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Abortion Rights Foes Aren’t Backing Down From Kavanaugh Support

Ally Boguhn

“We still see Judge Kavanaugh as a qualified candidate,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.

Anti-choice groups and abortion rights opponents are standing by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, amid accusations that he sexually assaulted a young woman while in high school.

Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, spoke publicly for the first time about the alleged attack in an interview with the Washington Post published Sunday. While some anti-choice groups say Ford’s allegations deserve to be heard, they did not back down from their support of Kavanaugh, whose nomination they have lauded.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said that allegations should be heard, but he criticized their inclusion in Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. “Everyone should be heard, but those who are being heard should not be used for political purposes by Democrat Senators who have turned this confirmation process, predictably, into an ideological, obstructionist circus,” he said in a statement to Rewire.News

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a statement to Rewire.News that the organization wanted to see the allegations against Kavanaugh examined, but she stood by its support for Supreme Court nominee. “We want to see the process go forward to vet the current allegations, but, in looking at the way in which the charges were handled (hidden until the hearings were over and handled by those who have been very public about their goal to oppose this nominee no matter what), we still see Judge Kavanaugh as a qualified candidate who is in the political battle of his life because of the abortion lobby’s efforts to keep Roe v. Wade law of the land,” Hawkins said.

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“Considering Judge Kavanaugh’s transparency during the hearings, including releasing a record number of records, meeting with Senators, and testifying for three days of contentious hearings, we think it is good that he is open to answering more questions,” she continued. “When this is over, it will be impossible for anyone to claim he has not been thoroughly vetted.”

Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-choice group closely aligned with the Trump administration, didn’t back down from its support for Kavanaugh. The organization has traveled the United States to encourage what they refer to as “vulnerable red-state Democratic senators” to confirm the judge. “Obviously Ms. Ford’s allegations are serious and should be heard,” Mallory Quigley, a spokesperson for the group, told McClatchy.  “Judge Kavanaugh should also have an opportunity to respond. This should be done as quickly as possible so that the vote can continue without delay.”

“We have no reason to change our support for Judge Kavanaugh,” Quigley added.

Operation Rescue Senior Vice President Cheryl Sullenger suggested in a blog post that Blasey Ford was “not credible” and compared the news to what she implied were unfounded allegations against conservatives like Roy Moore and Trump.

The organization’s president, Troy Newman, doubled down on his support for Kavanaugh. “It’s shameful that Democrats would try to destroy yet another man’s life and drag his family through the mud without cause,” he said. “It’s time for conservatives to stand up to the baseless allegations trotted out by Trump-hating politicians who have no other argument than slander and sexual smear tactics. Operation Rescue stands strong in our support of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Bryan Fischer, who hosts a talk-radio program for the American Family Association, used a blog post on the organization’s website to reject the accusations against Kavanaugh and attempt to cast doubt on Ford’s allegations by pointing to her political views. He said that should the accusations against the judge derail his confirmation, Kavanaugh would become a victim.

“Here’s what should happen. Ms. Ford’s accusations should be dismissed with extreme prejudice, Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination should be sent to the floor of the Senate this Thursday as scheduled, the Senate should vote to confirm him as soon as possible, and he should take his rightful place on the Supreme Court bench by the first Monday in October,” Fischer wrote. “Anything else is a travesty of a mockery of a sham, making Brett Kavanaugh a victim of a gross miscarriage of justice before he ever dons the robe of the Supreme Court.”

Americans United for Life, which voiced its support for Kavanaugh upon his nomination, has not publicly stated whether it maintains support for the judge. The group did not respond to requests for comment.

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