Less than ten days before the 2020 Presidential election, and after more than 60 million Americans had already early voted, leadership in the U.S. Senate - which opposes sexual and reproductive health - scheduled a vote on the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to serve a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Due to her extreme judicial philosophy and unorthodox views on legal precedent - including her unwillingness to commit to saying that Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut are settled law - Planned Parenthood Action Fund opposed Barrett’s nomination. Barrett is an active and vocal threat to reproductive health and rights and has suggested that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be revisited. She has been openly critical of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the 2012 and 2015 Supreme Court decisions that upheld the law. During her short time serving in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Barrett voted twice to rehear cases involving abortion restrictions that were previously determined to be unconstitutional by other federal judges.
Justice Barrett’s alarming history of opposing reproductive rights and access to health care, including the ACA, demonstrated that her confirmation posed a grave threat to our most basic and fundamental rights and freedoms. Barrett’s confirmation puts our civil rights, access to health care, freedom to marry, legal protections from discrimination, and reproductive health and rights at risk. As an associate justice on the Supreme Court, Barrett may have the opportunity to cast the deciding vote in one or more of the several cases that are working their way through the judicial system and could be heard any time by the Supreme Court — cases that may uphold medically unnecessary laws, shutter abortion providers, shame people for their decision to have an abortion, and further restrict abortion access in many parts of the country.