A Letter to Amy Coney Barrett

Ruby Wang

Dear Judge Barrett,

 

I feel so terribly afraid of the power you potentially hold. They say you will remain aligned to your precious party, casting a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, a case so significant to millions of women. Our president has promised to only nominate a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade. No doubt you see this title of “Supreme Court justice” enticing, but do you realize how dangerous you are? 

 

The landmark decision of Roe v. Wade granted women the freedom to decide to have an abortion after learning she has become pregnant, without any government restrictions. There are currently five justices appointed by Republican presidents and you might soon be the sixth. If you vote to overturn the protections of Roe v. Wade, abortion will become more inaccessible across the countryn. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wisconsin: these states have passed abortion bans which will immediately take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

 

Judge Barrett, have you ever signed a mortgage or opened a bank account? You wouldn’t have been able to without recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose seat you have been nominated to fill. Judge Barrett, you are a mother of seven. I also learned that you were a professor of law. Did you ever fear that a pregnancy would have resulted in you becoming laid off from your teaching job? Justice Ginsburg was also once a law professor, and she had to hide her pregnancy in this role out of fear of being fired. . This practice -- firing women solely because of a pregnancy -- was common practice only fifty years ago. Ginsburg spent her life challenging this injustice, and many others, spending many years , advocating for heightened workplace protections for pregnant women.  For many decades, women could count on Ginsburg to protect them against injustices. Can we count on you, Judge Barrett? Ginsburg worked relentlessly to ensure women had access to abortion care. Will you erase these rights? 

 

I actually admire you for the hard work you’ve done in your career. I was never a student body vice president in my high school like you were. But what if before your senior year, you had gotten pregnant without the option of abortion? You were named the “most outstanding” in the English department at Rhodes College (Brown, 2020). But what if before you graduated from college, you had gotten pregnant without the option of abortion? After college, you wrote for the Notre Dame Law Review and graduated first in your class at Notre Dame Law School. But what if before you received your law degree, you had gotten pregnant without the option of abortion? Would you have been able to graduate from high school? Go to college? Become a lawyer? A professor? Would our president have nominated you to precede Ginsburg still? 

 

I’m still only 18, fresh into college. I aspire to be a lawyer someday, just like you. Eventually, I want to buy my mother a big, comfortable house and my father the car he’s been eying since he immigrated to America. I wish to find a husband who loves me and to create a family when we are ready. But I fear my glimpses into the vivid future I imagine could immediately vanish when I lose my right to control my own body. 

 

My future, and the future of millions of women, is in your hands. 

 

Sincerely,

Ruby

 

 

 

References

 

Brown, D. (2020, September 26). Notre Dame Law School Professor Barrett nominated to US Supreme Court. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://news.nd.edu/news/notre-dame-law-school-professor-barrett-nominated-to-us-supreme-court/

Godlasky, A., Ellis, N., & Sergent, J. (2020, April 23). Where is abortion legal? Everywhere. But ... Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/nation/2019/05/15/abortion-law-map-interactive-roe-v-wade-heartbeat-bills-pro-life-pro-choice-alabama-ohio-georgia/3678225002/

Godlasky, A., Ellis, N., & Sergent, J. (2020, April 23). Where is abortion legal? Everywhere. But ... Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/nation/2019/05/15/abortion-law-map-interactive-roe-v-wade-heartbeat-bills-pro-life-pro-choice-alabama-ohio-georgia/3678225002/