Should Pro-Choice Libertarians Support the Women’s Health Protection Act?

Steve Rhodes/FlickrSteve Rhodes/FlickrOn Tuesday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the "Women’s Health Protection Act," which was designed to "remove barriers to constitutionally protected reproductive rights." The bill—introduced last fall by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.)—aims to stunt the growth of state laws placing unnecessary restrictions on abortion patients, clinics, and doctors.

These new regulations don't directly attack the legality of abortion but instead focus on the supposed medical risks for women—risks which the medical community routinely denies. Still, the new tack seems to be working. Already these sorts of regulations have been forcing abortion clinics to close: A Texas bill passed in 2013 required 14 of the state's 36 clinics to shut down. Laws passed this spring in Mississippi and Louisiana would require all or most of these states' only remaining abortion clinics to close. 

Putting an end to this sort of infringement on women's abortion access is a noble goal. But it's one thing to fight states passing these types of laws and another to say the federal government should pass a law blocking states from passing these types of laws. If the state laws are unconstitutional, shouldn't that be left to the courts to determine? Why a federal act? 

"We're here today because 200 of these underhanded laws have been passed" in 2011-2014, said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, in today's committee hearing. "It is not right that women should have to go to court year after year to get the medical services that the constitution guarantees them."

I put this question to some libertarians I know, inside and out of Reason, and received a range of responses. Some pointed out that the text of the Women's Health Protection Act was very vague—under what standard do we determine if an abortion restriction is "medically unwarranted" or oppressive? And under what constitutional provision is Congress claiming the power to enact this law?

But others said that when it comes to protecting individuals from government intrusion, federal action can be appropriate; and where government is passing laws to restrict itself to uphold the Constitution, that can be a good thing. "I'm a peoples'-rights advocate, not a states-rights advocate," as one Facebook friend commented. "What matters is if individual liberty is, on net, increased."

It's perhaps worth noting that as courts have been striking down these provisions, less state legislatures have been passing them. According to reproductive rights organization the Guttmacher Institute, the number of new abortion restrictions passed in the first half of 2014 is half that passed in the first part of last year (21 versus 41). Furthermore, the types of abortion restrictions we're seeing now are quite different than the ones passing three or five or 10 years ago. As courts strike down various state restrictions, anti-abortion advocates keep coming up with new tactics. If Congress passed a law banning their pet regulations du jour, you can sure bet new ones will spring up Hydra-like in their place.

But this discussion is largely rhetorical anyway—there's little chance the Women's Health Protection Act will go anywhere. As another Facebook comment noted, this bill is "more a noise-making venture than a legislative one." A New York Times editorial notes that "the bill stands little chance of enactment in this Congress," but still asserts that the Senate hearing "can serve a valuable purpose if it alerts legislators and the public to a pernicious charade by removing the 'patina of respectability' from what are essentially phony restrictions of no medical value."  

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  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I would love to replace "women's health" with "firearms" in that act and see how many progressives support it.

  • ||

    No kidding. We have way more than 200 underhanded laws to complain about.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I'm taking Sudden shopping for a gun in the near future. Of course, here in CA, he was to pass a DMV-style multiple choice test on "handgun safety" first. And then he has to provide a receipt proving he owns a child safety lock, even though he doesn't have kids.
    No burden at all, though.

  • Florida Man||

    The only question a gun dealer should be asking is "cash or charge".
    /the reality I want to live in.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Cash. Duh.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Gold or GTFO

  • ||

    Bitcoin, grandpa.

  • Florida Man||

    Ouch. I'm only 33

  • ||

    I'm taking Sudden shopping for a gun in the near future.

    Plàya drives away with Sudden in the car. In the background we see Plàya's children scaling Sudden's apartment building in ninja wear. Fast forward a few hours and Sudden comes home excited to have his new gun, but his dog is no longer in his apartment.

    *cut to Plàya's living room*

    Plàya's family happily playing with adorable new dog that responds haphazardly to Russian commands.

  • grrizzly||

    Only elephants understand Polish.

  • ||

    Only elephants understand Polish.

    I have no idea what this means, but am intrigued. Are their pets poorly trained or something?

  • grrizzly||

    It's from Water for Elephants http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1067583/ Somehow I watched it. The circus elephant responded to commands in Polish only.

