Senator Lindsey Graham just asked Amy Coney Barrett about the right to abortion.
For both supporters and detractors of Barrett, it is clear that his confirmation would cement a conservative majority in the Supreme Court to restrict access to abortion.
Even if the court did not overturn Roe v. Wade, there are cases circulating in courts nationwide that would undermine an individual̵
In 2006, Barrett added his name to a list of “citizens of Michiana” who signed an “ad for the right to life,” sponsored by an anti-abortion group, which appeared in the South Bend Tribune. The Saint Joseph County Right to Life announcement calls for “an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore the laws that protect the lives of unborn children.”
Ten years later, Barrett told an audience at the University of Jacksonville that he believed that while Roe would not be overturned, access to abortion could be restricted.
“I don’t think the main case – the core of Roe arguing that, you know, women have the right to abortion – I don’t think that would change,” Barrett said. “But I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions, you know, how many restrictions can be imposed on clinics – I think it would change. “
What comes next: Supporters of the right to abortion are looking at more than 15 cases spreading in lower courts that are likely to come to the Supreme Court in the coming terms. They include issues such as burial requirements for fetal tissue, hospitalization rules and parental notification, as well as a ban on abortion as early as six, eight, or ten weeks into pregnancy.
How far Barrett would go is a question that shocks the country as progressives complain that Trump chose to replace the late liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a 48-year-old conservative lawyer who is the ideological opposite of the feminist icon, especially when it comes to reproductive health.
Barrett’s record indicates she believes the Roe v. Wade decision is an act of “judicial imperialism,” Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri said at a judicial committee meeting on Thursday. “I think Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s record confirms that.”
On the bench, Barrett, a deep thinker and meticulous jurist who was well aware long before his appointment that he was on Trump’s shortlist, left a careful trace. That trace reveals open votes to more restrictive laws and expanding a state’s ability to regulate abortion, as well as a judicial philosophy aligned with that of its mentor, the late Judge Antonin Scalia, who believed Roe v. Wade had been wrongly decided.