Thursday, September 01, 2005
Attacks against Women's Reproductive Rights Continue
Plan B might eventually clear the bureacratic and political hurdles but is likely to carry restrictions that would make it dffficult for women to obtain the pills in an emergency....the very situation for which they are intended.
On August 31st, Susan Wood, Assistant FDA Commissioner for Women's Health and Director of the Office of Women's Health, resigned in protest against the agency's decision to delay the ruling on Plan B.
Judge John Roberts and Roe v. Wade
It does not matter what questions he is asked, answers or declines to answer during the confirmation hearings, at this time it appears unlikely that Judge Roberts' appointment to the Supreme Court can be blocked. Judge Roberts is not going to be a surprise like Justice Souter. He has been vetted and the conservatives know that they can depend on him not to be the balancing force that Justice O'Connor was. His opinion on privacy rights is on record.
Marie Cocco wrote in Newsday:
- In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court threw out a law that prohibited the use of contraception. In the intimate realm of marriage, Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the majority, "we deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights - older than our political parties, older than our school system."
- It is this right - and this very case - for which Roberts has shown disdain. In a 1981 memo he disparaged it as the "so-called right to privacy." In a draft article he apparently authored for then-Attorney General William French Smith, Roberts praised Justice Hugo Black's dissent in the landmark birth control case. At his later confirmation hearing to become a circuit court judge, Roberts said he would respect precedent with regard to privacy rights. What would he do as a Supreme Court justice who can set precedent?
- "Since January, governors have signed several dozen antiabortion measures ranging from parental consent requirements to an outright ban looming in South Dakota.
- Not since 1999, when a wave of laws banning late-term abortions swept the legislatures, have states imposed so many and so varied a menu of regulations on reproductive health care.
- Three states have passed bills requiring that women seeking an abortion be warned that the fetus will feel pain, despite inconclusive scientific data on the question.
- West Virginia and Florida approved legislation recognizing a pre-viable fetus, or embryo, as an independent victim of homicide.
- And in Missouri, Gov. Matt Blunt (R) has summoned lawmakers into special session Sept. 6 to consider three anti-abortion proposals."
Or are they unaware of the implications?
Newsday: Marie Cocco - Pill Politics and Roberts
Washington Post: Ceci Connolly - Access to abortion pared at State Level