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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh poses a threat to reproductive health

by The Stylus
Wed, Sep 19th 2018 12:00 pm
Elliott LaPoint/Editorial Cartoonist
Elliott LaPoint/Editorial Cartoonist

Brett Kavanaugh is a name we just can’t seem to avoid in the news. While there are many discussions we can have about the Supreme Court nominee, we’ll be focusing on one: women’s reproductive rights.

 It’s 2018, so by now one would hope people were more educated on issues of abortion and birth control, but sadly some people seem to go out of their way to be completely ignorant on these topics. Others yet toe the line.

 Kavanaugh stirred up controversy during his confirmation hearing when he referred to birth control as “abortion inducing drugs,” according to the Huffington Post.

 The quote came after Kavanaugh was asked about a case that arose in 2015 involving the Priests for Life Catholic group and the Affordable Care Act. 

Priests for Life were adamantly against providing employees insurance for contraceptives due to religious reasoning. While the organization lost the case, they won the heart, and approval, of Kavanaugh.

 The quote, which has gotten the Supreme Court nominee into trouble is as follows:

 “It was a technical matter of filling out a form, in that case with that 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.”

 The actual quote has admittedly, been chopped up and spread throughout the internet in a way that erases the fact Kavanaugh was quoting the position of Priests for Life.

Senator Kamala Harris, as reported by the Washington Post, noted that the “dog-whistle” terms are still troubling to use and we at The Stylus, would agree.

 Anti-birth control rhetoric is not something to be taken lightly. It has been a big topic of discussion for years, and remains a controversial issue today. 

If you decide to voice your support for a group that fully believes and uses terms such as “abortion-inducing” drugs, you either need to clarify you’re aware birth control is not the same sort of medication as the abortion pill, or be ready for the wave of trouble heading your way.

This isn’t Kavanaugh’s first run-in with abortion related topics, though. According to CNN, Kavanaugh dissented a ruling that an undocumented teen living in a detention center was entitled to seek abortion. Kavanaugh was worried that the ruling would create a “new right for unlawful immigrant minors in US government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand.”

 With two anti-abortion strikes against him, one of which also debatably showing anti-immigration ties, popularity for Kavanaugh amongst the general public has not been looking good. But why is this important? Why are we talking about it?

 Many are aware that due to the above stances Kavanaugh has taken, along with other factors, his appointment to the United States Supreme Court could look to overturn the landmark abortion case, Roe v. Wade. This case was important because it legalized abortion, which made it safer. The World Health Organization reports that a woman in a developing country dies every 8 minutes from an unsafe abortion. 

The results this would have across the country, including here at The College at Brockport, would be devastating.

 When you try to limit abortion, the only thing that happens is a limiting of safe abortions. Women will get abortions whether you’d like them to or not, and if you ban women from getting them safely, it would directly lead to a rise in deaths, injuries and diseases from illegal, “back-alley” abortions. 

U.S. News reports, with the loosening of abortion laws in developed countries, it has been proven that “laws restricting abortions do not result in the procedure occurring less frequently, merely less safely.”

 There are multiple Planned Parenthoods located near Brockport, with one in Greece, Rochester and Batavia. Students from local and surrounding  colleges rely on centers like Planned Parenthood  as well as on campus facilities like the Hazen Center of Integrated Care to be there and able to provide them with the resources they need. 

 Even Hazen, the healthcare center on the Brockport campus, could potentially feel the effects of Roe v. Wade being overturned. If any part of Kavanaugh also believes birth control to be “abortion-inducing” drugs, then the mere distribution of birth control could be in danger. 

According to their website, Hazen offers “contraceptive management,” as well as Plan B, an emergency contraceptive that can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, for 20 dollars. These are resources students use and could see disappear if Kavanaugh is appointed to the Supreme Court.

 Many undocumented students at Brockport rely on Hazen for birth control. As Kavanaugh has already proven, he does not support undocumented women seeking out women’s health services. Since students are eligible to receive health coverge, regardless of students on college campuses, changes could have a major effect. There is no telling what Kavanaugh is willing to do in order to limit undocumented women’s rights.

 While Kavanaugh, and an overturning of Roe v. Wade, has the potential to be stopped in their tracks and not pan out, the fact that we still need to have this discussion is concerning.

 Women’s health is not a men’s issue. Women’s health should be debated and decided by mostly women. Men cannot, and will not ever fully understand abortion and birth control issues as they relate to women. We at The Stylus believe that this type of issue is a women’s issue, and should be discussed as such. 

Men like Kavanaugh are the reason Roe v. Wade was needed, and why it needs to be defended so fervently today.

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