- Liberal groups predicted that appointing Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would result in dangerous limits on abortion access and other prominent political issues.
- “Access to safe and legal abortion, birth control, and other basic health care is hanging in the balance,” warned former Planned Parenthood President Cecil Richards.
- Yet their warnings are so far unfounded, with the Supreme Court overturning a pro-life Louisiana law.
Liberal groups predicted that appointing Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would result in dangerous limits on abortion access and other prominent political issues.
When Kavanaugh replaced former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy after a highly contentious confirmation process, progressive groups, media and activists alike said Kavanaugh was the fifth vote needed to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Anthony Kennedy is retiring,” the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin tweeted at the time. “Abortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months.”
“Access to safe and legal abortion, birth control, and other basic health care is hanging in the balance,” warned former Planned Parenthood President Cecil Richards, while Planned Parenthood itself predicted that “Kavanaugh would threaten our rights, including the right to access abortion.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tweeted that a Kavanaugh confirmation “could move” the Supreme Court “dramatically to the right of the American people,” while the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) tweeted that Kavanaugh would “shift the balance of the court to the extreme, threatening the rights of a generation.”
— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) July 12, 2018
But those warnings didn’t come to fruition after the Supreme Court struck down a law that would significantly restrict abortion access. In June Medical Services v. Russo, an abortion provider challenged a law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility.
Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal justice for a 5-4 ruling that struck down the Louisiana law — a decision met with criticism from conservatives, particularly because Roberts also voted with the liberal justices on recent DACA and LGBTQ rulings.
Progressive organizations like the ACLU, the NWLC, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Democratic National Convention, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the American Jewish Committee would not say whether they were wrong to so persistently warn against Kavanaugh.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to these groups, among others, asking whether they believed that their warnings against Kavanaugh were justified in light of the fact that the Supreme Court ruled against pro-life advocates.
None directly addressed the question, though the DNC and the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) referred the DCNF to previously issued statements on Supreme Court decision.
The DNC statement highlighted that “our battle is far from over” and warned that Republican leaders “will continue to go after the rights of women and anyone seeking reproductive care to make decisions about their own bodies, their own families, and their own futures.”
“In fact, two of today’s votes against abortion rights came from Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch,” DNC Chair Tom Perez, DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford, and DNC Vice Chair and Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson said in a joint statement.
And NWHN executive director Cynthia Pearson said a statement: “In all, a majority of justices demonstrated today that they oppose abortion rights in principle, and four justices made clear that they’re willing to sacrifice the Court’s legitimacy to overturn settled abortion case law,”
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