Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life Links 9/16/09

Clarke Forsythe argues that Justice Blackmun's personhood remarks aren't a good reason for personhood initiatives.
There are several fundamental problems here. First, this is a classic case of reading the language out of context. The phrase “suggestion of personhood” in Blackmun’s opinion clearly refers to the earlier phrase “within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.” It does not mean “personhood” in any broader medical, moral, or legal sense. Blackmun is emphasizing the meaning of “person” within the 14th Amendment.

Second, no state can — by statute or constitutional amendment — change the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the federal constitution. The 14th Amendment can be changed only by another federal constitutional amendment or by the U.S. Supreme Court’s changing its interpretation of the 14th Amendment....

Basing state personhood amendments on extrapolations of Blackmun’s language in Roe is futile. This does not mean that establishing some form of legal personhood in the states is not a worthy goal. It simply means that (because of our system of federalism) it will not — it cannot — establish 14th Amendment personhood or set up a test case to overturn Roe.

The Daily Mail has an article on a recent Canadian study which found a link between abortion and premature birth.
It discovered that women who had undergone more than one abortion had a 72 per cent increased risk for low birth weight and 93 per cent risk of prematurity.

It also found that women who had an abortion in the first or second trimester had a 35 per cent increased risk of giving birth to a low-weight birth baby and a 36 per cent increased risk of having a premature baby.
The study is also the focus of articles in the Guardian and the Times Online. I've yet to see an American media outlet pick up on the story published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Douglas Johnson had an editorial in the Winona Daily News discussing what Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards really wants.

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