For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Attacks on reproductive freedom have only escalated in the three years since Kavanaugh’s confirmation
Washington, DC — On October 6, 2018, Justice Brett Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court with the lowest favorable rating of any nominee in recent history. His confirmation came in the face of massive public outrage, including the largest ever single-day protest against a Supreme Court nominee led by NARAL Pro-Choice America and its partners. Now, thanks to the presence of Kavanaugh and Trump’s other anti-choice justices on the Court, reproductive freedom and the legal right to abortion face unprecedented threats.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement on the three-year anniversary of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation:
“Justice Kavanaugh remains a clear danger to reproductive freedom whose utter contempt for precedent and our constitutional rights has only become more apparent in the three years since his confirmation. Kavanaugh’s presence on the Supreme Court, along with Trump’s other ideologues, puts our most fundamental rights and freedoms in jeopardy—especially as the Court prepares to hear a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade later this year. That’s why there’s no time to waste in taking action: The U.S. Senate must immediately pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to protect the right to abortion, and we must redouble our efforts to hold to account the politicians whose actions led us to this moment of crisis.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its 2.5 million members are mobilizing to hold the senators who voted to confirm Kavanaugh and Trump’s other justices—Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett—accountable for putting reproductive freedom at risk. Since Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation tipped the balance of the bench to an anti-choice majority, lawmakers hostile to abortion have launched an all-out assault on reproductive freedom in hopes that a challenge will make its way to the Supreme Court and end Roe v. Wade. Anti-choice state lawmakers have already introduced, advanced, or passed more than 330 state bills attacking abortion access in 2021. This year, 106 restrictions on abortion access have been enacted at the state level, making it the worst year for abortion rights since Roe was decided.
Last month, the Supreme Court allowed Texas’ SB 8, a blatantly unconstitutional ban on abortion at about six weeks of pregancy, to go into effect. By refusing to block this vigilante-enforced ban, a majority of the justices, including Justice Kavanaugh, essentially allowed Texas to render Roe meaningless in the state. On December 1, the Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a direct challenge to Roe involving Mississippi’s unconstitutional ban on abortion at 15 weeks.
The barrage of attacks on reproductive freedom underscores the urgent need for the U.S. Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to protect the right to abortion throughout the United States should Roe fall. Every day without action means that more and more people are being denied their constitutional right to abortion—and this disproportionately affects women; Black, Indigenous, people of color; members of the LGBTQ+ community; and those with lower incomes.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support safe, legal abortion.