Brett Kavanagh calls birth control ‘abortion-inducing drugs’

Sen. Ted Cruz has also used the phrasing.


David Gilmour


Published Sep 6, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 7:07 am CDT

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh referred to contraceptives as “abortion-inducing drugs” during day three of his confirmation hearing on Thursday.

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Kavanagh was responding to a question from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), who, after talking basketball, brought up the judge’s stance on the Priests for Life v. HHS case.  

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In 2013, Priests for Life filed a lawsuit against Health and Human Services over the Obamacare mandate that certain healthcare providers had to cover birth control. The U.S. Court of Appeals ultimately ruled against the Catholic group the following year, but Kavanaugh penned a dissent, saying he would have allowed employers and universities to deny birth control coverage.

On Tuesday, the first day of Kavanaugh’s hearing, Cruz had used the “abortion-inducing drugs” line to reference a different but similar lawsuit filed by Little Sisters of the Poor.

“Our Democratic colleagues want justices who will rubber-stamp efforts like the Obama administration’s efforts litigating against the Little Sisters of the Poor,” he said. “Litigating against Catholic nuns, trying to force them to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.

In case this wasn’t clear, birth control prevents pregnancy; it does not induce abortion. To have an abortion, you have to actually be pregnant.

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Last October, President Donald Trump rollbacked the Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision, so it’s no longer mandatory for employers to pay. Since then, prices for birth control have shot up.

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*First Published: Sep 6, 2018, 5:09 pm CDT