Actress-turned-New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon announced Tuesday that she is running as a “democratic socialist.”
“Yes. Some more established corporate Democrats get very scared by this term, but if democratic socialism means that you believe that health care, housing, education and the things we need to prosper should be a basic right, not a privilege Then count me in.” Nixon said in a statement to Politico.
Earlier that day, Nixon joined other pro-choice organizations and activists in Manhattan’s Union Square Park for an emergency protest against President Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, who would replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Trump’s pick, Brett Kavanaugh, is a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court with a judicial record that has abortion rights advocates in arms.
In a 2017 dissent, Kavanaugh argued that helping a teenage girl in custody get an abortion would not recognize the government’s “permissible interests of furthering fetal life, protecting the best interests of the minor, and not facilitating abortion.” So Kavanaugh has opposed net neutrality and has a long history of rulings against environmental standards. Pro-choice advocates worried about the future of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the US and the most hotly contested legal case in the United States in the last half century, organized to “send a message to our elected officials that we will whatever is needed”. to stop this nomination,” said #VOTEPROCHOICE CEO and Co-Founder Heidi Siek.
“Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is a serious, serious threat to our freedoms,” he continued. “Make no mistake. He is a conservative judge who opposes right to choose and will overturn Roe v. Wade.”
Nixon echoed Siek on Tuesday.
“Yesterday we saw the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, we can be sure that Roe v. Wade will be hanging in the balance or overturned.”
In some areas of the country, access to abortion is already hanging in the balance. In March, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed a bill that would ban abortions after 15 weeks, setting a limit of two full months earlier than the Supreme Court ruled, in Roe v. Wade, what an acceptable cutoff time. More than 20 states have approved similar bills banning abortions after 20 weeks and others are considering similar restrictions.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned by a future Supreme Court case, states will be able to individually determine the legality and accessibility of abortion. While services in blue states are likely to remain intact, they will most likely suffer in states like Mississippi and Alabama, where abortion is already restricted.
For Nixon, abortion and reproductive rights is a personal issue. During Tuesday’s protest, he revealed that his mother had an abortion in New York when it was illegal.
“When I was old enough, she made sure to tell me,” Nixon said, referring to her mother. “It was very difficult for her to talk about it. She didn’t give me a lot of details, but it was very important for her to tell me that she had had an abortion, that it had been illegal, and that it had been a tremendously incredible experience.”
The New York gubernatorial candidate said she had been thinking “a lot” about her mother today. “When I opened my closet, something caught my eye that caught my eye in a different way than it did yesterday,” Nixon said, pulling a wire coat hanger out of her bag. (The coat hanger has long been a symbol of the desperate measures women have taken to end a pregnancy in the pre-Roe v. Wade era.)
“That’s why we must fight like hell, in New York and across the country,” Nixon said as he held up the coat hanger. “We must fight to preserve Roe v. Wade so that no woman feels compelled to wear something like this on herself ever again.”
Despite the concern of abortion supporters, Kavanaugh has never explicitly stated that he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, although he, too, has not expressed his support for the decision. During your DC Circuit Court confirmation hearing in 2006, he said he would “follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and completely.”
Anti-abortion organizations praised Kavanaugh’s nomination to the nation’s highest court.
“Today, with Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, the President is presumably making good on his promise to repeal Roe,” Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights said in an emailed statement.
The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List said, “Justice Kavanaugh is an experienced and principled jurist with a strong record of protecting life and constitutional rights, as evidenced by his opinions in heron vs. Hargan other Priests for life v. HHS.”
Additional reporting by Izzie Ramirez.