36 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2014 Last revised: 29 Jun 2016
Date Written: January 8, 2014
Two types of distortions often arise in abortion jurisprudence. The first is distortion of scientific fact. Too often abortion opponents distort medical facts and courts accept those distortions as true. Take, for example, the claim that abortion makes women depressed and suicidal. In fact, no reputable study supports any such causal link. Equally without scientific foundation is the claim that morning after pills like Plan B act as abortifacients. They do not.
The second kind of distortion that occurs in abortion jurisprudence is that the normal doctrine does not apply. Thus, despite the fact that compelling someone to articulate the government’s ideology is anathema in free speech jurisprudence, courts have upheld mandatory abortion counseling laws that force doctors to serve as mouthpieces for the state’s viewpoint. Similarly, despite the fact that for-profit corporations have never been held to have religious rights, several courts have stayed application of the new contraception mandate on the grounds that it might violate the corporation’s "conscience." This abortion exceptionalism is problematic for women and for First Amendment jurisprudence.
Keywords: Abortion, First Amendment, Free Speech, compelled speech, Free Exercise, religious liberty, corporations, mandatory counseling, post-abortion syndrome, suicide, contraception mandate, ACA, contraception, morning after pills, Plan B
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Corbin, Caroline Mala, Abortion Distortions (January 8, 2014). Washington and Lee Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 2, p. 1175, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2375783
By Jack Balkin
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