Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett signed a letter in 2006 that included a call for the end of Roe v. Wade, denouncing the seminal court decision that provided a legal right to abortion as “barbaric.”
The letter came in the form of an advertisement from the antiabortion group St. Joseph County Right to Life, which was based in South Bend, Indiana.
“The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion for any reason,” the ad read. “It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore laws that protect the lives of unborn children.”
At the time of the ad, Barrett worked as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed in the letter reflect the thinking of a vast majority of conservatives and many Catholics. But they present potential political problems for Barrett now that she is President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
Trump, on Tuesday night, tried to downplay the notion that Barrett’s confirmation could result in the overturning of Roe, saying that there was no way to know that abortion rights could be affected by her taking the seat of the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The letter from St. Joseph County Right to Life was first reported by The Guardian, which reported that the group also believes that “discarding of unused or frozen embryos created in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process ought to be criminalized.”
Coming to Barrett’s defense, Ramesh Pannuru, a writer for the National Review, argued that she only signed on to one-half of the letter—the part that called for ending “abortion on demand”—and not the adjoining page, which called Roe “barbaric.” Both sides were run in the paper by St. Joseph County Right to Life.