Friday, December 28, 2012
After Supreme Court Denies Emergency Relief, Hobby Lobby Faces Fines for Refusing to Comply with Contraceptive Mandate
The Hill - Healthwatch blog: Supreme Court won't block Obama health law's contraception mandate, by Sam Baker:
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block the Obama administration's contraception mandate from taking effect.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a request for an emergency injunction that would have shielded employers from the mandate. . . .
CNN - Belief blog: Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare, by Eric Marrapodi:
Craft store giant Hobby Lobby is bracing for a $1.3 million a day fine beginning January 1 for noncompliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare.
The company opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion.
After failing to receive temporary relief from the fines from the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby announced late Thursday through its attorneys that it "will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs." . . .
The New Republic: The Rise of DIY Abortions, by Ada Calhoun:
Jennie Linn McCormack took pills to end her pregnancy and hid the fetus under her bed. Her case could change the course of abortion law in America.
. . . Determining how many American women have had home abortions is exceedingly difficult: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not track illegal abortions. There is no blood test for drugs like Cytotec, and so such an abortion is indistinguishable from a natural miscarriage, even to a doctor. However, the proliferation of online dispensers suggests a rising demand. . . .
The Atlantic: 2013: Year of the Stem Cell, by Lindsay Abrams:
Researchers have already safely injected stem cells into patients with neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injuries -- and they've seen the potential to vastly improve lives.
. . . In 1998, when human embryonic stem cells were first isolated, we anticipated a "rush of medical advances," as The New York Times put it. That promise -- along with all of the ensuing controversy -- is still alive, has already become reality in select cases -- for example, with bone marrow transplantations -- and still has plans to live up to all of the expectations that have been set for it.
"The question now," the Times wrote then, "is what use can be made of the potentially awesome power to rejuvenate human cells." After 15 years, there are a lot of people waiting for a miracle, for the day cell-based therapy gives back what's been taken from them.
The Wall Street Journal: Anti-Abortion Protester Carried Out of Senate, by Michael R. Crittenden:
An anti-abortion protester was carried shirtless from the U.S. Senate chamber early Friday afternoon after causing a disturbance just after lawmakers adjourned for lunch. . . .
Reuters: Governor signs new law for abortion clinics in Michigan, by James B. Kelleher:
Michigan's Republican governor on Friday signed into law new rules for abortion providers that supporters say will protect the health of pregnant women but critics say will shutter clinics and restrict access. . . .
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern University School of Law) has posted Originalism, Abortion, and the Thirteenth Amendment on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Does an originalist reading of the Thirteenth Amendment support a right to abortion? Not long ago a negative answer seemed obvious enough to make the question silly. Since then, however, originalism has become more sophisticated. It is now understood that original meaning, not original intent, is the most appropriate originalist source of constitutional law. The original meaning of constitutional language sometimes focuses on paradigm cases: specific evils that the Constitution aims to keep from recurring. The Thirteenth Amendment’s purpose is to end the specific institution of antebellum slavery. A ban on abortion would do to women what slavery did to the women who were enslaved: compel them to bear children against their will.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
The Huffington Post: Petition against Obama birth control rules reaches the Supreme Court, by Elise Viebeck:
A Christian-run arts and crafts chain has filed for an emergency injunction with the Supreme Court to block President Obama's birth control coverage rules.
Hobby Lobby and its founders, the Green family, filed the petition Friday after an appeals court rejected their motion for relief this week. . . .
Chicago Tribune/Reuters: Federal judge blocks Missouri law to deny birth control coverage:
A federal judge on Friday blocked a new Missouri law that requires healthinsurers to offer plans that exclude contraception coverage if employers or individuals object to birth control on moral or religious grounds. . . .
More from the Associated Press here.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The New York Times: Robert H. Bork, Conservative Jurist, Dies at 85, by Ethan Bronner:
Robert H. Bork, a former solicitor general, federal judge and conservative legal theorist whose 1987 nomination to the United States Supreme Court was rejected by the Senate in a historic political battle whose impact is still being felt, died on Wednesday in Arlington, Va. He was 85. . . .
Till the end of his life, Judge Bork argued that American judges, acting to please a liberal elite, have hijacked the struggle over national values by overstepping their role, especially in many of the most important decisions on civil rights and liberties, personal autonomy and regulation of business. . . .
He most famously took issue with the Supreme Court’s assertion in the 1960s and ’70s that the Constitution implicitly recognizes a right of privacy that bars states from outlawing abortion or the use of contraceptives by married couples. . . .
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The New Republic: The GOP Better Listen to Bobby Jindal on Birth Control, by Amy Sullivan:
Lost amid the shock and horror of Friday's news was a remarkable op-ed in the Wall Street Journalby Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who should no longer be called a "rising star" of the GOP. He commands attention by virtue of being smart, good at his job, and not a white guy. So it's significant that he chose to use his platform to break ranks with many social conservatives in his party by calling for over-the-counter sales of birth control pills. . . .
