Eye On <i>Ayotte</i>
November 30, 2005 - 11:37am ET
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So today's the big day—today, the Supreme Court hears arguments for the first abortion case to come before it in five years. There are actually three abortion-related cases up for arguments today: Ayotte vs. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Scheidler vs. National Organization For Women and Operation Rescue vs. National Organization For Women. The Ayotte case is the one you've probably heard about: It considers whether abortion restrictions must include exception clauses to protect women's health. But there's more than meets the eye about all three cases and the way they've been portrayed in the media.
The Ayotte case has been in the news on and off for at least six months. When John Roberts was confirmed as chief justice, the case was cited as one of the most important cases Roberts would consider in his first session. While the major question in the Ayotte case is about health exceptions to abortion restrictions, the media has overwhelmingly been portraying it as a case about parental rights. The Scheidler and Operation Rescue cases deal with violence and harassment at health clinics that provide abortions. The decisions in these cases could have sweeping practical implications about women's abilities to actually access abortion services—potentially severely limiting reproductive choice even if Roe v. Wade remains untouched.
These are complex and politically charged cases, and the amount of media coverage surrounding them can be dizzying. So here, in one place, is your primer for today's Supreme Court cases:
Ayotte vs. Planned Parenthood of
The Implications of Ayotte: From Planned Parenthood
Danger Ahead: How Restricting Teens' Access To Safe Abortion Threatens Their Lives And Health: Policy brief from Ipas, a nonprofit organization focused on reducing deaths and injuries from unsafe abortions. This paper explains how well-meaning requirements that parents be notified before a minor has an abortion can result in unsafe abortions.
Scheidler vs. National Organization For Women and Operation Rescue vs. National Organization For Women:
Conflicting Rights: Op-ed piece from The Boston Globe
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