Abortion

New Missouri Abortion Regs Are Insulting to Women

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Earlier this week, Missouri passed a new law mandating a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions. Advocates for the law argue that this will give women sufficient time to make the decision with a clear head, but this logic is insulting. Reason.com editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes:

Surely many women spend ample time agonizing over the decision to abort before actually calling a clinic. For others, it isn't a difficult decision at all. In either case, what incredible arrogance and paternalism to suggest that without the good hand of government to guide them, these women aren't capable of fully considering their choices and actions.  

In effect, waiting-period rules like the one Missouri Republicans are pushing just make it logistically harder for women to exercise their right to an abortion. Yesterday I wrote about a Pennsylvania woman who ordered the abortion pill illegally online because the nearest clinic was more than 70 miles away. Some on social media scoffed at the idea that 70 miles was too far to travel—but because of mandatory waiting periods and other bureaucratic nonsense, what could be a one- or two-visit procedure actually requires three or four separate visits. 

This is why it's such bullshit when anti-abortion types talk about how it's just an extra day or two wait; it's just a requirement that only a physician can physically hand a woman the abortion pill; it's just one or two clinics that will close down due to hospitals refusing admitting-privileges to abortion doctors… Taken individually, none of the restrictions may seem that nefarious. But these restrictions don't exist in a vacuum. And the cumulative effect is absolutely to create a climate where the time and capital required to terminate a pregnancy becomes prohibitive for large numbers of women.

Regulations that raise costs for both abortion clinics and women as a way to circumvent the 14th amendment are becoming all to common. Last year, Reason TV reported on new regulations for abortion clinics in Virgina:

"Abortion Rights vs. Women's Safety in Virginia," produced by Amanda Winkler
About 4 minutes.

Original release date was December 16, 2013, and the original writeup is below.

Last April, the Virginia Board of Health approved strict new regulations for abortion providers. Unlike most similar laws, the regulations cover not just new facilities but existing ones too. Clinics have until October 2014 to comply, but a high-stakes legal challenge in the Old Dominion may change that early next year.

Senate Bill 924 reclassifies any health clinic that provides five or more first trimester abortions a month as an outpatient surgical center rather than a physician's office, which is the current classification. The law sets standards for the number of parking spaces, width of hallways, size of janitor closets, and more, all which could cost millions of dollars in renovations per facility. Abortion clinics throughout the state have said compliance costs will force many of them to close and two out of 20 abortion clinics have already shut down, citing financial burdens related to the new regs.

In a reversal of conventional positions, SB 924 has political conservatives arguing for increasing regulations on small businesses and liberals arguing against them. The bill initially passed the Democratic-controlled state senate in 2011 by a vote of 20-20 (Lieutenant Gov. Bill Bolling, a pro-life Republican cast the tie-breaking vote). Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell eventually signed it into law after numerous rounds of political back-and-forth. 

Supporters of abortion rights believe that pro-life legislators in Virginia and elsewhere around the country are using retroactive regulations to get around constitutional guarantees to abortion on demand during the first trimester of pregnancy. Defenders of the new regulations say that they are simply protecting the safety of women.

"This is really necessary to ensure that woman are treated with care consistent with their human dignity," says Mallory Quigley of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBL), a pro-life organization. A woman who chooses to have an abortion, says Quigley, should be able to do so without fearing for her health and safety. Quigley and other supporters point to the deplorable conditions in abortion clinics such as the one run by Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia. Gosnell, who ran an operation described as a "horror house," was convicted of murder and other crimes after several patients died at his clinic.

"Physicians that are practicing in Virginia have been outspoken about the lack of medical evidence that is deciding [this legislation]," says Sara Wallace-Keeshen of Falls Church Health Care Center (FCHC). Located in northern Virginia, FCHC has filed an administrative appeal against the new regulations, claiming that renovations would cost the center $2 million and potentially force them out of business. 

FCHC has had no deaths since opening in 2002, an outcome that is similar to the generally low rate of complications related to abortions performed in clinics. Indeed, since 1974 state data show only three deaths during legal abortions. For first-trimester abortions, the complication rate is 0.3 percent, throwing doubt on the safety argument.

