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An Indiana group whose anti-abortion campaign was endorsed in a signed ad by Amy Coney Barrett before she became a Supreme Court justice is posting a list of abortion providers and their places of work on its website, in an invitation some experts say to harass and intimidate doctors and their staff.
In one case, court documents show, a doctor whose name was released by the group called Right to Life Michiana was warned by the FBI about a kidnapping threat made online against her daughter.
The threat prompted the doctor to temporarily suspend abortion services at the Whole Woman’s Health Care clinic in South Bend, also named on the Michiana group’s website. The doctor said in the court filing that the clinic regularly attracts large gatherings of protesters who she feared might identify her.
Barrett signed a two-page ad in 2006, while working as a professor at Notre Dame, stating that those who signed “oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from conception to natural death.” The second page of the ad, entitled Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion, was “barbaric.”
The ad, which was published in the South Bend Tribune and signed by hundreds of people, was sponsored by a group called St. Joseph County Right to Life, which merged with another anti-abortion group in 2020 and is now called Right to Life Michigan.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on challenges to Roe v. Wade this year, which many court experts expect will affect women’s rights to legal abortions in the United States. In court arguments, Barrett — who said her personal views do not influence her legal judgment — argued that the passage of safe harbor laws, which allow parents to abandon their newborns in hospitals or other designated centers without threat of legal repercussions, had had its effect indeed, women gave options outside of abortion for those who did not want to become parents.
During her confirmation hearing in 2020, Barrett said she signed the ad in private as she made her way out of the church and did not remember signing it until it was published, according to a report in the Guardian.
“It was consistent with the views of my church,” she replied to senators’ questions about the statement. She later added, “I consider my personal, moral, religious views and my duty of administering the law as a judge to be clear.”