  • ||

    Ah, so you're on Team Edward then?

  • grrizzly||

    All the movies that I'm not proud of watching have been picked by my partner. That's my line and I'm sticking to it.

  • H. Protagonist||

    Where do you think the pro-life crew came up with the idea for this tactic?

    "You, alright? I learned it by watching you!"

  • JWW||

    +1 internets for you. Epic!

    I fail to have any sympathy for Progressives complaining about how regulation causes hardship for businesses. I thought they always said that it is a myth that regulations cost businesses money.

  • perlhaqr||

    So, that would seem to be a simple play for the GOP, then. Tack on some riders and change the name of the bill.

    "Women's Health and Firearm Rights Protection Act". Works for me.

  • briannnnn||

    I love these carveout laws that only affect abortion. You have to give informed consent for every single health procedure you can possibly imagine, but if you want to kill a living human (as defined by science, not feelings) you can just go right in, and have an induced breech birth and have the kid's brains sucked out, have it disassembled inside the womb, or be given powerful drugs and shit it out into a toilet. Lovely.

  • Doctor Whom||

    You just don't get it, do you? Abortion exists on a completely different moral plane from everything else. If you disagree, then you're a patriarchal MRA.

  • ||

    If you disagree, then you're a patriarchal MRA.

    "Scum of the earth", at any rate.

  • briannnnn||

    I always forget that all laws, rules, and morals are opposite when abortion is involved.

  • blcartwright||

    you can't leave your 12 year old daughter unattended while she plays in your front yard, but her teacher can take her to have an abortion without your knowledge

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's a sacred rite

  • Duke||

    This is the first time in history on this issue where slightly more people are now against abortion (for the sake of convenience) than for it. That's because technology now allows the mother and doctor to see how the baby tries to move away from the vacuum to avoid death. Abortion for the sake of convenience is dark and plain, outright sick. I'd be happy with all birth control-type abortions being banned. As I'm also against plain old murder, robbery, etc.

  • ||

    Does this act mix in the time based restrictions (like the after 20 week bans) with the regulations on abortion providers?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Wait, I thought all libertarians were pro-choice. I mean what is a libertarian if not somebody who supports peoples right to choose where to live, how to earn a living, what to say/read/watch/eat/buy, what god (if any) to worship, who to love, and all the various other choices that go into making a fully realized life? No offense ENB, but the idea of an anti-choice libertarian (implied by the invocation of pro-choice) is kind of incoherent.

  • Duke||

    If you're not being sarcastic, then I guess I'm not a card-carrying libertarian. Abortion doesn't involve just one person; it involves the rights of the unborn baby who doesn't get a say in the matter (although we all know what their choice would be). Due process requires someone to stick up for the rights of the almost-birthed people of this world.

  • Tony||

    Children don't get a say in their circumstances for almost two decades--but as a libertarian you think they should all be the victims of their parents' circumstances. Sounds like typical right-wing Christian "pro-life" hypocrisy to me.

  • ||

    Children don't get a say in their circumstances for almost two decades

    Please PLEASE follow your logic to its conclusion and argue that you should be able to kill your children until they leave home.

  • Tony||

    As soon as Christianists follow their beliefs to their logical conclusion and announce that any woman who gets an abortion should be tried for first-degree murder.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Ok?

  • briannnnn||

    Doesn't have to be a Christian. The other side says a kid born 3 months premature has more rights than a kid in the womb at 8 months. There's no logic to it. It's just an issue of convenience that requires a murder. We've called it something else for so long, that now it seems absurd to suggest that a person that murders a baby is actually a murderer.

  • Duke||

    Tony --

    What consistently amazes me about progtard "logic" is that you will vehemently argue that gays deserve equal protection, should not be discriminated against, and anyone who doesn't sell a gay a cake, should have the hammer of the law brought down on his head.

    But if someone says "hey, let's stick up for the rights of the unborn, 8-month old fetus," he's all the sudden a crackpot?

    The issue I really believe is simply this: lefties have no moral grounding whatsoever; they believe in relative moralism. And that's why you says what you say, and I say what I say.

  • fuck you tulpa||

    "a kid in the womb at 8 months"

    "the unborn, 8-month old fetus"

    you're both fucking retards, for some reason you don't understand how stupid shit like that makes you sound.