A court date is set for April 2014.

Approx. 4 minutes. Produced by Amanda Winkler. Camera by Winkler and Joshua Swain. 

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channelto receive automatic updates when new material goes live.

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  1. Fun thread ahead!

    1. Save yourselves and move on while there’s still time.

  2. Look, convicted murderers wait decades on death row while the government decides whether to kill them.

    We can afford to give an unborn child *three days* for the mother to deliberate on its fate.

      1. OK, a “potential life,” as a death-row inmate is a “potential death.”

          1. Catholic-baiting is all well and good, but there are libertarian atheists for life, Buddhists for life, etc.

            I’m certainly glad the Catholics are so involved in the issue, but it’s not like they’re alone out there.

            And whether or not you agree with Church teaching against artificial contraception by married couples, that teaching isn’t about sperm having a right to life.

            1. Catholic-baiting is all well and good

              I thought Catlicks weren’t allowed to bait bate?

              1. They can’t even Catholic-bait.

                But they can celi-bate.

          2. It is more a child than a sperm.

  3. You do realize that these regulations have nothing to do with giving a woman more time to consider her decision, don’t you? They are about creating chinks in the armor of Roe v. Wade for a future case challenging it.

    1. If a three-day waiting period threatens Roe, then so much the worse for Roe.

    2. Roe doesn’t have any armor. That decision had nothing to do with the constitution — even pro-choice Reason writers have admitted as much. It was the foremost example of results-based jurisprudence.

  4. *grabs popcorn*

    *realizes it’s last night’s bag, mostly unpopped kernels*

    *eats it anyway since payday isn’t until Monday*

    *has stomachache*

    *dies thanks to Koch brothers-induced poverty, becomes martyr for SJWs*

  5. I have to wait three days to buy a gun to make sure I’m not buying it in some sort of heightened emotional state, but if women want to hire a professional hitman to kill their unborn child any delay is paternalistic!

    1. MANSPLAINER!

    2. You’re right. We need to get rid of the wait for the gun too.

  6. When the Kermit Gosnell story broke it became inevitable that the “Pro-Life” forces would stump for a bunch of restrictions on Abortion Clinics, just as every mass shooting brings out the anti-gun forces and sees a lot of anti-gun laws passed or attempted. The pro-choice side made a tactical mistake by not condemning Gosnell loudly from the beginning. I hope that the majority of pro-choice activists were simply silent, but the fact remains that my lasting impression is of a few strident idiots carrying on in Gosnell’s defense on the grounds of “women’s access to abortion”. That was political stupidity of a fairly pungent order. It pretty much dealt the pro-choice forces out of the political equation and made it all too likely that the “pro-life” side would have it substantially their way.

    The waiting period ploy is straight out of the anti-gun playbook, BTW. No, it doesn’t make sense. Yes, it is patronizing ?whether it is applied to women seeking abortions or anyone buying a gun.

    1. The pro-choice side made a tactical mistake by not condemning Gosnell loudly from the beginning.

      Tactical mistake…comfort with the apotheosis of their own ideology….who’s counting?

      1. I tried looking at Elizabeth Abortion Brown’s article history here at Reason to see how much coverage she gave Gosnell, but I quickly got sick of clicking “view more search results” and going back to Control – F’ing for gosn.

        Also, her oldest posts only date from February of this year? Thought she’d been around longer than that.

      2. Well, it’s not really a mass killing of children unless it’s done with an assault rifle so it does fit in with the dogma of that crowd.

        1. Of course if Gosnell was wearing camo and/or body armor… then it’d be a mass killing.

      3. Exactly, they were embarrassed with it – a “local crime” story – and didn’t want it publicized.

        Which hurt the credibility of those few choicers who came out belatedly and said Gosnell was an argument *against* the prolife position. Funny, it the Gosnell case bolstered their position, why didn’t they want it publicized?

