The Conservative movement started to allow women to count in a minyan in 1973 without publishing a halachic justification. In 2002, Rabbi David Fine published a teshuva on the issues of women counting in minyanim and serving as שליחות ציבור to explain the ruling. In examining the teshuva, I had a hard time understanding a few of the parts of the logic, and I was wondering how those issues are explained by the Conservative movement.
1) In footnote #1, the author states that he did not consider קול אשה to be a "significant objection". Why not?
2) The whole argument rests on the idea that women can obligate themselves in a mitzvah. But doesn't everybody agree that women have at least a derabanan obligation for tefila? It seems to me that accepting the obligation upon themselves would not effect an obligation any higher than the level of a neder, even if such an acceptance is possible. So is the point that women can take upon themselves an obligation on a Torah-level even though it was not originally commanded to them on a Torah level? If this is not the case, why would women be able to be motzi men in davening if their level of obligation is still lower than that of men?
3) Related to (2), Rabbi Fine bases his argument that women can accept mitzvot upon themselves on the Magen Avraham saying that women have taken the mitzvah of counting the Omer upon themselves. But how does he interpret that to show that women have a greater-than-neder-level of responsibility for counting Omer, or that women can be motzi men in the counting of the Omer? This seems to be a necessary logical step for his argument to work.
4) One issue that Rabbi Fine addresses is the argument that most Conservative women have, in practice, clearly not accepted the obligation of tefila, considering the vast majority of them do not daven thrice daily. His rebuttal is that Conservative women have, as a class, accepted that they have an obligation to daven three times a day, but that they simply fail to live up to that obligation and commit a sin every time they do not daven.
I have a very hard time with point (4) in particular. It seems to me that he is instituting a chumra (women must daven three times a day) that the majority of people do not follow, causing them to sin. That is definitely something that at least the modern poskim have gone to great lengths to avoid doing. This makes it seem like the author jumped through many hoops to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion, which is something that the Conservative movement claims not to do.