On July 9, 2018, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Kennedy’s seat on the United States Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he has demonstrated hostility to reproductive rights and employment rights and a willingness to restrict students’ rights in schools. The confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh would shift the balance of the Court against our core civil and constitutional rights.
Access to birth control is on the line with President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh’s Anti-Birth Control Record
In a 2015 case, Kavanaugh would have allowed an employer’s religious beliefs to override an employee’s right to birth control coverage. His dissent not only went against the decision of his own court, but also against decisions of 7 other circuit courts of appeals.
Attempts to Undermine Birth Control Access Could Bring a Case to the Supreme Court Soon
The threat to birth control access is not just hypothetical. Cases about whether women lose access to birth control – because of the Trump Administration’s policies, their employers’ religious beliefs, or other restrictions – are currently working their way through the courts. Such cases include:
- Challenges to the Trump Administration’s rules allowing virtually any employer or university to deny birth control coverage to their employees and students. These rules are currently blocked by two federal courts, but the Trump Administration is appealing those decisions.
- Challenges to state attempts to bar health care providers like Planned Parenthood from participating in Medicaid because they also provide abortions or are associated with abortion providers. Cases on this matter out of Kansas and Louisiana have been appealed to the Supreme Court already.
- Challenges to the Trump Administration’s efforts to restructure the nation’s Title X family planning program away from evidence-based family planning.
If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he may be willing to rubber stamp these and other extreme policies that will take women back to a time when it was difficult to access and afford birth control.
Birth Control Access is Critical for Women’s Health and Economic Security
Ninety-nine percent of sexually active women have used birth control at some point in their lives. Birth control is basic health care that promotes women’s health and also helps women manage medical conditions. Access to birth control enables women to prevent pregnancy and improves women’s ability to plan and space their pregnancies. Birth control is linked to greater educational and professional opportunities and increased lifetime earnings.
Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is a threat to birth control access, and a threat to women’s health, economic security, self-determination, and dignity.