        1. Now, typing “Gosnell” in Reason’s search box produced lots of posts covering his case, so I appreciate that.

    2. Are you sure you want to press the gun comparison?

      Abortion kills a living human (or if you want to go with the Supreme Court’s medieval science, it destroys a *potential life.*)

      The act of possessing a gun doesn’t kill anyone. A gun is a tool which can destroy or protect innocent life.

      The anti-gun people love to make exactly the comparison you do – that a gun is a murderous totem whose mere possession is a danger.

      1. I think we should be explaining the comparison better. It’s not so much the specific rights themselves that are at issue. It’s that people fight for abortion rights much more vigorously than the 2nd Amendment. That hypocrisy should be shouted from the rooftops.

        It’s okay to fight against any regulation of abortion, but it’s perfectly fine to allow a ban high-capacity magazines, “assault” weapons and other “common sense” gun laws. Banning someone from owning a firearm if they’re on Prozac or whatnot, and effectively banning convicted felons (no matter the felony) from owning a firearm is just peachy to some people, but put a 3-day waiting period on abortion services and we’re at war with women.

        Why people are so willing to chisel away at an enshrined right in the Bill of Rights while at the same time fighting like rabid dogs to keep any legislation that even hints at more responsibility w/r/t an abortion is the $64k question. I chalk it up to supreme hypocrisy. Others may have a different take, but I think we need to show the supreme irony of support for abortion v. a fundamental enumerated right.

        1. Are you criticizing the lifers or the choicers?

          1. Wait, you’re criticizing the choicers, duh. You were quite clear.

        2. Different people care about different things to different extents.

          I don’t see a problem with that.

          Caring about one thing more than another really isn’t a fundamental betrayal of libertarianism.

          1. No, but I think their embracing of pro-choice while seeing no problems restricting gun rights is still hypocritical. Caring about fundamental individual liberty doesn’t mean we take the “Salad bar” approach to the Bill of Rights. I’m fine with people caring about their perceived freedom of choice. There is no need for government to be involved in the abortion issue, but at the same time, I read the 2nd Amendment to be the same. Government shouldn’t be involved in the right to bear arms either.

            That’s merely convenient for pro-choicers to be all about freedom for one right but not for another. I don’t pretend I know the motivations, though. It seems they can hold two opposing views in their heads equally. 🙂

            1. Who sees no problem with restricting gun rights?

              Reason staff have written plenty objecting to restrictions on gun rights.

              I wish they’d spend more time writing about my motorcycle rights, but I don’t see why they should have to do that in every article.

    3. The waiting period ploy is straight out of the anti-gun playbook, BTW.

      Putting murderers in jail is straight out of the anti-drug playbook?

  7. Coming soon… A 3-month “wait and think” period during which one must ponder that abortion before getting it… And then, 3-month-old fetuses? Not on the “fair game” list any more! You will have to ask for your abortion BEFORE you get pregnant! … Predicted here; mark my words!

  8. Did you know that “Elizabeth Nolan Brown” is an anagram of “Abortion Ball When Zen”?

  9. An abortion thread, right out of the chute on a Saturday morning.

    Greaaaaat!

    1. I think abortion should be illegal and any woman who has one should be no-knock SWATed, imprisoned without a trial/counsel, and executed with the new execution drug or electrocuted (the Pope gets to decide).

      And if you disagree with me, you are worse than Hitler!

      1. Again with the Pope!

        There are posters here criticizing the current abortion-on-request regime; are they all crypto-Papists?

        Are we to denounce hospitals because of the Church’s role in developing and running them?

          1. Wait, denounce hospitals?

              1. Wow, you’re in a cheerful mood this morning!

  10. “In effect, waiting-period rules like the one Missouri Republicans are pushing just make it logistically harder for women to exercise their right to an abortion.”

    Even if abortion is morally wrong but shouldn’t be criminal–like cheating on your spouse is morally wrong but shouldn’t be criminal–I don’t see why the government should impose itself on adulterers this way. Imagine if the government said women weren’t allowed to commit adultery unless they decided they still wanted to 72 hours later…

    We laugh at college regs that all but require college kids to have their partners sign a contract before having sex–or risk the threat of prosecution as a date rapist. This looks like the same kind of thing to me–regardless of whether you think women have the right to an abortion. So why say it’s wrong because it makes it harder “for women to exercise their right to an abortion”?

