Fact check: Senator Feinstein's claims about Brett Kavanaugh


U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote a tweet on Monday, September 3, 2018, in which she claimed that Judge Brett Kavanaugh had written a dissenting opinion prohibiting a young woman’s access to abortion.  Kavanaugh is President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, and his confirmation hearings start today (September 4).

Sen Dianne Feinstein on Twitter

Brett Kavanaugh authored a dissent to prohibit a young immigrant woman who had complied with Texas’ parental consent law and secured a judge’s approval the ability to get an abortion. This shows his hostility toward women’s reproductive rights.

Claim : 

“Brett Kavanaugh authored a dissent to prohibit a young immigrant woman who had complied with Texas’ parental consent law and secured a judge’s approval the ability to get an abortion. This shows his hostility toward women’s reproductive rights”

Fact Check: 

When Judge Brett Kavanaugh was on the D.C. Circuit Court, he heard a case on October 2017 involving an unaccompanied minor, under the alias Jane Doe, who illegally entered the United States and requested an abortion while detained at the border.

The Department of Health and Human Services denied her request, so Jane Doe took the case to court. Initially, the D.C. District Court ruled against J.D., prompting her legal team to appeal the decision.

The D.C. Circuit Court heard the appeal and sided with J.D, thus reversing the ruling (4-3). As a result, undocumented immigrant minors are now eligible for abortion services while in custody assuming they’ve received a judicial bypass.

J.D. had indeed secured a judicial bypass from a Texas state court, giving her the legal authority to terminate her own pregnancy without consent from her parents (Page 9 of the decision).

Kavanaugh was one of the dissenting votes of this decision. He referred to the majority as “radical” decision that granted a new right to “unlawful immigrant minors.”

He argued that J.D. could have been“expeditiously” sent to an immigrant sponsor vetted before making the decision to terminate her pregnancy, even though such a process can take months. Immigrant sponsors are U.S.-residents, typically family members, who house unaccompanied minors while they await being deported or granted asylum. He argued that living under a sponsor would give J.D. a “better place when deciding whether to have an abortion.”

Kavanaugh opposed J.D “immediately” receiving an abortion in custody, essentially supporting to delay the procedure. That said, he did not argue to prohibit the procedure. He acknowledged that Roe vs. Wade allows for legal access to abortion, and said that J.D. could receive an abortion if a sponsor wasn’t identified by October 31 2017.

This claim is rated Mostly True.

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