Both assault and denial of control over pregnancy thrive on stigma, secrecy, and shame about human sexuality.

The apotheosis of what the “pro-life” movement stands for and plans to achieve has arrived in the form of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, hand-picked by President Donald Trump to create the enduring five-seat majority on the U.S. Supreme Court that will end the federal constitutional right to abortion. The allegations about Kavanaugh emerging over the last two weeks are not inconsistent with what it truly means to be “pro-life”: Denial of agency, autonomy, and human rights are the core outcomes of this worldview.

That he would tip the balance of power against Roe v. Wade is not the only reason Brett Kavanaugh is the quintessential “pro-life” poster boy. If anything, the allegationsthat as a teenager he trapped Christine Blasey Ford in a bedroom, pinned her to a bed, attempted to remove her clothes, and placed his hand over her mouth so she could not scream make him an even better fit. That a second set of allegations—this time from Deborah Ramirez, who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party while they were students at Yale—has emerged only reiterates this.

The line connecting sexual assault with denial of control over pregnancy and birth is short: Both are abuses of power in which an individual or the state denies a person’s human right to bodily autonomy. Both are forms of sexual oppression. Both thrive on stigma, secrecy, and shame about human sexuality. To be clear, I believe Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and sexual assault survivors in general. It’s believable to me, then, that a teenager who found himself personally entitled to take control of someone’s body without her consent would become a judge who would later decide in favor of denying a detained immigrant minor’s right to abortion. In this disturbing way of thinking, young people have agency—so long as they are young, white, cisgender men. Otherwise, good luck.

The allegations are credible; Ford passed a lie detector test, and more than 1,000 women who attended Holton-Arms School with her have signed a letter supporting her. Ramirez came forward after Trump attacked Ford’s credibility on Twitter, and she was surely aware of the bullying she will endure as a result. The fact that their allegations have become public and Kavanaugh still remains a contender for the Supreme Court is also peak “pro-life” because it’s a blatant display of white male privilege, reminiscent of all-male panels testifying against access to birth control. It’s simply impossible to imagine an all-female panel testifying before Congress against life-saving medication primarily used by men, just as it’s simply impossible to imagine a woman nominee in Kavanaugh’s position holding her head high, insisting upon her innocence, and receiving support from senators who demand she be confirmed within the next few days without a thorough investigation.

Tellingly, Harriet Miers withdrew as a Supreme Court nominee during the George W. Bush administration—not because of misconduct allegations, but in part because abortion opponents worried she didn’t have an explicit track record against abortion.

And, of course, abortion opponents are continuing to stand by Kavanaugh. Following the news of Ford’s allegations, Susan B. Anthony List Vice President Mallory Quigley released a statement beginning with, “We have no reason to change our support for Judge Kavanaugh,” and concluding that while both sides should be heard, the vote to confirm Kavanaugh should “continue without delay.”

piece in HuffPost with the headline “Abortion Foes Say Christine Blasey Ford Should Be Heard” is great publicity for abortion opponents wishing to appear soft and gentle without yielding on substance, especially considering that the messages provided in the piece from anti-choice leaders include ongoing support for Kavanaugh’s nomination. To be clear, when they say they want her to “be heard” they are marching to the drumbeat led by Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who is going through hasty motions to feign concern so long as he can ensure a confirmation vote takes place in the immediate future—before more women such as Ramirez potentially come forward. No FBI investigation is taking place as it did for Anita Hill, who is now widely understood to have been mistreated by leaders of both parties during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings; the hearing format provided by Kavanaugh supporters is a sham checking of the box.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, told HuffPost, “We still see Judge Kavanaugh as the qualified candidate who is in the political battle of his life because of the abortion lobby’s efforts to keep Roe v. Wade the law of the land.” Not exactly sensitive, as Ford and her family have had to flee her home due to death threats.

Perhaps the most revealing statement from abortion opponents has come from Ross Douthat at the New York Times:

My suggestion is that if the cloud can’t be cleared [over Kavanaugh], the country’s interests and the interests of conservative partisans might converge. The G.O.P. is at risk of losing women voters by extraordinary margins under Trump, and the pro-life movement has no future, even if Roe is overturned, if its anti-abortion vision is seen as just the recrudescence of patriarchy. With both those problems in mind, shifting to a different, unclouded nominee—even, dare one say, a female nominee—seems like an adaptive move for the long run, however much stress it would create.