    1. So, women have a right to make choices for themselves regardless of whether they have a right to an abortion. Saying this waiting period infringes on their right to an abortion just creates unnecessary opposition. Abortion opponents may think that a fetus has rights that a woman can’t ignore, but that isn’t contending that women don’t have the right to make choices for themselves. It’s contending that women can’t make a choice for the fetus.

      Even abortion opponents think women should be free to make choices for themselves, and if this waiting period is wrong, it’s wrong because it infringes on that freedom–not because women have a right to an abortion.

      1. Nicely explained.

      2. That’s the crux of my argument about the 2nd Amendment too. If the 3-day waiting period for abortions is infringing upon the woman’s freedom, then regulations and restrictions on gun ownership, etc. is also infringing upon freedom.

        The fact that most Pro-Choicers (at least the vocal ones on TV) can argue this while at the same time seeing no problem limiting magazine capacity and the amount of ammo you can have, etc. is why I think their hypocrisy should be pointed out… until they get the idea that Liberty isn’t just about things you like. (Free Speech comes to mind in that one as well.)

    2. if abortion is morally wrong but shouldn’t be criminal–like cheating on your spouse is morally wrong but shouldn’t be criminal

      That’s a big “if”, Ken. I don’t like people who run around on their wives, but (if the pro-lifers are right) killing a child is an entirely different category which fits in better with murder or manslaughter, or perhaps the various areas of guardianship ethics which require the guardian to take care of their child to some minimum level of competency. These are areas which most libertarians — most people, really — would say the government has a role in. If the pro-lifers are wrong about the personhood of a fetus, then there is no ethical issue at play — have a fetus-covered deep dish pizza or use its internal organs to decorate your couch, for all I care. Of course, if the pro-lifers are wrong about the fetus’ personhood, there’s nothing that says they’re right about the personhood of an infant, either? Planned Parenthood and the organizations dedicated to the practice of abortion figured this out a long time ago; they scream like banshees to preserve partial birth abortions and to defend brothers in arms like Kermit Gosnell. Every once in a while, their true feelings about infanticide will come out.

      Ultimately, I believe that this contradiction will eventually out — either we will protect fetus’ with the same type of integrity we hold for infants, or we will protect infanticide with the same fervor we hold for abortion.

      1. Point is that there are lots of things that are morally wrong and shouldn’t be criminal. In fact, people who think that abortion is probably both unethical and should be legal probably make up the majority of the people in this country. …just like most people think adultery is both immoral and, likewise, shouldn’t be a crime.

        Point is that you don’t have to be in favor of B.S. waiting periods–even if you think abortion is immoral.

        The fact is that if this waiting period is wrong, it isn’t wrong because women have a right to make a choice for a fetus. It’s because it unduly infringes on a woman’s right to make a choice for herself. And if anti-abortion people want to defend waiting periods properly, then they should defend it in those terms.

        Why doesn’t this infringe on a woman’s right to make choices for herself–regardless of whether abortion is morally wrong?

        The fact is that women making choices for themselves isn’t what anti-abortion people should be trying to stop; what they’re legitimately protesting is women inflicting their choices on a fetus. Those are two separate issues.

        And whether you can have an abortion or whether the government can make it a hassle to do something you have a legal right to do–to try to prevent you from doing it–are two different questions, too.

        1. The anti-abortion people certainly can’t claim that this waiting period doesn’t have anything to do with stopping women from making a choice for a fetus, out of one side of their mouths, and then turn around and claim, out of the other side, that these waiting periods don’t infringe on a woman’s right to make choices for herself either.

          If it isn’t about killing the fetus, it’s all about stopping free choice.

          1. It’s about stopping the perceived wrong choice.

            I lean pro-life and I could argue against the 3 day waiting period on the same grounds I argue against Bloomberg’s soda ban.

            If abortion is murder/unjust force it should be illegal. If murder is a manifestation of a woman’s right to choose and doesn’t involve murder/unjust force, it should be legal.

