Thursday, October 9, 2008

McCain "Palling Around" With Anti-Choice Activists?

Recent news stories document McCain's links to a number of different anti-choice activists.

Right Wing Watch: McCain Campaign Palling Around With Schenck:

Since Sarah  Palin decided to go after Barack Obama for his essentially  non-existent ties to William Ayers, maybe now is the time to remind everyone about the McCain campaign’s ties to Rob Schenck, who has a long history of militant anti-abortion activism, fines, arrests, and run-ins with President Bill Clinton.

Schenck, who was meeting privately with McCain as far back as early last year, received  a VIP pass to the McCain campaign event where he named Palin as his running mate and even got a chance to speak with both of them personally.  And last month, when he hosted a forum, the Obama campaign dropped  out at the last minute rather than legitimize Schenck and his views, but senior campaign McCain advisor Robert Heckman still attended the event, where other speakers  compared Barack Obama to Hitler

Wall St. Journal: McCain Supporter Had Own Ties to Radical Protesters, by Mary Jacoby:

The McCain campaign, in a continuing effort to link Barack Obama to domestic terrorism, released a statement Wednesday from a New York supporter, recounting how his family home was firebombed by the radical 1960s group founded by Obama supporter William Ayers.

But the McCain supporter, John M. Murtagh, has his own ties to radical protesters: He served as a lawyer for a Catholic priest who led protests at an abortion clinic that turned violent.

The Raw Story: Olbermann examines McCain's ties to anti-abortion 'terrorist' sympathizer, by Nick Juliano & David Edwards:

[Keith] Olbermann [of MSNBC] ends up dissecting the implications of McCain's appearance at a fundraiser for the the ultra-right wing Oregon Citizens Alliance in 1993. Earlier this week, RAW STORY reported that McCain shared the stage with Marilyn Shannon, who during her own speech praised a local woman who had shot a doctor because he performed abortions....

As Jed Lewison notes Olbermann's segment does not mention that McCain voted against making abortion clinic bombings a federal crime three months after the OCA appearance. 

The Countdown segment also unearthed photos of Shannon as a delegate for President Bush during the 2004 Republican convention, where she wore a purple heart band-aid to mock John Kerry, and at the 2008 convention, which she attended as a McCain delegate wearing a "Shut Up and Drill" T-shirt.

Here's the Olbermann segment:

October 9, 2008 in 2008 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New York Times Looks Back at "Citizen Ruth"

New York Times: Critics' Picks: 'Citizen Ruth', by A.O. Scott:

A. O. Scott looks back at Alexander Payne's 1996 film with Laura Dern as a pregnant glue-sniffer who becomes a pawn in the abortion debate.

October 8, 2008 in Abortion, Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Yale Journal of Law and Feminism: Symposium on Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Yale Journal of Law and Feminism: Respecting Expecting: The 30th Anniversary of the PDA:

Please join the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism at a Symposium celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. We will be commemorating this landmark occasion, along with the twentieth anniversary of the Journal, with a symposium featuring the women and men who have been involved in every critical phase of the decades-long campaign for sex equality in the workplace. The event will bring together distinguished advocates and scholars from across the country to share their insights into the PDA and the future of workplace equality. Judge Marsha Berzon will be our Keynote speaker.

The Symposium will be held on Nov. 7-8, 2008.  Click on the above link for more information.

