abortion and the violation of basic rights

icky rights

Corbin on Abor­tion Dis­tor­tions by Brid­get Crawford

You can down­load this free pdf at the link shown here at the Fem­i­nist Law Pro­fes­sors web­site.

Regard­ing state imposed vio­la­tions of free speech such as requir­ing doc­tors to lie to women seek­ing abor­tion on behalf of reli­gious beliefs:

The Free Speech Clause pro­tects the right to speak as well as the right to not speak.This right against com­pelled speech was first estab­lished in a case chal­leng­ing a state require­ment that school­child­ren recite the pledge of alle­giance every morn­ing. In strik­ing down the law, the Supreme Court famously observed: “If there is any fixed star in our con­sti­tu­tional con­stel­la­tion, it is that no offi­cial, high or petty, shall pre­scribe what shall be ortho­dox in pol­i­tics, nation­al­ism, reli­gion, or other mat­ters of opin­ion or force cit­i­zens to con­fess by word or action their faith therein.” In other words, the gov­ern­ment can­not com­pel any­one to express agree­ment with gov­ern­ment ide­ol­ogy. Such com­pul­sion would vio­late the free­dom of con­science the Free Speech Clause was designed to pro­tect. It is as anath­ema as the state cen­sor­ing speech it disapproves.

… the default rule is that the reg­u­la­tion is uncon­sti­tu­tional unless it sur­vives strict scrutiny. Speech laws that con­trol not just the sub­ject mat­ter but view­point are espe­cially sus­pect, and espe­cially unlikely to pass such exact­ing scrutiny. Imag­ine, for exam­ple, a law for­bid­ding obstetrician-​gynecologists from telling their patients about var­i­ous child sup­port or social ser­vices avail­able to preg­nant or par­ent­ing women. Or, imag­ine that the gov­ern­ment com­pelled doc­tors to advise preg­nant women with two or more chil­dren to choose abor­tion given the over­whelm­ing expense of putting three chil­dren through col­lege. In the manda­tory abor­tion coun­sel­ing cases, how­ever, the appeals courts have not applied strict scrutiny.

Creating a new era of open government

Barack Obama, Eric Holder

I couldn’t find attri­bu­tion for this pho­to­graph. All clues welcome

Pres­i­dent Obama’s FOIA Mem­o­ran­dum and Attor­ney Gen­eral Holder’s FOIA Guide­lines: Cre­at­ing a “New Era of Open Gov­ern­ment” at the United States Depart­ment of Jus­tice Office of Infor­ma­tion Policy

On his first full day in office, Jan­u­ary 21, 2009, Pres­i­dent Obama issued a mem­o­ran­dum to the heads of all depart­ments and agen­cies on the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act (FOIA). The Pres­i­dent directed that FOIA “should be admin­is­tered with a clear pre­sump­tion: In the face of doubt, open­ness pre­vails.” More­over, the Pres­i­dent instructed agen­cies that infor­ma­tion should not be with­held merely because “pub­lic offi­cials might be embar­rassed by dis­clo­sure, because errors and fail­ures might be revealed, or because of spec­u­la­tive or abstract fears.”

Agen­cies were directed to respond to requests “promptly and in a spirit of coop­er­a­tion.” The Pres­i­dent also called on agen­cies to “adopt a pre­sump­tion in favor of dis­clo­sure” and to apply that pre­sump­tion “to all deci­sions involv­ing [the] FOIA.” This pre­sump­tion of dis­clo­sure includes tak­ing “affir­ma­tive steps to make infor­ma­tion pub­lic,” and uti­liz­ing “mod­ern tech­nol­ogy to inform cit­i­zens about what is known and done by their Gov­ern­ment.“
Con­tinue read­ing

the psychiatric industrial complex and talking back

fda-conflict-of-interests

Open Let­ter to the Board of Trustees and the Assem­bly of the Amer­i­can Psy­chi­atric Asso­ci­a­tion by Dr. Mickey Nardo posted at his website.

It has been a dark time for psy­chi­a­try. Since the inves­ti­ga­tions of Sen­a­tor Grass­ley exposed sig­nif­i­cant cor­rup­tion and unseated three chairs of Psy­chi­a­try in 2008, there has been a series of dis­turb­ing expo­sures involv­ing wide­spread ghost writ­ing, guest author­ing, and ques­tion­able clin­i­cal trial report­ing; esca­lat­ing widely pub­li­cized set­tle­ments by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies involv­ing psy­choac­tive drugs and impli­cat­ing promi­nent psy­chi­a­trists; charges of over­med­ica­tion and entre­pre­neuri­al­ism; the dry­ing up of the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal pipeline; recur­rent charges of ubiq­ui­tous Con­flicts of Inter­est in high places; and an ongo­ing and divi­sive process that spanned the DSM-​5 Revi­sion process. Besides the grav­ity and fre­quency of the prob­lems, their han­dling by the admin­is­tra­tive lev­els in our spe­cialty have played poorly in the eyes of the pub­lic and our cur­rency is at an all time low.