West Virginia councilman responds to Kavanaugh confirmation: ‘Get your coat hangers ready’

A city council member from Parkersburg City, W.Va., on Saturday celebrated Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court with a Facebook comment saying liberals “better get … [their] coathangers ready,” according to Newsweek.

Parkersburg City councilman and anti-abortion activist Eric Barber made the comment in response to Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDems look to women to take back the House after Kavanaugh fight Democrats seek to turn Kavanaugh anger into votes Republicans seize on Kavanaugh confirmation going into midterms MORE‘s (D-W.Va.) “yes” vote on Kavanaugh, which solidified Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court. 


“Coat hangers” are typically invoked as a reference to highly dangerous back-alley abortions.

Kavanaugh’s nomination was surrounded by anxious speculation by abortion rights advocates who said he could be the determining vote in overturning the landmark case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the U.S. 

Barber deleted the post but community members have continued to circulate a screenshot of it, Newsweek reported. 

Barber’s fellow councilman Bob Mercer told local outlet Deep South Voice that he was not intentionally referencing self-induced abortions. 

“When he was in Washington, D.C., this year the day Justice Kavanaugh was nominated, a lady threw a coat hanger at him and hit him in the face for being happy about it,” Mercer told Deep South Voice. “He admitted that he should have explained it instead of letting it sit there.”

Barber himself did not respond to Deep South Voice’s requests for comment.

“We on Council are kept to a higher standard,” Mercer said, according to the Deep South Voice. “Understand that this statement does not reflect the feelings [of others on the Council].”

Kavanaugh stated during his first set of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings that he understands “the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade.” 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsKentucky man goes viral after complaining his name is Brett Kavanagh Christine Blasey Ford still unable to live at home due to death threats, lawyers say Collins: No ‘political calculus’ in Kavanaugh decision MORE (R-Maine), a pivotal swing vote in his confirmation, said she believes he will not overturn Roe v. Wade based on private conversations she had with him. 

Democrats have continued to raise concern about the future of abortion in the U.S., with Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoCollins: No ‘political calculus’ in Kavanaugh decision Democrats seek to turn Kavanaugh anger into votes Republicans seize on Kavanaugh confirmation going into midterms MORE (D-Hawaii) on Sunday claiming future judicial and legislative decisions will nullify Roe v. Wade.