NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Good week for conservatives? The fight ahead will be bitter

Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice and Planned Parenthood as a non-entity in Fort Wayne are both positive possibilities for those who believe in the sanctity of life. But neither President Donald Trump’s selection of Kavanaugh as a nominee to the court nor Planned Parenthood’s closing in the Summit City will avoid the slings and arrows of the left. We hope conservatives keep up the fight on both counts. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings will undoubtedly be an intense and ugly battle over abortion rights, among other things. And the leading abortion provider in the country, Planned Parenthood, promises it will resurrect its long-time business in Fort Wayne.

Kavanaugh, 53, is a former law clerk for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and, like Trump’s first nominee last year Justice Neil Gorsuch, his conservative principles could help remake the court for decades with rulings that could at least restrict abortion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has already warned of an onslaught of “fear mongering” from liberal groups whose goal is to derail the nomination, saying many Democrats “didn’t care who the nominee was at all. Whoever President Trump put up they were opposed to.” The Senate’s Democratic leader Chuck Schumer vowed an all-out battle against Kavanaugh. Democratic senators cannot block Kavanaugh’s confirmation if Republicans unite on this issue with their 51-49 Senate majority. So Democrats are trying to pressure two Republicans who support access to abortion services, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to oppose any nominee who threatens the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

Republicans hope to gain support from a handful of Democrats who are up for re-election in states where Trump is popular, such as Indiana’s Joe Donnelly. We stand with Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, in calling upon Sen. Donnelly to stand with Hoosiers and vote to confirm Kavanaugh rather than voting in lockstep with Schumer’s directives (as Hupfer says he has done 84 percent of the time).

As for Planned Parenthood’s presence in Fort Wayne, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky blames its closing on “intimidation and harassment of … patients, providers and supporters led by Allen County Right to Life in the Fort Wayne community.”

Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter and Allen County Right to Life Executive Director Cathie Humbarger issued a statement saying the local PPINK office was closed because of a “dwindling customer base in Indiana and its unpopularity in the greater Fort Wayne community.” They cited Planned Parenthood’s own reports that show “unduplicated patient visits are down 46 percent over the last 10 years while total patient visits are down 67 percent over the same time period.”

Indiana has been at the forefront in the fight against abortion. And we hope not only that Planned Parenthood can be put out of the baby-killing business but that a sensible Supreme Court can correct many of the wrongs of the past with justices who believe in the sanctity of life and the rule of law set forth in the Constitution.