Take a Stand: Voicing Our Truths in Light of Christine Blasey Ford's Allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

By Sofia Heller

“Abortion is healthcare.”

Like many teenagers, I was scrolling through Instagram on my phone after school. Sitting with my backpack unopened at my feet, unceasing thoughts racing through my mind about the stresses in my world that day, I scrolled through Instagram when I came across a Planned Parenthood graphic that read, “Abortion is healthcare.”

The post stopped me dead in my tracks, or rather in my mindless scrolling through my “feed.” I was immediately empowered. The purpose of the post, as I would learn in the caption, was to ask people to take action to stop the confirmation of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who threatens abortion rights.

I followed the steps in the caption that detailed Planned Parenthood’s guide to advocating, but I closed the app feeling like it wasn’t enough. I was scared of everything I had read about Kavanaugh. About the direction the Trump administration was heading. About women losing their right to choose, losing Roe v. Wade. I felt an immediate threat heading my way, and all my natural instincts were telling me to do everything I could to stop it. I didn’t know how to, though. And I had tests to study for and essays to write, so I put down my phone and opened my backpack.

I feel ashamed as I write this and admit that despite a visceral reaction to take action, I did nothing more than click a button. I feel even more shame knowing what was to come.

About a week after seeing that post, Christine Blasey Ford came forward and accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her. Ford said in an interview with The Washington Post that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and put her hand over her mouth when she tried to scream at a party as teenagers in the early 1980s.

My previously abstract fear of Kavanaugh became all too concrete as I read that article. A flood of #MeToo emotions came over me, as did feelings of guilt. Ford’s decision to come forward with her story and testify before the Senate shows immense courage and activism. Ford stood up in front of a national, even international audience, and boldly stated her truth. It took all the courage I had just to post a Change.org petition on Facebook.

There is no excuse for not participating in our democracy. We must use our voices to advocate for ourselves, our beliefs and for others. Go to the marches. Call your senator, your congressperson, your local representative. Sign petitions. Vote.

I am not sure what’s going to happen with Kavanaugh. I don’t know if he will still be confirmed like Clarence Thomas was in spite of Anita Hill’s testimony. I hope not. I hope that the #MeToo movement really has changed things, and the Senate understands that a man who sexually assaulted a woman is not deserving of a seat on the Supreme Court. And he is certainly not fit to rule on what a woman can do with her body.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Kavanaugh, but I do know that I am going to do everything that I can to stop his confirmation.

Individuals can make a difference, just look at Ford.

Today, I opened Instagram to find another Planned Parenthood post. It read, “Join us in a national walkout and moment of solidarity. Wear black, and show solidarity with Dr. Blasey Ford. Stop Kavanaugh. Believe survivors.”

This time, I’m not turning away to focus on my own inner stresses, to open my backpack and shut out a desire to stop Kavanaugh. I’m going to show solidarity, and I’m going to take a stand.

*Up to date as of press deadline

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