October 8, 2008 in Conferences and Symposia, Law School, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reva Siegel on Dignity and Abortion Regulation After Casey and Carhart

Reva Siegel (Yale Law School) has posted Dignity and the Politics of Protection: Abortion Restrictions Under Casey/Carhart on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Reva_2 This essay on the law and politics of abortion analyzes the constitutional principles governing new challenges to Roe. The essay situates the Court's recent decision in Gonzales v. Carhart in debates of the antiabortion movement over the reach and rationale of statutes designed to overturn Roe - exploring strategic considerations that lead advocates to favor incremental restrictions over bans, and to supplement fetal-protective justifications with woman-protective justifications for regulating abortion. The essay argues that a multi-faceted commitment to dignity links Carhart and the Casey decision on which it centrally relies. Dignity is a value that bridges communities divided in the abortion debate, as well as diverse bodies of constitutional and human rights law. Carhart invokes dignity as a reason for regulating abortion, while Casey invokes dignity as a reason for protecting women's abortion decisions from government regulation. This dignity-based analysis of Casey/Carhart offers principles for determining the constitutionality of woman-protective abortion restrictions. that are grounded in a large body of substantive due process and equal protection case law. Protecting women can violate women's dignity if protection is based on stereotypical assumptions about women's capacities and women's roles, as many of the new woman-protective abortion restrictions are. Like old forms of gender paternalism, the new forms of gender paternalism remedy harm to women through the control of women. The new woman-protective abortion restrictions do not provide women in need what they need: they do not alleviate the social conditions that contribute to unwanted pregnancies, nor do they provide social resources to help women who choose to end pregnancies they otherwise might bring to term. The essay concludes by reflecting on alternative - and constitutional - modes of protecting women who are making decisions about motherhood.

October 8, 2008 in Abortion, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Supreme Court Against Rejects Appeal of Jury Verdict in "Wanted" Posters Case

Supreme_court The Supreme Court has again declined to consider an appeal by the American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA) to overturn a multi-million-dollar jury verdict against the group.  In the mid-1990s, ACLA had posted "Wanted" signs that accused certain abortion providers of committing "crimes against humanity" and provided personal information about them.  The Ninth Circuit, ruling en banc, found that ACLA's conduct amounted to "true threats" and was not protected speech.  The Supreme Court has already twice refused to accept review of the case.  Here's coverage by the Associated Press.

October 6, 2008 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Supreme Court Lets Stand 9th Circuit Ruling on Choose Life License Plate

The Supreme Court will not review a Ninth Circuit decision, Arizona Life Coalition, Inc. v. Stanton, which held that the Arizona License Plate Commission violated the free speech rights of the Arizona Life Coalition when it denied the group's application for a "Choose Life" license plate.  See Associated Press: Court declines 'choose life' license plate case.

October 6, 2008 in Abortion, In the Courts, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Why Won't Democrats Talk About Abortion? Why won't they talk about abortion rights?, by Elizabeth Schulte:

IT WAS the elephant in the room. But there was almost no mention of it at all--just the barest passing reference by Joe Biden--in last night's vice presidential debates.

Abortion. Why is it that the Democrats, the party that is supposed to stand up for women's right to choose abortion, try so hard to keep that fact a secret from the rest of us?...

There are a lot of scary things about Palin, but among the scariest is her extremist stance on abortion--ban it entirely, even in the case of rape or incest. In a 2006 gubernatorial debate in Alaska, Palin was asked her attitude if her own 14-year-old daughter was raped. Her opponent, Anthony Knowles, answered, "I would love her and support her no matter what decision she made." Palin said, " I would choose life."

October 6, 2008 in 2008 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Another Anti-Abortion Legal Scholar Endorses Obama

Articles of Faith (Boston Globe): Another Anti-Abortion Scholar for Obama, by Michael Paulson:

A second prominent anti-abortion Catholic legal scholar has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama forCafardi_3 president. Nicholas P. Cafardi, a law professor and the former dean of the Duquesne University Law School, is an establishment Catholic figure -- he is a leading expert on canon law, he spent 13 years as the general counsel for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, he spent three years on the board of the Canon Law Society of America, and he was appointed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to the first National Review Board advising the church on its response to clergy sexual abuse. He authored an analysis of the bishops' response to clergy sexual abuse, "Before Dallas,'' that was published this year by Paulist Press.

The first prominent anti-abortion Catholic legal scholar to endorse Obama was Douglas Kmiec (see previous post).

