Earlier this month, the anti-abortion movement took a play out of James O'Keefe's playbook; allegedly, men began showing up at about a dozen Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, claiming to be part of a sex-trafficking operation that involved minors and illegal immigrants. At least one of the men has been tied to the anti-abortion group Live Action, which has long-standing ties to O'Keefe. After five days of this, the nonprofit alerted Attorney General Eric Holder to the possibility of a sex-trafficking operation but, more likely, a smear campaign against it.
Left out of my piece on the Equal Rights Amendment -- a proposed constitutional amendment that would explicitly ban sex-based discrimination -- today is the interesting question of whether it would, down the road, protect the rights of LGBT Americans as well as women. The text of the 14th Amendment hasn’t changed, but contra Justice Scalia, it has been interpreted to extend equal rights to women. In the same way, an Equal Rights Amendment could grow to protect LGBT individuals.
A 1980 Equal Rights Amendment rally in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo)
When Justice Antonin Scalia's strange assertion that women are not protected under the 14th Amendment was published in California Lawyer earlier this month, feminist organizations immediately hit on one simple solution: the Equal Rights Amendment. "Nothing less will do," declared Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. In a small event on the steps of the Capitol to reintroduce the ERA, Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin warned that "women's rights are at the whim of the Court and will remain that way without the Equal Rights Amendment."
Still reeling from the arrest of Philadelphia late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, William Saletanchallenged pro-choice writers to answer the following question:
Contraception or abstinence is best, emergency contraception is next best, early abortion is next best, and we should make these options more accessible, not less. But we'll still be left with some women who, for no medical reason, have run out the clock, even to the point of viability. Should their abortion requests be granted anyway?
Tomorrow, Citizens United, which opened elections to unlimited third-party spending on ads -- often without disclosing their donors -- turns 1 year old. The case originally came from the Citizens United group's attempt to air a movie about Hillary Clinton despite bans on third parties' "electioneering communications" within a certain number of days before an election (in this case the 2008 Democratic primary). Now, in an ironic twist, the Sunlight Foundation shows how the decision didn't just allow spending immediately before an election but actually mandated it all year round: