A lot has been going on in the world of reproductive-rights politics this week– such as the SCOTUS hearings on the Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood case and some of Alito’s old documents coming to the surface. I’ve been swamped with end-of-semester work and studying for exams so I’ll just provide a round-up of some articles and blog postings I’ve come across, relating to the SCOTUS case and Alito’s documents…..
THE FIRST abortion case since 2000 heard by the Supreme Court this week is not primarily about requiring minors to notify their parents before they can obtain an abortion; 43 states already have parental notification or consent laws. What makes the New Hampshire case so controversial is that it does not include an exception for the health of the mother, a violation of requirements in the 1973 decision Roe v Wade. And, of course, what also makes this case controversial are the shifting dynamics on the court.
Supporters of the law point to a provision allowing a judge to intervene in a medical emergency — Justice Antonin Scalia scoffed that it takes but ”thirty seconds” to place a telephone call — but actual experience with judicial bypass provisions has proven far more time-consuming than that. A pregnant teenager facing a medical crisis needs a doctor, not a judge.[...]
[...]Details of Alito’s 1985 strategy to undermine the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling have energized abortion rights groups, they said, but broader questions about his overall credibility may eventually prove more problematic to the Bush administration’s confirmation efforts.[...]
The flurry of events was triggered by the release Wednesday of the lengthy 1985 memo in which Alito, then a Justice Department lawyer in the Reagan administration, outlined a strategy for attacking the 1973 Roe ruling without making a “frontal assault” that might prove unwinnable. “What can be made of this opportunity to advance the goals of bringing about the eventual overruling of Roe v. Wade and, in the meantime, of mitigating its effects?” he asked in the memo concerning a Pennsylvania case before the Supreme Court, Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Alito did not cite the case in his responses to the Senate questionnaire, also released on Wednesday, which asked him to describe the most significant litigation matters he has handled.[...]
“In light of your 17-page memorandum and the accounts of your former colleagues, your ‘participation in the litigation’ was clearly substantial,” Schumer said in a letter asking Alito to explain. Citing a previously disclosed memo in which Alito successfully sought a promotion in the Justice Department, Schumer added: “In your 1985 job application, written only a few months later, you appeared to highlight your work on the Thornburgh case.”[...]
From MSNBC, ‘Pharmacists disciplined over morning-after pill’ (fine by me)….
ST. LOUIS – Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest drugstore chain by revenue, said it has put four Illinois pharmacists in the St. Louis area on unpaid leave for refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception in violation of a state rule.
The four cited religious or moral objections to filling prescriptions for the morning-after pill and “have said they would like to maintain their right to refuse to dispense, and in Illinois that is not an option,” Walgreen spokeswoman Tiffani Bruce said.[...]
–Echidne of the Snakes and her post, ‘Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.’
–Stone Court, ‘Alito, Abortion, and Precedent’.
–Amanda Marcotte, ’60 Minutes On the Plan B Controversy’.
–SCOTUSblog, ‘Abortion: narrowing the focus’.
–The Smeal Report, ‘There Can Be No Choice If There Are No Clinics.’
And last but not least, Jessica at Feministing and her post ‘Memo reveals Alito’s anti-choice strategy.’
There you go. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to return to my studies and be miserable until finals are over (which will be in about two weeks). Oh and a belated Happy Anti-Racist–Blogging-Day.