In other words, abortion opponents need Kavanaugh to do their bidding at the Supreme Court, but they also need voters to see them as woman-friendly over the long term because they know they are going to lose at the polls. Even in Ireland, which has historically been much more conservative on abortion, voters overturned the kind of total ban on abortion sought here with Kavanaugh or potential nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s rubber-stamp.

It is also vital to recall the sexual assault allegations about the man who appointed Kavanaugh in the first place—who has also been idolized by the bulk of the anti-choice movement. Though Donald Trump hardly seems to be the natural object of adoration for a movement that at least pretends to be about conservative sexual morality, abortion opponents have enthusiastically embraced him. Earlier this year, Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser called him “the most pro-life president in our nation’s history.”

Ultimately, the “pro-life” movement has a brand, and its thinkers and supporters know it. The brand is a white man who hates women, such as Donald Trump, the most “pro-life” president ever. The brand is a white man who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in high school while powerful white male senators align behind him, rushing his nomination through as quickly as possible. The brand is also white women rushing to claim that the clearly disrespectful white man is a paragon of honor and integrity. That brand is correctly seen as a liability with a large number of women and the U.S. people. The rush to confirm Brett Kavanaugh is a brutal expression of white male dominance, thus making it totally and completely “pro-life.”


“We still see Judge Kavanaugh as a qualified candidate,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.

While some anti-choice groups say Ford’s allegations deserve to be heard, they did not back off from vocal support of Kavanaugh.
Drew Angerer/ Getty Images

Anti-choice groups and abortion rights opponents are standing by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, amid accusations that he sexually assaulted a young woman while in high school.

Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, spoke publicly for the first time about the alleged attack in an interview with the Washington Postpublished Sunday. While some anti-choice groups say Ford’s allegations deserve to be heard, they did not back down from their support of Kavanaugh, whose nominationthey have lauded.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said that allegations should be heard, but he criticized their inclusion in Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. “Everyone should be heard, but those who are being heard should not be used for political purposes by Democrat Senators who have turned this confirmation process, predictably, into an ideological, obstructionist circus,” he said in a statement to Rewire.News

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a statement to Rewire.News that the organization wanted to see the allegations against Kavanaugh examined, but she stood by its support for Supreme Court nominee. “We want to see the process go forward to vet the current allegations, but, in looking at the way in which the charges were handled (hidden until the hearings were over and handled by those who have been very public about their goal to oppose this nominee no matter what), we still see Judge Kavanaugh as a qualified candidate who is in the political battle of his life because of the abortion lobby’s efforts to keep Roe v. Wade law of the land,” Hawkins said.

“Considering Judge Kavanaugh’s transparency during the hearings, including releasing a record number of records, meeting with Senators, and testifying for three days of contentious hearings, we think it is good that he is open to answering more questions,” she continued. “When this is over, it will be impossible for anyone to claim he has not been thoroughly vetted.”

Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-choice group closely aligned with the Trump administration, didn’t back down from its support for Kavanaugh. The organization has traveled the United States to encourage what they refer to as “vulnerable red-state Democratic senators” to confirm the judge. “Obviously Ms. Ford’s allegations are serious and should be heard,” Mallory Quigley, a spokesperson for the group, toldMcClatchy.  “Judge Kavanaugh should also have an opportunity to respond. This should be done as quickly as possible so that the vote can continue without delay.”

“We have no reason to change our support for Judge Kavanaugh,” Quigley added.

Operation Rescue Senior Vice President Cheryl Sullenger suggested in a blog post that Blasey Ford was “not credible” and compared the news to what she implied were unfounded allegations against conservatives like Roy Moore and Trump.

The organization’s president, Troy Newman, doubled down on his support for Kavanaugh. “It’s shameful that Democrats would try to destroy yet another man’s life and drag his family through the mud without cause,” he said. “It’s time for conservatives to stand up to the baseless allegations trotted out by Trump-hating politicians who have no other argument than slander and sexual smear tactics. Operation Rescue stands strong in our support of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Bryan Fischer, who hosts a talk-radio program for the American Family Association, used a blog post on the organization’s website to reject the accusations against Kavanaugh and attempt to cast doubt on Ford’s allegations by pointing to her political views. He said that should the accusations against the judge derail his confirmation, Kavanaugh would become a victim.

