News and Press

Springfield Republican: US Sen. Ed Markey, pro-choice advocates urge against confirming Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

BOSTON — Cautioning that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could be the deciding vote in efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, and pro-abortion rights advocates urged lawmakers Monday against confirming President Donald Trump’s pick to the high court.

Markey joined Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts President and CEO Jennifer Childs-Roshak and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Executive Director Rebecca Hart Holder in raising concerns about Kavanaugh’s stance on abortion-related issues, as well as about the potential impact he could have on future Supreme Court cases.

Pointing to Kavanaugh’s record on the bench, Markey argued that the federal appeals court judge is a “conservative, Federalist Society-approved jurist” who passes Trump’s litmus test of overturning Roe v. Wade and striking down the Affordable Care Act.

Although the high court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade has protected abortion access for more than 40 years, the senator noted that recent efforts to overturn the controversial decision have sparked legal challenges that could bring the issue back before the Supreme Court.

With Kavanaugh slated to take over the seat held by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy — who was a swing vote in several high-profile cases — Markey argued that, if confirmed, Trump’s nominee could essentially decide the fate of contentious issues, like abortion access.

“Confirming Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is an invitation for anti-choice advocates to intensify their crusade against access to reproductive health choices and to achieving their ultimate goal of repealing Roe v. Wade and turning back the clock on women’s health freedom and economic security,” he said during a morning news conference.

Markey urged his Senate colleagues against supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination solely in deference to the president. The senator further called on Americans to join him in opposing efforts to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court pick “every step of the way.”

“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,” he said.

Childs-Roshak agreed that Americans “cannot ignore what’s at stake with this Supreme Court nomination.”

“Unless the Senate intervenes, the right to access safe and legal abortion is absolutely on the line … Kavanaugh cannot be trusted to uphold the important confirmation in Roe v. Wade that the Constitution affords every person the individual liberty to make decisions about their own body and about their own future, including the right to access contraception and abortion,” she said.

Arguing that abortion “is an important health care option” that has been legal for more than four decades, Childs-Roshak added that the country “can’t go back.”

She said Planned Parenthood and its supporters will join Markey in urging senators against supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Holder stressed that NARAL will also work to ensure that country does “not go back” when it comes to abortion access.
“We are fighting for all of the women in this country,” she said. “We are fighting for our daughters, our granddaughters, our sisters, our grandmothers, our mothers and we will not allow (lawmakers) to put their lives at risk.”

Trump announced last week that he would nominate Kavanaugh, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit judge, to fill Kennedy’s seat.

Kavanaugh has drawn criticism from Democrats for siding with the Trump administration’s refusal to help a pregnant teen in immigration custody access abortion services, reportedly arguing that the majority had created a new right to “immediate abortion on demand” for migrant minors in custody.

The White House, however, has remained firm that Trump did not ask Kavanaugh about his stance on abortion before announcing his nomination.