A mother prosecuted for talking to her daughter about abortion…
Republicans talk a lot about the constitution and the Freedom of Speech. But they’ll prosecute a mother talking to her daughter about reproductive health, or fire a librarian helping someone find a book about abortion options.
Republicans, however use the freedom of speech guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution to justify protests outside abortion clinics. Republican hypocrisy is truly amazing.
Freedom of Speech (but only for Republicans)
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The Next Anti-Abortion Tactic: Attacking the Spread of Information
Attacks on speech about abortion are a reversal for an anti-abortion movement that long claimed to be a champion of the First Amendment. Anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers also have been protected by free speech concerns. The Supreme Court blessed in 2018.
Social conservatives next front is hindering access to information about abortion by trampling the First Amendment rights of others. This requires more than reversing a Supreme Court decision. NY Times
Nebraska: Mother-daughter conversation prosecuted
Law enforcement obtained a warrant to search a teenager’s private Facebook messages, in which she told her mother of her urgent desire to end her pregnancy. The mother is now being prosecuted on charges of helping her daughter abort the pregnancy by giving advice about abortion pills. A 41-year-old woman is facing felony charges in Nebraska for allegedly helping her teenage daughter illegally abort a pregnancy, and the case highlights how law enforcement can make use of online communications in the post-Roe v. Wade era.Police in Norfolk, Neb., had been investigating the woman, Jessica Burgess, and her daughter, Celeste Burgess, for allegedly mishandling the fetal remains of what they’d told police was Celeste’s stillbirth in late April. They faced charges of concealing a death and disposing of human remains illegally. Regardless of the outcome, the Nebraska case shows how police may rely on digital communications to investigate abortions in states where they’re illegal. NPR
Oklahoma: Library workers intimidated
Library workers were warned about helping patrons find information about abortion, or even uttering the word. In an email, the employees were told they could face a $10,000 fine, jail time or even lose their jobs if they didn’t comply. VICE
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Republican hypocrisy on Freedom of Speech
Attacks on speech about abortion may seem a sudden reversal for an anti-abortion movement that long claimed to be a champion of the First Amendment. But in fact, decades before Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision that overturned Roe,social conservatives set their sights on the First Amendment as a tool to chip away at reproductive rights. And it worked. Abortion foes have long argued that the right to refuse to prescribe birth control or to perform abortions is embedded in the First Amendment and its free exercise clause, which protects individuals’ right to practice religion and dates back to speeches given by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.
Conservative lawyers defending the protesters at abortion clinics by invoking freedom of speech. The next frontier is interpretation of the First Amendment in ways that contradict how some conservatives have previously interpreted the Constitution, presenting new obstacles for those who wish to keep abortion accessible for women. But as awkward as it will be to champion the speech of some while censoring others, anti-abortion leaders won’t be able to resist the impulse to try.
There are already two Americas when it comes to the right to abortion, and if foes of the procedure get their way, the same will be true of the ability to exercise the First Amendment.
Take Away: Fight for your freedom of speech and freedom to decide whether and when to grow your family.
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