The Independent Women’s Forum isn’t explicitly an anti-abortion group, but it worked to create the conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court.

By Sam Biddle, The Intercept

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the country’s top internet companies quickly responded with commitments to help employees in states that moved to ban abortion. In an implicit signal of support for abortion rights, the companies said they would help those employees seek abortions in states where the procedure remains legal.

In the years leading up to the seismic reproductive rights decision, however, the tech giants sponsored a controversial group that’s worked tirelessly to put the Supreme Court under conservative control, setting the stage for Roe’s reversal.

Heather Higgins, Nikki Haley, and Susan Collins pose together

The Independent Women’s Forum traces its origins back to the 1991 fight to confirm the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas. Since then, the group has expanded into promoting a litany of perennial right-wing causes like climate denialimmigration alarmism, and deregulation, but a conservative-dominated Supreme Court remained a focus.

Public relations plays a key role in its operation. With savvy self-branding as a pro-woman organization, the group fought for the appointment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court. The IWF couched support for Bret Kavanaugh as good feminism and any opposition to Amy Coney Barrett as sexism — despite well-founded concerns that their ascensions to the court would spell the end of Roe. The IWF wields a skillful mix of media placement, op-eds, television punditry, and other contributions to the conservative content ecosystem.

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