Judge Brett Kavanaugh raised eyebrows on Thursday when he referred to contraception as "abortion-inducing drugs."
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 6, 2018
It was the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and Kavanaugh was responding to a question asked by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) about the 2015 Priests for Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services case he heard while on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Priests for Life objected to the Affordable Care Act requirement that all health insurance plans cover contraception for employees, asserting that Plan B and IUDs are not birth control, but instead cause abortions.
Kavanaugh, who dissented from the majority that ruled in favor of the Obama administration, told Cruz it "quite clearly" seemed the contraception mandate was a "substantial burden on their religious exercise." Had Priests for Life filled out a form asking the government to fund the contraceptives, Kavanaugh added, this workaround would still have made them "complicit in the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objected to."
Priests for Life used the term "abortion-inducing drugs" in the lawsuit to describe contraception, and Kavanaugh echoing the phrase drew outrage from Democrats, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted: "Newsflash, Brett Kavanaugh: Contraception is NOT abortion. Anyone who says so is peddling extremist ideology — not science — and has no business sitting on the Supreme Court." Catherine Garcia