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 GillibrandDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci 'aspirationally hopeful' of a vaccine by winter The Hill's Morning Report - Officials crack down as COVID-19 cases soar 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 TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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 ClintonRepublican Nicole Malliotakis wins New York primary to challenge Max Rose Trump's evangelical approval dips, but remains high How Obama can win back millions of Trump voters for Biden 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 GrassleyUS, Mexico set for new post-NAFTA trade era Senators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls GOP skeptical of polling on Trump 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.”