Trump-Appointed Judges Are Already Limiting Abortion and Birth Control

With Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh poised to be confirmed as the next justice as soon as this fall, civil rights activists are scouring his past rulings, writings and speeches for a sign of whether or not he will be a solid vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, as so many fear.

But regardless of what pundits and analysts find, the sad fact is we already know that Kavanaugh will be a reliable vote to dismantle abortion and birth control access. After all, that’s exactly what President Donald Trump’s other judicial nominees are doing.

When then-candidate Donald Trump finally won over the religious right, he did so by promising them that he would only appoint judges who intended to overturn Roe v. Wade – and once he was sworn in as president, he followed through.

President Trump eventually went as far as to take vetted lists of potential judges pre-approved by social conservative groups like Family Research Council and the Federalist Society in order to ensure the conservative bonafides of the newly appointed judges. And those placements are already paying off in anti-reproductive rights rulings.

In Texas, Whole Women’s Health is challenging a new state law requiring that all fetal remains from terminated or miscarried pregnancies be cremated or buried rather than removed as biological waste. And Fifth Circuit Judge David Ho, a Trump appointee, has used the hearing to bemoan the “tragedy” that is legal abortion.

Just days ago, the three-judge panel — including Ho — blocked a prior court ruling to allow Whole Women’s Health to subpoena emails between the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops and state officials. The messages in question may have discussed an offer by bishops to provide free burial as a means of getting the law to pass constitutional muster. The panel ruled that reading these emails would violate the bishops’ “religious liberty” — a laughable idea since being a religious leader does not make you immune to law.

Ho used the panel decision not just to promote a completely unreasonable definition of religious freedom, but also to express his own reticence to the idea that there is any constitutional right to an abortion.

According to Slate, Ho wrote:

It is hard to imagine a better example of how far we have strayed from the text and original understanding of the Constitution than this case. The First Amendment expressly guarantees the free exercise of religion—including the right of the Bishops to express their profound objection to the moral tragedy of abortion, by offering free burial services for fetal remains. By contrast, nothing in the text or original understanding of the Constitution prevents a state from requiring the proper burial of fetal remains.

Of course, Ho is just carrying the water for the anti-abortion movement — just as President Trump promised his appointed justices would. And he’s not the only one, either.

On July 18, another Trump appointee — Trevor McFadden — ruled that Planned Parenthood and other sexual health clinics can’t challenge the new changes to Title X family planning funding allocations that are being implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services. The updated policy would prioritize abstinence-only sex ed programs and faith-based organizations, some of whom don’t even offer birth control services. In response, the reproductive health groups sued to block these new rules from going into effect, claiming that they violate the terms of Title X and were approved without a public comment period.

Reuters reports:

United States District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, said in his ruling that “courts cannot review substantive objections to a non-final agency action, nor can they require formal rulemaking for a change in agency procedure.” McFadden also said that if he could rule on the merits of the case, the government’s changes align with program’s commitment to support “voluntary family projects … offering a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and services.”

President Trump’s new judges are doing exactly what they were brought in to do — restrict abortion, block access to contraception, stop funding sex ed programs and otherwise limit reproductive health and freedoms. There’s no reason not to expect the exact same actions from Brett Kavanaugh if he serves on the Supreme Court — regardless of what he says on paper or in his hearings.

After all, this is exactly why he was appointed in the first place.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

77 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Catrin S
Catrin S8 months ago

Where is the separation of church and state. We do not need old religious men telling us women what we are allowed to do with our bodies. No woman gets an abortion out of fun.

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Mary B
Mary B8 months ago

No one owns us. That comes from the right side thru their religious beliefs, just like "they're gonna take away our guns " fear mongering does. And it comes around every election cycle then is blamed on the liberals. Young people usually don't know this and fear for their rights. They can try and trick you into thinking your rights have been ended. And that is the issue that needs to be adressed. Any woman so mistreated that the fetus dies is definitely guilty of a crime, but it would be against the woman.

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Karen H
Karen H8 months ago

I would ask any Trump-appointed judge who thinks abortion is murder just what he thinks it is when pregnant immigrant women are so mistreated that they miscarry. That's a form of abortion - ignoring a woman in distress and withholding medical treatment until the fetus dies.

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx8 months ago

I just would want to add 1 thing : I know that some women continuously take the risk of getting pregnant. And when it happens, they get an abortion. THIS IS SO WRONG !! you can take the pill, or have one implanted if you tend to forget it often. Women also have other methods as a diaphragm etc. But let's not forget the MEN. They also can take their responsibility. And when both have a certain age, and are sure that even with another partner, they should NOT want to reproduce any more, you can take more definite steps.

We are already with way too much people on this planet, so prepare yourself to the number of children you really want, and not 1 or 2 more, if you have a kind of an "accident'. Have an abortion and don't be unhappy yourself, and make your partner and especially YOUR CHILD not miserable but get an abortion. Much smarter for yourself and the rest of the family........

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx8 months ago

@ Margaret G : Well, abt. 40 years ago, we had a similar situation here. In Belgium, abortion was not yet legalized. In Holland however, you cld get an abortion, just presenting a paper of your doctor, stating f.i. that you were in a severe depression and it was not good for you and the future baby. With this statement in your hands, some people had to drive a max. of 300 km. to cross the border, go to the clinic and you had your abortion. In Belgium it was not written down in your personal papers, and Justice could never prove we had an abortion in Holland. We had a difficult road to have our own abortion law because our King, Boudewijn I, refused to sign it, although all
ministers had done it. This had never happened before, but the belief in God of himself and his wife, did NOT allow him to give permission to KILL a child. So, after lengthy discussions, it was decided that our King would be dismissed for JUST ONE DAY, and on that day, the Prime Minister could sign the law in his absence. Of course we still have people who are against, and call it murder, but there are no longer protests in the streets, or in clinics etc. It is nearly impossible to find a doctor that would NOT want to do the abortion.

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Janis K
Janis K8 months ago

Vote Blue!

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Tania N
Tania N8 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Karen H
Karen H8 months ago

All they have to do is mandatory vasectomies at age 13. Problem solved.

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Amanda M
Amanda M8 months ago

These so-called "men" are really chauvinist bigots who see women only as arm candy if they're pretty and tongueless brood mares no matter how they look! Don't they realize that to force a woman to get or stay pregnant against her will is tantamount to slavery? Last time I checked, the 13th Amendment made all forms of slavery ILLEGAL! And if Roe gets reversed, there are many states with "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal No Matter What. 17 more could go either way, but considering that they're mostly "red" states, don't count on abortion or contraception access being made legal or at the very least accessible! As a mother of two daughters, I fear for their freedom over their own bodies and lives should the Twitler regime manage to make this country anti-woman! My older daughter has already said that should that happen, she's fleeing to England where my sister lives (she'll be 18 in 2020, so she can make that decision, and I back her on it should the worst happen to America). As for my younger one, who will only be 13 in 2020, let's just hope that she and I can emigrate to Canada!

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