For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 6, 2020



IowaToday marks two years since Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) voted to confirm anti-choice, anti-freedom conservative ideologue Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Today’s anniversary takes place at a critical point in our nation’s history, as Senators like Joni Ernst are already delivering on their strategy to jam through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination and install another Trump ideologue to the Court—even as Americans are already casting their ballots in the November presidential election. 

On this anniversary, NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue said:

“Two years ago today, Senator Ernst voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court over the cries of countless women in this country who knew our rights and our freedoms were in jeopardy, as was our ability to believe in justice. Ernst rubber-stamped Trump’s pick and prioritized extreme ideology over voters’ concerns. Kavanaugh was as unfit to serve on the Court then as he is today. Justice Kavanaugh has shown his true colors, taking it upon himself to write the dissenting opinion in June Medical Services v. Russo—a case that would have shuttered abortion clinics in Louisiana and opened the door to rolling back abortion access nationwide. 

Trump and McConnell’s effort to jam through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination at the 11th hour is an affront to our democracy, and comes at a time when Roe v. Wade and reproductive freedom are on the line like never before. If Barrett joins Kavanaugh on the bench, our fundamental rights will remain under siege for decades.

What Mitch McConnell and Republicans like Joni Ernst fail to remember is that Kavanaugh’s confirmation galvanized millions of voters across the country to turn out in support of champions for reproductive freedom up and down the ballot in 2018. Once again we are facing a confirmation fight that will power even more of our champions—like Theresa Greenfield—to electoral victory in November.”

Justice Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed with the lowest favorable rating of any Supreme Court nominee in recent history and in the face of massive outrage, including the largest ever single-day protest against a Supreme Court nominee led by NARAL and its partners.

In the wake of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Court, an emboldened anti-choice movement has pounced on the opportunity to gut Roe v. Wade. Extreme bans on abortion were introduced, passed, or signed in 31 states in 2019 alone and at least two dozen cases are in the pipeline that could completely overturn Roe.

With Roe in the crosshairs, the stakes are high for women and families in Iowa. Iowa already has severe restrictions on reproductive freedom, which include bans on abortion throughout pregnancy and subjecting people who seek abortion care to mandatory biased counseling. Currently, around 93% of Iowa counties have no clinics providing abortion care.

A new Public Policy Polling survey found that a large majority (70%) of Iowa voters believe that abortion should be legal, and that the government should not prevent a woman from making that decision for herself. Just 14% say they would only consider voting for a candidate who supports banning abortion in the November election.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is in the midst of its largest-ever electoral program designed to reach, persuade, and mobilize key voters, including driving thousands of calls to Iowans who are motivated by Senator Ernst’s betrayal of their values and Trump and Republicans’ unyielding attacks on reproductive freedom. Come November, NARAL and its 2.5 million members are ready to flip the Senate and hold senators like Joni Ernst accountable.


For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family. 

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