“Here’s what should happen. Ms. Ford’s accusations should be dismissed with extreme prejudice, Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination should be sent to the floor of the Senate this Thursday as scheduled, the Senate should vote to confirm him as soon as possible, and he should take his rightful place on the Supreme Court bench by the first Monday in October,” Fischer wrote. “Anything else is a travesty of a mockery of a sham, making Brett Kavanaugh a victim of a gross miscarriage of justice before he ever dons the robe of the Supreme Court.”

Americans United for Life, which voiced its support for Kavanaugh upon his nomination, has not publicly stated whether it maintains support for the judge. The group did not respond to requests for comment.


The judge’s record shows he would help dismantle Roe v. Wade, and Sen. Susan Collins should vote no.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said of Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser: “It seems to me what we should be doing is bringing these two individuals before the (Senate Judiciary Committee). If we need additional help from the FBI, then the committee can ask for it.” Associated Press/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The New York Times recently published an email written by Judge Brett Kavanaugh in which he questions whether Roe v. Wade is the “settled law of the land.” Also, when asked if Roe and subsequent cases upholding reproductive rights were “correctly decided,” Kavanaugh refused to say “yes.”

Anyone who refuses to respect precedent and women’s bodily autonomy is far less than what the American people deserve. President Donald Trump has been clear that he is out to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that has protected women’s right to safe and legal abortion for more than 40 years. Should Kavanaugh be confirmed, Trump will achieve his goal.

Although Sen. Susan Collins has stated that she did not see hostility to Roe from Judge Kavanaugh, her belief is obviously contradicted by Kavanaugh’s record. Simply look to the case of Garza v. Hargan. An undocumented 17-year-old girl identified as Jane Doe who had been arrested and placed in a Texas detention center discovered she was pregnant eight months after her arrest. When she decided to terminate her pregnancy, the Trump administration barred her from leaving the detention center for her medical appointment.

Enter Judge Kavanaugh, one of the three judges on the Circuit Court panel.

The precedent set by Roe and its progeny are clear: The government cannot place an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. Yet Judge Kavanaugh held that the government could force Doe to continue her pregnancy for multiple weeks until it identified an immigration sponsor. Kavanaugh was aware that a state court had already ratified Jane Doe’s ability to make decisions about her body, even in the absence of approval from a parent or sponsor. He knew that, if the procedure were delayed, either Jane Doe’s pregnancy could advance to the point that her abortion would be illegal, or she could be dissuaded by government-created obstacles.

Perhaps Kavanaugh has not said outright that he wants to overturn Roe, but does he have to? His lack of respect for the precedent is clear: If a nine-week delay for accessing abortion does not constitute an “undue burden,” it is unclear what would.

As a college student, I have grown up with Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. Although the precedent has been in effect for decades, state-level restrictions on reproductive rights have prevented our nation from realizing Roe’s promise. I still deal with internalized shame and the effects of receiving only limited education on sexual and reproductive rights. The stigma associated with sexual health manifests in debilitating anxiety over routine tests for sexually transmitted infections, long overdue OB/GYN appointments, and confusion over whether my health insurance will cover a birth control method that does not result in depression, extreme weight gain, or anxiety.

Our country’s history of eugenics means that historically for women of color, reproductive justice might look like the very ability to be pregnant. This administration has made itself clear on numerous occasions that it does not care about the marginalized or the vulnerable, and Kavanaugh would be no exception.

Like millions of other students, I hope to start my career, fall in and out of love, and create a life for myself. My future will be a time, I imagine, of great adventure — great love and great loss, great triumph and great failure. There will be plenty of parts of this adventure that I will have no control over. I hope whether or not I become a mother is not one of them.

It is unthinkable that Collins would ally herself with Trump and place my rights, and the rights of other Mainers, on the chopping block.

Sen. Collins, if you care about the futures of young people in Maine, you must vote “no” on Kavanaugh. If he ascends to the Supreme Court, he will dismantle the already limited protections that Roe affords and threaten the safety and well-being of millions of Americans like me. You were elected to represent the people. Listen to us when we say we won’t go back.


The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling won’t discourage Hartford officials from enforcing a new rule against deceptive pregnancy centers.

An anti-choice center in Hartford, Connecticut imitated the signs and language of a real clinic across the courtyard, trying to trick people seeking abortion care.

