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07/01/2016

Information overload

Alvin Toffler has died.  If you are too young to remember his 1970 book Future Shock (all of us nerdy kids in my school read it when it came out), one of his many prescient statements was that people in the future would be so overwhelmed with information that they scarcely know what to do with it all.

And so in recent weeks I find myself absorbing information but having little else to add.  And so today I will just provide a series of links related to this week’s developments regarding abortion.

The big news of course was the court’s decision striking down regulations of abortion clinics, in Whole Women’s Health v. HellerstedtI guess for me the most astounding features of this ruling are the micromanagement of health regulation by the court, and the argument that the controls in the struck-down Texas law would not have prevented the likes of Kermit Gosnell.  The latter point seems quite unique in today’s highly (I would say over-) regulated world.  I can’t imagine, for example, FDA regulations being struck down on the grounds they would be not only too burdensome but just plain ineffective.

Justice Alito’s 44-page dissent (you have to scroll down about half way through the set of opinions) makes for bracing reading.

CNN’s website carried thoughtful and, I think, on-target analysis of Whole Women’s Health by O. Carter Snead from Notre Dame.  

I landed on some links that led back to a fairly notorious 2009 New York Times interview with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, aka “Notorious RBG,” in which she discussed her initial belief that Roe v Wade may have been motivated by eugenic concerns, a view that she revised when the Hyde Amendment, barring federal funding for abortion in Medicaid, was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1980 in Harris v McRae.  She went on to say (elaborated on further in 2012) that her thinking is motivated by her perception that abortion is necessary for women to become “women of means.”  In sum, reviewing this emphasizes the pro-abortion view that abortion is an affirmative public good, and, as news reports stated this week, the Hyde Amendment is the next target for legal challenge. 

David French (I guess he’s not running for president, after all) writes about a Supreme Court smackdown of conscience rights for pharmacists who would refer rather than fill prescriptions for abortifacient drugs.

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