Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lack of Knowledge Regarding Prolife Laws

The various pro-choice attacks on Samuel Alito, especially his dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, usually rely on a lack of knowledge regarding certain prolife laws and/or how judges should come to their decisions.

Tiffany at Black Feminism is an example. She writes,

"One of the things that most disturbs me about Samuel Alito is his 1991 dissent in a challenge to a Pennsylvania law restricting abortion access. In his dissent, Alito argued that legally requiring a woman to notify her husband before seeking an abortion did not constitute an "undue burden."

My disagreement with Alito is simple, but from a common-sense standpoint, not a legal one: my health and safety are on the line. Why should anyone else have a say, and why should the government legally require me to put my health and safety at risk? Not only is pregnancy itself a risky proposition, but for many women, so is revealing a pregnancy. In fact, some researchers say that homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women. And what if that pregnancy wasn't a result of her husband's good lovin'? Thank goodness the other judges in the case had more sense."

First, isn't it always fun to criticize legal rulings from a "common-sense standpoint?" Because we all know that judges should base their rulings on common sense, right? I mean, who needs the Constitution and legal precedent if you have common sense?

Second, it's quite obvious that Tiffany has never read the text of Pennsylvania's spousal notification law or the text of Third Circuit's decision because if she did then she would know that one of the exceptions to this law was if "Her spouse is not the father of the child." Tiffany also seems unaware that this law had other exceptions including if the "woman has reason to believe that the furnishing of notice to her spouse is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her by her spouse or by another individual."

The saddest thing is that NARAL's blog links to Tiffany's ill-informed opinion.

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