7th Circuit invalidates Wisconsin abortion law

Here is a link to a LifeNews story on the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Inc. v. Schimel. The court–by a 2-1 vote–invalidated Wisconsin’s law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The US Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a similar case involving a Texas statute.

The Seventh Circuit’s opinion is notable for a couple of features. The majority opinion was authored by Judge Richard Posner and his effort here is another example of the “doubtful omniscience of appellate courts.” The most noteworthy feature of this case though is the excellent dissenting opinion written by Judge Daniel Manion.


Supreme Court to hear important abortion case

Here is a link to a report on Scotusblog about the Court’s grant of cert in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. The Court will address two provisions of a Texas statute: a requirement that the doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their office and that abortion facilities meet the same health standards as other ambulatory surgical centers.

This is the Court’s first abortion case since the partial-birth abortion case (Gonzalez v. Carhart) in 2007.


Here is a link to a story on LifeSiteNews.



Beckwith’s new book

Francis Beckwith’s new book, Taking Rights Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith will soon be released by Cambridge University Press.

Taking Rites Seriously is about how religious beliefs and religious believers are assessed by judges and legal scholars and are sometimes mischaracterized and misunderstood by those who are critical of the influence of religion in politics or in the formation of law. Covering three general topics – reason and motive, dignity and personhood, nature and sex – philosopher and legal theorist Francis J. Beckwith carefully addresses several contentious legal and cultural questions over which religious and non-religious citizens often disagree: the rationality of religious belief, religiously motivated legislation, human dignity in bioethics, abortion and embryonic stem cell research, reproductive rights and religious liberty, evolutionary theory, and the nature of marriage. In the process, he responds to some well-known critics of public faith – including Brian Leiter, Steven Pinker, Suzanna Sherry, Ronald Dworkin, John Rawls, and Richard Dawkins – as well as to some religiously conservative critics of secularism such as the advocates for intelligent design


ProVita Newsletter

I am working on the next issue of ProVita Online.  If you have any of the following items to contribute, e-mail me at provitanews@yahoo.com. Here are some of the things I’m looking for:

  • Activities of members (publications, conferences, talks, committees, etc.)
  • Scholarly opportunities, such as upcoming conferences, calls, for papers, seminars, talks, etc.
  • Online resources for pro life scholarship.
  • Significant recent research

California legalizes assisted suicide

Governor Brown signed the new California law legalizing assisted suicide. See Michael Cook’s column.


Since the 1997 Supreme Court decisions in Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill rejecting constitutional challenges to laws banning assisted suicide,  proponents of the “right to die” have had only modest success in advancing their agenda. This development in California changes that significantly. California accounts for over 10 % of the US population. Moreover, California is often a leader on important cultural issues. California was one of the first states to liberalize its abortion laws.

Supporters of the culture of life need to intensify our efforts to protect life.

Richard M.

Lynn Wardle on the impact of sexual and marital morality on society

UFL board member Lynn Wardle has written an article for CNSNews.com called “Disintegration of Sexual and Marital Morality Is Having a Detrimental Impact on Society.” Wardle highlights the detrimental effect Roe v. Wade has had on U.S. culture. He also discusses the possibility that the U.S. can reverse the trend.