  • Tony||

    It's not that hard. I will believe that you are serious about your concerns for the rights of fetuses when you say women who get abortions should receive the usual penalty we give people who commit premeditated murder of babies.

    Say you think it's a moral society in which a cop finds a woman with a coat hanger insider her, yadda yadda yadda, lethal injection for the woman.

  • briannnnn||

    Gosh darn typical right-wing Christian "pro-life" hypocrisy! Couldn't possibly be a logical conclusion that if it's bad to kill a human over the age of 0 it's also bad to kill one under the age of 0...

  • briannnnn||

    It's not anti-choice libertarians, it's anti-abortion libertarians, which I consider myself to be. The argument is that a libertarian is generally against purposefully killing another individual, and we would tend to believe that an abortion does just that.

  • ||

    Libertarians are also opposed to one person being forced to provide resources to another against their will.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    There's a way to avoid that. Many ways, actually.

    Disclaimer: I'm pro choice.

  • briannnnn||

    Against their will? I want you to think about that one for a second. I don't know a single libertarian that thinks it should be legal for a mother to abandon a 1 year old and let it die. And I especially don't know one who thinks you should be able to suck its brains out. Oh, and I'm pretty sure (almost) all children are conceived due to the woman's actions, which means that but for her actions, that baby wouldn't rely on her resources. You can't promise to, for example, take care of a quadriplegic, take care of him for a while, and then just abandon him because you created and agreed to the reliance.

  • ||

    Jesse can always use a few more Adorphans.

  • ||

    I always wonder if my push for more voluntary sterilization would put a crimp in my orphan peddling interests, but I figure with a decrease in supply and a continued demand I can always raise rates.

    If you don't want kids, remember to have yourself and your significant other spayed or neutered, friends!

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Libertarians also understand that personal responsibility means that paying the tab for the consequences of your actions is not "being forced to provide resources", etc..

    Absent rape, pregnancy results from the woman's choice to have sex, and, perhaps, choice to take the chance that she won't wind up on the short end of that birth control that is "98% effective in preventing pregnancy."

    Any argument that assumes women aren't responsible for getting themselves pregnant (again, absent rape) is one that no libertarian should have any truck with.

  • Tony||

    But babies that are the product of rape are disposable?

  • MegaloMonocle||

    To a pro-choicer, yes, all babies are disposable.

    You're a pro-choicer, aren't you?

  • Tony||

    I'm asking you. Are rape babies less than human?

  • briannnnn||

    Of course not. There's a biological definition of a human.

  • blcartwright||

    no they are not. why should a child be killed for the crimes of it's father?

  • Brett L||

    I think, Hugh, that if you truly believe that all live humans have a right to life, and that a human is alive from the moment of conception, then you could be a libertarian and oppose all forms of abortion. So if you aren't an anarchist, or believe murder laws are okay, then opposing the intentional termination of human life is okay. They are certainly welcome in my flavor of libertarianism.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Mine too. Some people believe that it's murder. I don't. But I can respect that point of view.

  • Protagoronus||

    I am with you on that. I have practical problems with considering it murder on the government level and the enforcement of that though. Sometimes that makes me feel like engaging.

    1) How do you handle miscarriages and separate them effectively from abortions?
    2) How do you find out about all pregnancies in order to know if any of them have been terminated?
    3) Can you still value the life of a woman who would otherwise die in childbirth over that of a fetus? Why?

  • Brett L||

    1) and 2) are really hard problems. Absolutely. And I have yet to find answers that are acceptable to libertarianism as I understand it. (3) is yes. If both lives are equally valuable and one cannot be, then you are in the "kill someone to stop a runaway train" scenario. There is no moral answer, people are left to make decisions that they can live with.

  • ||

    To the others replying to Hugh, it doesn't read to me that you have to be pro legal abortion to be libertarian rather he is criticizing ENB's use of the pro-choice label (implying that we are anti-choice). Because we are in fact very much pro-choice, far more than the leftists authoring this act, even if we disagree about whether abortion violates the NAP.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Congratulations Ap, you win the basic reading skills ribbon for the day.

  • Brett L||

    Fucking subtlety dial on my meter is out of whack.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You're too smart for me. Knock it off!

  • ||

    I thought it was obvious, seeing as how you didn't even mention abortion in you comment.