October 4, 2008 in 2008 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Politics, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Catholic Voters Differ on How to Apply Church's Teachings on Abortion & Other Issues

NY Times: Catholic Church Is Riven by Internal Debate, by David D. Kirkpatrick:

Hail_mary As the Roman Catholic Church observes its annual “respect life” Sunday in this heated presidential election season, the unusually pitched competition for Catholic voters is setting off a round of skirmishes over how to apply the church’s teachings not only on abortion but also on the war in Iraq, immigration and racism....

It is a contest for credibility among observant Catholics, with each faction describing itself as a defender of “life.” The two sides disagree over how to address what the church calls “intrinsic evils,” including abortion and racism — the two examples singled out last year in a guide for Catholic voters put out by the United States Conference of Bishops....

Douglas W. Kmiec, a Catholic legal scholar who was a legal counsel in the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush, has been telling Catholic audiences in Pennsylvania and other swing states that Mr. Obama’s platform better fits Catholic social teaching, including reducing the abortion rate.

October 4, 2008 in 2008 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Politics, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Supreme Court and the Presidential Election

The Seattle Times: Think About the Supreme Court When You Vote for President, by Ellen Goodman:

Scotus When the court opens Monday, it will look like an oasis of calm in the capital. There are no neon-bright cases on the docket this term. ...But even the court's routine cases will wrestle with personal-injury suits, job discrimination, sexual harassment and the environment. The not-so-fleeting fact is that the court ultimately touches every life. And so I come reluctantly to my quadrennial and usually futile plea to consider the court when you get into the presidential voting booth...

George W. Bush's shadow will hover over the country long after he's gone, in the shape of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. In just three years and counting, the Roberts court has chilled desegregation efforts, allowed the first abortion ban with no exception for a woman's health, made it harder to claim employment discrimination, and easier to mix church and state.

October 3, 2008 in 2008 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Abortion Bans, President/Executive Branch, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

'Safe-Haven' Laws Intended for Newborns Being Used for Teens

NY Times: Parents Give Up Youths Under Law Meant for Babies, by Erik Eckholm: 

Safe_haven_2The abandonments began on Sept. 1, when a mother left her 14-year-old son in a police station here.

By Sept. 23, two more boys and one girl, ages 11 to 14, had been abandoned in hospitals in Omaha and Lincoln. Then a 15-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were left.

The biggest shock to public officials came last week, when a single father walked into an Omaha hospital and surrendered nine of his 10 children, ages 1 to 17, saying that his wife had died and he could no longer cope with the burden of raising them....

Officials have called the abandonments a misuse of a new law that was mainly intended to prevent so-called Dumpster babies — the abandonment of newborns by youn g, terrified mothers — but instead has been used to hand off out-of-control teenagers or, in the case of the father of 10, to escape financial and personal despair.

October 3, 2008 in Parenthood, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Palin and Biden Talk to Katie Couric About Roe v. Wade

Dieting History May Affect Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Wash. Post/HealthDay News: Dieting History Tied to Weight Gain in Pregnancy:

Women with a history of dieting or other practices that restrict their eating habits may be more vulnerable to gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy, a new study finds.

University of North Carolina researchers, in a study of more than 1,200 women, found these previously restricted eaters tended to gain more than the recommended amount of weight if they were either normal, overweight or obese at the start of pregnancy. Restricted eaters who were underweight at the start of their pregnancy tended to gain less than the recommended amount.

October 1, 2008 in Medical News, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Asian-White Couples Face Distinct Pregnancy Risks

LA Times: Asian-white couples have distinct pregnancy risks, by Shari Roan:

The risk of having problems in pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, preterm labor or low birth weight, differ among various ethnic groups, studies have shown. Now a study looking at interracial couples, Asian-white couples in particular, also shows a unique risk profile for such couples.

October 1, 2008 in Pregnancy & Childbirth, Race & Reproduction, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)