Both sides of abortion debate ponder extent of Justice Kavanaugh’s impact

Louisiana impact from Kavanaugh confirmation

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the U.S. Supreme Court gives the high court a conservative majority and that has prompted lots of speculation over what may happen to abortion rights. In Louisiana, people on both sides of the abortion fight ponder the impact Kavanaugh could have on Roe vs. Wade.

"We’re cautiously optimistic that Judge Kavanaugh will help bring this court to a position which they may be inclined to help protect unborn children and the health and safety of women in our country today,” said Ben Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life.

Some in the Congress think Kavanaugh’s impact will be significant, in terms of Roe vs. Wade.

Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa tweeted a message on Saturday that contained an infant’s face and the words, “Soon, babies like this little angel will be protected in the womb by law.”

Clapper said there are cases already in lower courts.

"There are laws right now in the federal courts that are on their way through the appellate and to the Supreme Court that may be what is needed to test this new court and see to what extent they’re willing to challenge what Roe. V. Wade said, and to change the law of our land of abortion on demand right now,” Clapper said.

Petrice Sams-Abiodun is the vice president of external services for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and is concerned what Kavanaugh’s confirmation into the Supreme Court will mean.

"We are very disappointed in Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” Sams-Abiodun said.

However, Sams Abiodun said pro-choice forces will not back down, regardless of a conservative majority.

“We will continue to fight. That’s what we will do,” she said. “We are a strong coalition here in Louisiana of women organizations and supporters and constituents that believe that access to birth control is a fundamental right and we will continue to fight for that to ensure that women have access to that. Until it’s overturned it is still the law of the land.”

Similarly, Clapper said the other side will continue their fight against abortion. With six months to go until the next legislative session, Clapper said they are “still planning,” but know of laws that have passed in the past and moving towards the Supreme Court.

“We believe that adoption is a great option and we should work to a day in our nation where these babies are as protected just like you and I are protected in our nation,” Clapper stated.

Sams-Abiodun said called Roe Vs. Wade “the law of the land," but said Louisiana legislators have passed laws blocking women from receiving the care that is protected under the landmark 1973 decision.

"We will do all that we can to continue to fight to ensure that we can provide those services,” Sams-Abiodun stated.

Currently, Planned Parenthood does not provide abortion services in Louisiana, but the organization said it is fighting to be able to do so at the New Orleans location.

"We are currently in litigation with the state for that. You know, they have not given us our abortion license. Women again look to us for that service. We built this beautiful health center that you are here today to be able to provide abortions because they are safe and legal,” said Dr. Sams-Abiodun.

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