America was founded on the beliefs of liberty and rights. In 1776, the signers of the Declaration of the Independence proclaimed that all men have “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Constitution of the United States and the first 10 amendments adopted in 1791 provide for individual rights and limitations on federal and state governments. But as is often said, the devil is in the detail! Questions such as what constitutes a right and for whom as well any limitations continue to challenge legal scholars and U.S. courts to this day. The most important questions on individual rights and other constitutional issues are brought to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings in 11 cases this week. The most significant of the decisions came today in the Court’s ruling in the Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on a woman’s right to abortion. The Supreme Court’s decision eliminates the constitutional right to abortion that was established in 1979 in Roe v. Wade. Under Roe, women had a constitutional right to an abortion during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. With today’s ruling, it will be up to each state to determine the legality of abortions. Experts expect nearly half the states to ban abortion or severely restrict abortion given the Supreme Court’s decision today.
Earlier this week the Supreme Court ruled on another major case with tentacles to healthcare, striking down a New York gun law that limited conceal carry permits to individuals who demonstrated a need to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense. The Court’s decision marks the first major expansion of gun rights in more than a decade. In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms at home for self-defense. While celebrated by proponents of gun rights, other viewed the ruling differently. President of the American Medical Association, Dr. Jack Resneck, issued a written statement following the decision stating “Firearm violence is a public health crisis, and easier access to weapons and fewer restrictions on who can carry them — and where they can be carried — are dangerous steps in the wrong direction.” He went on to say, “Overturning decades of reasonable firearm regulations will cost more lives.’’
And there are even more Supreme Court decisions related to healthcare that were issued this week! So, check out information of these Supreme Court decisions in the Center Court section of this Weekend Reading Series. Next, explore Vantage Point, with differing views on the overturning of Roe v. Wade and its implications. Don’t miss In My Life, woman’s personal stories of their decision to have an abortion both before and after Roe. v. Wade. Last, but not least, check out Pretty Unusual and my personal favorite, Bodies of the Titanic: Found and Lost Again.
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. Center Court
- STAT: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion
- Roll Call: Supreme Court sides with insurer in dialysis coverage case. Ruling will likely affect other group health plans’ coverage of dialysis
- Associated Press: Supreme Court rejects Bayer’s bid to stop Roundup lawsuits
- Fierce Healthcare: Supreme Court declines to hear UnitedHealth’s lawsuit on Medicare Advantage overpayments rule
2. Vantage Point
- Associated Press: From joy to anger, faith leaders react to Roe’s reversal
- Pew Research Center: What the data says about abortion in the U.S.
- The Pew Charitable Trusts: Abortion Bans Are Expected in Half the States After Roe Decision
- The New Yorker: We’re Not Going Back to the Time Before Roe. We’re Going Somewhere Worse
3. In My Life
- The New York Times: The Abortion I Didn’t Have. I never thought about ending my pregnancy. Instead, at 19, I erased the future I had imagined for myself.
- NPR: Two sisters got pregnant young. Their choices and their secrets shaped their lives
- The Atlantic: I Helped Women Get Abortions in Pre-Roe America
- The Guardian: ‘I got in the car and he blindfolded me. I was willing to risk death’: five women on abortions before Roe
4. Pretty Unusual
- The Smithsonian Magazine: The Curious Case of Charles Osborne, Who Hiccupped for 68 Years Straight
- JSTOR Daily: Bodies of the Titanic: Found and Lost Again
- McGill University: Sniffing Benzedrine Inhalers Search
- JSTOR Daily: Orange Crate Art
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
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Birmingham, MI 48012
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