Officials in Hartford, Connecticut, rolled out an ordinance Wednesday to prevent deceptive advertising practices at faith-based pregnancy centers that use anti-choice propaganda to target those seeking abortion and contraception services.

They’re hopeful the ordinance will stand up to court scrutiny despite the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling supporting anti-choice clinics, commonly known as crisis pregnancy centers, in California.

“We are confident our ordinance can withstand legal challenge because it is more narrowly crafted than California’s law was,” Howard Rifkin, the city’s legal counsel, told Rewire.News. “We require only that these centers disclose whether they have medically licensed personnel providing or supervising services. We do not require additional disclosures about what services they may or may not offer.”

Effective October 1, the ordinance requires pregnancy centers to disclose to prospective clients if they do not have a licensed medical provider on site.

“Our ordinance is based on the simple principle that women should be told the truth when they’re making decisions about their bodies, their health, and their lives,” Mayor Luke Bronin said Wednesday at a press conference. “We have seen young women, often young women with few resources who don’t have access to regular medical care, deceived and ‘lured’ away from women’s health centers that offer the full range of reproductive healthcare. We should all agree that’s wrong, no matter how you feel about abortion. These common-sense rules say that if you don’t have a licensed medical provider on site, you should disclose that fact.”

Hartford considered the ordinance after a particularly aggressive anti-choice clinic tried to usher away patients coming in for appointments at clinic that offered real reproductive health care. To further confuse patients, the anti-choice center imitated the signs and language of the real clinic across the courtyard, as reported by Rewire.News.

The Hartford ordinance passed last December and was set to take effect July 1, but Rifkin said they delayed implementation to make sure the rules would stand up in court.

California’s Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act, or the FACT Act, required licensed clinics to inform patients and callers that free or low-cost abortions and contraceptives are available in the state, and provide telephone numbers of agencies that could connect them to such providers. Unlicensed centers were required to post disclaimers in their advertisements to clarify, in several languages, that their services do not include licensed medical help. Anti-choice clinics argued the law violated their First Amendment rights and religious beliefs.

Hartford’s ordinance is different, Rifkin said. It says if you are defined as a pregnancy service center, you have to disclose to patients and callers whether you have a medical professional on staff. Rifkin said he does not believe this impinges on any First Amendment rights and described it as “a fair and rational disclosure to women seeking reproductive health services.”

The clash between free speech and the right to abortion services led to the Supreme Court’s NIFLA v. Becerra ruling in June, a 5-4 decision that nullified the California law. Advocates worry the ruling could topple similar laws in Hawaii and Illinois.

Connecticut is also considering a statewide law based on Hartford’s ordinance. Mayor Bronin has testifiedin favor of House Bill 5416, “An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers.” The bill faced a public hearing in March before the legislative session ended, and advocates are hopeful it will be taken up again in the Democratic-majority legislature.

A reproductive rights roundtable organized by Connecticut State House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter (D-Hartford) received bipartisan support this summer, said Sarah Croucher, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut. “The hardest issue for us was getting people to aware of what [fake clinics] are because it’s hard for people to understand that these places really exist.”

After over 18 months of advocacy, there is more public awareness and political momentum statewide to regulate anti-choice clinics that deal in myths spread by abortion rights foes, she said.

“As fundamental reproductive rights are under threat at the national level, this is an important step at the local level that underscores Hartford’s commitment to reproductive freedom for all women. We hope the state will follow suit and protect women around Connecticut from these deceptive practices,” Croucher said in a statement.


Ireland’s imminent abortion services will be completely free to ensure they can be fully accessed by anyone who needs them, end the need to travel abroad for care and to prevent an influx of private abortion clinics into this country.

Health Minister Simon Harris confirmed the new services will not cost anything just 24 hours after President Michael D Higgins signed the referendum result into law, thereby formally removing the eighth amendment from the constitution.

Speaking to reporters at the opening of the new primary care centre in Grangegorman, Dublin, Mr Harris said that even though abortion services are set to be provided in the near future it is essential “cost is not a barrier” to accessing the medical help.

Asked specifically if he will introduce any charge to receive abortions in legislation due to be passed by cabinet next week and put to the Dáil in the first week of October, Mr Harris confirmed no fees will be involved.

The Health Minister said the move is needed, saying that if a price tag was linked to accessing abortion services it would encourage private abortion clinics into Ireland and lead to women continuing to travel abroad for the care they need.