The National Review: Will Mississippi’s Last Abortion Clinic Close?, by Katrina Trinko:
In Mississippi, there’s only one abortion clinic remaining — and because of a law passed earlier this year that is designed to protect women’s health, it may soon close.
In April, Mississippi passed a law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital. However, at the one remaining abortion facility — Jackson Women’s Health Organization — there are three doctors, and only one has admitting privileges. . . .
NPR: In France, Free Birth Control For Girls At Age 15, by Eleanor Beardsley:
Beginning next year, young women in France between the ages of 15 and 18 will have access to birth control free of charge, and without parental notification. The French government says the new measure is intended to reduce pregnancies in this age group that result from a mixture of ignorance, taboo and lack of access to contraception. . . .
Congressional Conference Committee Includes Military Abortion Amendment in Defense Authorization Bill
The Huffington Post: Military Abortion Amendment Is Included In Final Defense Bill, by Laura Bassett:
A bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate members approved an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill on Tuesday that will extend the insurance coverage of abortion to military women who have been raped.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-N.H.) amendment to the defense bill lifts a decades-long ban on abortion coverage for military rape victims. Since 1981, military women have not had the same level of health coverage that civilian employees, Medicaid recipients, and even federal prisoners receive from their government-issued insurance plans. High-profile supporters of the amendment include former Secretary of State Colin Powell. . . .
The Christian Science Monitor: Ireland announces abortion law reforms, leaving no one satisfied, by Jason Walsh:
The new legislation is meant to clarify Ireland's stance on abortion when the mother's health is at risk, but antiabortion groups say it goes too far, and abortion-rights groups not far enough.
Ireland took a step today toward loosening its strict antiabortion regime, as the government announced legislation to legalize abortion in limited circumstances. But a battle lies ahead, as both abortion-rights and antiabortion groups appear dissatisfied with the government's new prescription. . . .
Benjamin C. Carpenter (University of St. Thomas School of Law) has posted Sex Post Facto: Advising Clients Regarding Posthumous Conception on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Apart from tax considerations, trust and estate law is often viewed by outsiders as a somewhat dusty area of the law. However, few examples better illustrate the intersection of law and technology than posthumous conception and estate law. While judges, legislators, and commentators have tackled some of the issues created by posthumous conception, few estate planning lawyers discuss the issue with their clients. Such hesitance has been understandable, given the moral sensitivities involved with posthumous conception and the relatively small likelihood that it will affect any one particular client. However, that likelihood is becoming greater with each passing year, and, in the context of grandchildren, the possibility of posthumously conceived children is out of the clients’ control. Rather than ignoring this possibility and leaving the result to chance (or litigation), lawyers have the opportunity - if not the responsibility - to raise the issue with their clients and provide them the opportunity to express their intentions. Ultimately, whether to address the issue in an instrument is the client’s choice, but she cannot make this choice if she is not made aware of the issue. With this Article, estate planning attorneys will have the background necessary to introduce the topic to clients, to educate clients about the technology itself, the legal responses to date, and their various options, and then to draft language to carry out the clients’ intent - whatever it may be.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Religious Colleges Challenging Contraception Law Argue Standing and Ripeness Issues Before Federal Appeals Court
McClatchy Newspapers: Religious colleges challenge health care law's contraception rule, by Michael Doyle:
North Carolina’s Belmont Abbey College is trying to resurrect a religious school charge against the Obama administration’s signature health care law.
But first, the school and its many allies must prove their time has come. . . .
Think Progress: Rick Perry: Outlawing All Access to Abortion is 'My Goal', by Tara Culp-Ressler:
At a press conference on Tuesday organized by the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) reaffirmed that his ultimate legislative objective is to restrict all women’s access to abortion services. . . .
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Senate vote to cover fertility care for female military servicemembers, by Ramsey Cox:
The Senate passed a bill Thursday to cover military service members’ in vitro fertilization (IVF) services through the veterans healthcare system.
Senate Veterans Affair Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced the Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act of 2012, S. 3313, which would improve VA services for women veterans and veteran spouses and end the ban on (IVF) services at VA to help severely wounded veterans start families. . . .
The Detroit Free Press: Abortion bill heads to Snyder's desk after House vote, by Robin Erb & Kathleen Gray:
An omnibus abortion bill, approved by the Senate on Wednesday, passed the House early this morning by a 72-35 vote, after a controversial requirement that an aborted fetus be buried, cremated or interred was removed earlier this week. . . .
Udo Schuklenk (Queen’s University) has posted Europe Debates Circumcision...And What About the Child's Best Interest? on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This Editorial discusses the ethics of male circumcision on the background of current debates within various European countries about this practice.