Fears Roe leak could signal demise of gay marriage, other rights – National & International News – FRI 6May2022

Analysts fear the legal arguments in Roe leak could be used to erode guarantees of rights to gay and interracial marriage.



Fears Roe leak argument could erode protections for LGBT rights, interracial marriage. Tennessee now among states with child hepatitis cases. Xinjiang forced labor cotton found in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss items.




Fears Roe leak could signal demise of gay marriage, other rights

Since the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade earlier this week, fears have arisen that Justice Alito’s argument could serve to undermine previous Court decisions permitting gay marriage and other “unenumerated” rights. Alito’s underlying argument that the 14th Amendment does not protect rights that weren’t protected when it was ratified in 1868 could have implications for a range of other past decisions. To name a few: Loving v. Virginia, which ended prohibitions of interracial marriage; Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down laws criminalizing sodomy; and Obergefell v. Hodges which legalized gay marriage nationwide.

Dems already set to campaign on Roe in mid-terms

With Democrats projected to lose heavily in the mid-terms, the leak has provided a focus for mobilizing Democratic voters this fall. Polls show that a majority of Americans favor allowing abortions, at least under some circumstances. Only 19% of Americans favor banning abortions under all circumstances. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has already announced he will bring a vote next week to protect abortion access nationwide. The measure is almost certain to fail, since it would require 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster.

Prominent Republican politicians on the other hand have shied away from commenting on the substance of the leak. Instead, they have tried to direct the media narrative towards condemning the leak itself and its implications for the legitimacy of the Court. However, many conservative activists have seized on the leak to build momentum to cement further abortion bans at both state and national levels.

European doctor sees “enormous” rise in US women ordering abortion pills

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, who runs the telemedicine service Aid Access, reports seeing an “enormous” rise in demand for abortion pill prescriptions since the leak. Gomperts says that women may not currently be pregnant but are looking to stock abortion pills in their homes. “There’s been an overwhelming amount of people that reached out to us,” Gomperts says. “I think that’s a really good response. So I would say, buckle up, women in the U.S. Just get your abortion pills in your medicine cabinet, so you have it in case you need it”. Gomperts compares it to stocking Tylenol as a precaution.

If Roe is indeed overturned, many states may move to criminalize abortion medications, but Gomperts says this will not deter her. “We are going to continue helping women”, she says. But Gomperts raises other concerns. She acknowledges that “[abortion pills are] not for everybody”. It may not be safe for women with certain underlying conditions or taking some medications. Additionally, she says, some women may face language barriers in obtaining prescriptions, or be unable to have the medications safely delivered to them.


Tennessee now among states with child hepatitis cases

Officials have now identified mysterious cases of serious hepatitis in children in 10 US states:  Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Additionally, the CDC has announced it is investigating a total of 109 possible cases in 24 US states, including 5 deaths. About 90% of these cases have required hospitalization and 14% have required a liver transplant. Most of the children have since made a full recovery. The investigation is still in a preliminary stage.

Doctors and researchers are still in the dark as to the cause of the hepatitis in these cases. Over 224 such mysterious cases have been reported worldwide. So far, researchers have ruled out the typical viruses that cause hepatitis types A, B, C, D, and E. Dr. Philippa Easterbrook of the WHO says, “There’s no link to one geographic area, common exposure to particular foods or animals, travel or to toxins”. Neither does there appear to be any link to COVID or COVID vaccinations. Many but not all of the children have tested positive for exposure to common adenoviruses.

There is now a clearer picture of the timeline of these cases than officials have previously given. The Alabama cases began as far back as October 2021. Doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio are investigating a possible case back in June 2021. Dr. Jorge Bezerra of Cincinnati Children’s says his team have treated 6 such patients since December. Bezerra says he typically sees 10 cases like this in a year.

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Xinjiang cotton found in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss clothing

Last year, major sports and clothing brands pledged to stop purchasing cotton from China’s Xinjiang province after widespread reports of forced labor. Millions of Uighur Muslims have been forced into “re-education” and labor camps. Major cotton plantations in the region have also been found to use Uighurs as virtual slave laborers, picking cotton by hand. More than 80% of China’s cotton and a fifth of the global supply is grown in Xinjiang.

German brands Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss were among those who pledged not to source cotton from Xinjiang, along with Nike and H&M. Previously, Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss have all issued statements denying purchasing any cotton from the region.

Now, a team of scientists at the Agroisolab in western Germany have tested items from the three brands to see if they contained any Xinjiang cotton. The researchers used isotope analysis, a technique that archaeological researchers have refined for over a decade. Isotope analysis can narrow down the origin of many organic and some inorganic materials to a specific country or region. Items tested from all three brands were found to contain cotton from Xinjiang.

Adidas, Puma, and Hugo Boss all say they have monitored both direct and indirect suppliers to eliminate Xinjiang cotton from their supply chains. But one auditor investigating Chinese subcontractors says restrictions and lack of transparency in China make it virtually impossible to monitor every supplier and their sourcing. 

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