Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings wrapped up Thursday, with witnesses making the case for and against her nomination.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court next Thursday, Oct. 22, less than a month after President Donald Trump announced her as his pick to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A woman who had an abortion at the age of 16 urged senators to vote against Barrett’s confirmation while one of her former law students testified in support of her confirmation.
Here are four highlights from the final day of Barrett’s confirmation hearings.
Dianne Feinstein resurrects conversation about Barrett’s religion on hot mic
A hot mic caught the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., making comments suggesting that Barrett’s religion ensures that she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
While Barrett never answered directly whether or not she would vote to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, comments made by Feinstein on a hot mic during a recess at Thursday’s confirmation hearings illustrated that the senior California senator believes that the nominee’s Catholic faith will prevent her from ruling objectively on cases related to abortion. Faithwire’s Tre Goins-Phillips shared the hot mic moment on Twitter.
“She’s been pro-life for a long time,” Feinstein said. “So I suspect with her it is deeply personal and comes with her religion.”
📽️ Sen. Feinstein hot mic talking about Judge Amy Coney Barrett: “She’s been pro-life for a long time. So I suspect with her, it is deeply personal and comes with her religion.” pic.twitter.com/5dUBhHLQsn
— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) October 15, 2020
This was not the first time that Feinstein has caused controversy with remarks about Barrett’s Catholic faith. When Barrett appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 as a nominee to serve on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Feinstein told Barrett that “when you read your speeches, the conclusion that one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”
Responding to another question about her faith from Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., at that hearing, Barrett explained that although she was “a faithful Catholic,” “my own personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge.”
Woman who had abortion at age 16 urges senators to vote against Barrett’s confirmation: ‘Our lives depend on it’
Crystal Good, a graduate student at West Virginia University, small business owner and mother of three, appeared via video in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify against Barrett’s confirmation.
“Who I am today is only possible because at 16 years old, I had access to an abortion,” she stated. “As a minor in a state with a parental consent requirement, that access was dependent on a judge because without a shadow of a doubt, I could not trust the adults closest to me.”
Good recalled how she was sexually abused by her stepfather from early childhood to her early teenage years and how no one believed her accusations. “Later, at 16, while in a relationship that brought me joy and made me feel safe, I, like 2.7 million Americans a year, had an unintended pregnancy. Immediately, I knew I wanted an abortion, a very safe, medical procedure that one in four U.S. women will have in their lifetimes.”
“For many reasons, including the decade of abuse she did not protect me from, I couldn’t tell my mother,” she argued. “Instead, I sought a judicial bypass. I had to navigate not only how to get to the judge but how to do so on a school day.
“I had no idea what I should wear or what information he would want. I thought I was going to court like on TV. But instead, I was ushered in his chambers. It felt very intimidating.
“I told him I was a good student, I was a leader in my school, I had opportunities that many young women from West Virginia didn’t, I wanted to go to college to be a writer. I said, ‘Your honor, I have a future. I choose an abortion.’”
Good recounted how it felt when “an authority figure deemed me to be in charge of my own body and my own future.” She stated that “access to an abortion should not depend on a GPA, the color of our skin, where we live or the luck of the draw. It should not depend on any shape, form, or fashion who your governor is or who is sitting on the Supreme Court.”
Referring to her abuse, Good maintained that “every adult in my life had failed me” and “none of them deserved to make a decision about my body.” She slammed parental notification laws as “restrictions that make abortion hard to get because we have to travel, miss work or school, save up for weeks and pay out of pocket.”
“The Supreme Court has made historic decisions that uphold our rights and freedoms,” she said. “My right to an abortion, the integration of public schools, the Affordable Health Care Act that ensures that I have health insurance, and workplace protections for my transgender daughter.”
“I have put my faith in the Supreme Court and with this nomination, I am losing faith. Although the way I chose to create my family is demonized by some politicians, the reality is that we’re like most families across the nation,” she stressed.
“President Trump has been clear that he would only appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately, through learning about Judge Barrett’s record, I understand why the president believes she passes the test.”
Good urged senators to “listen to people who have had abortions” and “do not confirm this nominee.” “Our futures, our families, our lives depend on it,” she warned.
Good is not the only American woman to make the case that her success as an adult would not have been possible without an abortion. Actress Michelle Williams made a similar claim at this year’s Golden Globe Awards.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Ryan Foley