Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has come under fire for her anti-abortion views. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/Getty Images)

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, has been meeting with senators ahead of her confirmation hearings later this month. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/Getty Images)

'Everything Is at Stake': Reproductive Rights Advocates Say Barrett Signing 'Extremist' Anti-Choice Ad Confirms Worst Fears

"Trump said he's only nominating justices who'll end Roe and criminalize abortion," says NARAL Pro-Choice America's president Ilyse Hogue. "We take him at his word." 

Brett Wilkins

Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, publicly supported a Christian fundamentalist organization espousing extreme anti-abortion views, The Guardian revealed Thursday. 

In 2006, when Barrett was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, she joined hundreds of Indiana and Michigan conservatives in signing a full-page newspaper ad sponsored by St. Joseph County Right to Life and published in the South Bend Tribune expressing strong opposition to the fundamental reproductive rights affirmed by the Supreme Court more than 47 years ago.

"We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death," the letter states. "Please continue to pray to end abortion." 

On a separate page in the same paper, the anti-choice group wrote that "it's time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore laws that protect the lives of unborn children."

Although polls show that most Americans want to keep abortion legal—with restrictions—conservative Christians, who believe life begins in the womb, overwhelmingly oppose the right to choose. 

However, the beliefs espoused by St. Joseph County Right to Life are considered extreme even by the standards of the so-called pro-life movement. The group believes that life begins at fertilization, not at the point of embryonic implantation or fetal viability. This means that the group inherently opposes in vitro fertilization.

"Whether embryos are implanted in the woman and then selectively reduced or it's done in a petri dish and then discarded, you're still ending a new human life at that point and we do oppose that," Jackie Appleman, the group's executive director, told The Guardian

Furthermore, Appleman said that "we support the criminalization of the doctors who perform abortions," although, "at this point we are not supportive of criminalizing the women."

"We would be supportive of criminalizing the discarding of frozen embryos or selective reduction through the IVF process," she added.

The letter Barrett signed does not mention criminalizing IVF or abortion doctors, and Ramesh Ponnuru noted in the right-wing National Review that she only signed the statement opposing on-demand abortion, not the page calling Roe v. Wade "barbaric."

Still, abortion advocates continue to express concern about what the addition of Barrett to an already conservative court will mean for reproductive rights.

"Trump said he's only nominating justices who'll end Roe and criminalize abortion. We take him at his word," tweeted NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue. "This nominee fits the bill. Everything is at stake."

Barrett has also come under fire for her other views on women, most notably for her membership in People of Praise, a conservative Catholic group which some former members have said expects females—who are excluded from some leadership roles—to be "absolutely obedient" to their husbands and other men. 

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Indignation as Michigan Judge Drops Flint Water Charges Against GOP Ex-Gov Snyder

"The people of Flint deserve justice—and it's unacceptable that the people responsible for Flint's water crisis aren't being held accountable," said Food & Water Watch in response to the development.

Brett Wilkins ·

70+ Lawmakers Tell Biden 'You Can and You Must' Provide Rail Workers Paid Sick Leave

"As president, you and your administration have a number of tools at your disposal to make sure rail workers are guaranteed paid sick leave," wrote the lawmakers.

Julia Conley ·

COP15 Biodiversity Summit Highlights 'Deadly' US Attitude Toward the World

"While others play by the rules, the most powerful nation refuses," writes George Monbiot. "If this country were a person, we'd call it a psychopath. As it is not a person, we should call it what it is: a rogue state."

Jessica Corbett ·

Final House Covid Panel Report Exposes 'Reckless' Trump Pandemic Response

The publication accuses top Trump officials of "failed stewardship" and a "persistent pattern of political interference" that undermined the nation's response to a pandemic that has killed more than a million people in the United States.

Brett Wilkins ·

As NYT Staffers Strike, Sanders Calls for 'New Ways to Empower' Workers Battling Industry Giants

"We need to rebuild and protect a diverse and truly independent press so that real journalists and media workers can do the critical jobs that they love, and that a functioning democracy requires," said the Vermont progressive.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo