2021 | Chevy Chase

Activists angered by Supreme Court abortion decision protest at Kavanaugh’s Chevy Chase house

Police were on hand; no arrests made

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A group of protestors marched to the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Chevy Chase on Monday, objecting to the court’s recent decision to allow a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks.

Photos by Dan Schere

Activists marched to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Chevy Chase Monday evening, angry over the high court’s recent decision to uphold a new Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The law, signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, took effect this month, bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected and incentivizes people to sue abortion providers if they violate the law, The Washington Post reported. There are no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 on Sept. 1 not to strike down the Texas law. Kavanaugh was joined by fellow conservative justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett in allowing the law to stand.

On Monday, more than 50 people walked less than a mile from Chevy Chase Local Park to Kavanaugh’s house, with many bearing signs with messages such as “abortion access for all,” “safe abortion is a human right” and “hey Kavanaugh resign now.”

They chanted slogans such as “my body, my choice” and “What do we want? Safe abortion access. When do we want it? Now.”

The protest, organized by the group ShutDown DC, was peaceful and didn’t lead to any arrests.  Montgomery County officers were stationed along the street and in front of Kavanaugh’s house.

Kristin Mink, a candidate in the Montgomery County Council at-large race next year, told the crowd on Monday that in 2018, she took an “abortion drug” after she found out during a medical appointment that her pregnancy would not be successful.

Kristin Mink

“That’s what I decided to do, which allowed me to start trying again for the family that me and my partner really hoped for,” she said.

Mink, who had a child at the time, later gave birth to a second child.

“I think a lot of times, abortion is talked about as a really difficult and taxing decision. And for many people, it is. But I also think it’s important to acknowledge that for many people, it’s not,” she said.

“For many people, you know that’s what you need to do in that moment, whether it’s for medical reasons or personal reasons. It’s really not anybody’s business what the reason is besides yourself and potentially your doctor.”

Kelly, a Montgomery County resident who declined to give her last name, said in an interview that she hopes the protest will clearly communicate the goals of those concerned about abortion rights in the country.

“Doing all this and making as much noise as possible in terms of what we’re saying and what we’re going is gonna make them hear us,” she said.

Susan Rapaport, a 76-year-old Chevy Chase resident, said she remembers the fight for abortion rights leading up to Roe v. Wade in the 1970s. Protesting in front of Kavanaugh’s house won’t change the court’s decision, but will hopefully provide more visibility for the issue of reproductive rights, she said.

“This has been such a horrible, horrible time. It’s adding insult to injury. … Maybe this kind of thing can have everybody hear it and see it,” she said of the Texas abortion law.

Kavanaugh’s nomination and eventual confirmation to the court was controversial three years ago when Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her at a house party in Montgomery County in 1982, when the two were in high school. Kavanaugh was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School at the time and Ford attended Holton-Arms School.

Mink said she protested Kavanaugh’s nomination at the time and was one of about 200 people dragged out of a hearing on Capitol Hill by police. On Monday, she called for an expansion of the Supreme Court to shift the balance of power.

“What they have shown in this moment is that they do not care about constitutionality. They do not care about precedent that has been set and confirmed. They are not here to do the job of the Supreme Court. So, this is a danger to every fundamental right in this country,” she said.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com