“Yes, it is my intention that the services will be free,” Mr Harris confirmed.

“I’ve said from the start that I don’t want cost to be a barrier, because if cost is a barrier you get into a situation where one of two things happen, you get abortion clinics to develop or you can see people having to continue to travel.

“I want this [abortion services] to be provided as part of our healthcare system, our public healthcare system and part of our primary healthcare system.

I think it’s important to say that Tuesday was an extraordinarily historic day. The President of Ireland signed the bill that has removed the eighth amendment from the constitution, and today is the first day that the eighth amendment is actually gone from Bunreacht na hEireann.

“That now allows us as legislatures to do our job,” he said.

Mr Harris also confirmed that, now that President Higgins has signed the order paper to remove the eighth amendment from the constitution, he will bring planned law changes to allow abortion services to cabinet next week.

The Health Minister said he expects cabinet to pass these new rules immediately in order to allow him to bring them to the Dáil in the first week of October and fully introducing them by the end of this year.

“Next week I will return to cabinet for final approval of the bill that will legislate for termination of pregnancy in certain circumstances.

“I intend to introduce that in the Oireachtas in the first week of October, I hope we can pass it through the Oireachtas in the month of October and November,” he said.

Asked about ongoing concerns pro-life groups may target the three day ‘cooling off’ period for women seeking to access abortion services which is included in the planned new laws, Mr Harris said he was aware of the issue.

However, in a clear message to groups wishing to continue the abortion debate, he said:

“I do note the comments of some groups about the three days. But I would say to anybody regardless of whether you voted yes or no, we made a conscious decision to have a very detailed general scheme available before the referendum, that three day period was part of the discussion and was debated fully during the referendum, which was passed.”

The Pro Life Campaign said that today’s proceedings at the Oireachtas Committee were “a rude awakening” for anyone who thought the new abortion law would be restrictive.

Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign said: “Today’s committee hearings brought into sharp focus the extreme nature of the abortion law about to be introduced. It’s a definite rude awakening for anyone who thought the law would be somewhat restrictive.”

“It is clear Health Minister Simon Harris and others in government have no interest in hearing perspectives other than ones that zealously back abortion. It is going to take time but the public will realise the full extent of the charade that is going on when the reality of what the abortion law permits starts to sink in,” she said.


Last year’s pro-choice bill, signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), enjoyed widespread support among Illinois voters.

HB40 takes out so-called personhood language from the Illinois Abortion Act and permits coverage of abortion care in state health plans and Medicaid.   Tim Boyle/Getty Images

HB40 takes out so-called personhood language from the Illinois Abortion Act and permits coverage of abortion care in state health plans and Medicaid. Tim Boyle/Getty Images

UPDATE, September 19, 2:27 p.m.: The Thomas More Society in a statement to Rewire.Newssaid they plan to challenge HB40 before the state supreme court. The deadline to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court is October 22.

A state appeals court in Illinois has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit that tried to overturn a 2017 law expanding state funding of abortion services.

The three-judge appellate court ruled unanimously that a county judge correctly dismissed the lawsuit filed by the conservative law firm Thomas More Society and anti-choice groups last November in an effort to block legislation expanding state-funded coverage of abortions for Medicaid recipients and state workers.

Signed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last fall, HB 40 strikes down provisions of an Illinois “trigger law,” which would outlaw abortion care if Roe v. Wade is overturned. It takes out so-called personhood language from the Illinois Abortion Act that said an “unborn child is a human being from the time of conception and is, therefore, a legal person,” and permits coverage of abortion in state health plans and Medicaid. State law had prohibited public insurance coverage of abortion care, induced miscarriage, or “induced premature birth” except in limited circumstances, as reported by Rewire.News.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Peter Breen, a state representative, was a lead attorney representing the anti-choice petitioners. The lawsuit claimed lawmakers passed the measure too late in 2017 for it to take effect January 1, that they didn’t appropriate the funding required, and that the law promoted taxpayer-funded abortion services.

“Taxpayer-funded abortion” is a myth pedaled by abortion-rights foes that feeds on public ignorance about abortion funding. Two-thirds of the public is unaware the federal Hyde Amendment prohibits paying for abortions with federal Medicaid dollars, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

The Thomas More Society and Breen did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Sam McCann (R), a gubernatorial Conservative Party candidate, has filed a bill to repeal the pro-choice law that he called “immoral” and “abominable,” the State Journal-Registerreported. Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, who has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood in Illinois, supports the new law.

