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Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a twofold problem.

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Reproductive Rights Advocates to Gather at FL Supreme Court

Polls by Kaiser, Pew, Reuters, Politico and Gallup found that an overwhelming majority of Americans think that access to abortion  at least under certain circumstances  should not be outlawed. (Tracy Hahn/Twenty20)
Polls by Kaiser, Pew, Reuters, Politico and Gallup found that an overwhelming majority of Americans think that access to abortion at least under certain circumstances should not be outlawed. (Tracy Hahn/Twenty20)
July 12, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Abortion rights advocates hold a news conference and demonstration in front of Florida's Supreme Court on Thursday to call on U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson to reject President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The groups argue that since Trump has promised to find judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, they believe Kavanugh will be able to do just that if he gets Senate confirmation.

Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, says there was no coincidence in their decision to rally supporters at Florida's Supreme Court.

"This is where a lot of those decisions start,” she points out. “We've had a tax on reproductive health care every year in the Florida Legislature. Some of those have been stopped at the Supreme Court level in Florida, and we just hope that we can continue to defeat these attacks."

So far, many conservatives have embraced Trump's pick, including Rubio, who said he was pleased. However, Nelson, a Democrat, said he expects to vote against Kavanaugh, but looks forward to hearing his views on women's rights and guaranteeing health care access to all.

The news conference begins at 11:30 a.m. on the court's front sidewalk.

Kavanaugh currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and was a White House counsel under former President George W. Bush.

Goodhue says Kavanaugh’s track record includes a decision to block a lower court's order that required the Trump administration to allow an undocumented woman entering the United States to get an abortion.

"So what we're hearing is a lot of disbelief but a lot of real concern for turning back the clocks on women's rights in this country," Goodhue states.

Given the makeup of the Senate, Kavanuagh's likely confirmation would give a 5-4 majority on the court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

However Goodhue says polls show there is little public support to overturn the landmark ruling, and other groups will join the call to oppose Kavanaugh, including Equality Florida on behalf of LGBT individuals.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - FL