Planned Parenthood Opposes Confirmation of Anti-Reproductive Health & Anti-LGBTQ Trump Judicial Nominee Matthew Kacsmaryk
For Immediate Release: June 18, 2019
Kacsmaryk has actively opposed reproductive rights and doesn’t support Roe v. Wade
WASHINGTON – With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s push, the Senate has invoked cloture on the nomination of Matthew Kacsmaryk, voting 52-44 to allow his nomination to proceed. Planned Parenthood Federation of America opposes Kacsmaryk to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Kacsmaryk’s career and record demonstrate that he is an active opponent of reproductive rights, including access to birth control and emergency contraception, and he has disputed the right to safe, legal abortion established under Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, he has expressed his extreme opposition to any form of legal protections for LGBTQ people.
Statement from Anisha Singh, Director of Judicial Nominations, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
President Trump’s nominee to the Northern District of Texas, Matthew Kacsmaryk, has extreme views on reproductive health and rights and LGBTQ rights. The role of a federal judge is to be impartial and follow legal precedents, such as well-established precedents affirming the right to safe, legal abortion. Kacsmaryk’s record, which includes disputing the legitimacy of Roe v. Wade and a strong stance against nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, leaves little room for optimism that he will rule fairly on the issues that would come before him as a federal judge. At a time when anti-abortion politicians in Texas are relentless in their efforts to restrict access, the people of Texas deserve a judge who will defend their health and rights — not uphold dangerous restrictions on health care that will endanger people’s lives.
Seventy-seven percent of Americans — including a majority of Democrats, independents, and Republicans — support access to abortion and do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. Yet the Trump-Pence administration and Senate leadership are attempting to remake an entire branch of government by filling lifetime judicial appointments with unfit, ideologically-driven people as part of its agenda to restrict women’s health and rights — all while disregarding centuries-long process. President Trump has appointed over 100 judges to the federal bench, with 11 percent of the federal judiciary now appointed by this administration. During 2019 state legislative sessions, more than 300 bills restricting abortion have been filed in 47 states. Nearly half of those restrictions are abortion bans, including those in Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, and Louisiana, which effectively ban abortions even before most women know they are pregnant. In the cases of these newly enacted bans, and should any of the additional bills become law, it is likely that the federal courts will be called upon to decide the fate of people’s health and lives in these states.
Additional background on Kacsmaryk:
- As deputy counsel for the conservative First Liberty Institute, Kacsmaryk represented several religious and religiously-affiliated institutions that opposed the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit. These employers sought to avoid providing no-cost health insurance coverage for contraception to their employees. In this case, Kacsmaryk proclaimed successful lawsuits would “protect innocent life from conception to natural death” and “defend unborn human life.”
- Also on behalf of the First Liberty Institute, Kacsmaryk helped draft an amicus brief filed on behalf of 43 members of Congress in support of a Washington pharmacy that refused to carry emergency contraception. Although state law allowed pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription themselves based on a religious belief, a pharmacy is required to fill all legal prescriptions.
- The amicus brief Kacsmaryk helped draft criticized the Ninth Circuit’s decision in favor of Washington state, calling it “an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion” and as an invitation for other states to depart from a “longstanding, nationwide consensus on core First Amendment rights.”
- In addition to his case work, Kacsmaryk has also done personal writings that have directly attacked the legitimacy of Roe v. Wade. Kacsmaryk has disputed the legal foundation of Roe and argued that the legal right to abortion has weakened the institution of marriage. He summarized Roe as finding “an unwritten ‘fundamental right’ to abortion hiding in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the shadowy ‘penumbras’ of the Bill of Rights, a celestial phenomenon invisible to the non-lawyer eye.”
- His professional life has also been marked by toxic rhetoric about members of the LGBTQ community: he has called transgender people “problematic,” claimed being transgender is a “delusion,” suggested the LGBTQ rights movement is part of a sexual revolution “typified by lawlessness,” and called for a “long war” against nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.