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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 11-30-05, 09:21 AM   #1
Red Dog
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Hold on to your hats, they're arguing about abortion at the Supreme Court today!

Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

Quote:
Supreme Court Hears First Abortion Case in 5 Years
At Issue: N.H. Law Requiring Parental Notification for Underage Women Seeking Abortions

By Fred Barbash
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 30, 2005; 9:57 AM

The Supreme Court today takes up its first abortion-related case in five years, testing not only the restrictive law in question but the tilt of a court undergoing its most extensive change in decades.

At issue during oral arguments set for 11 a.m. is a New Hampshire law requiring parental notification for underage women seeking abortions, with no exception made when the woman's health is at stake, unless she is certifiably confronting death.

Also at stake in the case of Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England et al is the broader issue of the power of the federal courts to declare abortion laws unconstitutional on their face, as opposed to waiting until a specific woman seeking the procedure works her way through the courts. That question is critical, because in abortion cases, the woman can only wait so long.

In the Ayotte case, more than any other in recent memory, attention will be focused on court personnel.

Courtroom observers will scrutinize every word uttered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and no doubt every change in his facial expression in search of clues to views he declined to provide during his confirmation hearings in September. Roberts replaced the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.

While Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is expected to be on the bench today, her participation in the ultimate decision is uncertain. O'Connor, who is retiring, will most likely not be on the court in late Spring when an opinion is issued, if it is, indeed, issued rather than postponed for reargument in the presence of her replacement.

Confirmation hearings for her designated replacement, Samuel A. Alito, are scheduled to begin Jan. 9, with abortion, as always, front and center in the questioning.

Specifically, Democrats will be asking Judge Alito about a 1985 memo he wrote while seeking a Justice Department position in the Reagan administration stating that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion in addition to his dissent in a major abortion case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on which he sits.

The right to abortion is not at issue in today's case.

Having failed over the years to overturn Roe v. Wade , the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, opponents of abortion have succeeded in getting most state legislatures to put various obstacles in the way of women seeking to terminate their pregnancy. The Supreme Court has upheld some of these restrictions and struck down others.

Among those it has struck down are restrictions that do not provide an exception when the health of the woman may be at stake.

In the Ayotte case, the state of New Hampshire argued unsuccessfully in the appeals court that the health of the mother is adequately protected by a provision that allows a judge to bypass the parental notification provision if he concludes that "the pregnant minor is mature and capable of giving informed consent" or that the "pregnant minor's best interests would be served by waiving the notification requirement."

Planned Parenthood, in its challenge to the law, argues that the judicial bypass is not adequate. "In an emergency," it said in its brief to the court, "a woman needs to go to the hospital not a courthouse."

Planned Parenthood also takes issue with New Hampshire's position that courts should wait for an actual woman seeking an abortion before it considers the constitutionality of abortion laws.

"The state argues that this court should grant no relief at all" when a law is challenged, the organization said in its brief, and "instead should wait until presented with a 'concrete case' of a teen in the midst of a medical crisis. But by that point, it is too late to prevent the harm and, thus, to remedy the violation."

Kelly A. Ayotte, New Hampshire's attorney general, will argue the case for the state.

Jennifer Dalven of the ACLU will argue for Planned Parenthood.

In a rare departure from tradition, the Supreme Court will release an audio version of the arguments after they are complete. The court does not permit simultaneous broadcast either by television or radio.

Solicitor General Paul Clement will argue for the Bush Administration as a friend of the court in support of New Hampshire.


My position is clear - the state should be able to legislate in this area.

Now when it comes to precedent, based on Stenberg, I'm not sure how the NH law can be upheld.
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Old 11-30-05, 09:26 AM   #2
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CSPAN just mentioned they will have the "same day audio release" of the arguments. This means you should be able to hit their website this afternoon and listen in to what happened.
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Old 11-30-05, 09:43 AM   #3
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The other wrinkle is the Alito nomination. Assuming he is confirmed, that would likey take place before a decision in this case is handed down. It could mean that they might have to come back and do this all over again. Swapping Alito for O'Connor would likely turn the Stenberg majority into a minority.
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Old 11-30-05, 09:48 AM   #4
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70% of the American people favor parental notification.

Abortion rights groups called Alito an extremist, because he seems to support that idea.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:28 AM   #5
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Red Dog, what is your opinion of the bringing of this case by Planned Parenthood before a woman was actually harmed by the law? What is precedent there?

IMO, PP knows no one would be harmed by this law, or waiting 20 years for it to be so isn't in THEIR best interests.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquitobite
Red Dog, what is your opinion of the bringing of this case by Planned Parenthood before a woman was actually harmed by the law? What is precedent there?

IMO, PP knows no one would be harmed by this law, or waiting 20 years for it to be so isn't in THEIR best interests.

I have no problem with it.

I can see someone feeling that they are being harmed by the law. I think PP is correct when they argue:

Quote:
...that to forbid preemptive facial challenges like the one made here would force pregnant minors to wait until their health is actually jeopardized by the Act before challenging it. It would also force each pregnant minor whose health might be threatened by the Act to challenge it on a case-by-case, as-applied basis, thus generating unneeded and redundant litigation. This would force challengers to face unsafe and undue delay in getting an emergency abortion, put their health and lives at risk, and perhaps deter them from exercising their right to seek abortions at all.
I agree. Why not deal with it now rather than later and get it settled? It is consistent with the Thornburgh case as well.
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Last edited by Red Dog; 11-30-05 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:44 AM   #7
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Red Dog,

How is O'Connor going to vote? Doesn't she 'follow pulbic opinion?'
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Old 11-30-05, 10:44 AM   #8
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See my whole issue is, if the health of the minor is REALLY at risk, surely the parents of said minor would consent to an abortion on those grounds. So why do we need the round-about again?

Oh yes... because PP doesn't agree with parental consent.

Too bad. They have to have consent to get a tattoo or their ears pierced. They should have their parents consent for an abortion.

jmho...
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Old 11-30-05, 10:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman2
Red Dog,

How is O'Connor going to vote? Doesn't she 'follow pulbic opinion?'

As I said before, it will probably be a moot point, as she will likely not have a say when all is said and done.

If she did uphold the statute and go with Gallup, she would have to come up something new once again because she boxed herself in with Stenberg.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquitobite
See my whole issue is, if the health of the minor is REALLY at risk, surely the parents of said minor would consent to an abortion on those grounds. So why do we need the round-about again?

Oh yes... because PP doesn't agree with parental consent.

Too bad. They have to have consent to get a tattoo or their ears pierced. They should have their parents consent for an abortion.

jmho...

I don't know. There are some looney parents out there.

I don't agree with parental consent either - as a policy matter. I do agree with notification.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:49 AM   #11
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Isn't the decision to be handed down in January?

I think she may very well be on the bench in January.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman2
Isn't the decision to be handed down in January?

I think she may very well be on the bench in January.

No way they would crank out a decision that fast.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dog
No way they would crank out a decision that fast.
I've heard over and over that the decision is expected to come down in January, 2006.

It seemed rather fast to me.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:56 AM   #14
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Unless you have an extreme situation like Bush v Gore, I'd say the low-end for turnarounds is 2 months.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:01 AM   #15
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This is not about parental consent, from what I have read....it is about parental notification. A looney parent couldn't stop a child, they would simply have to be informed.

I find it really disgusting that this wouldn't be mandatory.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvrdave
This is not about parental consent, from what I have read....it is about parental notification. A looney parent couldn't stop a child, they would simply have to be informed.
Well, they can't legally stop a child. But they can stop them from other means. Keeping a super tight watch on them so they can't get to the clinic. Saying they will throw them out if the have the abortion instead of having the child, etc. Where without notification the kid could theoretically have it done without parental notification.

I still, personally, don't have a huge problem with notification though. I'd kind of prefer the age be under 16 rather than just minors. As 16 and 17 year olds can already drive and have more freedom in general, and are more around the typical start having sex age, so I don't think parents have as much of a "right" to be notified as for say a 13 year old.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dog
I don't know. There are some looney parents out there.

I don't agree with parental consent either - as a policy matter. I do agree with notification.
So let's do away with parental consent for earrings and tattoos.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvrdave
A looney parent couldn't stop a child, they would simply have to be informed.

Yeah, legally they couldn't stop them, but otherwise, I don't think it is outside the realm of possibility.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:11 AM   #19
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To have a 14 year old child's arm set in the emergency room, do you have to have parental notification or consent?
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Old 11-30-05, 11:12 AM   #20
mosquitobite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
Well, they can't legally stop a child. But they can stop them from other means. Keeping a super tight watch on them so they can't get to the clinic. Saying they will throw them out if the have the abortion instead of having the child, etc. Where without notification the kid could theoretically have it done without parental notification.

I still, personally, don't have a huge problem with notification though. I'd kind of prefer the age be under 16 rather than just minors. As 16 and 17 year olds can already drive and have more freedom in general, and are more around the typical start having sex age, so I don't think parents have as much of a "right" to be notified as for say a 13 year old.
And I'm of the opinion, you live under my roof, you live by MY rules.

Look, I've been open & honest about my past. I was 17, going on 18. Granted, my parents couldn't have stopped me because of that, I still NOTIFIED them. I was getting ready to enter college, yadda yadda yadda.

They were ADAMANTLY opposed to what I did. They volunteered to raise the child as theirs. I didn't talk to my mother for almost a year after.

They still paid for me to go to college though.

If the deciding factor of NOT telling your parents something so important is
A) they might throw you out
B) they might not pay for college (as in the famous Owen case)
C) they might hold you under lock & key

You are not old enough or mature enough to make that decision without them ANYWAYS.

If you can't say, "hey I'm gonna do this no matter what my parents say or do" then you're not mature enough. PERIOD.

If you can't support yourself - YOU'RE NOT MATURE ENOUGH TO HAVE AN ABORTION!!

Granted, they're also not mature enough to be having sex either, but dammit - if you went THAT far pretending to be adult - you best be willing to take it up the rest of the way.

Off my soapbox.
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Last edited by mosquitobite; 11-30-05 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:16 AM   #21
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Perhaps instead of all this "abortion rights" and parental notification/consent BS, the pro-abortion crowd's best route would be to have laws on the books that says once a woman has become pregnant, she can petition the court for emmancipation.

Let the law be written in such a way that if a petition for emmancipation for a pregnant minor comes up, it is automatically granted immediately. Then, she's on her own.

If she doesn't want her parents to have a say in something such as this - take it ALLLLLL the way... the "child" is now an independent adult. With all the benefits and demands.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:16 AM   #22
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Hypothetical: The court rules there has to be parental notification. A 13-year old girl gets pregnant. She seeks an abortion with notification, but not parental consent. The abortion is performed. The parents kick the girl out of the girl. What is the position of the legal system then?
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Old 11-30-05, 11:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquitobite
So let's do away with parental consent for earrings and tattoos.

I've always said that inconsistency is there. I admit my inconsistency on the policy distinction. I just think abortion is different ballgame. I can't explain why - it is just my gut feeling that a minor shouldn't be forced to carry a fetus for 9 months within their body if they don't want to.

Now, like kvrdave said, this case is not about parental consent, but notification.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquitobite
If you can't support yourself - YOU'RE NOT MATURE ENOUGH TO HAVE AN ABORTION!!
But they're mature enough to carry a baby for 9 months, and be a mother (if they don't give it up for adoption)?

I guess I just don't agree that abortion requires maturity. And I think 16-17 year olds having sex are mature enough to handle it. And mature enough to want to keep it from their parents to not have to deal with the drama from their parents from a decision that didn't directly effect them in anyway.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:20 AM   #25
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To Planned Parenthood & pro-abortion crowds notification = consent.
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