What It’s Like Being a Woman Listening to the Kavanaugh Testimonies
By Usma Hosain
Being a woman today is hard enough, especially under the Trump administration. Our bodies are being regulated and our agency is being taken away from us. Men in positions of power are trying to make it clear that they can and will regulate our bodies and our choices if given the chance. Women’s issues and discussion of reproductive healthcare access has been at the forefront of the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh. Many are wondering if he will overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance. And although Kavanaugh has done his best to remain neutral and not give away any sort of solid position, his track record and newly released emails suggest that he would overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance.
Brett Kavanaugh poses an immense threat to women’s rights and access to affordable health care. Throughout the course of his confirmation hearings, he has not and will not state his explicit stance on Roe v. Wade; the only response he continues to offer consistently is that he cannot comment on hypotheticals, he cannot address potential future cases, and that he is willing to listen to both sides of the argument. One of the most troubling parts of the confirmation hearings was the demonstration of how little Kavanaugh knows about birth control and contraception. He–along with many others–equated birth control pills to abortion inducing pills. Already, there is a huge stigma surrounding birth control and emergency contraception; to have a man who is about to have legal and political power over legislation surrounding these issues spread misinformation at a high profile Supreme Court confirmation hearing is outrageous. As many know, methods of birth control are meant to prevent pregnancy, not terminate. In addition, the only abortion inducing pill is medication abortion which is completely separate and different from Emergency Contraception or birth control pills.
One of the most poignant questions asked during the hearings came from Kamala Harris. She asked Kavanaugh if he could cite any laws that regulated the male body. The answer, as we are well aware, is that there are none. Denying women agency to make decisions regarding their own health and body without doing the same to men is blatant sexism and restriction of personal freedoms. What is even scarier about all of this is that were Kavanugh to overturn Roe v. Wade, it would not stop women from getting abortions, rather, they would revert to unsafe and antiquated methods such as a coat hanger. For pro-lifers, the conversation ends at the point of birth– they are not concerned with helping the baby live a normal and healthy life, they are simply concerned with the baby being born, even if it causes harm to the mother.
Our rights are under attack these days, and it is up to us to resist, mobilize, and educate those around us. Kavanaugh being confirmed poses a huge threat to not just women but also immigrants and those in the prison system. We cannot be complacent in this new administration’s agenda to restrict our freedoms.