Rauner called the insurance provision “very controversial,” in apparent reversal of his support for abortion access as a gubernatorial candidate. He later said he would “support a legislative effort to reverse that law.”

An April 2017 poll showed widespread support among Illinois voters for Rauner to “act to protect the reproductive health care of all women in Illinois.”

“I personally am pro-choice, I always have been,” Rauner said last year. “I personally believe a woman should have, must have, the right to decide what goes on in her own body. I also believe that no woman should be forced to make a different decision than another woman could make purely based on her income.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois supported the law as “a critical victory for women’s health and equality,” and said in a statement the bill “is not about politics; it is about advancing health, economic security, and dignity.”

“We applaud the court’s ruling dismissing the lawsuit. We don’t think there is a basis to this lawsuit and we look forward to continuing to see House Bill 40 be implemented in Illinois for the benefit of the people of our state,” said Lorie Chaiten, director of the Illinois ACLU’s Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project.


There are a whole slew of reasons why you might not want Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. For example, the fact that he holds the view that presidents can’t be indicted and yet was hand-selected by a president who is under special counsel investigation-a position Kavanaugh seemed to purposefully avoid answering for during this week’s hearings. Or perhaps it’s his extreme unpopularity, with some polls (like this ABC News/Washington Post one) finding more people opposed to his confirmation than for it. CNN notes that no nominee for the Supreme Court with this low an approval rating has ever been confirmed in the modern era.

Or perhaps it’s because you don’t want a 53-year-old, conservative white male to potentially cast the deciding vote on whether or not you get to make decisions about your own body. And now we can add another reason to think he’s a bad choice for the Supreme Court: In answer to a question posed by Senator Ted Cruz, Kavanaugh referred to birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs.” See the exchange here:

The question is in reference to a case called Priests for Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in which Kavanaugh wrote a dissent in favor of employers who wanted to deny their employees’ access to birth control without a co-pay. It’s kind of nitty-gritty, but here’s the line where Kavanaugh shows his real opinion on the issue of women’s reproductive health: “Filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objected to.”

First of all, birth control is not an abortion-inducing drug, and it’s worrisome that the guy who may end up deciding the future of Roe v. Wade might not understand that. Second, for all the claims from the right that fears of Kavanaugh overturning Roe are just histrionics, this is a very telling slip.

The difference between birth control and abortion was actually laid out in an amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court in 2013, explaining that “a contraceptive method by definition, prevents pregnancy by interfering with ovulation, fertilization, or implantation. Abortion ends an established pregnancy, after implantation.” This scientific definition of pregnancy is also the legal definition, and has long been accepted by federal agencies, according to The Guttmacher Institute. Kavanaugh’s failure to understand this means he not only has a poor grasp of reproductive health terminology, but a poor grasp of the law that guides it.

Photo credit: Mark Wilson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Wilson – Getty Images

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said as much:

“It’s no wonder Kavanaugh’s nomination has been met with unprecedented protests. Kavanaugh referred to birth control-something more than 95 percent of women use in their lifetime-as an ‘abortion-inducing drug,’ which is not just flat-out wrong, but is anti-woman, anti-science propaganda. Women have every reason to believe their health and their lives are at stake. Kavanaugh has made clear over and over again that he would not uphold women’s ability to access reproductive health care as a constitutional right. Let me break it down for you, Brett: birth control is basic health care. Birth control allows women to plan their futures, participate in the economy, and-for some women with health issues like endometriosis-allows them to get through the day. It is clear from Kavanaugh’s record and answers that his nomination puts access to affordable birth control at risk.”

If Roe v. Wade is important to you, there’s still time to stop the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. Most immediately, you should contact your Senator and tell them you want them to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. You can head over to Whip the Vote, which will not only put you in touch with your representative, but also sends you to Indivisible, which has provided handy scripts for you to read from based on whether you’re represented by DemocratsRepublicans, or pro-choice Republicans, as is the case for those in Alaska who are represented by Senator Lisa Murkowski, or in Maine who are represented by Senator Susan Collins.

You could also show up to a protest and make your voice heard. If you’re near the Capitol, there’s an entire SCOTUS Week of Action that you can RSVP to here.