Amy Coney Barrett on Abortion and Birth Control—The “Aunt Amy”* of Christian Fascism



Barrett—who believes all abortion is immoral and “barbaric”—refused to say in the Senate confirmation hearings whether she would overturn the 1972 Roe v. Wade decision (which legalized abortion). But she made clear she was open to doing that. Barrett has written that there are only a handful of Court decisions that she conveniently terms “super-precedents”—meaning that, in her view, they cannot and should not be overturned. All other decisions are subject to being overturned if the sitting Court believes they were “wrongly decided.”

Barrett said that Roe v. Wade is still “controversial”—among and largely due to the work of Christian fascists like her!—and therefore “Roe doesn’t fall into that category” (of “super-precedents”).

As we’ve pointed out before, Barrett is “a polished, appealing, and intelligent female representative of a religious outlook and political program that aims to subjugate women, as well as LGBTQ people.” A key to this from their standpoint is to overturn Roe v. Wade. And without the right to abortion, women can be forced to bear children against their will—a form of female enslavement—and one of the prime anchors and spearpoints of the Christian fascist program.

Barrett also refused to say whether the 1965 Griswold case (which legalized birth control, and was the legal precedent for Roe v. Wade) was properly decided or not, because it isn’t currently controversial, and therefore is “very unlikely” to be overturned. But it is also not (to Barrett) a “super-precedent.” And once the Christian fascists get rid of abortion rights, they will move on to making birth control (and perhaps divorce as well) as “controversial” as abortion is now.

Voting Rights

Barrett defended an opinion she wrote as a federal judge which relied on 18th and 19th century laws that said so-called “civic rights”—like voting and serving on juries—should only be granted to “virtuous citizens.” Barrett failed to mention that those laws were mainly used to disenfranchise and demean Black, Latinx, Chinese, and Jewish people, women and the disabled. And it’s scary to think who Amy Coney Barrett considers not a “virtuous citizen.” LGBTQ people? Women who have had abortions? People who divorce or use birth control? All of these things are condemned as immoral by the extremist religious group that Barrett belongs to. This is going down the road to real Handmaid’s Tale territory.

Following in the Path of Scalia

Barrett confirmed that she told Senator Chris Coons she could recall no significant disagreements with her mentor Justice Antonin Scalia’s legal opinions. Coons correctly said that if Barrett is confirmed, “constitutional commitments around liberty, privacy and equality under the law could, in fact, be rolled back to 19th or even 18th century understandings in a way unrecognizable to most Americans.”

Scalia was one of the most reactionary Supreme Court justices in modern times. Through his court rulings and opinions, Scalia tried to tear down or hold back almost every positive change of the last few decades and supported new steps towards fascism. Obamacare... legalizing gay sex and gay marriage... limiting prayer in school... measures that took small steps to overcome the impacts of racism and discrimination against Black people... allowing women to be admitted to Virginia Military Institute... granting alleged “terrorists” who had been kidnapped from their homelands and were being held indefinitely at Guantánamo Bay the right to seek release through federal courts... Roe v. Wade. Scalia opposed it all, and Barrett apparently agrees with him.

Barrett’s confirmation will mean that most or all of these positions have majority support on the Supreme Court.


* This refers to the character Aunt Lydia in the novel and TV series The Handmaid’s Tale. She is a believer in the mission of Gilead, a Christian fascist society in which biblical law and patriarchal values—as updated and interpreted by the new rulers—are increasingly imposed. Aunt Lydia is the brutal overseer of the handmaids, women who are assigned the role of bearing children. [back]



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