It’s clear that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has strong convictions about religious freedom and the value of every human life from conception to natural death.
Along with pro-life statements and signatures on petitions in support of life, Barrett also added her name to a 2012 letter that criticized the Obama administration for trying to force religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraception, including types that may cause abortions, in their employee health plans, SCOTUS Blog reports.
Barrett is President Donald Trump’s choice to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an idol of abortion activists who died in September. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Barrett would solidify a strong 6-3 conservative majority on the high court. Her Senate confirmation hearing began Monday.
Barrett’s questionnaire to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee includes information about the April 2012 letter that she signed while working as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.
According to the blog:
Religious employers objected to the mandate, on the ground that providing their female employees with health insurance that covered [all FDA-approved] types of contraceptives would effectively make them complicit in abortion. In an effort to address these concerns, the Obama administration offered an accommodation for religious institutions, allowing them to opt out by filling out a form. The letter condemned the accommodation as “no compromise,” and it noted that the original opposition to the mandate had arisen because the mandate would require religious employers to “provide insurance that covered services” – such as “abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception” that they “regard as gravely immoral and unjust.”
The mandate is a matter pro-life and religious employers have been battling for years. In July, the Supreme Court upheld a Trump administration rule that protects the Little Sisters of the Poor from being force to pay for abortion-causing drugs under their health insurance plan.
However, lawsuits involving the mandate and the whole Affordable Care Act are still working their way through the courts. If confirmed, Barrett could be a deciding vote on any of these cases that reach the Supreme Court.
Pro-life advocates hope and abortion activists fear that Barrett could lead to the undoing of Roe v. Wade and help restore protections for unborn babies.
Barrett is a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and a former clerk of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Like Scalia, she has been described as an “originalist” judge. Though her judicial rulings on abortion are few, she did rule in support of two Indiana pro-life laws during her time on the Seventh Circuit.
She signed a letter in 2006 that described abortion as “barbaric” and called for an end to Roe v. Wade. She also was a member of the Notre Dame University Faculty for Life Group from 2010 to 2016, and she received an award from the Thomas More Society, a pro-life Catholic legal group, in 2018.
Additionally, she has made several statements about the value of babies in the womb. According to Law and Crime, Barrett signed a public letter in 2015 that emphasized “the value of human life from conception to natural death.” She also said she believes that life begins at conception.
Republicans narrowly control the U.S. Senate, and pro-life leaders have strong hopes that they will confirm Barrett. However, Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said his party will not “supply quorum” for votes in the Senate as a way to try and block her confirmation.