Alito Memorandum Demonstrates Hostility to Women's Reproductive Rights
Unquestionable evidence of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's efforts to undercut women's reproductive rights surfaced yesterday in a memorandum he wrote while serving in the Reagan Justice Department. In his 1985 memorandum (PDF) to the solicitor general, Alito advised against “a frontal assault” on Roe v. Wade that could result in rulings affirming the decision. Instead he mapped out a strategy to undermine Roe to provide “greater recognition of the states’ interest in protecting the unborn throughout pregnancy” that would also not even “tacitly concede Roe’s legitimacy.” The memorandum belies Alito’s recent attempts to distance himself from statements in his 1985 job application to become assistant attorney general when he wrote that he was “particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that ... the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”
Alito even used language blurring the distinction between abortion and birth control He posed the extraordinary and shocking question: “What, for example is the objection to informing a woman that certain methods of birth control are ‘abortiafacients,’ i.e., that they do not prevent fertilization but terminate the development of the fetus after conception?” as he advocated for state regulations requiring women seeking an abortion be given information including adoption opportunities, fetal development and the possibility of “unforeseeable detrimental effects” of the procedure.
“This latest revelation shows not only abortion but even some forms of birth control may be in jeopardy with an Alito appointment,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Will he develop a slippery slope for the more effective forms of birth control?”
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .