Markey leads pro-choice groups in opposing Trump’s handpicked Supreme Court nominee

Pro-choice advocates and Senator Edward Markey organized a press conference at the Planned Parenthood health center in Boston to vocally state their strong opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh is a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge who President Donald Trump nominated as his second Supreme Court pick, following Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement announcement in late June.

Kennedy’s departure has Democrats worried about the fate of the Supreme Court since he was a moderate conservative who sided with liberals on landmark cases, including marriage equality. Kavanaugh, in contrast, is seen as very conservative.

“In Judge Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump has found a conservative, Federalist Society-approved jurist whom he believes will pass his litmus test of overturning Roe v. Wade and striking down the Affordable Care Act, and that should concern every American,” Markey said.

Though Kavanaugh has referred to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion as a “binding precedent of the court,” pro-choice advocates argue his tenure shows a more antagonistic stance to the decision.

“Unless the Senate intervenes, the right to access safe and legal abortion is absolutely on the line,” Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts President and CEO Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak said. “After all President Trump has promised to nominate judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade and gut the Affordable Care Act. We simply cannot allow our children and our grandchildren to have fewer rights than we do.”

Childs-Roshak said Kavanaugh has already shown hostility toward the ACA, or Obamacare, by trying to limit access to birth control provided through the law.

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Executive Director Rebecca Hart Holder explained how more than 70 percent of independent voters, including a majority of Democrats and Republicans, support preserving access to abortion despite Kavanaugh’s perceived stance.

“Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court means that we are facing a reality where the number of abortions does not go down, but the number of death and injuries goes up,” Holder said. “We are fighting for our daughters, our granddaughters, our sisters, our grandmothers, our mothers and we will not allow [the president] to put their lives at risk.”

A woman by the name of Wendy Robinson took to the podium last to share her personal story of being ostracized when trying to receive an abortion at age 17 in the state of New York in the 1960s.

“My abortion allowed me to live the life I wanted and to become a parent when I was ready and able to raise a child properly. It’s that right to autonomy and self-determination that’s on the line right now,” Robinson said. “… for the current generation, who have grown up taking abortion access for granted as a right, they are the ones in immediate danger and they are the ones whose actual lives and their family’s lives will be affected.”

Markey said he is betting on opposition from the public to play an important role in potentially blocking or stopping this nominee, who is expected to be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate sometime this fall.

“This is a critical moment for our country, much too important for any Senator to rubber stamp this nominee in the name of deference to the president,” Markey said. “We need all Americans to organize, to march and raise their voices to say that Judge Kavanaugh does not represent the values we need on the Supreme Court.”

Jordan Frias

Jordan Frias is an editorial assistant at Boston Herald and a contributor of Spare Change News. He is vice president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a graduate of Northeastern University's School of Journalism.

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