WASHINGTON — Today, during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States, Barrett refused to answer if — in her legal opinion — Griswold v. Connecticut, which recognized the fundamental right to contraception for married couples, was properly decided.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
“During this rushed and illegitimate process, it is particularly alarming that Judge Barrett would be purposely evasive during a hearing meant to determine her suitability for our nation’s highest court. Today, she couldn’t even agree that a basic and intuitive legal decision — the foundation of our constitutional right to privacy about our reproductive decisions — was properly decided. It’s clear Amy Coney Barrett’s views are dangerously out of touch with most Americans’ and that she can’t be trusted to protect even basic health care like birth control. The Senate must reject this nomination and wait to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat until after the inauguration.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut marked the beginning of an era of change for sexual and reproductive rights in the United States. Ruling that the states had no right to ban contraception for married couples, the landmark decision established — for the first time — a constitutional right to privacy regarding reproductive decisions that paved the way for the legalization of birth control for unmarried couples, and ultimately, Roe v. Wade and safe and legal abortion.
While she refused to take a stance on Griswold today, Barrett has openly suggested that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. She is an active and vocal threat to reproductive health and rights and should not be confirmed to a seat on our nation’s highest court. She has also been critical of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that all health plans include no copay birth control coverage, signing a letter that misleadingly referred to contraception coverage as including “abortion-inducing drugs.” Nearly nine in 10 women will use birth control in their lifetimes and this ACA provision has ensured birth control coverage with no out-of-pocket costs for more than 60 million people. If confirmed, Barrett would hear arguments in a case that will decide the future of the ACA in just three weeks.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.