  • briannnnn||

    Now we all feel ashamed :(

  • Hugh Akston||

    My work here is done. ::dusts off hands and walks into the sunset::

  • Duke||

    "Putting an end to this sort of infringement on women's abortion access is a noble goal."

    How so? Just exactly what is noble about making it easier for a woman and a "doctor" to kill a helpless little child who's living in his mother's womb?

  • briannnnn||

    Your average card carrying libertarian doesn't care about the biological fact that conception creates new human, and that human beings have individual rights. They don't even tend to want to have the even more reasonable conversation about exactly when human rights start. For a group of people so intent on promoting liberty and freedom, they don't seem very interested in determining when someone is or is not entitled to them.

  • Duke||

    Isn't it better then, to err on the side of caution and legally confer personhood rights on the unborn? At least after they are formed to the extent of organs, etc?

  • briannnnn||

    Couldn't agree more Duke. Couldn't agree more.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    I read that "formed" as "farmed" and thought "business plan!"

  • Tony||

    Caution with respect to what? The chance that a deity will strike you down for killing a baby? Since it's perfectly arbitrary when to confer personhood status on a fetus, why not err on the side of freedom for the woman like a civilized country?

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    why not err on the side of freedom

    But only on this specific issue.

  • briannnnn||

    Good argument!

  • ||

    Shorter Tony: Don't be slavish to your imaginary deity, be slavish to my imaginary concept of "civilization".

  • Duke||

    Caution with respect to what? The chance that a deity will strike you down for killing a baby? Since it's perfectly arbitrary when to confer personhood status on a fetus, why not err on the side of freedom for the woman like a civilized country?

    So, by your logic, am I free to not sell cakes to gays? Am I free to preach from the housetops that gays are degenerates? Am I free to engage in anti-gay psychotherapy?

    Am I free to buy a gun without any federal or state interference? Am I free to not pay taxes?

    And as you ponder all of that, ask yourself, which has more serious consequences -- the killing of a human life, or being denied a gay wedding cake.

    Tony, I wouldn't doubt for one second that if you had the power, you would round up all the christians and non-progbelievers into a concentration camp and exterminate every last one of them.

  • Tony||

    The freedom of women to get abortions is more important than any of that stuff. It's just a fact of life. They've always gotten them, they will always get them. Without legal abortion, they sometimes die in the attempt. If you want to reduce abortions, then favor some scheme for maximum easy access to birth control. (Let's not ask the Hobby Lobby types to contribute to that conversation, how about?) Saying a fetus is a human life is, obviously, to beg the question. If it's a human life then you must advocate that women who get abortions should be sent to jail forever or get executed. That's what we do to first-degree murderers of babies, right?

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    They've always gotten them, they will always get them. Without legal abortion, they sometimes die in the attempt.

    The appeal to inevitability. As long as there are women who wish to have pre-birth abortions, there will also be women who wish to have post-birth abortions. I guess they too should get a safe and sterile environment to do so.

    Let's not ask the Hobby Lobby types to contribute to that conversation, how about?

    Choose from 16 types of birth control, the horror.

    If it's a human life then you must advocate that women who get abortions should be sent to jail forever or get executed.

    Uh yeah, murder should be punishable. Why do you think that is such a "gotcha!"?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Tony|7.15.14 @ 1:36PM|#

    Caution with respect to what? The chance that a deity will strike you down for killing a baby? Since it's perfectly arbitrary when to confer personhood status on a fetus, why not err on the side of freedom for the woman like a civilized country?

    What's wrong with this picture?

  • blcartwright||

    we declare people dead when their heart stops beating and their brain stops waving. therefor, when these processes are occurring, even in the womb, I would consider that a living human.

  • blcartwright||

    and why is allowing abortion clinics to have lower standards than other outpatient surgical facilities a noble goal?

  • Brett L||

    I don't understand, seriously. Does the new Act place hard limits on current laws? Why not just repeal those laws? Adding to the Federal Code does not increase liberty. I realize you have to technically pass laws to strike statutes, but I don' think that is where this is going.

  • SForza||

    Doesn't Hobby Lobby sell wire hangers? Why are we wasting time and money on a simple procedure that can be performed at home?

  • Anomalous||

    NO MORE WIRE HANGERS, EVER!

