A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: Roe v. Wade

The Right to Not Have an Abortion

By Nicole Rowlands

There’s a stigma that comes with being a teen mom. You may not graduate high school. In less than a year, you may get pregnant again. And eight out of ten teen pregnancy cases do not end up in marriage. But for a 16-year-old teen from Houston, Texas, none of it matters.

She wants her baby. And she will keep it. Despite the odds against her.

According to the teen, her parents tried coercing her to have an abortion. She told the press that after finding out about her pregnancy, her parents took away her phone and her car, pulled her out of school, and made her get two jobs in an effort to make her miserable so that she’d give up and agree to abort her baby.  Her mother allegedly threatened to “slip her an abortion pill.” And her father told her he was going to “look into canceling her health insurance.”

Her parents gave her two choices: one, she could “live in misery” in their home, or two, she could “have the abortion and tell everyone it was a miscarriage.”

The teen sought the court’s help to sue her parents and was represented by lawyers from the Texas Center for Defense of Life. In the end, she and her parents reached an agreement and she was “allowed” to go through with the pregnancy. But, as a minor, if the case had gone forward, would she have won?

The press didn’t analyze the legal issues involved. We will.

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Legislating the Penis

By Nadia-Elysse Harris

Let’s see how you like it if we legislate your penises, boys.

Because let’s face it, it takes two to tango.  Recent state laws intended to place obstacles in the way of women’s right to abortion don’t seem to notice that women don’t get pregnant without a little help from men. Meantime, on the federal side, the government did keep men in its discussion of women’s reproductive rights — by holding hearings on proposed birth control reform in front of a nearly all male panel of experts.

It’s somewhat surprising there’s a debate about legalized abortion at all.  We thought the matter was settled with Roe v. Wade , when the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny women the right to have an abortion. And then in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey went a step further, saying that state laws regulating abortions can’t place an undue burden on women. The friction between the rights these cases try to protect and the newly proposed legislation sweeping the nation has left many women bewildered, and indignant.

And some of our elected officials are doing something about it.

In an unconventional turn of events, some state senators and representatives have begun proposing legislation aimed at the sexual and reproductive organs – of men.  For the most part, penis-targeted legislation has been flying under the radar, but luckily for you, dear readers, we rounded up some of our favorites:   (more…)

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A 2L Goes to Washington

Justice Scalia is in the middle. Dara Poltrock is third from the left in the purple blouse.

By Dara Poltrock

When I learned my Modern Supreme Court class would be going to hear oral arguments at the Supreme Court and then meet Justice Antonin Scalia, I could hardly contain my excitement.  For a law student this is about the same as handing a golden ticket to an American Idol contestant and telling her that she’s going to Hollywood.

Before those of you who don’t spend your days reading Supreme Court decisions mentally check out of this article, let me explain…

As a second year law student, I read Supreme Court decisions more than I talk to my friends. I know how they think and how they come out on decisions.  For example I’ve learned that if a right is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, Justices Scalia and Thomas are hard pressed to find the right exists.  And I’ve learned that Justice Ginsberg generally votes with the liberal wing of the Court.  Simply put—the chance to meet the justices felt like the chance to meet a movie star.  I had to share my experience with LASIS readers. (more…)

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