Pro-Life Briefs: Supreme Court, New York, New Hampshire, Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Briefs: Supreme Court, New York, New Hampshire, Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 20, 2006

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Rejects "Living Constitution," Abortion
Washington, DC ( —
Justice Antonin Scalia is dismissing the idea that the U.S. Constitution is a living document which should change with society. In a speech sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia said, “That’s the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break. But you would have to be an idiot to believe that," Scalia said. "The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things.” Scalia describes his judicial philosophy as originalism, a belief that interprets the Constitution according to the original text. Therefore, Scalia said, there can be no room for personal, political, or religious beliefs in Constitutional rulings. Scalia added that proponents of the living Constitution concept “are not looking for legal flexibility, they are looking for rigidity, whether it’s the right to abortion or the right to homosexual activity, they want that right to be embedded from coast to coast and to be unchangeable.”

New York Lawmakers Continue to Promote Morning After Pill
Albany, NY ( —
Some lawmakers in New York appear to be ignoring the Governor’s calls to ensure that teenagers consult with doctors before taking the morning-after pill. A newly-revised proposal in the legislature would provide women with access to the pill without prescriptions. Gov. George Pataki vetoed similar legislation last year, saying it did not require adolescents to consult with physicians before taking the drug. But the revised bill won’t put the matter to rest, since it does not contain any special restrictions involving age. The bill would, however, require pharmacists and nurses to advise women about the importance of follow-up health care. State Sen. Raymond Meier (R-Oneida County) has said he expects to vote against the legislation again this year. Meier also predicts the Governor will veto the bill because the age issue hasn’t been resolved. Meier also questions whether it’s right for anyone, no matter what her age, to get the morning-after pill without consulting a doctor. Meanwhile, Kathleen Gallagher of the New York State Catholic Conference says she believes the age issue will doom the bill.

New Hampshire Measure Would Protect Pregnant Women, Unborn Babies
Concord, NH ( —
A bill now before a New Hampshire House committee would ensure that someone who murders a pregnant woman could be charged with the killing of her unborn child. The legislation would count an unborn baby as a separate victim in cases of murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. Pro-life activists say the bill will recognize the dual losses that occur when a pregnant woman is murdered. The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 34 other states have fetal homicide bills. A similar bill died on New Hampshire’s House floor last year. “Let the challenge come that this law infringes on Roe (v. Wade) and I will gladly stand by it and go through the process and defend it,” Rep. Barbara Hagan (R-Manchester), one of the bill’s sponsors, said in published reports. Gov. John Lynch opposes the bill, claiming that it has more to do with abortion politics than public safety. The issue of fetal homicide gained national attention during the murder trial of Californian Scott Peterson, who was convicted of killing his wife and unborn son, Conner.

New Hampshire Bill Requires Parental Consent for Morning-After Pill
Concord, NH ( —
A bill in the New Hampshire Senate would require parental consent for teenage girls under 18 to obtain the controversial “morning-after” pill. The pill is under scrutiny because it can cause chemical abortions. Meanwhile, a less protective New Hampshire House bill would require pharmacists to provide parental notification if the morning-after pill is given to teenagers younger than 16. Legislative efforts are also underway in New Hampshire to protect pharmacists from discipline if they decline to dispense the morning-after pill for moral reasons. But the New Hampshire Medical Society is opposing giving pharmacists protection for refusing to dispense the pill. Under current New Hampshire law, pharmacists can provide women and girls with the morning-after pill without a prescription. “The young women getting these pills need parental guidance,” Rep. Kathleen Souza (R-Manchester) said in published reports. Nationwide, numerous questions have been raised about the safety of the morning-after pill—particularly the safety of giving it to teenage girls. Critics of the pill also note that it can promote promiscuity among teens.