Thursday, January 26, 2006

Alito likely to oppose privacy right

I hope he understands that we, then, will have to oppose his privacy rights. He should really think about this one, since his wife tends to have little breakdowns, at the drop of a hat.

It looks as if Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court will be confirmed. Many people think, as I do, that this will herald the end of Roe v. Wade. Conservatives talk about "strict constructionists," "the letter of the law" and "legislating from the bench." I would like to remind those people that Roe v. Wade was decided from Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, a date within the reach of many Floridians' memory. In Griswold, the Supreme Court found a right to privacy for married couples seeking birth control counseling. They found that right in the First, Third, Fourth and Ninth amendments.

The right to privacy is implicit in every breath we take (though the Bush administration would have us believe otherwise). It is especially so regarding medical issues, and, in fact, a famous conservative radio commentator recently cited his right to privacy when his medical records were subpoenaed.

I'd like to walk up to the leading lights of the conservative party and ask, "Hey, do you use birth control?" Or, "What's that I hear about your wife having a hysterectomy?" Or say, "I heard your son is in detox. Tell me all about it."

I am deeply ashamed that the right to privacy probably will be taken away on my watch. I foresee every state legislature revisiting this issue every year for the rest of my life. Every state will have different restrictions, and women with means will travel from state to state seeking an abortion. Poor women will be out of luck.

But don't say that Roe v. Wade created law. If anything, that happened when Americans got access to birth control.

By the way, I want to see everyone's medical records at 4 o'clock. Have 'em ready.

Liz Neigh



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