Gillibrand Urges 'Action' Against Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh If They Don't Uphold Roe v. Wade

Susan Jones | May 16, 2019 | 5:58am EDT
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) takes questions from reporters after announcing she will run for president in 2020 outside the Country View Diner, January 16, 2019 in Troy, New York. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

( - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), one of 22 Democrats seeking her party's presidential nomination, told MSNBC on Wednesday that Alabama's new abortion ban is "draconian and inhumane," and she called for "action" against Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch if they do not uphold Roe v. Wade.

Both men are Trump appointees.

Gillibrand said President Trump has deliberately selected "radical justices" to "undermine basic reproductive freedoms and civil rights" of women.

"And I'm going to lift this up, and as President of the United States, I will not appoint any justice that does not agree that they will support the precedent of Roe v. Wade or other judges," Gillibrand said.

"That is the law of the land, and I think both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied to the Judiciary Committee when they said they would uphold precedent. And if they then go back on this -- this statement they made during their confirmation hearings -- I think we should look towards what we will do to address it, because we need far more oversight and accountability over these Supreme Court Justices, and if they lied in their hearings, then we should take action."

Gillibrand said she will be in Georgia on Thursday, "to talk about the law that was just passed there, to lift those voices up of the women who are deeply affected, and to make sure that America understands that this is going to be a fight for something that is so important and personal to every woman -- that decision to make these kind of life or death intimate decisions about our families and our bodies."

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which makes abortionists criminals in most cases, except when the pregnancy poses a serious health risk to the mother.

Ivey issued a statement, admitting that the law may be "unenforceable" at the moment.

Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.

To all Alabamians, I assure you that we will continue to follow the rule of law.

In all meaningful respects, this bill closely resembles an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years. As today’s bill itself recognizes, that longstanding abortion law has been rendered “unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.”

No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court, even when we disagree with their decisions.

Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.

Gillibrand called the Alabama law an "all-out attack by the Republican party to undermine basic civil rights and to roll back and undermine basic reproductive freedoms in this country. It is something they are determined to turn back the clock on," she said.

She noted that in the 2018 election, "women's voices were heard":

"They ran for office in record numbers. They won in record numbers, and women's vote turned out in record numbers. And so, I hope America's women and their families and the men who love them are paying attention because what this president is doing is criminalizing basic healthcare and undermining our constitutional rights and our constitutional freedoms to make these very intimate decisions ourselves."

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