Attorney General Nominee William Barr Thinks Roe v. Wade Was 'Wrongly Decided and Should Be Overruled'

Illustration for article titled Attorney General Nominee William Barr Thinks iRoe v. Wade/i Was Wrongly Decided and Should Be Overruledem/em
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The Justice Department finally rid itself of Jeff Sessions, but Donald Trump’s nominee to replace him, William Barr, is of course also a bad man, just of a different type. An example: Barr, who previously served as attorney general under the first Bush administration, believes that abortion should not be a constitutionally protected right.

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Though Barr has said that he is not personally anti-abortion, he believes that states—which are increasingly hostile to abortion rights—should control and regulate access to the procedure. He sailed through his 1991 confirmation hearings with a unanimous vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by then-Senator Joe Biden. “I do not believe the right to privacy extends to abortion, so I think that my views are consistent with the views that have been taken by the department since 1983, which is that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled,” Barr said.

In a 1992 interview with CNN’s Evan & Novak, after the Supreme Court upheld Roe in a challenge against Planned Parenthood, then-Attorney General William Barr predicted that “Roe v. Wade will ultimately be overturned.”

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“I think it’ll fall of its own weight. It does not have any constitutional underpinnings,” he said, and again called the decision “wrong.”

As then-head of the Justice Department, he pledged that the Justice Department “will continue to do what it’s done for the past 10 years and call for the overturning of Roe v. Wade in future litigation.”

Since Barr last served as Attorney General, America has become far more hostile to abortion rights and anti-abortion extremists have taken over the White House and have a strong hold on the federal bureaucracy. Now Barr might be the man to oversee the fulfillment of his own prophecy. How nice for him.

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.

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DISCUSSION

Ok, I’ll bite.  Not a lawyer and don’t really understand the “underpinnings” of the Roe V Wade decision.  Is abortion not a medical procedure?  Are not medical procedures private (i.e. Hippa Laws, doctor/patient confidentiality, etc)?  What does he mean when he says that the decision is wrongly decided because privacy does not extend to abortion?  Any lawyers out there?