On October 12, 2020, during the initial day of hearings on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY14) made inflammatory comments on Twitter regarding religious faith.
First, the lawmaker tweeted the following: “Sick and tired of Republicans who co-opt faith as an excuse to advance bigotry and barbarism. Fact is, if today Christ himself came to the floor of Congress and repeated his teachings, many would malign him as a radical and eject him from the chamber.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (known across the country as “AOC”) wasn’t finished making controversial tweets. On the evening of October 12, the lawmaker tweeted: “When politicians use faith as an excuse to pass and uphold laws that seize control of people’s bodies but not guarantee them healthcare, feed the poor, shelter the homeless, or welcome the stranger, you have to wonder if it’s really about faith at all.”
What’s all of this outrage from AOC all about? It’s simple. The angry, outraged tweet about so-called “bigotry” is about sexuality and gender, and the angry, outraged tweet about “laws that seize control of people’s bodies” is about abortion.
The “bigotry” tweet included a retweeted video from earlier this year. In that video, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez expressed support for a woman who sued a Catholic hospital; the hospital had declined to remove the woman’s healthy uterus to facilitate her “transgender” identity. That video included the following remarks from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez:
It’s very difficult to sit here and listen to arguments in the long history [of] this country of using Scripture—and weaponizing and abusing Scripture—to justify bigotry…
It is part of my faith that all people are holy and all people are sacred, unconditionally….
There is nothing holy about rejecting medical care of people, no matter who they are on the grounds of what their identity is. There is nothing holy about turning someone away from a hospital… There is nothing holy about writing discrimination into the law. And I am tired of communities [of faith] being weaponized and being mischaracterized because the only time religious freedom is invoked is in the name of bigotry and discrimination.
What this administration is advancing is the idea that religion and faith [are] about exclusion.
Quite simply, the video was an attack on the Trump administration’s conscience rule, which has—unfortunately—been thrown out in court. The conscience rule protected the right of faith-based healthcare providers to decline to participate in medical procedures that violate their beliefs. It is appalling that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez would dismiss conscience protections for healthcare workers as “bigotry”; however, this type of language has become the norm on the left in recent years. It’s also ridiculous that the congresswoman would dismiss the Trump administration’s work in the area of religious freedom as being nothing more than an exercise in exclusion. While it isn’t entirely clear what inspired the lawmaker to issue this tweet on October 12, it is possible that she was referencing Judge Barrett’s signature on a 2015 letter that expressed support for the traditional definition of marriage.
The language about “laws that seize control of people’s bodies” is, of course, left-wing code for pro-life laws that limit access to abortion. The left’s opposition to Judge Barrett’s confirmation is based in part upon fear that Judge Barrett’s presence on the Court might give the Court sufficient votes to overturn Roe v. Wade. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on this point are part of a dishonest trope that has been used on the left for decades. The left’s idea is that pro-life advocates aren’t really concerned about protecting human life, but about controlling women’s bodies and choices. According to this misguided line of reasoning, if pro-lifers really were concerned about protecting life, we would support a laundry list of left-wing priorities like socialized health insurance, an expanded welfare state, and a permissive immigration system. There are three problems with this argument. First, the notion that the pro-life movement desires to control women’s bodies is utterly false. Abortion isn’t just about women’s bodies and choices; it’s about the bodies and choices of their unborn children as well. Second, the argument assumes that the left’s policy prescriptions really are compassionate and life-affirming. Third, the argument assumes that compassionate outreach to the poor and needy and a pro-life stance on abortion are mutually exclusive. They’re not.
If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is truly concerned about “barbarism,” she should reverse course and oppose Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. What could be more barbaric than getting paid to take the lives of innocent babies?