First-year IHC Master’s students, Jaya Mathur and Emery Rogers, presented in the law division at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Southeastern Colloquium in Tampa, Florida on February 28 – March 2, 2013.

Jaya and Emery both expressed that the Colloquium was a valuable experience in their academic careers. Jaya says, “AEJMC was a great opportunity for me to get experience presenting my research. I also enjoyed hearing about the exciting research others are doing.”

Emery says, “AEJMC was a great experience–a very supportive and collaborative collegiate environment. Both my paper and my presentation skills are better from having been a part of the Colloquium. Having the opportunity to present my paper and represent UNC was an honor. UNC students had a strong representation at the colloquium, with an array of impressive paper topics and research interests.”

Jaya’s paper is titled “Abortion Informed Consent Laws: How Have Courts Considered First Amendment Challenges?” Her abstract reads:

Since the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which provided constitutional protection for a woman’s right to have an abortion, many states have enacted informed consent laws to ensure that women receive certain information before undergoing an abortion. Some of these laws require physicians to: perform, display, and describe ultrasound results; disclose medically disputed health risks; and use specific language to inform a patient that an abortion terminates the life of a human being or that an abortion severs a woman’s relationship with her unborn child. Scholarly literature on the constitutionality of abortion informed consent has focused on the extent to which abortion informed consent laws mandate physicians’ ideological speech or the dissemination of medically immaterial or false information, and, therefore, whether such statutes violate physicians’ First Amendment rights. Scholars have also discussed how these laws may violate abortion-seeking women’s First Amendment rights against compelled listening and for receiving information. This paper investigates: the extent to which courts have considered possible speech-related First Amendment violations; whether, in such cases, courts have considered the First Amendment rights of physicians, women seeking abortions, or both; and, in such cases, which First Amendment issues the courts have addressed and what they decided. Because federal appellate courts and federal district courts have decided abortion informed consent cases with constitutional challenges, this paper examines relevant cases decided in these courts.

Emery’s paper is titled “How the FTC has Enforced its Deception Jurisdiction in Cases Involving an Ill, and Therefore, Vulnerable Audience.” Her abstract reads:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the leading regulatory body against deceptive advertising in the United States. The FTC has primary responsibility for regulating truth or falsity of all advertising, and has asserted that advertising can be deemed deceptive if it includes a false or misleading claim when viewed from the perspective of a “reasonable consumer.” The FTC has found, however, that some advertising, while it may not be deemed deceptive to an average reasonable consumer, can deceive ill consumers who are more vulnerable to advertising claims for disease cures. In recent years, the Commission has focused particularly on regulating advertisers using deceptive claims targeting vulnerable ill consumers. Illustrating this, the FTC launched the “Operation False Cures” initiative in 2008. “Operation False Cures” was a nationwide FTC sweep in an effort to dissuade a growing number of advertisers touting “cures” for cancer deemed to be bogus.  Since “Operation False Cures,” the FTC has continued to regulate against deceptive advertising targeting vulnerable ill consumers. This paper will analyze FTC administrative actions and federal court cases to investigate the extent to which the FTC has addressed the deception of advertising doctrine when vulnerable, ill consumers are concerned since “Operation False Cures” was announced.

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