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University of Redlands

Writings indicate Barrett is comfortable overturning precedents, such as Roe v. Wade, that have been affirmed over and over, U of R professor says

14-Oct-2020 2:10 PM EDT, by University of Redlands

As the SCOTUS confirmation hearings continue, Dr. Jennifer Nelson, a U.S. historian and professor at the University of Redlands, says Roe v. Wade could be overturned next year.

"Amy Coney Barrett, like other recent Supreme Court nominees, is not going to explicitly say that she will overturn Roe v. Wade if such a challenge comes before the Court. Nominees never want to be nailed down to commitments on future rulings even if they do have their minds made up. Instead, they soft-pedal with comments about following the law and not letting personal or religious beliefs influence them," Nelson says.

"However, Barrett did indicate that she does not believe Roe v. Wade is a super precedent and her writings have indicated that she is comfortable overturning previous precedents that have been affirmed over and over — like the notion that the Constitution protects a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. My guess is that Roe will be overturned in the next year. It will be very interesting to see how that change shifts the political conversation as it becomes a battle in state legislatures." 

Biography :
Dr. Jennifer Nelson is a United States historian and professor at the University of Redlands with an emphasis in women’s history. Her dissertation became her first book, Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement (NYU Press 2003). Her second book, More Than Medicine: A History of the Women’s Health Movement (NYU Press 2016), extended her research on the feminist and women’s health movements in the United States. She also co-edited with Barbara Molony a volume on transnational feminism, Women’s Activism, and “Second Wave” Feminism: Transnational Histories. Nelson has published articles in a variety of women’s history, medical history, and women’s studies journals on the subject of reproductive rights, women’s health, and social justice movements. Her first article on the feminist abortion rights movement in Mexico, “Abortion Rights and Human Rights in Mexico,” in Tanya Saroj Bakhru, ed. Reproductive Justice and Sexual Rights: Transnational Perspectives, was published this year (Routledge 2019). She is currently working on a book-length project on the movements for and against legal abortion in Mexico.

 

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