Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
WASHINGTON–In 1991, Angela Denise Wright never got to tell her story to the Senate Judiciary Committee of being harassed by Clarence Thomas. She was waiting outside the hearing room on Thomas’ nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court but was never called.
Neither were two other women who had similar testimony to give. The Senate only heard from Anita Hill, and the all-white male panel of Senators tore her to shreds.
We must not allow history to repeat itself on Monday. If more women come forward who can confirm Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s account, or if they have important testimony of their own—they must be allowed to speak. Chairman Grassley has already ruled he won’t hear from any other witnesses. Not Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking buddy, Mark Judge, who not only witnessed but participated in the assault and has written controversial things about women.
Survivors may be confronting the same choice Dr. Ford faced so courageously. She shouldn’t have had to deal with the invasion of privacy and personal invective she’s facing today—and nor should anyone else.
But Dr. Ford made a brave decision to come forward. The Senate should hear from her, and from any other woman who finds herself on the brink of a historic decision.
Brittany T. Oliver, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-628-8669