Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony Confirms his Hostile Record and Philosophy Towards Reproductive Rights
RELEASE) Statement of Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for
Reproductive Rights, on the confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to
the U.S. Supreme Court:
stakes of this confirmation could not be higher. This nomination could be the
fifth vote on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade (1973). Given
that President Trump pledged to nominate to the Supreme Court only individuals
who would overturn Roe, we carefully
scrutinized Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony at his confirmation hearing last week
and release this report
into the hearing, we had grave concerns that Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s opinions,
speeches and writings evince a judicial philosophy fundamentally hostile to
reproductive rights. His testimony did not dispel those concerns. In fact, it only
further intensified them.
his confirmation hearing, Judge Kavanaugh faced extensive questioning about his
views on reproductive rights. His testimony was a studied attempt not to reveal
whether he agrees or disagrees with the Supreme Court’s 50-plus years of jurisprudence
on a woman’s constitutional right to access contraception and abortion services.
repeatedly declined to answer whether he believes that Roe and Planned Parenthood v.
Casey (1992) were correctly decided. When asked about the Supreme Court’s
cases on the constitutional right to contraception, starting with Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), he chose
to agree with only the narrow concurring opinion authored by Justice Byron White,
who would later dissent in Roe and
subsequently called for its overruling.
Kavanaugh’s testimony yielded scant new information about his views and in no
way rebutted the evidence in his record that he does not support the
half-century of Supreme Court jurisprudence supporting women’s reproductive
speaks volumes about his hostility to women’s reproductive rights. As an
appellate judge, Judge Kavanaugh ignored and misapplied Supreme Court precedent
to allow the government to continue blocking an undocumented minor from
accessing an abortion. He has voiced support for a narrow, backward-looking
approach to the scope of individual liberty rights contrary to the foundations
of the right to abortion. In speeches, he has praised then-Justice William
Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe and Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Casey, where each justice rejected the
constitutional right to abortion. He has given a high degree of deference to
religiously-affiliated employers who wish to avoid “complicity” in women’s use
of contraception, which they believe to be “abortion-inducing” drugs and
devices which is false and not based on science.
call on all Senators who care about women’s reproductive health and rights to
vote against the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh. A lifetime appointment cannot
be reversed, and the future of our personal liberty rights is on the line.”