Amy Coney Barrett Believes Life Begins at Conception. And So Does Every Scientific Textbook in the World.

By Katie Franklin

Amy Coney Barrett believes life begins at conception.

That is not a controversial notion. Virtually every scientific textbook in the world reflects this biological fact.

Yet last week, after the media went to work digging up “dirt” on Barrett, they discovered her noncontroversial viewpoint and decided to sound the alarms.

“Revealed: Amy Coney Barrett supported group that said life begins at fertilization,” reported The Guardian, a publication that openly supports abortion.

The story went on to describe how Barrett and her husband signed onto a newspaper ad created by Saint Joseph County Right to Life in 2006. The group, an affiliate of Indiana Right to Life which is now called Right to Life Michiana, had generated the ad as a pro-life educational piece surrounding the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion-on-demand.

The ad appeared in the South Bend Tribune, stating: “We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death. Please continue to pray to end abortion.”

The story isn’t so much a revelation as it is a confirmation of what we already knew: Barrett is Catholic and—unlike several pro-choice Catholic politicians—she takes her faith seriously. She was a member of the Notre Dame Faculty for Life group, and in 2013, she delivered a presentation around the 40th anniversary of Roe, sharing her legal and historical analysis of the decision, as well as “her own conviction that life begins at conception.” During her time as a judge for the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, she has voted favorably for life.

Yet the media is still lingering on where she stands on the question of when life begins.

“Does Amy Coney Barrett Believe Life Begins at Fertilization?” asked Vogue (perhaps the last place anyone should be seeking political news, aside from Buzzfeed.)

But shouldn’t everyone? It’s not so much a “belief” as it is a scientifically proven fact.

The controversy, of course, revolves around Roe v. Wade and how Barrett would rule should an abortion case come before the Supreme Court.

Barrett is an avowed originalist. She believes a judge is bound by the law and the original meaning of the Constitution rather than her personal biases.

But what is “biased” about the understanding that life begins at conception? It is a verifiable fact.

What is biased, however, is the unscientific belief that an unborn baby is a human life….well….whenever a woman wants it to be.

If human life doesn’t begin at conception, where would The Guardian or Vogue say it begins?

A couple centuries ago, people believed it began at “quickening,” the moment a mother first feels her unborn child move—something that is inconsistent from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Now, for nearly half a century, the Supreme Court has operated under the equally inconsistent and inadequate standard that says human life may be protected when it is considered “viable.”

Yet over the years, viability has changed. Tiny, premature babies are surviving delivery earlier and earlier, before the 24-week mark that has typically been used to determine “viability.” The reality is that “viability” changes depending on what time period we are in and what country we live in—a premature baby in the first world has better access to proper medical care than one in the third world. But don’t both lives have value?

The viability standard has become increasingly unworkable and archaic, yet it continues to determine public policy.

Abortion advocates have no better scientific standard to offer, so instead they ridicule the truth.

Local abortion advocates told The Guardian that Right to Life Michiana is an “extreme” group because of its adherence to basic science and morality, and The Guardian ran with that label in its subheading.

The day before her nomination, Bill Maher disparaged Barrett as a “f—ing nut” because of her Catholic faith. But when she is shown to understand a rather elementary scientific concept, she is also written off as a zealot.

As disturbing as these lies and inconsistencies clearly are, pro-lifers should take heart. Barrett is not married to a fantasy about the beginnings of human life, meaning she is already better qualified for the Supreme Court than the many men who decided Roe and the subsequent justices who preserved it.

 

 

 

 

Ginsburg’s Legacy and the Future of Roe v. Wade

By Katie Franklin

The loss of a sitting Supreme Court Justice is great, and in the political climate we are currently living, that loss is all the greater.

Many are remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a “champion of gender equality” and a “leading litigator for women’s rights,” all in line with the “Notorious RBG” canonization people have bestowed on her for years.

But unfortunately, her legacy also includes the defense of one of the most dehumanizing practices women and children have ever suffered in United States history.

That practice is, of course, abortion.

In her 27 years on the Court, Ginsburg went so far as to defend partial-birth abortion twice, once in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) and again in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007). Years later in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2015) and June Medical Services LLC v. Russo (2020), she sided with the abortion industry, knocking down Texas and Louisiana laws which aimed to hold abortionists accountable to basic health and safety standards.

While many commentators and news outlets are lauding her for her fight against pregnancy discrimination, in 2018, Ginsburg sided against America’s pregnancy help centers—life-affirming outposts which aim to help women through the many hurdles of an unexpected pregnancy and new motherhood (NIFLA v. Becerra).

And yet—despite her consistent defense and advocacy for legal abortion, Ginsburg held a nuanced opinion on Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion all across the U.S. in 1973.

That decision, she argued, was far too sweeping.

By knocking down abortion restrictions in all 50 states, legalizing the practice through all nine months of pregnancy, and orienting the decision around the practice of abortion rather than equality, the Court, she said, had created a “target” for pro-lifers.

“That was my concern, that the court had given opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly,” she told a crowd of students at the University of Chicago Law School in 2013. “… My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change.”

Indeed, since it was decided in 1973, Roe has remained one of the most controversial decisions in Supreme Court history.

In the following decades, more than 60 million abortions have occurred in the U.S. Yet many states have made advances in protecting unborn babies, challenging Roe and forcing the Supreme Court to consider limits to the culture of “abortion-on-demand.”

Abortionists like Philadelphia’s Kermit Gosnell and Indiana’s Ulrich Klopfer have revealed the grisly reality of abortion. Thousands, if not millions of women, have come to regret their abortions. And abortion survivors themselves are speaking out.

Additionally, more than 2,750 pregnancy help centers have risen up to meet the needs of women, men, and children all across the country, posing a loving alternative to the heartbreak of abortion.

Ginsburg was a studied, hard-working, and accomplished woman, and her colleagues—regardless of their Constitutional interpretation—clearly respected her as a person and legal mind.

As Planned Parenthood and NARAL dig in their heels and prepare to smear the yet-unnamed Supreme Court nominee, we must remember the truth: Roe v. Wade was an extreme decision that ushered in the deaths of millions of innocent babies. And not even Ruth Bader Ginsburg—an avowed defender of legal abortion—believed it was good law.