  • ||

    Abortion is not terribly interesting because there's no common ground to be found. The only real way to resole these kinds of disagreements is to fight wars over them. But you know what is interesting, though? Meerkats.

  • briannnnn||

    You're totally right. We shouldn't have discourse on issues where there isn't common ground because that automatically means they aren't important!

  • ||

    Oh yeah. Discourse. Because discourse is what we have on every abortion thread around here. Did your mother have any children that lived?

  • briannnnn||

    I guess just me and my sister...perhaps I missed the joke.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The "joke" is that there is no discourse on abortion threads around here. They are violent verbal wars waged between two diametrically opposed groups. Lots of name calling, hurt feelings, and at the end of the day, neither side has gained any ground.

    We're better off discussing circumcision, deep dish pizza, food truck parking, or in one memorable exchange the exact definition and scope of the Seattle-Tacoma greater metropolitan region.

  • briannnnn||

    I got the discourse part. I didn't get the children that lived part...

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ...ummmmm...

  • ||

    Really? You've never heard someone insult another person by asking them "did your parents have any children that lived?"

  • briannnnn||

    Nope! It doesn't any sense. Is he implying that I'm a ghost? That would be neat, but my fingers would probably just go right through the keyboard...

  • Brett L||

    I've been trying to teach the kitteh to stand on her hind legs like a meerkat on command. Mostly it depends on whether she wants a treat or not. So I'm declaring it a win.

  • ||

    I saw baby meerkats on Sunday. BABY. MEERKATS.

  • ||

    ARE YOU TRYING TO SUMMON NICOLE!?

  • ||

    You cannot imagine how tiny they were. SRSLY.

  • Brett L||

    Daaaaaaw.

  • ||

    Cute overload!

  • Whahappan?||

    So how many of them did you consume in a single mouthful?

  • Doctor Whom||

    And under what constitutional provision is Congress claiming the power to enact this law?

    If you believe that the 14th Amendment protects the right to abortion (and I don't care to debate right now whether it does), then there's the enforcemnt clause of that amendment.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Emanations of the penumbra, bro.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Putting an end to this sort of infringement on women's abortion access is a noble goal."

    A noble goal, but a goal which ought to be attained by other methods.

    OK, let's see one of the noble goals laid out in the bill, S. 1696 (see beta.congress.gov).

    Under the bill, states would not be allowed to pass " A measure or action that prohibits or restricts a woman from obtaining an abortion prior to fetal viability based on her reasons or perceived reasons or that requires a woman to state her reasons before obtaining an abortion prior to fetal viability."

    Put into plain language, the bill would give women the right to have *sex-selective abortions* up to the point of viability. And of course, "sex-selective abortions" generally means killing your girl babies because you'd rather have sons.

    The choicers are embarrassed that they are defending the right of women to abort their female fetuses *because of their sex*, and they understandably don't want to put in plain words that this is what they're doing.

    If you find that your defense of "women's rights" leads to a right to kill unborn girls because they are female, then maybe you went off the rails at some point.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Put into plain language, the bill would give women the right to have *sex-selective abortions* up to the point of viability.

    Didn't the O'Conner rule pretty much eliminate any restrictions? Sure, you can't say you want to abort for sex selection you just have to claim "mental health" don't you?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The point is that, under this bill, you *can* say it's sex selection and that would be OK.

    Sex-selection abortion bans, if enforced, would save lives, but even if choicers evade these laws, making them come out publicly for sex-selective abortions might inconvenience them.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    I don't think the reason for seeking an abortion should matter in terms of its legality.

  • ||

    No kidding. I thought everyone here was against thoughtcrime.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    It doesn't seem that way in this thread?

  • ||

    See, your first mistake was reading an abortion thread. Like I said: meerkats.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Ideally, the reason *shouldn't* matter, but so long as the prolife movement is limited to working for incremental reform, the movement is going to be targeting the most awful practices - like late-term abortions and killing girl babies because they're girls.

    I certainly look forward to the day when abortion is equally (il)legal regardless of motive!

  • briannnnn||

    Of course not. It's either murder or it isn't. But since biologically human life starts at conception, and imo all humans have a basic right to life, abortion is murder. There needs to be more actual thought and less emotional "feely" crap, especially when we're talking about possibly killing a person...