            The waiting period answers neither question definitively, and implies the answer is somewhere in between.

            1. “I lean pro-life and I could argue against the 3 day waiting period on the same grounds I argue against Bloomberg’s soda ban.”

              I lean pro-life, from an ethical standpoint, too, but as a libertarian, I can see that there’s a big difference between thinking something is immoral and thinking that it should be illegal.

              There’s another mighty libertarian chasm to cross before I’m willing to say it should be criminal.

              And what you said about the waiting period not answering the question definitively, I’m on board with that, too. The waiting period isn’t really about whether abortion should be legal. Abortion is a separate question.

              The waiting period, to my eye, seems to be a question of whether the government should be able to infringe on the right of people to do something that is legal.

              That’s why I took issue with the suggestion that this is about the right to an abortion. It isn’t about that! And I think pro-choice people who are saying it is about the right to an abortion are hurting themselves by trying to make it about that.

              1. Why are you pro-life from an ethical standpoint? Do you believe that the fetus has a right to life?

                If so, how can you claim that killing that fetus shouldn’t be illegal? The NAP says that use of force against initiators of force must be legal.

                1. Look at some of my posts below.

                  Whatever responsibilities women have to their fetuses are only responsibilities they could have taken on willingly.

                  Surely, no woman has a responsibility to a fetus that is forcibly put inside of her by way of a rapist.

                  People should only be held legally responsible for what they willingly do. Even in the case of criminal negligence, that’s about what somebody willfully didn’t do!

                  If a woman didn’t willingly consent, then how can she be legally compelled to carry a baby to term?

                  That’s just one example of how a fetus could have a right to life that conflicts with a woman’s right to make choices for herself–and the woman’s right should win.

                  There are other considerations like that. I mentioned a few below.

                  1. If a woman didn’t willingly consent, then how can she be legally compelled to carry a baby to term?

                    If the fetus doesn’t consent, then how can it be compelled to die?

                    You’re saying there’s a rights conflict (correct) but then ignoring one half of it.

                    1. “If the fetus doesn’t consent, then how can it be compelled to die?”

                      Is the fetus being charged with a crime?

                      If the fetus were being charged with a crime, I would be totally against that on the basis that the fetus didn’t willfully rape its mother.

                      Are you talking about hauling raped women in front of a judge and jury for getting an abortion?

                      When you do that? I’m going to say no woman (or man) can be legally compelled to fulfill the responsibilities of a contract to which she (or he) never consented.

          2. there are lots of things that are morally wrong and shouldn’t be criminal.

            Trivially true.

            people who think that abortion is probably both unethical and should be legal probably make up the majority of the people in this country

            Sure, but this is indicative of contradiction more than anything else. If the fetus has a moral status because it is human, how is it not entitled to a right to life at a minimum, the most basic of human rights? If it is not a member of the human family in a way which establishes this right, how can it be unethical or immoral to kill it or do what one will with it?

            The fact is that women making choices for themselves isn’t what anti-abortion people should be trying to stop; what they’re legitimately protesting is women inflicting their choices on a fetus. Those are two separate issues.

            Not really. Laws against murder necessarily restrict the range of actions that a person can legally undertake — this is such because the rights of the victim are considered a higher priority than a person’s freedom to murder. All law is a restriction of personal liberty; the question is whether or not a given law is moral or appropriate. The choicers are right: pro-lifers want to restrict choice on this issue, as a right to life is a necessary consequence of seeing the fetus as even a marginal member of humanity. (They are wrong that abortion implies laws RE: birth control and sexuality.)

            1. “Not really. Laws against murder necessarily restrict the range of actions that a person can legally undertake — this is such because the rights of the victim are considered a higher priority than a person’s freedom to murder. All law is a restriction of personal liberty; the question is whether or not a given law is moral or appropriate.”

              Murder is wrong because it unduly deprives someone else of something without them having a choice.

              This only gets complicated when things like self-defense come into play. The only reason it’s okay to kill someone in self-defense, though, is because in a self-defense situation, you didn’t really have a choice.

              Rape is wrong because the victim doesn’t get to make a choice.

