‘Believe women’: Women’s groups that condemned Kavanaugh silent on Biden accuser

‘Believe women’: Women’s groups that condemned Kavanaugh silent on Biden accuser
Christine Blasey Ford, Tara Reade (Image: YouTube screen grab)

By Mary Margaret Olohan

Women’s groups that backed sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh have stayed silent regarding a woman who accused former Vice President Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her.

When Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh in September 2018 of sexually assaulting her, women’s groups, including Planned ParenthoodEmily’s List, the Women’s March, the National Abortion Right’s Action League, the American Association of University Women, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, condemned Kavanaugh and said they believed Blasey Ford.

But none of these organizations has issued a statement regarding former Biden staffer Tara Reade’s accusations against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. These organizations also did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which was vociferous in condemning Kavanaugh, has also not responded to a request for comment on its silence on Reade’s allegations against Biden.

The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit administered by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and established in the wake of the #MeToo movement, told Reade in February that she would receive no support from the fund after it was discovered that she was accusing Biden. NWLC spokesperson Maria Patrick said in a statement to the Intercept that the group’s nonprofit status restricts “how it can spend its funds, including restrictions that pertain to candidates running for election.”

Reade, who worked as a Senate staffer for Biden in 1993, accused the former vice president of kissing her, touching her, and penetrating her with his fingers without her consent. The Biden campaign has denied the assault, saying it “absolutely did not happen.”

Reade filed a police report Thursday with the Washington, D.C. police. It didn’t name Biden, but she said it was in regards to him. One unnamed friend told The New York Times that Reade told her about the alleged incident after it happened, while a second and a brother said she told them about it in the years following.

Reade said she made harassment complaints to three Biden staffers, none of whom, she said, took action. She also said she filed a written complaint with “a Senate personnel office.”

Blasey Ford did not file a police report of the alleged assault, which she said occurred in the 1980s — about 10 years before Reade says Biden assaulted her. Blasey Ford described the alleged incident to others, but the only ones who came forward were told decades after the fact.

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) told its supporters in 2018 that “those who support women’s rights already have ample ground to oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court,” noting that “his judicial opinions, speeches, writings, and recent testimony raise grave concerns on how he would rule in reproductive rights cases.”

“The Senate should vote no on his nomination,” CRR said in a September 2018 press release.

In regards to Reade, CRR spokeswoman Kelly Krause told the DCNF Monday that “we do not comment on elections or candidates as we are a non-partisan 501©3.”

“As you may know, judicial appointees are not candidates and are not elected,” Krause said. “We do not and have never commented on candidates for public elections.”

Reade did not responded to a request for comment from the DCNF.

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