Senator Tammy Duckworth has written an open letter in response to reports that Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett has “publicly supported an organization that believes in vitro fertilization should be criminalized.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13.1-percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have impaired fecundity and 12.7-percent of those women have used infertility services in an attempt to grow their families.
In the two-page letter, Duckworth issued to her colleagues on October 2 where she talked about her own experience with IVF and the subsequent conception of her 2-year-old daughter, Maile. “I write to each of you today, and especially to my Republican colleagues who cooed and cuddled Maile when she first visited the Capitol, in the hope that you will fully consider the very real impact your vote on this unprecedented nomination could have on those Americans hoping to start families of their own,” she began her letter.
Senator Tammy Duckworth Writes Open Letter About IVF
“I urge you to fully consider the message a vote in favor of a Supreme Court nominee who appears to believe that my daughters shouldn’t even exist sends not only to me as a mother and as your colleague, but to parents-to-be around this country struggling with infertility and whose dreams may only be achieved through IVF or other technologies.”
According to the Guardian, Amy Coney Barrett allegedly “publicly supported an organization in 2006 that “said the discarding of unused or frozen embryos created in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process ought to be criminalized.” This view the anti-abortion group possesses is reportedly “considered to be extreme even within the anti-abortion movement,” the Chicago Tribune also reported.
As BuzzFeed revealed, Right to Life Michiana also took out an ad in the South Bend Tribune, which stated, “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.”
As Duckworth pointed out, it was an ad that Barrett and her husband both signed in support. One of the organizers of the group, John Zabinski, told the Tribune, “When you do IVF, you create a life, but how many lives does it take? When you get this life, what happens to the other babies?”
As Duckworth continued in her letter, her IVF journey is not unique. “While my two beautiful little girls are unique, my story of struggling with fertility is not. Assisted reproductive technology (ART), including IVF treatment, has enabled thousands of Americans to safely start families in red and blue states alike.”
“I fear that, if confirmed to the nation’s highest court, Judge Barrett would be unable to resist the temptation of overturning decades of judicial precedent in an effort to force every American family to adhere to her individual moral code. I fear that if a case involving ART were to be brought before the bench, families like mine would not be able to trust that her opinions would be based on facts, laws, and the Constitution rather than swayed by her personal beliefs.”
In response to Duckworth’s letter, a White House spokesperson pointed BuzzFeed to a statement Barrett made on the day of her nomination. “A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.” This is something Barrett has said before, however, in an article from 1998, she also said, “Judges cannot — nor should they try to — align our legal system with the Church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge. They should, however, conform their own behavior to the Church’s standard. Perhaps their good example will have some effect.”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.