U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett allowed her name to appear in a newspaper pro-life insert in 2006 that said she and others oppose “abortion on demand,” according to a new report that may be the most revealing indicator yet of her personal views on abortion.
The names of Barrett and other local citizens appeared in the newspaper ad under the statement, “We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and support the right to life from fertilization to natural death,” according to a report from National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru.
The insert was sponsored by St. Joseph County Right to Life. “Michiana” is a term used to describe the region around South Bend that includes Michigan and Indiana.
“Barrett’s signature is the most direct confirmation we have received that she believes there should be limits on abortion, but it is not a surprise: We already knew that she had been part of Notre Dame’s ‘Faculty for Life,’ and that she is a Catholic who seeks to adhere to Church teaching,” Ponnuru wrote.
Although the insert may reveal her personal feelings on abortion, it does not mean she is an automatic vote to overturn Roe v. Wade or even to uphold abortion restrictions if she is confirmed.
During Chief Justice John Roberts’ confirmation in 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported that his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, previously was affiliated with a pro-life organization, Feminists for Life of America, and had donated at least $1,000 to it. Roberts has sided with pro-lifers in several cases, although this year he voted with the court’s liberal bloc against a Louisiana pro-life law, saying he was siding with recent precedent.
“Barrett’s opponents are sure to point to the statement as evidence that she would overrule Roe v. Wade and related cases and should therefore be denied confirmation,” Ponnuru wrote. “Presumably, she will take the same tack as most Supreme Court nominees and refuse to say how she would rule in matters that may come before her if she is confirmed.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.