State Rep. Chris Taylor
Op-Ed

Does Justice Bradley Oppose Birth Control?

There’s no evidence she’s ever repudiated her past statements against some forms of contraception.

By - Mar 27th, 2016 05:55 pm
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Rebecca Bradley

Rebecca Bradley

Justice Rebecca Bradley’s consistent and alarming positions on reproductive health care should concern anyone who believes that women have constitutional rights to make child bearing decisions, because she has made it remarkably clear that she does not. This is especially relevant because over the last five years, Governor Walker and Republicans in the legislature have launched an unprecedented attack on access to reproductive health care, causing litigation in Wisconsin over hospital admitting privileges and medication abortion that shows no signs of easing. The only relief from the myriad of abortion restrictions and limits on birth control are our courts.

Her early columns reveal her opinions on the topic of reproductive health care, which are consistent with more recent views that she has refused to disavow. In addition to comparing abortion to the holocaust, she has equated birth control with murder. In a 1992 column entitled “Right should extend into the womb,” she ridicules the right of women to control their own bodies and advances a personhood argument – that a fertilized egg should be afforded the rights and privileges of an actual person. Personhood constitutional amendments have been pushed by anti-choice crowds in other states and in Wisconsin. These efforts, including in North Dakota and Mississippi, have gone down in flames once voters realize that the effect of recognizing a fertilized egg as a person effectively outlaws most forms of hormonal birth control, including birth control pills.

In a 2006 column, Justice Bradley argues that “contraceptives may cause the death of a conceived, unborn child” and that pharmacists should be able to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions if they object “to being a party to murder.” As egregious, Justice Bradley erroneously claims that these statements are “scientifically supported.” She makes a similar claim in her 1992 column by saying that personhood is an idea “widely established by the scientific community.” Yet these incorrect medical statements aren’t from the scientific community, but from right-wing extremist groups who oppose birth control and abortion.

Let me be clear: The medical consensus is that birth control does not cause an abortion. In fact, contraception is defined by a number of experts, including Physicians for Reproductive Health, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and The American Medical Women’s Association as a method that “prevents a pregnancy from taking place.”

Justice Bradley has shown she is not fit to sit on the state’s highest court and cannot be trusted with these most private, fundamental rights – rights that are protected by the United States Constitution. Will a justice who truly believes that abortion is tantamount to the holocaust protect a woman’s right to have an abortion? Will a justice who believes that birth control is tantamount to murder protect a woman’s ability to access birth control?

These rights are too important, and too precious, to put in the hands of a justice who seems more wedded to extreme views than to truly protecting our most precious constitutional rights. Justice Rebecca Bradley needs to resign from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Chris Taylor, D-Madison, represents District 76 in the Wisconsin Assembly.

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4 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Does Justice Bradley Oppose Birth Control?”

  1. Rich says:

    In another episode of “Whatever I say the other side does is only meant to distract from what I do”, Republicans are pushing for just as much of an “activist judge” on this issue as any they’ve ever claimed at any other point.

  2. Marie says:

    Women’s ability to control their reproductive lives has made it possible for those in developed countries to become educated and have jobs and careers, including as lawyers and even Supreme Court justices.

    One baffling aspect of anti-choice extremists like Rebecca Bradley is how she reconciles trying to restrict birth control access and her relentless career ambition. Back in the good old days, before what Bradley has labeled the “murderous” Pill etc., women, especially good Catholic wives, were supposed to be breeding machines. Not so the Catholic Ms. Bradley. She was formerly married for about 8 years, having taken “vows” that seem to have been viewed as optional. During part of that sanctioned heterosexual marital union she has said she was “romantically,” and hypocritically, involved with the chief operating officer of her law firm.

    Then, despite having no credentials in family law, she bizarrely represented this boyfriend in his child-custody case, raising objections from attorneys representing, separately, the son and the ex-wife. It’s hard to keep track of this unseemly saga without a score card.

    Family-values “Mean Girls” like Bradley are giving reality-TV show celebs a run for their money.

    Supreme Court candidate Bradley is not obligated to provide intimate information about her sexual life or relationship status. However, neither should she be granted legal power to mandate anyone else’s intimate behavior and restrict constitutionally protected decisions.

  3. S C says:

    What group of people has Rebecca Bradley decided to lump together and denounce as immoral, evil and undeserving of justice today?

  4. Jerri says:

    If she is opposed to birth control, how did she emerge from an 8-year marriage and a supposed extra-marital affair childless???

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