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Britney Spears Needs Legal Support, Not Pontification
If "Reproductive Coercion" is Unconstitutional, Where's the Help She Needs?
Many law professors opined that such a denial of reproductive freedom [which some called "reproductive coercion"] was unconstitutional or otherwise illegal, "shocking," "outrageous,"
The Guttmacher Institute was outraged, stating that "forcing someone to be on birth control against their will is a violation of basic human rights and bodily autonomy, just as forcing someone to become or stay pregnant against their will would be."
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California called the pop icon's account of forced contraception "extremely troubling."
But as Spears' problems illustrate, she needs far more than pontifications and pious pronouncements.
What she very clearly needs is legal assistance, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, not only to protect her own reproductive rights, but also the rights of many other women whose similar constitutional rights are in danger of being violated, as least according to some experts.
Whatever legal representation she's now getting obviously hasn't been sufficient to persuade the judge that her fundamental constitutional rights are being violated, says Banzhaf,
Indeed, Spears claimed that she was not even told that she had a legal right to petition to have the conservativeship terminated.
The traditional way for law professors to provide legal assistance in a case, when a legal right they deem important is at stake, is to file a "friend of the court" [amicus] brief, said Banzhaf, who has filed several himself at his own expense.
Although Spears' court records are largely sealed, it appears, from the absence of any mention in the media, that none of the law professors who profess to be so concerned about this violation of a reproductive right - which the U.S. Supreme Court has determined is a fundamental constitutional right - has filed such a brief to assist Spears in defending this right in her case, and in creating a precedent able to help many other women likely to face similar deprivations.
Since they are all apparently on an extended summer break from having to teach classes, these law professors should have more than sufficient time to take this tiny step, the law professor points out.
It is even more startling that apparently none of the organizations which have pontificated on behalf of Spears' reproductive rights have provided any legal support or other assistance to her in defending them.
This is especially surprising because they obviously have resources far in excess of those within the reach of most individual law professors;