Thursday, December 3, 2015

Does Rebecca Bradley still think contraception is abortion? She won't say...

Rebecca Bradley won't comment on misinformative contraceptive op-ed in lead-up to election campaign

Women should not be denied the ability to purchase birth control on the basis of their pharmacist’s religious beliefs.

Justice Bradley. Image via
Wisconsin Court System
It’s as simple as that. If your religious convictions prevent you from being able to carry out a medically prescribed drug, then you don’t belong in the pharmaceutical business.

That’s not an infringement on anyone’s right to worship freely -- individuals can worship any way they like, but they shouldn’t be a pharmacist if they can’t perform the functions of the job. You shouldn’t be in control of making decisions for other people, especially important medical decisions that have been made by doctors.

Current Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley disagrees, or at least she did in 2006. At that point in time, Bradley stated her support for allowing pharmacists to refuse service to women based on religious convictions.

Bradley wrote, “The law certainly should protect pharmacists who choose not to be a party to the morally abhorrent termination of life,” explaining that “contraceptives may cause the death of a conceived, unborn child by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.”

What Bradley described as an abortion, however, really isn’t. "We know that about half of fertilized eggs never stick around,” according to Susan Wood, the current director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at George Washington University. “[Fertilized eggs frequently] just pass out of the woman's body” before attaching to the uterine wall.

That’s not called an abortion in most cases. We don’t even classify that as a miscarriage -- it’s simply the end of the ovulation process (called the luteal phase), the same as any other where a woman doesn’t become pregnant.

That was apparently too difficult for Rebecca Bradley to understand in 2006, when she was getting most of her information from Pro-Life Wisconsin, an anti-abortion group that also promotes abstinence-only education, a technique that has been shown to be an utter failure.

But that was then. Now, Bradley is on the State Supreme Court, and she’s up for election in the spring. So naturally, we should be asking her what her opinion is now, not what it was then.

So what’s Bradley’s opinion presently? She’s not saying. From the Cap Times:
Asked whether she would still support such a law, through a spokeswoman, Bradley declined to weigh in, citing the potential for the issue to come before the high court.
That seems like a responsible answer, but it’s also a convenient one to make: rather than clear up any confusion from what she said in 2006, Bradley instead leaves it ambiguous, presumably making her decision more public after the election takes place -- and when it affects state law.

Bradley’s pulling a page right out of the Scott Walker playbook -- keep quiet on the subject during the election season, and make a big splash once you’ve secured your seat, just as Walker did with abortion rights during his gubernatorial race.

It’s a ploy that worked for Walker in the short term, but we’ll have to wait and see how it works for Rebecca Bradley -- the incumbent Supreme Court justice who just so happened to be appointed by Walker himself.

1 comment:

  1. Like Rebecca Bradley uses her Federalist Society views when ruling for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, she will rule on cases with religious implications by reflecting the views of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society. The TMS last year filed suit for a Tennessee pharmacist who was fired by Walgreens for refusing to dispense contraceptives, based on what he felt was his religious liberty. Thomas More filed suit in 2008 in a similar case in a Wisconsin appellate court, and lost.
    Bradley serves on the Board of Governors of its TMS Milwaukee branch, which bills itself as the St. Thomas More Lawyers Society.
    It is no wonder that Rebecca Bradley refuses to talk about her 2006 opinion, which we can be assured is the same now as it was then.