By Abby Zimet
Common Dreams (9/6/18)
In what was dubbed a telling “red-alarm moment” in his turbulent confirmation hearings Thursday, increasingly slimy Brett Kavanaugh dropped his fastidious “Roe v. Wade is important precedent” mask long enough to conflate birth control – a form of basic health care used by over 95% of women during their lifetimes – with “abortion-inducing drugs,” a dog whistle used by extremist ideologues and blasted by critics as “anti-woman, anti-science propaganda.” With Kavanaugh’s anti-choice views already clear, he had till then adopted a strategic caution, repeatedly assuring legislators he viewed Roe v. Wade as “important precedent” and “the settled law of the land.”
“I understand the importance people attach to the Roe v. Wade decision,” he told Diane Feinstein. “I don’t live in a bubble.” He does, however, live in a cagey house of lies and half-truths.
“I understand the importance people attach to the Roe v. Wade decision,” he told Diane Feinstein. “I don’t live in a bubble.” He does, however, live in a cagey house of lies and half-truths. He bickered with her about who “legal scholars” are; belittled women as “passionate,” aka “hysterical,” about Roe v. Wade; “Courts can always overrule”; and finally, lamely had to admit to the fabulous Kamala Harris that he drew a blank on laws governing men’s bodies.
Tap dancing & tripping
Kavanaugh’s tap dancing around the issue came to an abrupt halt when he tripped over a question from Ted Cruz about a case brought by Priests For Life, an (redundancy alert) anti-abortion and anti-contraceptive Catholic group that in 2013 filed a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that health care providers cover birth control. The priests argued the rule violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the same argument used in Hobby Lobby’s successful 2014 lawsuit. The priests’ suit was dismissed, but Kavanaugh dissented; this year, the group applauded his nomination “because he sided with us when we had to defend our religious freedom.”
Explaining the case to Cruz, he argued the mandate was “a substantial burden on their religious exercise (that) would make them complicit in the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objected to (sic).” Except whoah: The case wasn’t about abortion; it was about contraceptives, which duh, prevent pregnancy. Furious critics called his claim “flat-out wrong,” “a GROSS misunderstanding of fact,” and “an anti-science lie” proving, again, that, “People who can’t be bothered to learn the basics of how something works should never be allowed to make a decision regarding that something.” “Newsflash, Brett Kavanaugh,” railed Elizabeth Warren. “Contraception is NOT abortion. Anyone who says so is peddling extremist ideology – not science – and has no business sitting on the Supreme Court.” If he gets there, warned Dawn Laguens of Planned Parenthood, “Women have every reason to believe their health and their lives are at stake.”