On Roe v. Wade and the ACA, Republicans Can’t Get Their Stories Straight

10.13.20

On Roe v. Wade and the ACA, Republicans Can’t Get Their Stories Straight

Staring down overwhelming public opposition to their own views and Amy Coney Barrett’s clear track record on the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade, Republicans spent Tuesday struggling to get their stories straight. Half the time, they seemed to be denying they were defending their agenda, half the time denying that agenda even existed.

Half the time, Republicans sounded like they were ready to defend their deeply unpopular positions on these key issues. Sen. Graham began the hearing today by reiterating his view that “Obamacare has been a disaster.” Sens. Grassley and Lee said that the ACA should have been overturned, which is consistent with Amy Coney Barrett’s record. On Roe v. Wade, Sen. Cruz protested that “if there came a day in which Roe v. Wade were overruled … it would not suddenly become the case that abortion was illegal.”

But the rest of the time, Republicans were outraged at the implication that they might be supporting Barrett’s confirmation because she shares their views on Roe and striking down the ACA. Cornyn, who has himself filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the ACA, called discussing Barrett’s clear track record on the ACA “propaganda in order to make a political point.” Sen. Sasse ridiculed questions about judges’ views on the ACA, disclaiming any knowledge of her views on the topic. Sen. Hawley, who has said that his own vote hinges on a nominee passing a litmus test of supporting overturning Roe v. Wade, seemed to urge Barrett to claim that an ad she signed decrying Roe v. Wade had no bearing on her approach to her job as a judge. Hawley, who was a plaintiff in the health care repeal lawsuit when he served as Missouri Attorney General in 2018, conspicuously failed to mention the issue during his round of questioning.

Barrett got in on the gaslighting too, falsely claiming the health care repeal lawsuit pending before the Court right now is “not a challenge to pre-existing conditions coverage,” though the Trump administration and 17 Republican Attorneys General are in fact asking the Court to eliminate the law in its entirety and end protections for Americans with preexisting conditions.

Reality check: Barrett was selected because she has a clear track record of supporting overturning the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade:

  • Amy Coney Barrett has sharply criticized both major rulings that upheld the ACA: NFIB v. Sebelius (2012) and King v. Burwell (2015).
  • Trump himself vowed to appoint justices who would overturn the ACA.
  • In 2006, Barrett signed a two-page advertisement calling for the end to the “barbaric legacy” of Roe v. Wade. The letter was sponsored by an organization that supports prosecution of doctors who perform abortions and common parts of the IVF process. She still has not disclosed the ad to the Senate.
  • Barrett signed another ad calling Roe v. Wade ‘infamous’ and failed to disclose it to the Senate until she was asked about it by a reporter.
  • In a 2003 article, she suggested Roe v. Wade was an “erroneous decision.”

For more, find fact sheets from Demand Justice at stopbarrett.com.