The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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National Abortion Federation (NAF) on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Statement of The Very Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, President and CEO


Donald Trump's hasty nomination of a third Supreme Court justice threatens our basic rights and freedoms, including abortion access. As we grapple with a global pandemic and over 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, our senators should focus on providing relief to struggling families, not fast-tracking another Trump nominee.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly vowed to put forth nominees who would overturn Roe v. Wade, and Judge Amy Coney Barrett has passed this litmus test. Her extremist bona fides include writing that abortion is "always immoral" and voting twice, in her three short years as a federal appellate judge, in favor of abortion restrictions, both times in dissent.

Judge Barrett has the approval of ultraconservative and anti-abortion groups, and her views are out of step with the majority of Americans, who overwhelmingly support access to safe, legal abortion care. Seventy-seven percent of people in this country believe the Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade. We need a Supreme Court justice who will honor precedent, including Roe v. Wade, and that is not Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

This nomination comes as we continue to see relentless attacks on abortion access in the states and challenges to a number of abortion restrictions and outright bans making their way through the courts. We know that provoking these challenges is part of the coordinated anti-abortion strategy: enacting cruel and extreme state laws with the explicit purpose of providing the Supreme Court with a case that ultraconservative justices can use to overturn Roe.

And there's more at risk with this nomination than just Roe. The Supreme Court is the final defense against dangerous and unconstitutional attacks on all basic rights and precious freedoms that affect the most important parts of our lives, including our access to health care, racial equity, voting rights, protections for immigrants and workers, and marriage equality.

With so much at stake, this confirmation process should not be rushed, and the people should have a say in who fills this pivotal, lifetime seat. The next justice could dramatically shift the balance of our nation's highest court, and we need a nominee dedicated to equal justice for all. The Senate should wait to replace Justice Ginsburg until after the people have voted and the next president has been inaugurated.

The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers.Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women's health centers, physicians' offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia.