Who is Brett Kavanaugh?
Meet President Trump’s new pick for Supreme Court
By: Alisia D
Brett M. Kavanaugh is not new to Washington, D.C. and served in many positions before receiving his current title, Supreme Court nominee. Since arriving in Washington, D.C, Kavanaugh created a stir with his involvement in major political events. The most notable is his role in the Starr Report, which called for the impeachment of former President, Bill Clinton. Later, Kavanaugh cemented his position in D.C.’s political arena under former President George W. Bush, when he served as First Associate White House Counsel and then as Staff Secretary. For the past 12 years, Kavanaugh has served on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
On July 9, 2018 from the East Room of the White House, President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, after his shocking retirement announcement. Justice Kennedy was a crucial swing vote in major social issues in the United States, which makes many people very concerned about what the future may hold. If confirmed, Kavanaugh has large shoes to fill and a country watching his every move.
During his time as a circuit judge, Kavanaugh established his stance on many key issues. Let’s take a look at some of his views on reproductive rights for women and the LGBTQ community, in order to understand what his appointment will mean for those who seek reproductive healthcare.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, Kavanaugh has argued that an employer’s religious beliefs override their employee’s rights to birth control. The Guttmacher Institute states that 61 million women in the US are of reproductive age (15-44). However, only 37 million of them are currently using some form of birth control. In addition, 43 million women have no access to contraceptive methods and are at risk for unintended pregnancy.
Currently, employers must provide birth control to their employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, in June 2014, the Supreme Court decided that family-owned businesses can deny birth control to any employee, whether male, female, transgender, or cis-gender, if this goes against their religious beliefs. Kavanaugh is in favor of that ruling and would more than likely want to expand it so that all employers will have the ability to approve or deny contraceptive coverage. This also affects members of the LGBTQIA community who desire access to contraception. It is imperative that they are able to access birth control in a safe and easy manner and are met with little resistance.
In 2017, the CDC recorded more than half a million legally induced abortions from 49 different reporting areas. This equates to a ratio of 186 abortions per 1,000 live births. Kavanaugh previously indicated that he would uphold Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal in the U.S., stating that it is “settled law”. However, we can infer from Kavanaugh’s track record that he would be in favor of more restrictions surrounding abortion care.
In October 2017, Kavanaugh was very vocal in a case regarding a teenage immigrant who wanted abortion care services. President Trump’s administration attempted to block the teenager from receiving abortion services in the U.S. due to her immigration status. Kavanaugh stated: “Our government has permissible interest in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interest of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.” Although the teenager was eventually able to have access to abortion care, Kavanaugh’s stance is very worrisome.
What can you do?
The ability to access necessary reproductive healthcare could be seriously limited if Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court Justice. He would have the ability to affect many crucial social issues that affect women, the LGBTQ community, and reproductive rights in a negative or positive way.
- Contact your senator
- Whether through e-mail, phone-, fax, or attending town hall events
- Engage in social media
- Share this post! Share all credible information that you think your followers/ friends need to make an informed decision.
- Write a letter to your local newspaper
- A simple letter to the editor of your local newspaper can have a huge impact! Just think how many people you can reach!
Why does it matters?
Reproductive rights are a crucial part to having a healthy society. The Supreme Court is considered the highest court in the land and those who are appointed have a huge responsibility and duty to uphold our Constitutional rights. Having justices who have a strong stance and support reproductive rights for all is imperative. So think, is Brett Kavanaugh that person?
Alisia D is a fairly recent graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where she received a degree in Mass Communications- Public Relations and Anthropology. Alisia joined the AWC team in September 2017 as a Patient Educator. She believes every person no matter gender, sex, ethnicity, or socioeconomic standing, deserves quality healthcare, reliable reproductive services, and accurate information to make informed healthcare decisions.
“Be the change you wish to see in the word.” – Ghandi