  • Tony||

    Life began billions of years ago in some mud puddle or something. The question is when legal rights become conferred, i.e., when personhood starts. It's a question with no scientific answer, and so is best left to pragmatic consideration.

  • Duke||

    Intent, whether it be negligent (it was an accident that I killed your child), or intentional is a vitally important legal concept. In the real world, it matters that you fire someone because they're black, rather than because they suck at their job. And soon that will apply to gays and so on.

    So the reason you're getting an abortion can matter legally just like the reason you fire someone, or run them over with your car.

  • Robert||

    It's like when it's pointed out (although nobody but me seems to have done so) that policies demanding closure of Israeli settlements in occupied lands are to work by excluding persons because they are Jews.

  • blcartwright||

    also, your unborn gay children (as soon as that can be determined in the womb)

  • ||

    Putting an end to this sort of infringement on women's abortion access is a noble goal.

    I don't know about it being noble.

    People have a natural propensity to think killing clumps of baby cells in the womb is bad. Hell there are movements that the law to recognize chimps and Dolphins as human. As the technology to detect and terminate an unwanted pregnancy at earlier stages in pregnancy get developed one should expect political pushes to limit later stage abortions to gain ground.

    In fact with recent polls we are seeing just that.

    People like unborn babies and they like women's right to choose. If technology allows that choice to be made earlier then the laws will begin to reflect this new reality.

  • ||

    Forget asking pro-abortion libertarians, we need to poll millennials to find out how they feel about it.

  • sarcasmic||

    If that means another Emily video, then I'm all for it.

  • ||

    Millennials can now be aborted up to age 26.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    In a few years, 26 will be another big birthday because you can now throw Personhood Parties.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    Any moral arguments aside, there is definitely a part of me saying "Fuck 'em, let ''em strangle on their love of business regulations."

  • Doctor Whom||

    This. Where I used to live, our state senator was at least a deacon in the cult of the omnipotent state, but as soon as the topic turned to abortion, he suddenly morphed into an an-cap.

  • The Last American Hero||

    No. Kidding. Not so much fun when somebody tramples your rights through excessive regulation, is it?

  • JWW||

    Hear! Hear!

  • ||

    I have to beg a pharmacist to get my cold medication out from behind the counter and see a licensed MD to get an antibiotic, but subjecting abortion clinics to outpatient surgical center regulations and getting parental input before handing out plan B is a totalitarian crisis putting the government between women's uterii and their doctors.

    Also, official Reason abortion thread anthem.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    This would be my choice for an anthem.

  • ||

    The precise reason (drink) that anthem was chosen is specifically because it is the most depressing song ever written on the topic. Ironically, it's actually one of the cheerier songs on an album that is otherwise concerned with telling the story of a hospice worker falling in love with a dying cancer patient. It matches the mood here perfectly.

  • Robert||

    Oh. I thought it was a pun on "bear".

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

  • ||

    Nice.

  • The Last American Hero||

  • ||

  • Rhywun||

    I'm mildly pro-choice but whoo-eee I am tired of misdirections like "Women's Health Protection Act". Just call it what it is.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Much of the public couldn't take the sort of bluntness involved in calling it what it is.

    This is why, I think, the abortion-affirming film *Obvious[ly a] Child* didn't do as well as the films where they decide to have the child after all.

  • NL_||

    Seems like harassing rules requiring sinks, inspections, minimum floor space, special licensing rights, existing incumbent privileges, etc. are par for the course with all sorts of activities. Tons of businesses close or never open because of the difficulty complying with these rules - pharmacies, free clinics, restaurants, art collectives, tattoo shops, hotels, etc. There are an uncountable number of rules - written and unwritten, legislative, statutory, regulatory, judicial, and executive, all restricting things people want to do together.

    It's hard to say that all these health and safety laws should be exempted for a few activities, but not for others. It probably also makes it easier for states and localities to pass harsh rules if the popular activities and influential people get exemptions. It's the same problem as special tax breaks - those with popularity or influence get the breaks, but the poor and the unpopular get shafted.

    Letting some people out of the rules is a good thing (leaving the question of abortion aside). But making rules less unpopular and less equal are both bad things. This is also a shining example of hypocrisy.

  • perlhaqr||

    I agree with this position.

  • ||

    I've got two words for anyone supporting this bill:

    Kermit

    Gosnell

  • ||

    An extreme outlier warranting no further consideration. It's not like we reconsider the right to own firearms just because of 1 irresponsible asshole or readjudicate the right to a jury trial when a crook goes free. Why would we subject a woman's constitutionally-enumerated right to obtain an abortion to that type of scrutiny?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "constitutionally-enumerated right"

    I'm embarrassed that, until I came to this phrase, I thought you were serious.

  • ||

  • Duke||

    Question:

    What if science discovers a "gay gene." Will pro-choicers be ok with families selectively aborting those fetuses?

  • ||

    That's a hate crime, obviously.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Answer: Yes. See my comment above about sex-selective abortion. The bill would let women have abortions regardless of their reasons or perceived reasons.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    well, pre-viability abortions.

    After viability, they have to concoct a "health" rationale. Health as defined by an abortionist.

  • Duke||

    Would the bill's sponsors also support a bill allowing an employer to fire anyone for any reason, say, that they were black or gay?

    Just trying to find some consistency here.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Just trying to find some consistency here."

    Diogenes with his lamp was realistic in comparison with this search.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    ... as is already allowed.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Not in South Dakota, which recently banned sex-selective abortions -

    http://legis.sd.gov/Legislativ.....ill=sb1162

    This received coverage in Reason while still in the legislative pipeline:

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/02.....uth-dakota

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    South Dakota is one of seven states with such a ban:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....trictions/

  • Jordan||

    Yep. I'm fine with it.

  • Protagoronus||

    If abortions are legal, that is legal. The people involved have to decide if that is moral however. Seems like a morally shitty reason for an abortion all else equal. Maybe that would weigh on their conscience.

  • Protagoronus||

    Better question: Should you be able to have an abortion to spare a child being born with a debilitating genetic defect or disease so that you can try again (no more or few humans exist in the world after this process than would have otherwise)?

  • Duke||

    You know who else wanted to kill people who had genetic defects?

  • briannnnn||

    Yay!

  • blcartwright||

    This week I read an article about how many fewer Downs children there are, and fewer participants in Special Olympics, as more of these children are being eliminated in the womb.

    I've known several Downs children. We frequently babysit one for a good friend, and in the past were foster parents for another.

    Yes, they take more time and effort to raise, but they are a joy to be around. It is so sad that people will choose to dispose of their own flesh and blood because they perceive those children as a burden.

  • brokencycle||

    I don't think libertarians should support this bill at all. Federalism is one of the few hopes for libertarianism. Conceding federalism for this only gives them more precedent for future growth of federal power.

    Additionally, while I don't think we need nearly as many health care regulations (do we even need any?), we should expect abortion (a medical service) providers to follow the same regulations other medical service providers have to.

  • ||

    Is the abortion medically necessary? It shouldn't be covered by insurance if it is. How did it get blanket covered by Obamacare anyway?

    Oh yeah.

  • brokencycle||

    Well the payment is a whole other issue.

  • ||

    The law they should be writing is that only medically necessary abortions should be covered by tax-payer funded coverage.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Doesn't anyone have wire coat hangers anymore?

  • briannnnn||

    No...wire!!! HANGERS!!!!!!!

  • ||

    Gay? Or just a fan of classic movies?

  • ||

    Clearly not judging, just curious, btw.

  • briannnnn||

    Neither...both...I"M SO CONFUSED!!

  • blcartwright||

    so the Dems want to protect women's health by prohibiting states from holding abortion clinics to the same safety standards as other outpatient facilities?

    If these standards are truly unnecessary, then why don't the pro-choice folks advocate repealing them for everyone?

  • trutherator||

    Re: "...abortion but instead focus on the supposed medical risks for women—risks which the medical community routinely denies"

    Oh yeah, what specifically is this "medical community"? Been listening to Establishment Only News again? Have you even *listened* to other opinions from the other parts of the "medical community"?

    For generations, doctors in America, and for millenia, medical doctors around the world have sworn the Hippocratic Oath to administer "no abortifiacients".

    Where is the choice for the helpless individual inside the womb?

    One of the most onerous things one can do to a mother is make her think it's just fine to sacrifice her baby.

    But "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."-Isaiah 1:18

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