August 3, 2012
"'Life at Conception' Issue Reaches Court," Lyle Denniston, SCOTUSblog: There are three constitutional questions raised by the recent request from a "personhood" group for the Supreme Court to consider an Oklahoma court's rejection of a ballot proposal seeking to give constitutional rights beginning at fertilization. Two of the questions relate to the ballot initiative process and the right of a state to amend its constitution, while the third question "is the one that could raise the abortion issue anew," Denniston explains. "That question asked whether the state court decision was wrong in concluding that a state could not constitutionally define 'person' to include unborn fetuses," he writes (Denniston, SCOTUSblog, 7/31).
"Pro-Life Sentences," Scott Lemieux, American Prospect 's "The Docket": Lemieux explains how two recent court rulings in South Dakota and Arizona "conspicuously refuse to take a woman's reproductive rights seriously" and violate the Supreme Court precedent of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In the South Dakota decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a statute requiring doctors to inform women seeking an abortion that the procedure can lead to increased risk of depression and suicide, while the Arizona decision by U.S. District Court Judge James Teilborg upheld a state law that bans most abortions after 20 weeks. Both cases rely on "antiabortion junk science," Lemieux writes, adding that they also "threaten the reproductive freedom of women and should be overturned by higher courts" (Lemieux, "The Docket," American Prospect, 7/31).
What others are saying about recent court decisions:
~ "Ninth Circuit Court Blocks Arizona's Extreme Abortion Ban," Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check.
~ "Perverting Informed Consent: The South Dakota Court Decision," Maya Manian, RH Reality Check.
~ "Goodbye, Trimesters: How the Arizona Court Ruling May Turn Roe on Its Head," Robin Marty and Jessica Pieklo, RH Reality Check.
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.