Could Roe v Wade be overturned and abortion outlawed in the US? | The Guardian

By Molly Redden

Who was Norma McCorvey?
Norma McCorvey is the real name of the woman known as “Jane Roe” in the landmark US supreme court case on abortion rights, Roe v Wade. The 1973 case established a right for US women to have abortions. McCorvey became the plaintiff after she met with two lawyers looking for a test case to challenge Texas’s abortion ban. That was in 1970. At the time, McCorvey was pregnant, unwed, unemployed and unable to obtain an abortion legally or otherwise.

McCorvey never had an abortion. Her case, which proceeded largely without her involvement, took too long to resolve, and she gave birth to a child that she placed for adoption. Several years after the ruling, she publicly revealed her identity and became involved in the pro-abortion rights movement. But after a conversion to Christianity, she became an anti-abortion rights activist. Before she died last week, McCorvey had said that it was her wish to see Roe v Wade overturned in her lifetime.

Is Roe v Wade actually in danger?
It depends on what you mean. Many legal experts are sceptical that the US supreme court would overturn it any time soon. For starters, it’s difficult to bring a case before the supreme court that would threaten the ruling, because those cases almost always founder in a lower court. And even if Donald Trump’s supreme court nominee opposes abortion rights, the current makeup of the court is such that there aren’t enough votes to overturn Roe.

An alternative strategy is to poke so many holes in Roe that its protections for abortion rights become weakened. At this, anti-abortion activists have been very successful. Since Roe, some states have enacted laws requiring women seeking an abortion to attend anti-abortion counselling or to wait 24 hours or more for the procedure, laws extensively regulating abortion after 20 weeks, and laws blocking public funding for abortion. And they have picked up speed in recent years. Since 2010, lawmakers have placed 338 new restrictions on abortion.

Will states continue to pass new anti-abortion laws?
Many states are controlled by Republicans who oppose abortion rights, so they will certainly try. You might have heard about a proposal in the state of Oklahoma calling for women to require permission for an abortion from the man who impregnated her. One legislator justified the bill by saying pregnant women’s bodies are not their own because they’re “hosts”. It’s outrageous, but not a huge threat to abortion rights – the jurisprudence is pretty clear that you can’t require an adult woman to get permission before having an abortion.

What does threaten abortion rights are laws that chip away at Roe v Wade. Several states are attempting to ban a common method of second-trimester abortion on the basis that it’s cruel to the foetus. There are efforts to regulate how abortion clinics dispose of medical waste, which the clinics say are just attempts to shut them down with unnecessary rules and expenses. There is also a push to give women scientifically untrue information that it is possible to “reverse” an abortion performed with medication.

Have all these laws really made it harder to get an abortion?
It’s hard to say. There is evidence that shutting down clinics can cause a drop in the abortion rate. In Texas, after a 2013 clinic regulation forced about 20 clinics to close, there was a 50% drop in abortions in areas where the distance to the nearest clinics suddenly increased by more than 100 miles. Last June, the US supreme court ruled that the regulation had no medical justification and was unconstitutional. But in many places, the damage had already been done.

Making it harder for women to pay for abortions also seems to have an impact. Since 1976, when Congress blocked Medicaid – insurance for those on low-income – from paying for abortions, more than a million women have been blocked from access. A new tactic is to try to ban abortion coverage in state insurance marketplaces. Congress is exploring ways to replicate those restrictions nationally.

Then there are laws that place extra restrictions on abortion – a waiting period, or a counselling requirement, or a ban on abortion after a certain number of weeks. The research isn’t definitive, but people who study abortion restrictions are pretty sure that these kinds of laws don’t prevent women from having abortions – they just make it more time-consuming and expensive. The exception may be bans on abortion after a certain week of pregnancy, which studies show can force women to carry a pregnancy to term.

What could change under Trump?
Republicans in Congress have plans to pass a national ban on abortion after 20 weeks, to make it harder for a future Congress to restore public funding for abortion, and to curtail insurance coverage for abortion. It’s not clear if they will overcome opposition in the Senate, where Democrats retain enough votes to filibuster legislation.

