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TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Justice Amy Coney Barrett and the threat to reproductive rights

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Creative Commons | The Daily Wildcat

President Trump nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court in 2020. Photo by The White House/Creative Commons (CC PDM 1.0)

As a person with a uterus, it is terrifying to realize that Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the newest addition to the United States Supreme Court, has the power to reverse the progress that has been made in terms of reproductive rights for those with uteruses. Abortion accessibility is a major concern of mine. A person’s right to elect for an abortion should not be infringed upon by politicians. Abortion accessibility is vital for everyone, no matter what their background may be. Abortion accessibility is not about aborting every pregnancy but about being given the freedom to choose how a person would like to proceed with their pregnancy. Abortion is not murder and whoever says otherwise is absolutely not educated on the topic whatsoever. Pro-lifers, I implore you all to look into fostering or adopting the already born 400,000 children in the American foster care system instead of imposing your beliefs on those who did not ask for it. Our bodies are not political playgrounds for legislation. Let's begin to acknowledge and respect that. 

-Geraldine Espinosa


My biggest concern with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court Justice is the lasting effects that the fear that came about from this confirmation will have on women. We are growing up in an era where women are becoming more fearful of the government and the power they hold. These feelings can severely damage the democracy our country holds so valuable. This confirmation has made women uneasy because they feel as though they have no say in their futures. The progress that has occurred over the last few decades with reproductive rights can be diminished with the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which Amy Coney Barrett has demonstrated her support for. The pro-choice movement will be thrown back to square one and the devastation this will cause is immeasurable. To reverse years of hard work will damage the movement and the motivation these strong women have. I am fearful that this confirmation will not only affect our rights as women but also discourage many women who have been strong and courageous in this fight for the ability to make choices for ourselves.

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-Payton Toomey


As someone whose rights are potentially at stake, my concerns are growing by the day. It is well known now that the feelings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett towards female reproductive rights are leaning to the conservative side. Her stance on abortion rights put into threat the ability of female choice, and the effects of such a decision can even affect accessibility to contraception or invitro. You can argue it’s all conjecture, but look at the facts. In terms of female reproductive rights, it shouldn’t be a question and it should not be up for debate. No one is trying to tell men what to do with their balls and sperm, so why should we be trying to tell women what to do with their uteruses? We are in a long and hard march towards gender equality and we still have so much further to go. Taking away women’s right to decide what they do with their body is taking a step backward. All we should be focused on right now is progress and forward momentum for women everywhere. Treating both men and women equally does not seem like a big ask, does it? 

-Lauren Borelli

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While women are the ones set to bear the brunt of the consequences for Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court, that doesn't make this a "women's issue." The rights Barrett threatens are fundamental to creating a just society where women are empowered and have the same freedoms as men do. By targeting abortion, contraception and in vitro fertilization, the conservative court will be undermining women and perpetuating an outdated and sexist Christian view of gender roles and family. The pursuit of these issues isn't about protecting life, it's about controlling women's bodies and pigeonholing them into a Christian definition of motherhood that maintains that men belong in the workforce and women belong in the household. These are issues that affect men too. Specifically, restricting access to birth control forces men into the same rigid view of sex and relationships pervasive in Christian conservative views. Everyone, regardless of how the protections Barrett's confirmation affects them specifically, who values the freedom and equality of women and their own right to decide the role sex plays in their lives, should be troubled by her place on the court and diligent in working to prevent the Christian conservative policies she will likely support in becoming law. 

-Aidan Rhodes


Amy Coney Barrett might as well have inserted my IUD for me. The amount of fear my friends and I have felt since she was sworn in was enough to get us all to make birth control consultations at campus health. It feels very dystopian to think that an implant might be my safest bet in regard to contraception but at least this way I don’t have to worry about my access to pills or patches being cut off. Maybe I should avoid magnets for the next couple of years. Jokes aside, every uterus-having person I know is scared. Whether you’re sexually active or not, it’s pretty bleak knowing that no one in the federal courts has your back. Not to harp on the obvious but being a person with ovaries is exhausting. The construction of femininity and womanhood that we have been — and constantly are — being forced into is dismissive and oftentimes nauseating. If someone could at least let me know when they expect me to conceive and carry out a pregnancy, that’d be great. I’d hate for it to interfere with finals. 

-Selena Kuikahi


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