In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8 to be National Women’s History Week. By Presidential Proclamation, Carter called on Americans to commemorate the unsung contributions of American women of years past.
As long ago as the late 19th Century, the Supreme Court began recognizing that, in American law, it would be an illegal assault to require an individual to undergo a medical procedure without that person’s consent.
From the very founding of the Nation, the Constitution has been understood to protect private religious beliefs from government intrusion. The same is not true for private moral values or convictions.
There have long been partisan, political and theological divides on issues involving women’s health, insurance mandates, workplace privacy and contraception. Last week they ran a collision course over the dispute on whether insurance coverage for contraception could be required for female employees at organizations with religious affiliations.
President Obama and his aides are continuing to struggle over ways to avoid violations of religious doctrine (mainly, Roman Catholic dogma) as they move to implement a provision in the new federal health care law requiring health insurance coverage of birth control for employees.
A developing constitutional "right of sexual privacy" for teenagers under the age of 18 is steeped in controversy, as the recent confrontation over the "Plan B" birth control pill attests.
The sponsors of the "Personhood Amendment" were betting on a change in the composition of the Supreme Court.