Gillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never'

Gillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that the fight to keep abortion legal in the U.S. "is now or never."

Gillibrand, who headlined Rise Up For Roe's Washington, D.C., tour stop, urged a room of about 250 pro-abortion advocates not to rally against President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE's Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh.

“This is the moment where you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘what will I do to make sure [Brett Kavanaugh] is not the next justice on the Supreme Court?’” Gillibrand said. “It is so essential that you fight. And it will work — you have to know this. If you fight as hard as you can imagine, it will work. We’ve seen this before.”

Wednesday’s rally marked the fourth stop on the abortion rights event's 10-city tour, which aims to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation to the high court.

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Brian Fallon, a former campaign press secretary for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMatt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE, said the events are intended to “explain the stakes” of Kavanaugh’s nomination and to “get people believing that this is a winnable fight, despite what they’re hearing out of Washington.”

“I think we’re building a movement, slowly but surely," said Fallon, who is the executive director of liberal judicial advocacy group, Demand Justice, and one of the tour's organizers.

"The time is going to be tight because [Sen.] Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyScandal in Puerto Rico threatens chance at statehood Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Democrat: Treasury 'acknowledged the unprecedented process' in Trump tax return rejection MORE’s [R-Iowa] moving a hearing up to right after Labor Day, despite the fact that they’re not going to have the documents. The window is narrow, but I think that we’re doing a lot of work in a short amount of time.” 

Republicans are seeking to get Kavanaugh on the bench by Oct. 1, ahead of the court's next term, hoping the potential justice would take a more conservative stance on abortion.

Democrats, meanwhile, hope to delay the nominee's confirmation vote until after the midterms. Liberals are fighting to get documents from Kavanaugh's work in the George W. Bush administration, arguing it would clarify his thinking about issues such as torture and surveillance. 

Gillibrand encouraged supporters to reach out to friends across the country in order to bolster opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination. 

“I would not give anyone you know and love a pass. You need to be speaking out to your friends in college, your friends in high school, every person you see in your 24/7 life," she said. "It has to be outreach to your friends who live in Texas and your friends who live Illinois and your friends who live in Tennessee. It is not something that’s going to happen by itself.”