Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center


Gender politics and the start of Women's History Month

March 1, 2012 By Abigail Perkiss

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.

Constitution Check: How far can states go to dictate medical procedures?

March 1, 2012 By Lyle Denniston

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.

Constitution Check: Does the Constitution protect private moral convictions?

February 17, 2012 By Lyle Denniston

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.

"Can we talk" about contraception?

February 15, 2012 By Alison Young

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.

Constitution Check: Does mandated birth control insurance violate religious freedom?

February 14, 2012 By Lyle Denniston

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.

Constitution Check: Do parents have a constitutional right to control their children's access to contraceptives?

December 15, 2011 By Lyle Denniston

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.

Constitution Check: Can a state outlaw abortion?

November 9, 2011 By Lyle Denniston

The sponsors of the "Personhood Amendment" were betting on a change in the composition of the Supreme Court.

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