NARAL Statement on Judiciary Committee’s Hearing for Anti-Choice Judicial Nominee Kyle Duncan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2017
After the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, NARAL Pro-Choice America Senior Vice President Sasha Bruce issued the following statement:
“Duncan has made a name for himself by rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit and women’s ability to make decisions about their own lives, bodies, and futures. Given his troubling anti-choice record, we can be sure that he’ll use the federal judiciary to continue his attacks on reproductive freedom.
“Mitch McConnell continues to speed through these nominations as a way to solidify Trump’s backwards agenda for decades to come, but the Senate should halt all lifetime nominees to the judiciary until the Department of Justice’s investigation into Trump’s inner circle is complete.”
Duncan’s long, anti-choice record should concern all Americans. Read more about his alarming record below:
- Duncan is a strong opponent of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive-coverage policy, the single greatest advancement in reproductive healthcare in a generation. He has represented several major challenges to the policy, and even served as the lead counsel representing Hobby Lobby in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. before the Supreme Court.1 Duncan argued that employers should be free to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees on religious grounds.2
- Duncan defended a Louisiana Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law in the courts, an unnecessary and burdensome requirement not applied to other healthcare providers.3 Duncan, however, called the law “medically reasonable.”4
- Duncan also filed an amicus brief in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in support of Texas’ TRAP law. While he argued that the law rested on “solid medical ground,” the Supreme Court ruled that the law placed an unconstitutional undue burden on women seeking abortion care.5
- Duncan appeared alongside Americans United for Life CEO Charmaine Yoest at a 2013 event, where he gave a speech calling the idea of a “right” to contraception “disturbing.”
- Duncan disparaged the constitutional right to abortion in a law review article, where he wrote that “government must adopt a distinctly more agnostic stance toward religion” than abortion, because “government has a legitimate interest in the protection of fetal life throughout pregnancy.”6
- While appearing on CNN, Duncan asserted that “access to contraception is widespread and nobody really denies that.”7
- Several anti-choice groups celebrated Duncan’s nomination, including Students for Life and Susan B. Anthony List. Duncan is also active in the conservative Federalist Society.