NZ abortion rights group condemns Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to US Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo credit: Getty

A pro-choice abortion group says it's a "sad day for the people of the USA" after the Senate confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett as a US Supreme Court justice.

Judge Barrett, a conservative, was sworn in after the Republicans voted on Monday (local time).

But her appointment has been called into question by a Kiwi abortion rights organisation, who pointed out her past controversial remarks on the procedure.

Judge Barrett once described abortion as "always immoral", and voted in favour of a law requiring doctors to notify parents of a minor, with no exception.

She also called for a reconsideration of a Louisiana state law that sought to ban abortions related to sex, race, disability or life-threatening health conditions.

The Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ), a group in favour of women being able to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy, says Judge Barrett's confirmation means abortion rights laws in the US are now likely to be overturned.

"Judge Barrett's fringe conservative views are expected to lead to the overturning of US Supreme Court precedents around human rights, civil rights, reproductive rights and voting rights," ALRANZ said in a statement.

Meanwhile the group's president Terry Bellamak described it as a "sad day for the people of the USA".

"We fear many more people may soon be forced to become parents against their will, or seek abortions outside the health care system at the risk of prosecution," she said.

"We hope Americans turn out to vote to mitigate the effects of this ugly, hypocritical confirmation."

Although some US states have passed laws which effectively ban abortion, it is banned in Alabama from when "woman [is] known to be pregnant" - with no exceptions.

Five other states - Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana - have passed bills which prohibit abortion after six weeks.