Barrett Would Roll Back The Clock On Reproductive Rights

In today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Amy Coney Barrett refused to give Senator Feinstein a straight answer when pressed on whether she’ll vote to overturn a woman’s right to choose. But we already know that Barrett would roll back the clock on reproductive rights because she has made clear she opposes reproductive choice and has expressed hostility towards Roe v. Wade.

Senator Feinstein: “On something that is really a major cause with major effect on over half of the population of this country, who are women … it’s distressing not to get a straight answer.”

As a 7th Circuit judge, Barrett has made clear that she opposes reproductive choice.

CNN: “Barrett’s supporters note that she voted with the majority to uphold Chicago’s so-called ‘bubble zone’ ordinance, which bars opponents of abortion from approaching someone within 8 feet in the vicinity of a clinic if the purpose is to engage in protest. While some may say that the opinion, rooted in the First Amendment, protected those seeking abortions, others note that the court made clear it was bound to apply a Supreme Court case that was ‘materially identical’ to the case at hand. ‘In fact, the opinion suggests that if she were presented with the same issue as a Supreme Court justice, she would rule the other way,’ Krasnoff added.”

Associated Press: “In July, the Supreme Court threw out the panel’s ruling and ordered a new look at the case.  In 2018, a three-judge panel ruled that Indiana laws requiring that funerals be held for fetal remains after an abortion or miscarriage and banning abortions because of the sex, race or developmental disability of a fetus were unconstitutional.  Barrett was among four judges who wanted the full court to weigh in and suggested that the laws, signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence, might be constitutional.”

SCOTUSBlog: “In 2019, Barrett indicated that she wanted the full 7th Circuit to hear a challenge to an Indiana law requiring young women to notify their parents before obtaining an abortion after a three-judge panel ruled that the law was unconstitutional. She joined a dissent from the denial of rehearing by Judge Michael Kanne, who wrote that “‘[p]reventing a state statute from taking effect is a judicial act of extraordinary gravity in our federal structure.’”

Barrett has repeatedly expressed hostility to Roe v. Wade and signed a letter calling it “barbaric.”

HuffPost: “Seventeen women’s rights groups wrote to the Judiciary Committee urging them to oppose Barrett for her record of having ‘expressly opposed reproductive and women’s rights.’ They cited a 2003 article by Barrett in which she refers to Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision ensuring women’s access to abortion, as an ‘erroneous decision.’ Their letter also notes that Barrett signed a public ‘statement of protest’ against the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, referring to the policy as an ‘assault on religious liberty.’”

South Bend Tribune: “While a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was among hundreds who signed an anti-abortion letter that accompanied a January 2006 ad in the South Bend Tribune calling for ‘an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade.’ The two-page ad was placed in the Tribune by St. Joseph County Right to Life, as the organization has done for years, featuring names of local residents who oppose abortion.”

CNN: “A Notre Dame Magazine article from 2013 detailed a ‘Professors for Lunch’ lecture series that featured a talk by Barrett. The article said she ‘spoke both to her own conviction that life begins at conception’ and to the ‘ ‘high price of pregnancy’ and ‘burdens of parenthood’ that especially confront women.’”

Time: “Coney Barrett has publicly expressed her willingness to overturn precedent, which some critics believe would extend to Roe v. Wade … And, in a 2015 article, she added that only ‘superprecedents,’ the Court’s biggest landmark cases, should be exempt from being overturned. She argued in the article’s footnotes that scholars do not put Roe on the superprecedent list.”

State anti-abortion activists are already planning for anti-abortion legislation if Barrett is confirmed.

WOSU: “Anti-abortion activists in Ohio are cheering the nomination of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. They plan to celebrate with a bill that would ban all abortions in Ohio if the landmark ‘Roe v. Wade’ decision is overturned. ‘This is what we’ve been waiting for,’ says Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis. ‘This is our moment and it’s our time.’  Gonidakis said he expects Barrett to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which is controlled by Republicans. Confirmation hearings start on October 12.”