But many public health advocates fear that the Trump administration will scale back the availability of contraception – which seems to have helped bring the US abortion rate to historic lows. Obamacare requires insurance companies to cover contraception with no copay, and the share of privately insured women who were able to obtain contraception at no extra cost quadrupled. Trump and Congress intend to repeal Obamacare – and so far, none of the replacement models have the same coverage requirements. At the same time, Republicans are attempting to strip public funding from Planned Parenthood, a move that health experts warn could blow a hole in the family-planning public safety net.

Source: The Guardian

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Fukushima’s Political Fallout Puts Anti-Nuke Researcher On Trial | Activist Post

FukishimiFalloutBy Yoichi Shimatsu

Dana Durnford, a former commercial diver who plies a rubber dinghy along the Canadian Pacific coast to study the effects of Fukushima radiation on marine life, has been arrested for making alleged death threats against a chemistry professor at University of Victoria in British Columbia. Mr. Durnford is facing trial on two counts of harassment related to his comments on video at his webpage, the Nuclear Proctologist. The video clips in question have been removed by YouTube at the request of unnamed complainants.

Whatever the substance those controversial statements, Canadians should realize his frustration arises in response to the official campaign of denial of Fukushima’s lethal effects. I have often enjoyed dialogues with Dana on the rense.com radio program on Monday nights, especially stories of his harrowing experiences at sea amid 15-foot swells. After a career of diving for shellfish, he developed a passion for coastal research two years ago after discovering that the once-lush seafloor and tidal pools of British Columbia have been denuded of vegetation and are now devoid of marine-animal life. A burning curiosity prompted him to obtain Geiger counters, a microscope and underwater cameras to search for the root cause of this unprecedented natural catastrophe along North America’s Pacific coast,

Durnford has an encyclopedic recall for identifying marine species that few marine biologists can equal. His estimate, four years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, is that out of more than 2,000 coastal species only about 200 still survive. The absence of any other plausible cause prompted his conclusion that low-level radiation from Fukushima arriving in immense volumes is responsible for the greatest extermination event in human history. His field research shows that the ongoing ecocide of the Pacific is a man-made catastrophe and not a natural disaster, and the nuclear industry bears the entire culpability. For his tireless campaign of gathering a vast body of smoking-gun evidence, Durnford is being persecuted in a modern-day witch trial by the high priests of the nuclear industry.

Durnford stands accused on trumped-up charges of a “hate crime” against those marine chemists who categorically deny radiation as a potential factor in the oceanic kill-off, a priori, that is even before they start to gather data from the shore. As quoted in the Globe and Mail, Durnford said, “in court I was charged with criminal harassment of nuclear industry PR people, and one of those was from Woods Hole and the other one was from UVic, British Columbia, Canada.”

Correction: Durnford is not aware of the fact, and probably neither are the students at University of Victoria, that one of his accusers, Professor Jay Cullen, served as a postdoctoral researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, which throughout its history has been an “ocean environment” research front funded by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research.

“Zero risk” from Fukushima

To be fair, as far as possible when presented with transparent scientific fraud, let us now pay attention to the opinions of the main “victim” of this alleged heinous murder plot.

Chemistry professor Jay T. Cullen, with the University of Victoria, British Columbia, gave his account of a “hate crime” and “harassment” from critics of the Fukushima meltdowns to a sympathetic Globe and Mail in its November 11 edition:

Jay Cullen never expected the world of hate he encountered when he began to post scientific information about the impact of the Fukushima accident on the Pacific Ocean. Criticism was anticipated ­ but then he started getting death threats.

“I knew there were lots of individuals who felt strongly about nuclear power. So it wasn’t a surprise that there were those who didn’t accept what the scientific research was showing, but I have to admit the hatred and the threats I received, that was somewhat of a surprise.”

