Barrett, who met with 10 Republican senators at the Capitol on Thursday, likely will face questions at her confirmation hearings later this month about whether her personal beliefs will influence her legal rulings.
The White House, while not commenting directly on the ad, said Thursday that the president would never ask a judge to prejudge a case. Trump, who tapped Barrett last Saturday to replace Ginsburg, is pressing the Senate to confirm the nominee before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Barrett was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., when she attached her name to the ad placed by the St. Joseph County Right to Life group, of which Barrett and her husband, both Catholic, were members.
“We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to the end of natural life,” read the ad in the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune. “Please continue to pray to end abortion.”
The two-page ad ran on the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
“It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore laws that protect the lives of unborn children,” the ad said.
Barrett did not disclose that she signed the ad to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which asks nominees to list any “published material you have written or edited, including material published only on the Internet, regardless of whether it was published in your name, another name or anonymously.”
The existence of the ad was first reported by the Guardian.
A Democratic aide, with knowledge of the process, said the ad should have been included in her questionnaire that she submitted to the committee Tuesday. The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss the process.
During Tuesday night’s presidential debate, Trump denied that abortion rights were on the ballot this November, and claimed not to know Barrett’s view on the issue even though he’s previously assured conservatives that he would nominate justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, responding to a question about this discrepancy, said Thursday, “the president has been clear that he would never ask a judge to prejudge a case.”
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett has on multiple occasions said it is never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they derive from faith or anywhere else on the law,” McEnany said.
The beliefs of the St. Joseph County Right to Life members go further than some antiabortion groups. In their view, discarding unused embryos from in vitro fertilization was akin to abortion.
Jackie Appleman, the executive director of St Joseph County Right to Life, told the Guardian that the group not only supports the criminalization of doctors who perform abortions, but also making it illegal to throw away frozen embryos.
While it’s unclear if Barrett holds these same views, her opposition to abortion is well-documented in her