Advocates gathered Thursday in front of the Florida Supreme Court to urge Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to protect Floridians’ reproductive rights and access to health care by rejecting President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
President Trump has promised to appoint only biased justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and strike down the Affordable Care Act. Unless he affirmatively says he will uphold Roe, it can only be assumed that Kavanaugh will undo access to safe and legal abortion.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh has a dangerous track record of trying to block women from getting access to birth control and abortion care,” said Missy Wesolowski, Statewide Director of Organizing with Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.
Just last year, Kavanaugh ruled to block an undocumented woman who recently entered the United States from obtaining an abortion. He also ruled in favor of bosses denying their employees birth control coverage based on their personal religious objections. Now, President Trump wants Kavanaugh and his extreme views on the Supreme Court.
“Make no mistake, the right to access abortion safely and legally in this country is absolutely on the line,” said Wesolowski. “Planned Parenthood and our allies are vigorously opposed to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court,” she added.
Concerns about Kavanaugh extend beyond the threat to reproductive rights. If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would pose a grave risk to health care access for millions of Americans. When the D.C. Circuit Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in 2011, Kavanaugh dissented, arguing that the president could ignore the law.
“The American people overwhelmingly oppose everything that Kavanaugh would stand for. More than 70 percent of Americans support access to abortion, including a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans,” said Millie Zehnder of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at FSU.
“The Senate must only confirm a Justice who affirms that they believe the Constitution protects individual liberty and the right of all people to make personal decisions about personal relationships and their bodies, including the right to marriage equality, have an abortion or use contraception,” said Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director.
“Whether you care about access to health care, reproductive rights, voting rights, protecting our environment, LGBT equality, or criminal justice reform, the fate of them all hang in the balance,” said Progress Florida’s Ray Seaman on behalf of the Florida Why Courts Matter Coalition. “We cannot let President Trump take over the court for the next 40 years with a rubber stamp justice like Brett Kavanaugh.”