Roundup: More Buzz on HHS Secretary; Kansas and South Carolina Consider Anti-Choice Bills

Emily Douglas

More buzz possible HHS Secretary picks; Kansas legislature considers anti-choice bills, and so does South Carolina's; Scott Lemieux takes the measure of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

More Buzz on HHS Secretary
Our Bodies, Our Blog
floats the names of possible replacements for Sen. Tom Daschle at the
Department of Health and Human Services.  Kathleen Sebelius is getting
the most serious attention, but other candidates being considered
include Howard Dean and Rep. Rosa DeLauro.

Kansas Legislature Considers Anti-Choice Bills…

Two biased counseling and two bills limiting late-term abortion rights
will come before the Kansas state legislature this term, reports the Kansas City Star.  "The
proposed Woman’s Right to Know and See Act would require abortion
clinics to offer more information — in pamphlets and videos — regarding
stages of fetal development. It also would force abortion providers to
offer women the option of viewing a free sonogram of the fetus. Clinics
also would have to post signs noting that coerced abortions are
illegal."  Pro-choice advocates say the bill is unnecessary, given that
clinics already offer their patients free sonograms.

Another bill would eliminate the mental health exception to the state’s ban on late-term abortion.  And yet another bill would "require clinics to provide specific information to the state about the diagnosis used to justify the late-term procedure."

…And So Does South Carolina’s Legislature

In the South Carolina legislature, anti-choice bills would extend the
state’s mandatory delay period from an hour to 24 hours and require
physicians to attempt to save the life of fetuses born during an
abortion.  "Both bills, filed by Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester,
are awaiting floor debate in the House, which could come as early as
Tuesday," the Charleston Post-Courier reports
"There’s no medical reason to make someone wait 24 hours," said Alison Piepmeier, director of women’s and gender studies and an assistant professor of English at the College of Charleston.
"I think it’s insulting to women because it implies that a woman
choosing to have an abortion hasn’t thought about it before arriving at
the clinic."

Ginsburg Sets the Bar

In the Guardian, Scott Lemieux takes the measure of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Lemieux writes,

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Lebetter case is not the only one in which Ginsburg has filed an angry
but closely argued dissent lamenting the erosion of womens’ rights
under the current supreme court. Previously, in Gonzales v Carhart, she
meticulously shredded justice Anthony Kennedy’s poorly reasoned and in
some places sexist opinion upholding an arbitrary federal ban on the
so-called "partial-birth" abortion procedure (and effectively
overruling the court’s 2000 decision striking down a virtually
identical state ban).

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