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Reading: Kamala Harris grilling prompts doubtful claim from Amy Coney Barrett

From Kamala Harris grilling prompts doubtful claim from Amy Coney Barrett

> Harris also tackled Barrett’s views on abortion, making a carefully laid-out case that despite Barrett’s equivocation and insistence that she is unbiased on the issue of reproductive rights, she is far from it.

Barrett was a member of a “right to life” organization that in 2016 promoted a crisis pregnancy center in South Bend, Indiana, that has been criticized for misleading and misdirecting vulnerable women seeking abortions. She has signed off on a newspaper ad calling Roe v Wade – the landmark 1973 ruling protecting the right to choose – “barbaric”. A Notre Dame Magazine article from 2013 describes a lecture series during which Barrett “spoke … to her own conviction that life begins at conception”.

As a federal judge, she has considered three laws restricting abortion and expressed misgivings about rulings that had struck down the laws. She joined the dissent against a decision to strike down an Indiana abortion rule – signed into law by Mike Pence when the vice-president was Indiana’s governor – that mandated the fetal remains be buried or cremated.

“I would suggest that we not pretend that we don’t know how this nominee views a women’s right to choose or make her own decisions,” Harris said. The senator noted that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Barrett has cited as her model in declining to give any hints on how she would vote on future cases, was, unlike Barrett, much more forthcoming with her own personal views on abortion.

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