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Senator Murray and her Senate Democratic colleagues, along with women & advocates, shared personal stories about the impact of Roe v. Wade and the stakes of Trump Supreme Court pick Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination 

BREAKING: Senator Murray also responds to newly released document showing Judge Kavanaugh questioning whether Roe v. Wade is considered “settled law” and noting Supreme Court could overturn it – VIDEO LINK

Judge Kavanaugh on women’s reproductive freedom: “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.”

Senator Murray: “Women and men across the country are sharing these deeply personal stories because they want to be sure there is no question about what’s at stake here. Women’s rights are at stake. Women’s health is at stake. Women’s economic security is at stake. And women’s lives are at stake”

Senator Murray: “… to be very clear Judge Kavanaugh personally highlighted that precedent can be overturned. And he was literally counting the number of Judges who stand ready to overturn Roe v. Wade. Well, it was three then, it’s four now, and with Judge Kavanaugh on the bench, Roe v. Wade would be overturned”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FULL REMARKS BELOW OR HERE***

Senator Patty Murray (center) is joined by colleagues Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT, left), Tina Smith (D-MN, right), and women advocates from across the nation on September 6th, 2018 to highlight the threat to women’s health posed by President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh.

 

(Washington, D.C.) – On the heels of a newly-released document which shows President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh questioning whether Roe v. Wade is considered settled law—and noting the possibility that the Supreme Court can overturn the decision—today Senate Democrats joined advocates from across the country to share stories of women that highlight the importance of access to safe, legal abortion, and the stakes for women and families across the country as the Senate considers Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. Led by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee and the highest-ranking woman in the United States Senate, the senators outlined their strident opposition to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, citing his offensive record on women’s access to reproductive care and other women’s health priorities. Additionally, women advocates from Maine and Washington, D.C. shared firsthand accounts of their abortion experiences and spoke against Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, citing his previous efforts to roll back women’s reproductive freedoms.

“Women and men across the country are sharing these deeply personal stories because they want to be sure there is no question about what’s at stake here. Women’s rights are at stake. Women’s health is at stake. Women’s economic security is at stake. And women’s lives are at stake, said Senator Murray. “We know why President Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh. We know why far-right groups gave him the green light, and why they are cheering his nomination. We know why extreme Republicans are rushing as fast as they can to try and get him confirmed. They are dead set on locking in a fifth vote to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. But we are not about to stand aside and let them roll back women’s rights. We will not be still. We will not be silent. We will not go back. We will stand up. We will speak out. And we will share our stories, lift up the stories of others, and make it absolutely clear how much is at stake for families across the country in this Supreme Court fight.”

Reacting to the breaking reports regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s troublesome perspective on women’s reproductive freedoms, Senator Murray continued: “So to be very clear—Judge Kavanaugh personally highlighted that precedent can be overturned. And he was literally counting the number of Judges who stand ready to overturn Roe v. Wade. Well, it was three then, it’s four now, and with Judge Kavanaugh on the bench, Roe v. Wade would be overturned. “We knew it before—but this new document absolutely confirms it—and women everywhere should be very concerned.  “And it leads to another question on the minds of so many of us: what else are they hiding? What else is in those documents we haven’t been allowed to see?”

Senator Murray on Judge Kavanaugh’s newly-released documents: “We knew it before—but this new document absolutely confirms it—and women everywhere should be very concerned.”

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Senator Murray has long opposed Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the nation’s highest court, and has urged people in Washington state and across the nation to raise their voices against Judge Kavanaugh and the threat his nomination poses to health care for millions of women, patients, and families.

Watch video of Senator Murray’s full remarks HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks below:

“Thank you to all the organizations who helped set this up, and especially to all the women who are joining us today to speak out and tell their own story about what the right to safe, legal abortion has meant for them.

“Today, Senate Republicans are continuing their mad dash to try to confirm a judge to the Supreme Court who would roll back women’s rights. A judge who was vetted by far-right groups, and nominated by President Trump to keep his campaign promise to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“We aren’t about to let this country forget what it was like in the dark days when women didn’t have the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies. Which is why we are standing up, speaking out, and sharing stories about what the right to safe, legal abortion has meant for so many people.

“Like many women and men across the country, I remember life before Roe. When I was in college, a close friend of mine went on a date. She was raped, and she got pregnant. She didn’t know where she could turn for a safe abortion, and she didn’t know if she could afford one. Instead, she ended up getting a botched procedure which left her unable to bear children.

“I saw my friend hurt, frightened, alone, and unable to get the care she needed because someone else’s beliefs mattered more under our laws than her health and her future. That impacted me a lot, and has stayed with me to this day. And her story is one of many.

“I’ve heard from women and men across the country sharing their own stories. Stories from before Roe from women who had to seek out back-alley abortion. Women who received poor care and faced botched procedure. Women who ended up unable to have children. Women who died.

“And I’ve also heard stories from after Roe v. Wade. Stories like those of the many women who shared the difficult decision to end a pregnancy due to medical complications. Or who sought out an abortion after being raped. Or the woman who shared her decision to seek an abortion as she separated from an abusive partner.

“And the many women who felt it wasn’t the right time for them to have a child for any number of reasons, whether they were focused on pursuing their education, focused on furthering their career, or focused on caring for their family and doing what’s best for them.

“Like the single mother of two who wrote to me about her decision to get an abortion shortly after she managed to move her family out of a homeless shelter. And like the brave women here today, who will speak in a moment to share their own personal stories.

Women and men across the country are sharing these deeply personal stories because they want to be sure there is no question about what’s at stake here.

“Women’s rights are at stake. Women’s health is at stake. Women’s economic security is at stake. And women’s lives are at stake.

“We know why President Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh. We know why far-right groups are cheering his nomination. We know why extreme Republicans are rushing as fast as they can to try and get him confirmed. They are dead set on locking in a fifth vote to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.  But we are not about to stand aside and let them roll back women’s rights.

“We will not be still. We will not be silent. We will not go back. We will stand up. We will speak out. And we will share our stories, lift up the stories of others, and make it absolutely clear how much is at stake for families across the country in this Supreme Court fight.

“I’m so grateful to the women gathered here for their courage in sharing their stories. And I’m going to keep fighting with them and with women around the country to make sure we don’t let this country move backwards on women’s rights.

“Before I close, I want to comment on a new document that had been sealed by Republicans—but just came out.

“Judge Kavanaugh has been pretending that he wouldn’t overturn Roe v. Wade by hiding behind the idea that it’s ‘settled law’ and ‘precedent.’

“That’s what he has been saying in his hearings so far, and he’s hoping that will fool women across the country into thinking their rights and freedoms are safe.

“Well, we know that’s not true. A ruling, even one as important as Roe, is settled law and precedent only until someone like Judge Kavanaugh and four other ideological justices on the Supreme Court come along to overturn it.

“But this new document confirms our worst fears.

“In 2003, when Judge Kavanaugh was working in the White House, he received an e-mail containing a draft op-ed defending President Bush’s court nominees, which said ‘it is widely understood accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.’

“When Judge Kavanaugh saw this—he objected. He didn’t think that was true!

“He wrote back—and I quote: ‘I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.’

“So to be very clear—Judge Kavanaugh personally highlighted that precedent can be overturned. And he was literally counting the number of Judges who stand ready to overturn Roe v. Wade. Well, it was three then, it’s four now, and with Judge Kavanaugh on the bench, Roe v. Wade would be overturned.

“We knew it before—but this new document absolutely confirms it—and women everywhere should be very concerned.

“And it leads to another question on the minds of so many of us: what else are they hiding? What else is in those documents we haven’t been allowed to see?”