The fight to save Roe v. Wade is hitting the road. Demand Justice, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL Pro-Choice America announced Monday that they've partnered up to launch a 10-city Rise Up For Roe tour aimed at highlighting what they say is the threat President Trump's new Supreme Court nominee poses to abortion rights in America.
"The truth is that Kavanaugh poses the greatest risk to Roe v. Wade we’ve seen. So we’re sounding the alarm. And through this tour, we hope to detail exactly what’s at stake for women all over the country," Nita Chaudhary, the co-founder of Ultraviolet and a Demand Justice advisor who's helping organize the tour, says in a statement to Bustle.
Kicking off in New York City on Aug. 11, the free events will feature speeches by feminist activists, interviews with celebrities and lawmakers, and stories told by reproductive health workers. The Rise Up For Roe tour will then move on to Portland, Maine; Boston; Washington D.C.; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; Denver; Phoenix; Austin; and Des Moines, Iowa. Well-known activists including Brittany Packnett, actress Alyssa Milano, former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, and NARAL president Ilyse Hogue, as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), are scheduled to make appearances.
"We’re putting an ensemble of badass feminist writers, artists and leaders on the road to go out and start a conversation," Chaudhary says.
Despite that lineup, the spotlight will be on Trump's Supreme Court nominee: Brett Kavanaugh. Abortion rights advocates fear Kavanaugh would help dismantle Roe v. Wade if he's confirmed to the bench by the U.S. Senate. If Roe were overturned, 22 states risk losing access to abortion completely, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Kavanaugh has already completed a formal questionnaire and provided more than 2,000 pages of previously delivered speeches, published writings, interviews, past court filings, and other documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he plans to schedule Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings for September or October. Organizers of the Rise Up For Roe tour hope to gin up enough public pressure from women voters to block his confirmation before then.
"People are outraged that men in power keep putting our health and rights on the chopping block," Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood's executive vice president, says in a statement to Bustle. "Senators need to be listening to these voices. Our supporters are engaged like never before. Thats why Planned Parenthood is mobilizing constituents to connect with their Senators and engage in their communities. We know we can win this fight."
In a Quinnipiac poll published last week, 40 percent of respondents said they think Kavanaugh should be confirmed by the Senate. Just 23 percent of respondents surveyed said the high court overturning Roe v. Wade would be a good thing. In fact, a recent Gallup poll suggests Kavanaugh is the least popular Supreme Court nominee in decades.
“The American people have not been fooled — Brett Kavanaugh’s record shows he is a direct threat to our most fundamental rights, and, with the balance of the Court at stake, Americans are counting on their senators to reject him," Hogue said in a statement responding to that poll.
"We know what happens when abortion is illegal. Women die. And already marginalized women and women of color will be at greatest risk," Chaudhary says. "The stakes are too high. We need to talk about it."