Planned Parenthood Condemns Amy Coney Barrett Nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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Planned Parenthood Condemns Amy Coney Barrett Nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

“The idea that Amy Coney Barrett would be a fair and impartial judge on issues of reproductive health is ludicrous.”

WASHINGTON - On Monday night, the Senate took a procedural step to advance the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to the floor of the U.S. Senate. A Senate Floor vote could come as soon as Tuesday afternoon. Planned Parenthood Federation of America submitted a formal letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing Barrett’s nomination.

Barrett has held critical views of the Roe v. Wade decision due to her opposition to abortion and  stated that judges should not follow the law or the Constitution if it conflicts with their personal religious beliefs. It is also been reported that she believes Roe “creat(ed) through judicial fiat a framework of abortion on demand” that “ignited a national controversy.”

Statement from Dana Singiser, Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy, Planned Parenthood Action Fund: 

The idea that Amy Coney Barrett would be a fair and impartial judge on issues of reproductive health is ludicrous. We call on every United States senator to uphold a fundamental standard: If you oppose Roe v. Wade and would empower employers to deny women access to birth control, you should not sit on the bench. ​Planned Parenthood urges senators to reject the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Seventh Circuit.

“Individual rights and freedoms are at the heart of who we are as a country, including the long-established right to access safe and legal abortion. A judicial nominee who does not believe in that freedom is dangerous to the health care of people across this country. As a leading healthcare provider, we’ve see firsthand what it means for people who are forced to cross state lines, travel hundreds of miles, or wait for weeks to get an abortion — if they can at all — due to medically unnecessary restrictions intended to block access to health care. People in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana deserve a judge who will consider their individual rights and freedoms ​and follow precedent.

Coney Barrett has a very active and vocal opposition to reproductive rights

  • Amy Coney Barrett was a member of the Notre Dame’s Faculty for Life Group from 2010 to 2016.   This is a group describes itself as “organized to promote research, dialogue, and publication by faculty, administration, and staff who respect the sacred value of human life from its inception to natural death in the spirit embodied in Evangelium Vitae and Caritas in Veritate and are committed to the legal and societal recognition of the value of all human life.”
  • Even worse, Barrett has held critical views of the Roe v. Wade decision due to her opposition to abortion and  stating that judges should not follow the law or the Constitution if it conflicts with their personal religious beliefs. It is also been reported that she believes Roe “creat(ed) through judicial fiat a framework of abortion on demand” that “ignited a national controversy.”
  • Barrett has criticized the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee that employers provide contraceptive coverage as part of their health insurance plans. She signed a letter authored by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that objected to the Obama administration’s accommodation for religiously affiliated employers. The letter argued that the Obama administration was “morally obtuse” for failing to go far enough to accommodate religious liberty.

Coney Barrett has Repeatedly Stated She Does Not Value Following Legal Precedent

  • Barrett has asserted on numerous occasions that judges should not follow the law or the Constitution if it conflicts with their personal religious beliefs.
  • For example, in an article entitled “Catholic Judges in Capital Cases,” Barrett strongly criticized Justice William Brennan’s statement regarding his faith as related to upholding the law. Brennan stated that he took an oath to uphold the law and that “there isn’t obligation of our faith superior to that (oath),” to which Barrett replied, “we do not defend this position as the proper response for a Catholic judge to take with respect to abortion or the death penalty.” Barrett also cited Planned Parenthood v. Casey as an example of a decision where the court failed to overturn an “erroneous decision” (i.e. Roe). 

Coney Barrett Lacks the Necessary Legal Experience

  • Barrett has little actual legal experience that would qualify her to be a judge for this role. Based on her disclosure to the Senate Judiciary Committee, she has very limited litigation experience. She has never been first chair for a trial before, and she has never argued an appeal or even served as counsel of record on an appellate case. The only legal experience Barrett does have is highly political, in which she served as counsel for George W. Bush during Bush v. Gore, which many in the legal community believe was a problematic case.
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Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is many things to many people. We are a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital health care services, sex education, and sexual health information to millions of women, men, and young people.

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