The issues might have changed, but the techniques now widely used by conservatives to distort science and, with it, public policy, remain the same.
Once a legislature accepts bogus facts, a larger problem can arise: Courts will frequently defer to the factual findings of state legislatures, which provides a gaping loophole for junk science to wend its way into judicial decisions all the way up to the Supreme Court.
An unusual suggestion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit could have significant implications for trials over admitting privileges requirements in Alabama and Wisconsin—it could be the difference between one court upholding the requirement and the other striking it.
According to a recent piece by Reuters, the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases are going to tackle the “unsettled science” of contraception. But there is no “unsettled science” here, no “scientific dilemma” concerning when pregnancy begins beyond one created by anti-choice activists.
Anti-choice advocates are using findings from a new study out of China to jump to the unwarranted conclusion that abortion causes an increased breast cancer risk. But the study’s methodology and data appear seriously flawed, with the results likely reflecting “recall bias.”
Every effort to make the bill less harmful, including an attempt to allow abortions after 22 weeks for victims of sexual assault, was rejected.