Dr. Cullen started a radionuclide-monitoring program in 2014. The Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring project (or InFORM, as he optimistically called it) worked with a broad network of scientists to gather the latest research and distribute it to the public.

Shortly after he began blogging about the findings, which showed just about zero risk to the environment and to the public in North America, he became the target of a hate campaign.

So there you have it from both sides, the Rashomon effect. Truth is in the eye of the beholder, or is the payoff in a Swiss bank account? Who to believe: Dastardly Dana or the Professor of Culling?

The Wheelchair Murders

When the Durnford case reaches trial, the prosecution must prove that the accused made a threat with murderous intent that could be actualized in a physical assault or with a weapon. The defendant, however, is disabled and requires the assistance of a wheelchair or crutches for mobility. It is highly unlikely that Durnford could mount a successful physical attack against any person capable of running, making the harassment charges simply a bad joke that exposes the folly of this spurious court case.

If anything, the scene of Professors Cullen and Buesseler being chased around the docks by a wheelchair would make a hilarious episode for the Canadian comic-reality show “Just for Gags”.

Apologists for Nuclear Ecocide

Here, I present arguments for Durnford’s defense, much of which cannot be entered into the court record in a national judicial system constrained by a blanket nuclear-security regime and Official Secrets Act that grossly subvert the Rule of Law:

– First, it will be shown that the accusers Cullen and Buesseler have institutional links with the nuclear industry and nuclear weapons, and are therefore implicated in the Fukushima cover-up for their assigned task of countering anti-nuclear critics. Their illicit connections to the military-nuclear complex prompt them to concoct flawed research methodologies that purposely underestimate levels of radioactive contamination. Their grotesque violations of science ethics are here exposed, followed by a call for their being defrocked and excluded from academic discourse.

– Second, the funding from the nuclear industry to the University of Victoria, located on Vancouver Island, is “hush money” timed to coincide with the imminent start of uranium shipments across Western Canada through Vancouver harbour to Asia by TEPCO Resources, yes, the same Tokyo Electric Power Company responsible for Fukushima and co-owner of the Cigar Lake uranium mine, which recently started extraction operations in Sasketchewan. TEPCO is hitting Canada in more ways than one.

– Third, the Canadian government’s nuclear-secrecy regulations backed by the Official Secrets Act encourages extralegal suppression of anti-nuclear critics and enables the duplicitous export of uranium for nuclear weapons despite a long-standing export ban imposed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The Crown-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. connected with the funding for Cullen’s inFORM radiation-monitoring project got its start as the uranium supplier to the Manhattan Project, which constructed the atomic bombs that exterminated up to a quarter-million civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

– Fourth, the principle of international law set by the highest Tribunal in postwar history ruled that scientists who participate in genocidal programs must be meted out capital punishment. To repeat emphatically, for the education of plaintiffs Cullen and Buesseler, researchers implicated in mass murder deserve to be executed, according to the unanimous decision at the Nuremberg Doctors Trial.

Downplaying the Radiation Threat

Before doing a single stitch of field research, Cullen stated that the Canadian coast is free of dangerous levels of radiation and categorically disputed that Fukushima radioactive contamination as a causal factor in the numerous reports of mass deaths of marine mammals, fish, sea birds and invertebrates over the past two years. Since 2014, his inFORM network has involved willing NGOs to set up monitoring stations north of Vancouver Island to measure radiation in water.

Professor Cullen is using a bogus methodology, Water is known to be a highly unreliable medium for radiation measurement due to the diffraction and diffusion of gamma and beta rays, on the same principle as the reflection of visible light in a glass of liquid. Therefore, the only effectual method to determine exposure levels is by measuring radiation levels in marine vegetation and sea-animal tissue, to determine the “bio-accumulation” of radioactive isotopes. In an urgent crisis like Fukushima, the effect of radiation on life is all that matters.

A low level of radioactive does not eliminate the risk of harmful health effects or lethal consequences. What matters more is the time-length of exposure because of its cumulative effect. The vast area of contamination of the atmosphere and water across the Pacific, resupplied by unstoppable releases from the Fukushima plant, has resulted in practically year-round 24X7 exposure for residents of the North American Pacific coastal region. An apt analogy is the cancer threat from secondary cigarette smoke. While the nonsmoker does not inhale high concentrations of carcinogens, constant exposure to low levels of indoor smoke can lead to lung cancer.

Bioaccumulation is, therefore, the focus of my field research in measuring radiation along the Fukushima coast and on the beaches of Southern California and Washington State over the past four years since the meltdowns. Some of those field studies were done at the tip of Makah Indian territory where the Pacific meets the Salish Sea channel. This area, which directly faces Vancouver Island where Dr. Cullen’s laboratory is located, showed disturbing levels of radiation contamination in varieties of seaweed and plastic flotsam. The fact that Professor Cullen cannot find any substantial traces of radiation in that same vicinity of the Salish Sea discloses him to be a huckster for the nuclear lobby and a disgrace for the University of Victoria.

Cesium-137 Deception and Flat-Earth Theory

The veracity of Buesseler and his apprentice Cullen rides on a claim they made to the PBS Nova science program:

Cullen and Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, found no trace of radioactivity from the meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor in fish collected off British Columbia. Rather, the faint traces of radioactivity they found can be traced to weapons testing done over the Pacific in the 1960s and ’70s. Fukushima’s fingerprint is cesium-134, a radioactive isotope with a half-life of two years. Because it will decay almost completely within a decade, the presence of cesium-134 can only be explained by recent exposure, such as the discharge of radioactive coolant that occurred at Fukushima. By contrast, the isotope lingering from weapons testing, cesium-137, has a half-life of 30 years.

In an interview with the Juneau Empire newspaper in Alaska in April 2015, Cullen was dismissive of the health risk from Fukushima:

“The prediction is that we will not approach levels that will present a danger to anybody’s health,” Cullen said, adding “that it’s unlikely marine organisms will be at risk. I would say that there’s a small proportion of the public who hold the belief that the Pacific Ocean and our coasts are void of life because of radiation from Fukushima.”

The Buesseler-Cullen thesis, summarized, is that since March 1, 2013 (two years after the 311 crisis), Fukushima radiation in seawater poses absolutely no threat due to the 2-year half-life of cesium-134. Any radiation from cesium-137 (half-life of 30 years) is from atmosphere tests more than three decades ago, meaning there is at present no radioactive threat at all.

Their fantastic fable for idiots is shattered by factual reporting by the Kyodo news agency (10 May 2014):

At the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, Michio Aoyama, a professor at Fukushima University’s Institute of Environmental Radioactivity who is part of the research team, said that TEPCO underestimates the amount of cesium-137 that was released into the atmosphere and later fell into the sea.

Scientists are trying to detect the levels of radioactive cesium due to its potential, long-term risks to the land and sea. Cesium-137, which has a half-life of around 30 years, can cause cancer.The study estimates that 14,000 to 17,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137 were released into the atmosphere, while about 3,500 terabecquerels directly flowed into the ocean. (A terabequerel is equal to 1 trillion bequerels.)

Aoyama said the release of radioactive cesium-137 has a ‘big impact on the ocean’ since the Fukushima nuclear complex is near the coast. The study also found that 12,000 to 15,000 terabecquerels of the cesium-137 released into the atmosphere fell into the sea, while the remaining amount fell into the soil. Of the amount that fell on land, up to 400 terabecquerels fell on North America.

No cesium-137 from Fukushima, Professors Cullen and Buesseler? Have you never heard about the mixed oxide (MOX) fuel rods of uranium and plutonium that went up in smoke from Reactor 3? And that these burnt-out rods continue to bleed radioactive isotopes including Cs-137 into the Pacific?

The Buesseler-Cullen thesis collapses like flat-earth theory crumbled when challenged by one astronomer’s observations through a telescope in the late 16th century. Knowing full well the flaws in his own argument, Cullen reacts in the same manner at the flat-earther scientists did against Galileo, by denouncing Dana Durnford as a dangerous heretic. Unable to counter Durnford’s massive biological data findings, Cullen resorts to calling the police just like the top scientists of the past called in the Vatican’s thought-control priesthood against Galileo, who was imprisoned for the high crime of reporting the facts and nothing but the facts.

Class dismissed, and you Professor Cullen and Dr. Buesseler are fired and fork over the grant money. That, departments heads at U. Victoria, is how to deal with scientific fraud.

Atomic Energy of Canada

What Jay Cullen failed to mention to the Toronto-based Global and Mail is that the 630,000 dollar grant to his inFORM project came from the MEOPAR foundation, whose Board chairman is Robert Walker, former CEO and President of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL). The federal Crown corporation is Canada’s largest nuclear laboratory, which developed the CANDU reactors and was the wartime uranium-supplier for the Manhattan Project, which built and detonated the world’s first atomic bombs.

The Pentagon links to AECL were revealed early-on, in December 1952, when the NRX reactor at AECL’s Chalk River lab suffered a partial meltdown in the world’s first major nuclear accident. One of the American naval officers dispatched to Chalk River by then-Captain Hyman Rickover, founder of the U.S. nuclear fleet, was Lt. Jimmy Carter. His assignment was to enter and inspect the damaged reactor building, and this is the probable cause for his struggles with cancer. The nuclear industry, which has shown no regrets about harming a president, certainly has nothing but contempt for ordinary citizens.

Before his appointment at Victoria, Cullen was a postgraduate researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), where obviously he was inducted into the radiation cover-up operation by Ken Buesseler. Woods Hole provide civilian cover for the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), the marine component of DARPA. WHOI got its start during World War II with its development of sonar, needed to detect and target German U-boats and Japanese submarines. Sonar invention was a crash program for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), which later created the CIA.

Buesseller is a dissembler who has made extraordinary efforts to conceal his secret work for military programs. His focus on Fukushima radiation was initiated soon after the 311 disaster under assignment with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Attached to that study of radioactivity in the seas south of Fukushima was postdoctoral researcher Elizabeth Douglass with the NRL. Funding for Woods Hole comes from the Defense Department; the Department of Energy, which produces nuclear warheads; weapons manufacturer Raytheon; and environmental polluter Chevron.

The team of Buesseler and Cullen, like a Sith lord and his eager apprentice, are agents of the nexus of the nuclear-weapons establishment and corporate merchants of death.

Canada’s Nuclear Conundrum

Canada, in its less-than glorious moments, is capable of committing acts of official repression of the type Edward Snowden warned of coming from its neighbor to the south. The Canadian government deploys an arsenal of press censorship and repression of anti-nuclear critics.

An arrest similar to Durnford’s occurred in Yellowknife in the Northern Territories soon after the Fukushima disaster targeted a local radio host who had discussed the radiation levels in northern Canada. He was soon thereafter taken away in a raid by uniformed men and silenced. His name was never identified to the public and he has not been heard from since. Yellowknife is the center of operations for the Pentagon-supported Canadian Arctic command.

Despite the best efforts of the elder Trudeau against nuclear weapons, secret uranium shipments from Canada continued for nuclear-warhead production in the United States. In blatant violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Canada has supplied uranium to the Indian, Pakistani and Israeli nuclear program under the thinnest pretext of supporting “peaceful” civilian energy. Bureaucratic duplicity, of course, is connected with corruption.

Devil in the Details

What is interesting today about the Fukushima-related arrest of Durnford is the eagerness of the Canadian authorities to suppress its own citizens who criticize Japan’s nuclear industry. This is because Fukushima-perpetrator TEPCO is a shareholder in Canada’s largest untapped deposit of high-grade uranium, which began production in September 2015. If ever there was a deal with the devil, it is called, appropriately, Cigar Lake.

TEPCO is sending the uranium not to its own nuclear plants, which have little chance of restart-up. Instead, the nuclear-energy giant is morphing into a supplier of fuel rods for new reactors being promoted by the Abe government in Turkey, Vietnam, the UAE and India. Therefore, much of that uranium from Cigar Lake will be sent by truck on the public highways of Western Canada and loaded onto ships in Vancouver harbour. The planned massive expansion of uranium shipment will without doubt threatened public health in that fair city. This is why Jay Cullen is needed by TEPCO and CAMECO to be posted in the Vancouver region to dispel any concerns of local residents when local children start dying of thyroid cancer and leukemia.

Fouling the Arctic

The Cigar Lake mine is located 450 meters underground in northern Saskatchewan. Deep below the lake bed, the uranium deposit rests on dense ancient bedrock. Above this subterranean trove is the Athabascan aquifer, a canyon-like labyrinth carved into porous sandstone by underground streams, which eventually feed into the northward-flowing MacKenzie River.

The mining is done by CAMECO, the world’s largest publicly traded uranium miner, which was spun off by the federal government and Saskatchewan Province. The uranium deposit is blasted to pieces by water-jet technology. Pressured water, focused in a small radius, can easily cut through metal, as is done at fabrication workshops. The difficult challenge is to prevent loosened particles from contaminating the aquifer. Therefore a barrier between the mining and the aquifer is created by pumping super-chilled water into the sandstone to create an “ice wall”.

Ice walls have a dismal record. Engineers at the Fukushima nuclear plant made many attempts to surround the facility with an ice barrier but have repeatedly failed. So too at Cigar Lake, where recurrent flooding has delaying mining for years on end. The simple fact that the brightest engineers cannot comprehend is that water when frozen expands, thereby shattering the matrix of sandstone.

Cigar Lake has probably already started to contaminate the springs that fill the MacKenzie River, which drains into the Beaufort Sea. The waste material from Cigar Lake will add more radioactive material in the Arctic atop the massive amounts of isotopes and tritium carried by the jetstream from Fukushima. The destruction of the Arctic ice cap, along with the opening of a polar atmospheric ozone hole, suddenly started just a month after the Fukushima radioactive releases in 2011. The destruction of Arctic wildlife, including polar bears and walruses, are undoubtedly being caused by that surge of radiation contamination. All of these realities are denied by the scientific establishment and its military bosses.

Nuremberg Verdict on Murderous Science

Only a halfwit or a numskull could misconstrue Dana’s comments as a direct death threat against Cullen or Buesseler. To dare mention that an evil scientist deserves to die constitutes a crime, but to spew lies that abet the deaths of millions is just a job.

His comments were essentially along the same lines as Jean Rostand’s in Thoughts of a Biologist: “Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.” TEPCO has achieved the status of a deity, worshiped by Canada’s bankers and politicians. CAMECO and Atomic Energy of Canada are now trying to join the same major league. (As for diabolical metaphors, the AECL logo is just one ray from being a pentagram.)

There are strong reasons why scientists are expected to live up to higher standards for truthfulness and ethical conduct, in contrast with the money-grubbing merchant or obedient technocrat. Communities and nations depend on the ethical integrity and moral conscience of science professionals who control vast powers over life and death.

The temptation to destructive power was described by nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer in his chilling words on his newly devised atomic bomb: “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.” Death on a planetary scale is being realized in the ongoing spread of radioactive contamination out of Fukushima. How a scientist reacts to this unending catastrophe, whether with a dismissive attitude or serious consideration, is an ethical litmus test.

The higher responsibility of scientific researchers to defend the public interest was accorded special emphasis at the the Nuremberg Doctor’s Trial. The tribunal’s counts against the German medical researchers included “common design or conspiracy”, “crimes against humanity” and “membership in a criminal organization.” Among those who received the maximum penalty of hanging by the neck were Red Cross chief Karl Gebhardt, the Reich’s chief hygeinist Joachim Mrugowsky, and Wolfram Sieverts, head of military science research. The Nuremberg verdict set the standard for dealing with serious abuse of scientific authority.

The Globe and Mail article reported that Cullen was shocked that “he was not only called a ‘shill for the nuclear industry’ and a ‘sham scientist’ but was told he and other researchers who were reporting that the Fukushima radiation wasn’t a threat deserved to be executed.”

Well, Doktor Cullen, did you not choose to enter into a “common design or conspiracy” to deny the dangers to public health posed by radioactivity? Do you and Dr. Buesseler not make excuses for “crimes against humanity”? And, by any chance, do the two of you belong to a “criminal organization” that dares not reveal its existence?

Do scientists who sell out their ethics for pieces of silver when millions of civilian lives are at stake “deserve to be executed”? According to the highest standard of international law on criminal abuse by scientific researcher, the Nuremberg Doctors Trial, the answer is an emphatic affirmative: Scientists involved in genocide should be put to death. There are no ifs, buts or maybes about it. You, Professor Cullen and Dr. Buesseler, are guilty, and Dana Durnford is innocent. The defense rests.

Canada on Trial

While Durnford faces an official inquisition, it is actually Canada on trial. Will that northern dominion abide by its own principles of nonproliferation, opposition to nuclear war and environmental protection for the welfare of its communities, its children and its threatened wildlife? Or will Canada self-destruct like Shinzo Abe’s Japan under militarism, war denial and unstoppable radioactive contamination?

The new Canadian prime minister faces the daunting challenge posed by his father: “Nuclear weapons exist. They probably always will. And they work, with horrible efficiency. They threaten the very future of our species. We have no choice but to manage that risk. Never again can we put the task out of our minds; nor trivialize it; nor make it routine. Nor dare we lose heart.”

Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor of The Japan Times Weekly, is a science journalist who has conducted extensive radiation studies inside the Fukushima nuclear exclusion zone since April 2011. He shares a weekly online radio program at rense.com with Dana Durnford.

Source: Activist Post

Supreme Court to Hear Texas Abortion Law Case | New York Times

AbortionLegalBy Adam Liptak

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear its first major abortion case since 2007, one that has the potential to affect millions of women and to revise the constitutional principles governing abortion rights.

The court’s decision will probably arrive in late June, as the presidential campaign enters its final stretch, thrusting the divisive issue of abortion to the forefront of public debate. Other major rulings — on affirmative action, public unions, contraception coverage and possibly immigration — are also expected to land around then.

But it is the new abortion case, however it is decided, that is likely to produce the term’s most consequential and legally significant decision. Many states have been enacting restrictions that test the limits of the constitutional right to abortion established in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, and a ruling in the new case, from Texas, will enunciate principles that will apply in all of them.

The Casey decision said states may not place undue burdens on the constitutional right to abortion before fetal viability. Undue burdens, it said, included “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion.”

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy helped write the controlling opinion in Casey, and his vote will almost certainly be crucial in the new case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, No. 15-274. The future of abortion rights in the United States probably rests almost entirely in his hands, given the deadlock on the court between conservatives and liberals.

The case is a challenge to a Texas law that would leave the state with about 10 abortion clinics, down from more than 40. Such a change, the abortion providers who are plaintiffs in the case told the justices, would have a vast practical impact.

“Texas is the second-most-populous state in the nation — home to 5.4 million women of reproductive age,” they wrote in their brief urging the court to hear the case. “More than 60,000 of those women choose to have an abortion each year.”

The case concerns two parts of a state law that imposes strict requirementson abortion providers. It was passed by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature and signed into law in July 2013 by Rick Perry, the governor at the time.

One part of the law requires all clinics in the state to meet the standards for “ambulatory surgical centers,” including regulations concerning buildings, equipment and staffing. The other requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Officials in Texas said that the contested provisions were needed to protect women’s health. Abortion providers responded that the regulations were expensive, unnecessary and intended to put many of them out of business.

The measures were modest and sensible, Ken Paxton, Texas’ attorney general, said in a statement on Friday

“The state has wide discretion to pass laws ensuring Texas women are not subject to substandard conditions at abortion facilities,” Mr. Paxton said. “The advancement of the abortion industry’s bottom line shouldn’t take precedence over women’s health.

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought the Texas challenge, said officials in Texas had used “deceptive laws and regulatory red tape” to block access to abortion.

“Playing politics with women’s health isn’t just wrong,” she said in a statement. “It’s dangerous for many women who will have no safe and legal options left where they live, and may be forced to take matters into their own hands.”

Parts of the law not at issue before the Supreme Court have already caused about half of the state’s 41 abortion clinics to close. If the contested provisions take effect, the challengers’ brief said, the number of clinics would again be halved.Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, the lead plaintiff, said that “would have devastating effects on women and families around the state.”

The remaining clinics would be clustered in four metropolitan areas: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

“There would be no licensed abortion facilities west of San Antonio,” the challengers’ brief said. The only clinic south of San Antonio, in McAllen, it added, would have “extremely limited capacity.”

In urging the Supreme Court to decline the case, Mr. Paxton quoted from an earlier opinion. The justices, Mr. Paxton said, should not turn themselves into “the country’s ex officio medical board with powers to approve or disapprove medical and operative practices and standards throughout the United States.”

The lower courts are divided over whether they should accept lawmakers’ assertions about the health benefits of abortion restrictions at face value or investigate to determine whether the assertions are backed by evidence.

In June, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, largely upheld the contested provisions of the Texas law, using the more deferential approach. A panel of the court ruled that the law, with minor exceptions, did not place an undue burden on the right to abortion.

The court said women in West Texas could obtain abortions in New Mexico, a ruling at odds with one from a different panel of the same courtthat said Mississippi could not rely on out-of-state abortion clinics in defending a law that would have shut down the state’s only clinic.

The appeals court declined to grant the challengers a stay, but the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the ruling later that month pending its own decision in the case. The vote was 5 to 4, with Justice Kennedy joining the court’s liberal wing to form a majority. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. voted to deny the stay.

Source: New York Times

Goldwater Institute to File Class Action Lawsuit Against Against Parts of the Indian Child Welfare Act | eNewsAZ

8e605557418c5bc7556c021e4698e9e0_LThe Goldwater Institute will launch a new project to reform the Indian Child Welfare Act and similar state laws that give abused and neglected Native American children fewer rights and protections than other American children. A major part of the project will be a federal class action lawsuit.

“When an abused child is removed from his or her home and placed in foster care or made available for adoption, judges are required to make a decision about where the child will live based on the child’s best interest. Except for Native American children. Courts are bound by federal law to disregard a Native American child’s best interest and place the child in a home with other Native Americans, even if it is not in his or her best interest,” said Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute. “We want federal and state laws to be changed to give abused and neglected Native American children the same protections that are given to all other American children: the right to be placed in a safe home based on their best interests, not based on their race.”

On July 7, the Goldwater Institute will file a federal class action lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of core provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. The same day, the Institute will release an investigative report that documents how federal law leaves Native American children with fewer protections under the law than all other American children, and the serious consequences that have resulted from this unequal treatment. Recommendations for changes to state and federal law will also be announced.

Media is invited to a press briefing that will formally announce the details of the lawsuit, release the investigation, and policy recommendations, and screen an 8-minute original documentary film. The briefing will featureDr. William B. Allen, the former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

What: Press conference announcing the Equal Protection for Indian Children Project and federal class action lawsuit

When: Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 9:00 a.m. Pacific time

Where: Goldwater Institute, 500 East Coronado Road, Phoenix

Who: Press event will feature Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute, Clint Bolick, the Institute’s vice president of litigation, Mark Flatten, the author of the Institute’s investigative report to be released, Dr. William Allen

Source: eNewsAZ