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The long term legal implications on privacy following the overturning of Roe v. Wade

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

The overturning of Roe v. Wade could have implications for other privacy rights
(0:00 - 8:00)

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on Friday, QBurgh, the online source for regional LGBTQ news, published an opinion piece saying, “Make no mistake, they will come for us next.”

“In the short term, people's right to contraception and right to gay marriage are still intact,” says Greer Donley, an assistant professor of law and director of the Joint Degree Program in Law and Bioethics at the University of Pittsburgh. “But certainly, I agree with the dissent, that if the majority does the same historical analysis that it did in reconsidering the right to abortion, that both of those rights are also very vulnerable.”

Abortion of any kind has been banned in eight states, but the Biden administration has vowed to make the abortion pill as accessible as possible. Donley says the government can do so through preemption, the argument that federal law trumps state law, and lift some Food and Drug Administration regulations around the medication.

Donley says the original ruling of Roe v. Wade enshrined substantive due process, which is an area under the 14th amendment’s due process clause ensuring that certain rights not explicitly mentioned in the constitution cannot be deprived from citizens. With Roe now overturned, other rights including gay marriage and access to contraception could be called into question.

A study finds racism linked to higher rates of asthma and low-quality care linked
(8:07 - 15:40)

Approximately 11% of children in Allegheny County have asthma, a rate higher than the national average, according to a 2019 Asthma Task Force report. The report also found racial disparities among Medicaid users: Eleven percent of Black children on Medicaid have asthma compared to 8% of white Medicaid users.

A recent study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health linked the disparity in asthma rates to the historic practice of redlining, in which Black people were discriminated against when applying for mortgages.

These redlined neighborhoods, even today, are exposed to high levels of pollution from transportation, industrial and commercial zoning.

“One of the important things that we also found was that in addition to being burdened by high levels of pollution, these people in these redlined communities, specifically Black people, also have low access to high quality care,” says Alexander Schuyler, lead author of the study.

Schuyler says an important solution to the issue would be rallying the science, public health and medical research communities around advocating for reparations, which he says could provide historically disenfranchised people with “environmental autonomy and also the ability to escape pollution and promote their health while also having the ability to generate wealth.”

Anthrocon returns to Pittsburgh
(15:44 - 22:30)

Starting on Thursday, Pittsburgh is welcoming back the “furry” community, with the return of Anthrocon at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. It’s the event’s first in-person gathering since the start of the pandemic.

One of the convention’s most notable events will be its parade and block party, both taking place this Saturday afternoon.

John "K.P." Cole, public outreach director for Anthrocon, says about 20% of the participants are “fur-suitors,” come to the event decked out in full costume.

“Not all furries are fur suitors,” says Cole. “The costumers we kind of playfully call the fur-suitors, but they could also be dragon characters. They could be birds. Fur is just one of the common materials that… the costumes are made from.”

The parade and block party are free to attend, and guests can register for full access to the convention, or day passes on the Anthrocon website.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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