September 5, 2018 / Press Releases

Brett Kavanaugh’s First Answer on Abortion Was Nothing But Code Words and Evasion Intended To Hide His Real Agenda: Gut Roe v Wade and Criminalize Abortion

For Immediate Release: September 5, 2018
Contact: [email protected]


After Brett Kavanaugh gave his first answer on abortion and reproductive rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement:

Brett Kavanaugh’s first answer on abortion was nothing more than a one-dimensional recount of history that ignored the fundamental rights and needs of women. No one is fooled: Kavanaugh already stated his desire to overturn Roe v Wade and Casey, and provided his roadmap for repealing the landmark decision. He gave no affirmations or indications that he will defend our most fundamental rights he is obligated to protect. His record and his actions speak louder than his words today. This is not the time to take our rights and lives for granted and assume our fundamental freedoms are safe. Precedent can be overturned, and Trump appointed Kavanaugh as the man to do just that.”

Kavanaugh previously stated his desire to overturn both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In a speech before the American Enterprise Institute last fall, Kavanaugh praised Justice William Rehnquist’s vote against Roe v. Wade—showing his personal roadmap for ending Roe and criminalizing abortion.

Here are Kavanaugh’s comments on the landmark decisions:

  • Roe v. Wade– American Enterprise Institute, 9/18/17
    • “I want to speak about William Rehnquist because he was my first judicial hero.” [14:40]
    • “In case after case after case during law school, I noticed something. After I read the assigned reading, I would constantly make notes to myself: Agree with Rehnquist majority opinion. Agree with Rehnquist dissent. Agree with Rehnquist analysis. Rehnquist makes a good point here. Rehnquist destroys the majority’s reasoning here. … [H]is opinions made a lot of sense to me. In class after class, I stood with Rehnquist.” [15:20]
  • Planned Parenthood v. CaseyObergefell v. Hodges, and death penalty cases – George Mason University Law School,6/2/16
    • “Courts have no legitimate role, Justice Scalia would say, in creating new rights not spelled out in the Constitution. On those issues, he believed in complete deference to the political branches and the states. Deference not for the sake of deference, but deference because the Constitution gave the Court no legitimate role in the case. Think about his dissents in Casey, on abortion, and in Obergefell, on same-sex marriage. His opinions on the constitutionality of the death penalty in response to the abolitionist positions articulated by some of his fellow justices over the years. An interesting and important exercise for all of us is to think about which Scalia dissents will become the law of the land.” [7:55]


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.”

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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