Demanding a Delay for Vote on Trump Supreme Court Nominee, Senators Cantwell, Murray Join Women and Advocates to Shine a Spotlight on Judge Kavanaugh’s Sexual Assault Allegations and His Offensive Record on Women’s Health

Women’s health advocates from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and a local sexual assault survivor joined Senators Cantwell, Murray to demand Republican senators delay Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination following recent allegations of sexual assault

Seattle, WA – Highlighting both the extreme threat President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh poses to women’s health and the importance of trusting women, today U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health Committee, joined women and health care advocates at a call to action in Seattle’s Central District to emphasize the high stakes of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination for women and families, and reiterate their calls to delay his nomination process following recently-surfaced allegations of sexual assault. In addition to detailing his offensive record regarding women’s access to reproductive care, critical patient protections, and other rights and freedoms important to millions of people in Washington state and across the nation, the senators voiced strong concerns about the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, and called on their Republican colleagues to slow down the nomination process to allow for an investigation.

“Making sure survivors of sexual assault are heard is so important. We must treat Dr. Ford’s allegation against Judge Kavanaugh seriously,” said Senator Cantwell. “What we need is a non-partisan investigation into the facts and information, which could help the Judiciary Committee members and others understand exactly what transpired. We should not rush this process and hurry to a vote. We need to get this right.”

“This is a test for the United States Senate on how we handle accusations of sexual assault and harassment—and I am hoping that this time we are going to pass it. Because we know just how much is at stake for women’s rights with this Supreme Court nominee. Throughout this fight, we have emphasized what Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination means for women and their autonomy to make decisions about their own bodies. We have heard about what the right to safe, legal abortion has meant for so many people, and why that is threatened with this nomination,” said Senator Murray in her remarks. “People are sharing these deeply personal stories because they understand women’s rights are at stake, women’s health is at stake, women’s economic security is at stake, and women’s lives are at stake. We are not about to stand aside as President Trump and extreme Republicans roll back women’s rights.”

In addition to Senators Cantwell and Murray, local advocates from Planned Parenthood and NARAL reiterated Judge Kavanaugh’s opposition to women’s reproductive health care and the threat that poses to women’s health across the country, and urged Washingtonians to continue raising their voices against Judge Kavanaugh to stop his confirmation to the nation’s highest court. A Seattle woman also shared her personal story of surviving a sexual assault, emphasizing the harrowing message Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination and sexual assault allegations sends to women across the nation.

"By coming forward with this credible allegation of sexual assault, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has sacrificed her privacy and sense of comfort in an effort to do what's best for the country,” said Caitlin Flynn, a Seattle resident and survivor of sexual assault, about the stakes of the nomination process. “For the past year, survivors have been encouraged to say 'Me Too' and we've received assurances that powerful men will be held to account when faced with credible allegations like Ford's. The U.S. Senate now has the opportunity to prove that we really do live in a new era of accountability by sending the message to perpetrators that their time truly is up and they should expect to face repercussions for sexual misconduct."

“Brett Kavanaugh has the ability to tip the balance of the court for generations to come. This is a lifetime appointment that could leave us with devastating consequences,” said Jennifer Allen, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “His views on indigenous rights, reproductive rights, workers’ rights and voting rights are deeply concerning and should be called into question. In addition, this is a moment of truth for our U.S. Senate. All senators should call for an immediate stop to this process and listen to Professor Christine Blasey Ford. She has courageously come forward to share her story and we believe her. Sexual assault is a violent abuse of power and should disqualify anyone from serving on the highest court in the land. Planned Parenthood believes that all women should have autonomy over their bodies and their lives. Our voices matter and we will continue to speak out against this nominee because the stakes are too high for us not to give it everything we’ve got.”

“We stand with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, activist Caitlin Flynn who spoke out in Seattle today, and all survivors of sexual violence,” said Tiffany Hankins, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. “Survivors of sexual assault should never have to come publicly forward for their stories to be taken seriously but they are incredibly brave to do so. What more do Senators need to know to oppose this nomination? These sexual assault charges come on top of charges of perjury and indications of extremist views that make the majority of Americans oppose his confirmation. Dr. Ford’s story is proof that Kavanaugh is as dangerous to women and our right to bodily autonomy as we have feared. Kavanaugh will be a vote to end Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion, and punish women. Americans, especially American women, won’t stand by and watch it happen.”