Editor's Note: This column was written by Kateri Remmes.
The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is one of the more major political events since the election of Donald Trump since 2016, and for good reason. Kavanaugh has the ability to shape the Supreme Court for years by joining four other conservative Supreme Court justices. As a college student, Students for Life leader, and a resident of Illinois, I can tell you that my generation supports Kavanaugh and what he stands for.
Many would have you believe that young people like me are not interested in politics or if we are interested in politics, that we are all liberal and support Bernie Saunders. But that is not true, in fact this generationis often called the Pro-Life Generation, and even among young Democrat voters, there is support for abortion restrictions, such as a twenty-week abortion ban. Many of us care about our society and want to foster a culture that respects life at all stages.
Polling from the Institute for Pro-Life Advancement,an initiative from the organization I work with, “found 53 percent of Millennials believe abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances, with 17 percent of young people responding abortion should never be legal and 36 percent only in extreme cases, such as rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.” My generation is much more nuanced on the life issue than you might imagine from most media reports.
I personally, am motivated to take action as a leader in the diverse pro-life movement, because I have seen women close to me suffer from the judgmental eyes and pressure of society. I have seen women disenfranchised by the unfortunately common belief that women cannot multitask – combing home and family with passions and dreams in a career. This pathetic message commonly colors abortion advocates conversation,selling women short by assuming we are not capable of handling more than one thing at a time. Not only does abortion take away the rights of a preborn baby, it fails to empower women by prompting them to change their natural fertility to fit the workplace, traditionally dominated by men.
I am willing to stand up, as a woman and a student, to show women that there are many life-affirming organizations and people willing to support them with the dignity everyone deserves. I have found that an important way to show women this support is through political activism.
Recently, many of my fellow Students for Life leaders gave up a week of their summerto travel across several states, including Missouri and Indiana, to push for the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Some even traveled from Houston to Missouri or from Nevada to Alaska just for the opportunity to play a role in Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to organize a rally along with other pro-life leaders in Illinois at Federal Plaza on August 11th, to urge Senators Durbin and Duckworth to vote to confirm Kavanaugh and why others rallied Sundayin downtown Chicago.
Why would young people be interested in a Supreme Court fight? Because we understand what is at stake.
Our lives and our political system have been influenced by a 1973 court decisionthat essentially told the voters of each state that their opinion on abortion did not matter. It took away from the their right to debate the proper regulation and restrictions on abortion, while tainting other political issues with the pollution of Roe v. Wade.
Even in 2018, liberal Supreme Court justices who generally favored free-speech, put the politics of abortion ahead of the Constitutional guarantee of the First Amendment, in voting in the minority in NIFLA v. Becerra,voting to force pro-life pregnancy resource centers to promote abortion. Think about that--when push came to shove, a former counsel to the ACLU said that the politics of abortion were more important to her than free-speech.
And on college campuses, we see the effects of abortion every day. We see it in college campuses that want to offer free RU-486 abortion drugs, but don’t have adequate lactation roomsfor women who choose life for their babies. We see it in colleges that eagerly offer Sex Week eventsand free birth control, but punish a parenting studentfor not being able to attend classes in person. Our society has normalized abortion to the point that students looked down upon a friend of mine, who was pregnant on campus, for choosing life and “jeopardizing” her future dreams and aspirations.
So why does this generation support Kavanaugh? Because he offers a real opportunity to move away from the pollution of Roe v. Wade by allowing states to have a say in how abortion is regulated and limited in their own states. My fellow young leaders understand this, which is why over 20 of them traveled across various key states to push for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. It’s why many organized their own #Justice4Life rallies across the country, and it’s why many others tweeted at their Senators, called Senate offices, and wrote letters to the editor.
What many in my generation want is an opportunity to have a say in the laws of our country, and to shape the culture on our campuses and in society to one that protects and values all human life, not to be bound by the political decision of 7 justices more than 45 years ago.
Kateri Remmes is a Students for Life leader and a student at the University of Dallas. She is a resident of Illinois.