Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh gave Americans a preview of where he stands on reproductive health by wrongly referring to birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs,” a term often used by anti-choice conservatives.
The moment came this afternoon when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked Kavanaugh to describe his 2015 dissent in the case Priests for Life vs HHS, where he sided with the religious organization, which didn’t want to provide employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives.
The plaintiff in the case had objected to providing insurance coverage of birth control for its employees as required by the Affordable Care Act.
Vice News notes that the workaround from the Obama administration was that religious non-profits would have to fill out a form saying they objected to coverage and the insurance company would step in and cover the costs,
“In that case, they said 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,” Kavanaugh told Cruz.
Kavanaugh seems to refer to birth control as "abortion-inducing drugs" pic.twitter.com/JILxzYiN6b
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 6, 2018
“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,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told HuffPost on Thursday. “Women have every reason to believe their health and their lives are at stake.”
“Let me break it down for you, Brett,” she went on. “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.”
Bob Bland, co-president of the Women’s March, called Kavanaugh’s potential ascent to the Supreme Court “an emergency, all-hands-on-deck moment for women across America.”
“We know Brett Kavanaugh is against abortion, and now we know he thinks birth control is abortion,” Bland said Thursday.
Priests for Life, a Catholic group that opposes abortion rights, celebrated Kavanaugh’s nomination this year.
“We at Priests for Life have personal experience of Judge Kavanaugh’s approach to religious freedom, because he sided with us when we had to defend our religious freedom in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” Father Frank Pavone, the organization’s national director, said in July.
“At a time when these freedoms need more defense than ever,” he went on, “we urge the Senate to conduct a swift and fair confirmation process, focused on the excellent qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh, and not on the politics of personal destruction that the Democrat Left are such experts at carrying out.”