Remember Two Nights Ago When Trump Said 'We Don't Know' What Amy Coney Barrett Thinks About Roe?
Among the many ridiculous lies Trump told in Tuesday night's debate was his insistence that "no one knows" how Amy Coney Barrett feels about Roe v. Wade. While it is fully possible that Trump himself does not know, or that he thought Joe Biden was asking how she prefers to cross a river, most of us do. She would not have been on the "approved judge list" he got from the Federalist Society in the first place if she supported abortion rights. Duh.
Trump may also recall that in 2016 he literally said that Roe will be overturned, claiming "[t]hat will happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court," and "I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination."
Abortion isn't the only reproductive right Barrett wants to take away from us — in vitro fertilization may also be on the chopping block. In 2006, Amy Coney Barrett and her husband were one of 100 signatories to a letter in a newspaper advertisement sponsored by St Joseph County Right to Life, which declared that life begins at "fertilization."
Via The Guardian:
The advertisement, which appeared in the South Bend Tribune, stated: "We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death. Please continue to pray to end abortion." [...]
In an interview with the Guardian, Jackie Appleman, the executive director of St Joseph County Right to Life, said that the organization's view on life beginning at fertilization – as opposed to the implantation of an embryo or a fetus being viable – did have implications for in vitro fertilization, which usually involves the creation of multiple embryos.
"Whether embryos are implanted in the woman and then selectively reduced or it's done in a petri dish and then discarded, you're still ending a new human life at that point and we do oppose that," Appleman said, adding that the discarding of embryos during the IVF process was equal to the act of having an abortion.
Asked whether doctors who perform abortion ought to be criminalized, she said: "We support the criminalization of the doctors who perform abortions. At this point we are not supportive of criminalizing the women. We would be supportive of criminalizing the discarding of frozen embryos or selective reduction through the IVF process."
The sad truth is that there are already enough anti-choice Supreme Court judges to overturn Roe. It is already highly likely that it will be overturned, whether Barrett is confirmed to the bench or not. Those of us who live in states that will protect our reproductive choices will be okay, and those who don't, well, we'll do our best to help in any way we can. We'll offer couches, we'll raise money for transportation, we'll learn and teach menstrual extraction. We'll do whatever we can do.
The thing we really have to worry about now is that "fetal personhood" will make it to the Supreme Court and that fetuses will be given "full constitutional rights." Because that means abortion will be made illegal in all states — and that's been a goal of the anti-choice movement for a while now. Not only that, but procedures like IVF would be on the table, as would more laws governing the behavior of pregnant people.
Given her extreme "life begins at fertilization" stance, Barrett likely could be a vote in favor of this.
The White House claims that Barrett can put her personal views on this aside, as she has done in death penalty cases:
The White House deputy press secretary, Judd Deere, said in a statement to the Guardian: "As Judge Barrett said on the day she was nominated, 'A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.'"
The White House also pointed out that in her role as an appellate court judge in the seventh circuit Barrett had declined in July to stay the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist convicted killer. Barrett's decision in that case apparently showed a willingness to contradict her personal stated support for all life from "fertilization to natural death".
Except let's be real — many people who oppose abortion are not always quite as het up about the death penalty, even if their religion expressly forbids it. Usually they're mostly concerned with supporting life from fertilization to natural birth. Oh, unless a person is brain dead and in a coma with no hope of waking up, in which case they should be hitched to a machine for the rest of their "natural" life. Oh! Or unless you are a person with a terminal illness who would like to go out on your own terms and with dignity. Death penalty though, that's usually okay.
Although, perhaps ironically, Barrett did once co-write an article about how Catholic judges should recuse themselves from death penalty cases if they cannot be objective.
We all know what Barrett's position on abortion is and what she would do if appointed to the Supreme Court. She believes that a fertilized egg is a person, and will rule accordingly. It is ridiculous to suggest otherwise.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse