Informed consent constitutional. It took six years, but a judge last week ruled that the last contested provision of South Dakota's informed consent law is constitutional. The law requires abortion providers to inform pregnant mothers that abortion may increase their risk of suicide. The law passed in 2005, Planned Parenthood filed suit in 2006, and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Tuesday. "A woman's right to make a fully informed choice is more important than Planned Parenthood's bottom line," said Steven H. Aden, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) senior counsel. "If Planned Parenthood truly cared about the well-being of women, it would not try to prevent them from being informed of the well-documented risk of suicide that accompanies abortion."
Boy Scouts continue to face bullying. In Sacramento last week 10 members of an area summer camp staff walked out in response to the firing of a gay staff member. Local Scout officials said the young man was fired not because he is gay, but because he failed to heed repeated requests to dress appropriately for camp. The Sacramento Bee said, "Specifically at issue were his painted fingernails and earring, although one senior official said there were also complaints about his mannerisms and behavior." The staff member, Tim Griffin, 22, said, "I definitely think that the reaffirmation of the anti-gay policy played a role in my termination." Griffin is, of course, considering legal options.
Chick-fil-A's unexpected advocates. Chick-fil-A continues to endure an onslaught of hate from pro-homosexual activists and government officials because of its position on same-sex marraige. But the company is finding some unexpected support. For example, when Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno said he would attempt to deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant there, CNN news anchors asked why he would deny a company seeking to create jobs in his city, where the unemployment rate is more than 9 percent. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee tweeted, "Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer." But liberal organizations from Mother Jones Magazine to the American Civil Liberties Union are defending Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's right to speak out. Ed Yohnka, director of communications and public policy for the ACLU of Illinois, said, "What is happening here is an effort to exclude a business from opening its doors simply because the corporate leadership of that business has expressed anti-LGBT views in public. Government shouldn't use its power to punish someone for what they say. Leadership of entities have the freedom to speak, they have the freedom to speak out on issues. All of us then on any side of this issue have a decision to make as to whether or not we want to patronize those businesses."
Red letter date. Today, July 30, is an interesting date in American history. In 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing "In God We Trust" as the national motto. A few years later, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Social Security Act of 1965, establishing Medicare and Medicaid. In 1974, President Richard Nixon released White House recordings related to Watergate-after the Supreme Court ordered him to do so. These tapes helped to bring down his presidency. Explicating these three events alone would go a long way toward explaining American history of the past half-century.