              Armed robbery is wrong because you’re depriving someone of their property by violating their right to make a choice.

              There is no legitimately moral system divorced from respecting people’s right to make choices for themselves. Respecting an individual’s right to make choices for themselves is the moral axis of all libertarian thought.

              These things only get complicated when our individual rights overlap and conflict with each other. I have the right to sleep in my home. My next door neighbor has a right to listen to music. If I hate his music and can hear it in my home, what are my rights? What are his? Do they differ if we’re in an apartment or a house? We both have legitimate rights. Sometimes they overlap and conflict with each other.

              1. Women have a right to make choices for themselves. Fetuses may have a right to their lives. You’ll never see me try to solve that conflict by attacking the legitimacy of either party’s rights. I’m much more likely to look at the voluntary actions involved. Did the woman have a choice? Was she raped? Are we gong to forcibly imprison women who don’t want their fetuses until the fetus is born? Are we going to forcibly imprison women for aborting fetuses that may have never even achieved cognition?

                These are questions of volition, a free society, etc. It isn’t about some outside standard of morality divorced from consideration of free choice. Freedom of choice is morality.

                1. So if you don’t have volitional capacity you don’t have any rights? At least no rights that have any practical effect on what other people can do to you.

                  Does this apply to people in comas or severely retarded people, too?

                  1. “So if you don’t have volitional capacity you don’t have any rights?”

                    I wouldn’t say people in comas were never cognizant.

                    I wouldn’t say severely retarded people aren’t cognizant.

                    I wouldn’t say any criminal trial should proceed on universal evidence taken from other trials.

                    I would say that even if you plan to throw women who’ve had abortions into prison for murder, that they should be free do to defend themselves in court on the evidence and merits of their own situation.

                    Don’t you?

                    Chances are you’re going to find at least one juror in almost every one of those trials who refuses to convict a woman for murder–for killing an early first trimester fetus if that fetus maybe never achieved cognizance.

                    1. I wouldn’t say people in comas were never cognizant.

                      I wouldn’t say severely retarded people aren’t cognizant.

                      How about a newborn?

                      I would say that even if you plan to throw women who’ve had abortions into prison for murder, that they should be free do to defend themselves in court on the evidence and merits of their own situation.

                      Obviously.

                      Chances are you’re going to find at least one juror in almost every one of those trials who refuses to convict a woman for murder–for killing an early first trimester fetus if that fetus maybe never achieved cognizance.

                      At every trial? Doubtful; we have thousands of convictions in drug cases every year, and that is for an issue which is far less favorable to the basic moral intuition presented by the abortion issue. Moreover, maybe they wouldn’t convict the woman but I bet it’d be easy to convict the abortionist as an accomplice, especially in those states which would be disposed to pass such laws in the first place.

                      In any case, I don’t see this as much different from the status of a white-on-black murder in the Jim Crow South, yet I hardly expect that you’d be quite so “compromising” when it comes to repealing laws on the murder of blacks in that case.

                2. Are we gong to forcibly imprison women who don’t want their fetuses until the fetus is born?

                  Are we going to forcibly imprison people who want to steal 2014 desk calendars until 2015? No, we forcibly imprison people who steal or attempt to steal 2014 desk calendars for the allotted amount of time for petty theft.

                  1. This was a list of rhetorical questions that surround abortion–questions that are ultimately about volition and the kind of free society we want to live in.

                    I wasn’t answering those questions in any way.

                    The point was that the abortion issue (and all its surrounding issues) aren’t about some moral considerations divorced from questions of volition and what it means to live in a free society.

                    Argue those questions however you want–just don’t tell me that they’re questions about something apart from volition and freedom.

              2. The only reason it’s okay to kill someone in self-defense, though, is because in a self-defense situation, you didn’t really have a choice.

                You’ve got that backwards. In every other example you’re talking about whether the person who got X-ed had a choice. The person killed in an act of self-defense didn’t choose to be killed.

                1. They’re all questions of choice.

                  Willfully choosing to murder someone is wrong because the victim is totally deprived of their freedom.

