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Trying to Convince Kennedy

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anthony_kennedy

The plurality opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey observed that “[t]he ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” This principle has, alas, been more honored in the breach than in the observance by the Supreme Court. A group of lawyers has submitted an amicus brief in Whole Women’s Health v. Cole showing how the Texas anti-abortion statute at issue in the case interferes with this fundamental right:

While Amici come from different regional, religious, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds, and had their abortions for a variety of medical and personal reasons, certain themes repeat throughout their experiences, among them: that they would not have been able to graduate from high school, college, or law school but for their abortions; that abortions provided them with the freedom to escape unhealthy or abusive situations and relationships; and that abortions allowed Amici to delay childbearing until they could be good parents. Most of all, Amici share a common recognition of the critical importance to their careers and their lives of safe access to abortion and the dangers of laws that complicate that path.

Justice Blackmun observed that “[b]ecause motherhood has a dramatic impact on a woman’s educational prospects, employment opportunities, and self-determination, restrictive abortion law deprive her of basic control over her life.” Amici’s experiences bear this out.

These accounts are definitely worth reading. Whether they will persuade Kennedy, who knows, but it’s definitely important to counter the stories of women regretting abortions that Kennedy has relied on in the past.

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