Roundup: Spain to Make Emergency Contraception Available Over the Counter

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Roundup: Spain to Make Emergency Contraception Available Over the Counter

Emily Douglas

Spain to make emergency contraception available over-the-counter; Tennessee abortion restriction expected to pass; Ross Douthat on the culture wars at the New York Times; Sessions reaffirms that he could support a gay nominee.

Spain to Offer EC Over-the-Counter
While cautioning that
government officials don’t want it to become "another means of
contraception," Spain is making emergency contraception available
over-the-counter, AFP reports.
There will be no age limit on non-prescription access.  AFP adds,
"Other countries which have allowed over-the-counter sales of the pill,
including France, Britain and the United States, had seen a
"significant" drop in the number of unwanted pregancies, Jimenez told a
news conference."

Tennessee Abortion Restriction Expected to Pass
Tennessee bill that would amend the state constitution to make clear
that it did not provide protections for abortion rights will likely
pass, the AP reports
The measure has already passed the Senate, has been stalled in a House
subcommittee but is expected to pass without much debate: "The resolution was read on the House
floor Monday evening and will be read two more times before its voted
on by the full House."

At the New York Times, Ross Douthat Continues to Ponder "Culture Wars"

Ross Douthat has made his move to the New York Times, and his newest column medidates on the Obama administration’s strategies on abortion and on same-sex marriage, and what the strategies suggest about the underlying movements for each cause. 
Here’s the part I thought was useful and thoughtful:

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Four months in,
the Obama administration does seem to have a plausible
strategy for turning the “social issues” to liberalism’s advantage. The
outline is simple: Engage on abortion, and punt on gay rights….

Both strategies make political sense. Gay-rights activists are irritated
with Obama, but time is on their side. Gay marriage is marching through
liberal states (last week, Maine; soon, New York), and public opinion, steadily tilting in its direction, seems to be tilting faster
in the last six months. On a national level, the issue still cuts
against liberalism — but less so with every passing day. By pushing
gay-rights debates off until later in his presidency, Obama is almost
certainly making them easier to win.

Public-opinion trends aren’t set in stone. But as Peter Berkowitz noted in a prescient essay
for Policy Review in 2005, the gay marriage movement is working with
the grain of American political history, in which the expansion of
rights “steadily erodes the limits on individual choice established by
law and custom.” Our legal and political debates, Berkowitz suggested,
are won by whichever side can argue for the expansion of freedom, and
combatants who can’t argue in these terms will “almost certainly see
their cause go down to defeat.”

Thus gay marriage opponents’ persistent disadvantage. They can argue from tradition, custom and Christianity — as Obama himself does, albeit with dubious sincerity, to explain why he backs civil unions but not full-fledged marriage. They can note the perils
of formally severing the link between marriage and childbearing in a
society where far too many children are born outside of wedlock as it
is. But supporters of gay marriage are the only ones making an argument
from personal liberty — the freedom to marry, the right to marry — and that has made all the difference.

And the part I thought was off:

On abortion, though, the picture is very different. The pro-life
movement is arguably more comfortable with the language of rights and
liberties than its opponents. Abortion foes are defending a right to
life grounded in the Declaration of Independence, after all, whereas
pro-choicers are defending more nebulous rights (privacy, autonomy,
etc.) supposedly grounded in “penumbras” and “emanations” from the

Really? Right to bodily autonomy?  Reproductive freedom?  We don’t speak that language?

Sessions Reaffirms that He Could Support a Gay Nominee

“I can vote for a gay nominee – we’ll just have to see…That’s just not the test
really; the thing that I’m concerned about is high legal quality,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, Politico reports. 

Asked Monday if Republicans would focus on a nominee’s position on gay marriage,
Sessions said, “I think people would want to inquire into that because
… it may reflect the degree to which they think that they are not bound
by the classical meaning of the constitution that they might want to
let their own personal agenda go beyond what the law says.”

Politico goes on to note that "Sessions, whom the GOP has tapped as their primary voice on the Supreme Court nomination, also wouldn’t say whether a nominee’s support for the controversial Roe v. Wade decision upholding abortion rights would be a disqualifying factor" although last week, Sessions said that he did not
"believe in a litmus test," and (from the Huffington Post) "was comfortable with a judge who had ‘a
different view on abortion than I have.’ Such a judge, he added, could ‘still receive my vote.’"

Other News to Note
May 11: LifeNews: NAACP National Convention Participants Face Pro-Life Perspective on Abortion

May 12: New Hampshire Union Leader: Pro-life group opposes CMC merger idea

May 11: LifeNews: California Court Sides With Pro-Life Advocates Against Chaffey College

May 11: LifeNews: Pro-Life Advocates Continue Criticism of President Obama Over Abstinence Cuts

May 11: CBS News/Weekly Standard: God and Obama at Notre Dame

May 11: LifeNews: Notre Dame Students Select Father Frank Pavone to Lead Obama-Free Graduation

May 11: American Catholic: Pro-Life Movement: Democrats Need Not Apply

May 12: Fort Wayne News-Sentinel: Grisly photos tell the truth about aborted babies

May 11: National Catholic Reporter: Editorial: Partisanship and the pulpit

May 11: American Spectator: Population, Economy, and God

May 11: HuffPo: Mother’s Day Reminds Me of The Pill

May 12: Babble Australia: They Say: Hard Times, More Pregnancies

May 11: PR Web Newswire: 80% of Women Who Use an IUD Are Not Using it for Birth Control, Reports Birth Control Buzz

May 11: South Africa: Three in jail following botched abortion

May 10: Opposing Views: Obama’s Mothers’ Day Gift to DC – Free Abortion

May 10: Seattle PI: Obama won’t change Notre Dame, but can he change abortion debate?

May 11: PR NewsWire: U.S. Increases Funding for Kenya’s Family Planning and Reproductive Health Activities

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