                  The question of self-defense is, likewise, a question of volition. If you didn’t have a choice in the matter, if the situation was such that if you didn’t kill him, he would have killed you, then you shouldn’t be held criminally responsible for that death.

                  Again, it’s all about volition.

                  If you willfully and unduly deprive someone else of their freedom, then you are a criminal.

                  If you didn’t have a choice? It’s still a question of volition.

                  1. The justification for self-defense isn’t a matter of volition, it’s a matter of not having initiated the force.

                    Of course you have choice when being attacked. Many people choose not to resist, either out of fear or principle.

              3. I agree with paragraphs 1-5. Yet foundational to NAP is the judging of a choice by whether it respects the rights of others (in particular their rights to life, liberty, and property). When you have forfeited the life of another, then you yourself have implicitly rejected your own right to same since the basis of this right is a shared claim to humanity, and society can then treat with you accordingly. Outside of the case of a rape-caused pregnancy or a medically necessary abortion, I see no way that the mother can claim anyone responsible for her pregnancy and the results besides herself. The child in the womb didn’t ask or demand to be there; its corporeal existence is itself the result of choices made by others. The mother cannot claim convenience or hypothetical harm in defense of a real harm to the fetus unto death.

                If the fetus is in even a marginal sense human, it makes sense to grant it the most fundamental of human rights, enjoyed even by those who are under the guardianship of another: the right to life. Implicit in this is that whoever is enforcing these rights — government for miniarchists, private security concerns for anarchists — is obliged to protect the right to life for fetuses using the same means employed for protecting that same right for other members of humanity.

                If the fetus is not in some recognizable way human, then both the morality and legality concerns are void — there is no one to aggress against.

      2. Your last paragraph is true. It’s only been recently that philosophers have started arguing the last position seriously.

        Interestingly, I’m torn between the two positions at the moment. I do think Roe vs. Wade is not useful for determining the correct answer to this question. It’s a compromise, and compromises are always wrong.

        1. Our rights often overlap and conflict with each other. Sorting that out is one of the few legitimate functions of government.

          It often involves compromise.

          The law is and should be a function of how people really live their lives. If the law didn’t compromise, we’d have to have a society where instead of the law imperfectly conforming to the way people live their lives, people would have to conform to the law.

          A society where people are forced to conform to the law, no matter the reality of how they live their lives? is not a free society.

          1. How do our rights overlap and conflict?

            There should only be unambiguous, absolute, objective law.

            The number of laws that meet this criteria are minimal.

            Compromise implies that neither position is taken in full. If a position is right, it should be taken in full and a compromise would be shying away from the “Right.”

            1. “There should only be unambiguous, absolute, objective law.”

              This is absurd.

              The law should come from and conform to the way people actually live their lives.

              Things change. Technology changes. People change.

              Freedom is a complicated, messy business. Every individual’s rights number into the millions–and there are 300 million of us out there!

              If the law were unambiguous, absolute, and objective, we would live in something more like a totalitarian society.

              1. No, I disagree. The constitution was intended to be an objective, absolute, unambiguous declaration of government duties and american rights.

                Was it perfect? No. But it was close.

                1. Nevermind the rest of it…unambiguous?!

                  Are you being facetious?

                  Do the words “necessary and proper” mean ring a bell?

                  What is “probable cause” exactly?

                  I could go on.

                  1. Look, I said it wasn’t perfect. Yet you can’t be seriously arguing that the founders didn’t attempt to codify language with a given meaning.

                    The first amendment? The second amendment? They’re written in absolutist terms so that anyone can objectively and unambiguously understand.

                    The entire intent was clarity and simplicity.

                    What’s the point otherwise? They didn’t set out to befuddle and confuse and make arbitrary and capricious language.

                    1. They didn’t say…

                      “Congress shall try to make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, unless the people change their mind, or of the press, unless they get in the way of our goals; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, unless assembly is unwarranted, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, unless the government says otherwise.”

                      I mean come on.

                    2. Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts less than a decade after it passed the First Amendment… and it was mostly the same people in both cases.

                      They wrote great principled-sounding words thinking they would be unenforceable when the rubber met the road. Nobody foresaw Marbury v. Madison in 1789.

