Amy Coney Barrett Signed Ad Supporting End Of ‘Barbaric’ Roe v. Wade

Critics wonder if the judge can remain impartial on abortion questions at the Supreme Court, given the stance in the 2006 newspaper ad.
This is not the first public letter on reproductive rights signed by Amy Coney Barrett to come under scrutiny.
This is not the first public letter on reproductive rights signed by Amy Coney Barrett to come under scrutiny.
Carlos Barria / Reuters

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett signed her name on a newspaper advertisement in 2006 calling for the end of “abortion on demand.”

The two-page spread in the South Bend Tribune was sponsored by St. Joseph County Right to Life, an anti-abortion group that also goes by the name Right to Life Michiana.

“We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death,” a statement on the ad’s first page reads. “Please continue to pray to end abortion.” Barrett’s name is listed on the page, among hundreds of others including her husband’s.

The second full page of the Tribune ad, opposite the page of signatures, urges “an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade.”

Barrett, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, was nominated last week by President Donald Trump to fill the seat vacated by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett is a devout Catholic who is known to personally oppose abortion.

She is expected to face intense questioning about her ability to remain impartial on abortion rights, considering her apparent hostility to Roe v. Wade, the landmark court decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

The resurfacing of the letter, first reported by The Guardian, has ratcheted up reproductive rights supporters’ concerns that Barrett will work to overturn Roe v. Wade if seated. Her nomination is supported by many anti-abortion activists who hope that she will represent their interests on the court.

Jackie Appleman, the executive director of Right to Life Michiana, said the organization had no comment on Barrett nor her nomination.

A White House spokesperson said that during Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearing, the judge made clear she was committed to the rule of law, not her own personal beliefs.

This is not the first public letter on reproductive rights signed by Barrett to come under scrutiny.

In 2012, she signed a letter of protest to the Obama administration about the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The statement criticized the workaround offered to religious employers, saying it “changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on individual liberty and the rights of conscience which gave rise to the controversy.”

She also signed a letter to Catholic bishops in 2015 affirming the “value of human life from conception to natural death.”

Barrett declined to respond to questions about the ad during a meeting with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

CORRECTION: This article previously misquoted the language of the advertisement as calling for the “end of abortion on demand.” The text of the ad says the signers “oppose abortion on demand.”

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