Sens. Merkley and Gillibrand Joined the Call with NARAL and Allies to Discuss the Emergency Facing and the Plan to Fight Back
With Justice Kennedy’s retirement and Trump’s signal that he will announce his SCOTUS nominee on July 9, NARAL and the People’s Defense Campaign hosted a Tele-Town Hall on Sunday evening with thousands of activists from coast to coast. Joined by End Citizens United and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Jeff Merkley, the call focused on the emergency facing Roe v. Wade, the threat to women’s reproductive freedom, and the plan to fight back.
Donald Trump has said he will appoint Supreme Court Justices who will work to overturn Roe v. Wade, and he has said that women who access abortion care should be punished. There is no question that a Trump SCOTUS nominee will set women in America back to the days when the number of abortions did not go down, but the number of deaths and injuries to women went up.
For decades, a multi-million-dollar, extreme, anti-choice movement has quietly and aggressively chipped away at a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion in state legislatures, in lower courts, and now from within the Trump administration. Their stated goal, clearly and loudly, is overturning Roe v. Wade, and they are gunning for Trump’s next nominee as the vehicle to do this.
Speakers discussed the critical next steps in organizing and fighting back against Trump’s nominee.
“Make no mistake, this is the day that they have been waiting for and this is the day that Donald Trump promised when he was on the campaign trail and said that he would have a litmus test for any SCOTUS nominee, would punish women, and criminalize abortion,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “They know that they will not get a Justice nominated if the American people know this is what they want to do. What we need to know, is that anyone coming onto the Supreme Court is going to uphold the law of the land and particularly a woman’s right to decide what happens to her own body. We know that we stand with the majority of Americans with reproductive freedom and we will take our fight to all 100 senators and all 50 states. People are ready to fight. They know that nothing less than the soul of our country is at stake. NARAL is here every day and every minute with all of our partners to tell the president that we will not back down.”
“You all know what is at stake, these are basic reproductive freedoms that we are talking about that will be taken away,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “We need to demand a justice that values women and respects all people. We have to hold Senator McConnell accountable to the rule that he created. We should work very hard to deny them the ability to have a justice confirmed before November. The fact that they want to criminalize abortion is very frightening, we must fight and fight hard.”
“A Donald Trump SCOTUS vacancy is a disaster,” said Senator Jeff Merkley, (D-OR). “So many things are at risk and we know that their target is Roe v. Wade. Access to contraception and abortion is going to be limited by a Donald Trump Supreme Court. We have to be extraordinarily active and extraordinarily committed. We have to win this fight, we have to protect a woman’s rights to reproductive freedom.”
“We know the stakes,” said Tiffany Muller, President and Executive Director of End Citizens United. “We know the people who are trying to buy the SCOTUS seat are the very same people trying to take the rights away from women to control their own body. Our very democracy is at risk with a Donald Trump Supreme Court pick and they will rig the system. The one thing that they cannot take away is our grassroots power and we know we represent the majority of Americans.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”