As a Maine state representative, I oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh because placing him on the U.S. Supreme Court threatens the access of American women to safe, affordable abortions. It is simply not enough, as U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has indicated, that the appointee affirms that Roe v. Wade is “settled law.”

Since that decision was decided, it has been the practice not only of the Supreme Court but of state legislatures and state courts across the country to try to limit women’s reproductive rights by steadily chipping away at the right to choose. Most observers expect the court not to overrule Roe v. Wade outright, but to intensify this effort by giving states greater authority and leeway over this federal constitutional right.

In Maine, for example, in the six years I have served, there have been a dozen bills offered by anti-abortion advocates. They were stymied only because the Democratic-controlled House stopped them. With the Supreme Court giving greater latitude to added restrictions, I fear that abortions will become inaccessible to average American women, and the constitutional right to control one’s body will be available only to those with enough resources to travel abroad or to the few states that refuse to enact these restrictions.

Rep. Janice Cooper