Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination’s potential effect on reproductive rights in the U.S.

With the upcoming November 3rd election fast approaching, the nomination process of confirming President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is well underway.

There is a clear polarization both in Congress and in the American public, who have expressed very different opinions regarding Judge Barret’s nomination. With the potential for the Supreme Court to examine a case related to Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights are a contentious topic with the appointment of Judge Barrett. Regardless of partisanship, here are some of the past rulings and opinions of Barrett that relate to reproductive rights.

Barrett has a history of supporting anti-choice groups that have expressed the belief that a human life begins at fertilization. Some of these anti-choice groups have also conveyed that aspects of IVF should be criminalized.

When asked at her senate hearing what her stance on this issue was, Barrett replied that “she cannot answer questions in the abstract.” This particular response is worrisome, as Judge Barrett’s confirmation could have adverse effects on abortion and reproductive rights in a conservative majority Supreme Court.  

The topic of “personhood” is another concept pushed by anti-choice groups that Barrett has previously supported. This concept of life beginning at conception could invoke legislation that would criminalize abortion and endanger fertility treatments such as IVF.

Additionally, a newspaper ad from January 2013 sponsored by the University Faculty for Life and Fund to Protect Human Life at the University of Notre Dame included Barrett's signature. This ad includes signatures from over 100 faculty members from the institution where Barrett served teaching since 2002.

The ad stated “We faculty and staff at the University of Notre Dame reaffirm our full support for our university's commitment to the right to life, we renew our call for the unborn to be protected in law and welcomed in life, and we voice our love and support for the mothers that bear them."

In confirming Barrett to the supreme court, this would mean that there would be a 6-3 majority in favor of conservative judges, leaving the possibility open for Roe v. Wade to be overturned and taking abortion rights away from women.

The country is on the cusp of crucial change, that can either negatively or positively affect women going forward. The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett holds a lot of uncertainty, and could mark fundamentally change reproductive rights.