Michelman’s Anti-Alito Lie

I don’t use the word “lie” lightly. Just because someone says something that is untrue does not mean that they are lying. They could be misinformed or mistaken. A “lie” is a deliberately false statement, and some of the lines in Kate Michelman’s latest anti-Alito missive in the San Francisco Chronicle certainly qualify. For instance, Michelman writes that “He sought to uphold abortion restrictions that would have treated a grown married woman no differently from a child, forcing her to notify her husband in all circumstances, including abuse and rape, before obtaining an abortion.” This is simply false. The spousal notification law that Alito voted to uphold included a rape and abuse exemption, along with several others (see Whelan’s description here) . It also did not require doctors to verify that notification was actually given or that a woman actually qualified for a claimed exemption. Michelman is hardly uninformed on such matters. She’s the former head of NARAL. So there’s little question that this was more than a simple misstatement, but a lie.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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