Monday, November 07, 2005

Novak: Novak's Argument is Claptrap

Is the pressure of Plamegate getting to Robert Novak?

Thinkprogress' exegesis of today's Novak column -- available in your Chicago Sun-Times -- certainly points in that direction:
Novak Debunks Himself

Kate Michelman revealed that a Pennsylvania spousal notification requirement ruled constitutional by Judge Alito required her to seek notification from her husband who had abandoned her before having an abortion. From the 11/3 edition of NPR's All Things Considered:
The state forced me to obtain permission from the man that deserted me and my three daughters.
Robert Novak devoted an entire column this morning to debunking Michelman's claim:
[Michelman] raised the prospect of women chasing after a deserting spouse, desperately trying to find him in order to fulfill notification requirements. In fact, the Pennsylvania law in question would have exempted Michelman from spousal notification in such a situation.
But Novak debunks his own argument in paragraph 6:
As an abortion-seeking woman searching for the husband who has abandoned her, she would only have had to provide a signed (not notarized) statement that "her spouse, after diligent effort, could not be located."
The law, as cited by Novak, requires a woman to make a "diligent effort" to locate her husband, even if he abandoned her. That's what Michelman had to do. Novak spends an entire column attacking her for sharing her story.

Novak notes that Michelman could have, in the alternative, signed a statement saying that after "diligent effort" she couldn't locate her husband. He emphasizes that that the statement wouldn't have had to be notarized. The message, it seems, is that this is nothing a woman can't get around by lying.


Is that Novak's answer to everything?

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