Abortion activists are trying to vilify U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett by claiming she both wants to force women to have children by ending Roe v. Wade and prevent women from having children by banning in vitro fertilization.
On NPR recently, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a pro-abortion Democrat from Illinois, criticized Barrett based on unfounded claims that she may oppose IVF. Slate also ran a piece suggesting the federal judge could end the popular infertility procedure, writing, “Banning abortion is only the beginning for Barrett.”
But this week, National Review editor Ramesh Ponnuru said their claims about Barrett and IVF are a “non-issue.”
“The idea seems to be that legislatures could pass stringent regulations, even prohibitions, on IVF, and Justice Barrett (and four other justices who have never uttered a peep about the issue) would let them,” he wrote.
Barrett is a pro-life Catholic law professor, judge and mother of seven children, but there is no evidence that she has ever expressed any opposition to the infertility procedure. The accusations are based on Barrett’s and her husband’s signatures on a 2006 newspaper ad sponsored by Right to Life of Saint Joseph County in Indiana.
The ad supported the right to life for unborn babies and opposed Roe v. Wade. It did not mention IVF. However, the pro-life group that sponsored it is affiliated with another pro-life organization that believes it is wrong to throw away or destroy human embryos created for IVF. It is this flimsy connection that abortion activists are using to attack Barrett.
Ponnuru said the abortion activists’ claims are not based in reality.
“The Supreme Court has never taken a case raising the question, for the simple reason that legislatures have not been passing laws against IVF,” he wrote. “The opposition raises this issue so much because IVF is broadly popular, which is also the reason that it doesn’t need any protection from the Supreme Court in the first place.”
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 confirmation appears likely, and the Senate is scheduled to vote Monday. However, abortion activists and their allies in the Democratic Party are trying desperately to stop it.
While the IVF claims are baseless, the abortion industry does have reason to fear that Barrett could help restore protections for unborn babies.
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.
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.