavanaugh’s slim history with abortion cases, the ruling is still out on his definitive stance concerning Roe v. Wade.
During his 2006 confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh was grilled by Sen. Chuck Schumer as to whether he considered Roe v. Wade to be an “abomination.” At the time, Kavanaugh respectfully asserted he would defer to the “binding precedent” of the Supreme Court by following “Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully.” But, when asked about his personal opinion on the matter, Kavanaugh evasively said it would not be “appropriate” to share his views.
Last year, his stance on the matter became more apparent. Ruling on whether or not to allow an undocumented teenager the right to an abortion, Kavanaugh conceded that she did have the right. He dissented, however, on her “immediate right” to an abortion, ordering that she must have a U.S. sponsor before undergoing the procedure, a time frame overruled due to the potential threat it posed to the woman’s health.
Kavanaugh also argued against an Obamacare mandate requiring employers to provide contraception coverage, claiming it infringed on the rights of certain religious organizations.
Concerns over Kavanaugh’s stance have refueled the debate over women’s reproductive rights.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat it,” said Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “With this nomination, the constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion in this country is on the line.”
On Kavanaugh’s Roe stance, Laguens noted, ”We already know how Brett Kavanaugh would rule on Roe v. Wade, because the president told us so.”
During his campaign, President Donald Trump had previously promised voters he “will be appointing pro-life judges” in a debate on NBC News. He has since contradicted himself in a recent interview with Fox Business, claiming he would “probably not” question contenders as to their opinion on the landmark case during the selection process.
The issue may prove to be a make or break point for Kavanaugh, as some Senate members have indicated. “A candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me as that would indicate an activist agenda that I don’t want to see a judge have,” stated Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
Judge Kavanaugh is expected to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee this fall ahead of the midterm elections. He only needs a simply majority, 51 votes, to receive confirmation.