Two years ago, I wrote a piece for this blog about my decision to have an abortion. It was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made, and the most difficult piece I’ve ever written. Abortion is a common procedure. An estimated one in three British women and one in four American women will have an abortion by the time they’re 45, yet most women who have terminated a pregnancy keep their decision secret, driven often by a sense of guilt and shame. I would not have shared the story of my own abortion but for the threat posed to abortion rights by the Trump administration’s nomination and ultimate confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. As I type, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are making their opening statements in the confirmation hearings of Trump’s third appointee to the US Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.
Of the 156,000 British, Canadian, American and other Allied troops who sailed from Portsmouth for the Normandy beaches in June 1944, fewer than 1500 are still alive. They are all in their nineties, at least. My grandfather, a D-Day veteran who died in 1998, would be 103.
Last month, President Trump announced his nominee to succeed the retiring Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy. Brett Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. He has not been an outspoken opponent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that the right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s choice to have an abortion. But he is almost certain to support a dramatic narrowing of Roe’s application, allowing states to impose significant restrictions on a woman’s ability to access abortion.