              2. The law should come from and conform to the way people actually live their lives. Things change. Technology changes. People change.

                Which is why we have a clear, unambiguous process for changing the wording of the law when people agree it needs to be changed. When the old wording of a law has to be extended to deal with new situations and new technologies, judges are capable of reasoning by analogy. Thus the freedom of speech applies to stuff spoken on radio, freedom of the press applies to Internet blogs where no ink goes on paper, and the fourth amendment applies to automobiles as it once applied to carriages. That doesn’t make the original wording ambiguous.

                If the law were unambiguous, absolute, and objective, we would live in something more like a totalitarian society.

                Very odd statement. A universal characteristic of totalitarian societies is the utter lack of the rule of law.

                On the other hand, if the people in power are subject to exactly the same laws as the people not in power, you’re going to have a pretty good and fair set of laws.

          2. If the fetus’ only meaningful right is the right to life, and this right can be unilaterally abrogated by the mother for the sake of her right to convenience for 9 months of her life? That’s not a compromise, Ken, any more than you and I have reached a “compromise” when I shoot you and take your wallet. Revoking the right to life carries with it such finality that the word “compromise” cannot possibly be used to describe a person’s unilateral decision to ignore it.

            1. Certainly, abortion is a winner take all kind of situation, but there are compromises to be made between the ethical and the legal aspects of it.

              Certainly by the rest of society.

              Again, do you really think people are going to put up with you holding women in prison for not wanting to be pregnant?

              Do you really think people are going to accept you holding women who seek abortions in prison–until they deliver?

              At some point your support for the law may have to compromise with your ethics. If it doesn’t, it’s very possible that other people may decide to compromise their support for your ethics.

              This world is full of immorality! I hear Patrick Henry say, “Give me liberty or give me death”, and I think, “How ’bout, give me liberty, or I’ll whine, bitch, moan, argue, disobey, and vote against you”? Maybe you’re willing to go farther than I am, but, certainly, just because I think a law is immoral, that doesn’t mean I have to pretend my ethics are any different than they are.

              1. there are compromises to be made between the ethical and the legal aspects of it.

                Certainly by the rest of society.

                I must have missed the “unless society disagrees with you” clause of NAP as regards ethics.

                do you really think people are going to put up with you holding women in prison for not wanting to be pregnant?

                Nope. I think they might for a woman killing her child, as they do in countries like Chile, Poland, and Ireland. With more education and advances in medical technology to make extracting the child from her mother an easier one, this only becomes more likely. I certainly think they would lock up the accomplices to the crime, which would be the next best thing and which has proven effective at lowering the abortion rate in Poland.

                Do you really think people are going to accept you holding women who seek abortions in prison–until they deliver?

                No, and I don’t suggest or want such a thing and no Western country which criminalizes abortion does any such thing. Abortion in those countries is treated like infanticide: as an after-the-fact criminal charge which is duly investigated in the same manner as other crimes against a person.

  11. Well, now that I’ve got Eddie wound up…

    I’m going hunting.

    Have a nice day, folks. 🙂

    1. GUNS!

  12. Can we get an “Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here.” comment placed by a bot on every abortion thread? That’d be nice.

    1. Sometimes you jsut gotta roll with it

      http://www.slappydaddyanon.ru

      /close enough

  13. This is of the same bullshit as waiting periods for gun purchases. I for one enjoy watching liberals squirm that this is some gross burden but gun waiting periods aren’t.

  14. Speaking of insulting… Yet again Reason jumps on the bandwagon of leftist identity politics. No pro-life person thinks that women are less capable of making an abortion decision than men are. Give it up, already.

    Men don’t have the right to make a decision to have an abortion in the first place, waiting period or not. Women do. With great power comes great responsibility.

    1. And once again you’re ramping up this War on Women shit to help the Dems right before an election. Once the election’s over, you’ll be back to screeching about what the Dems are doing after winning, and whining about the GOP not opposing them enough.

    2. You speak of Reason as if it’s some sort of monolithic entity with a position committee that assigns positions and makes everybody stick to them.

      Reason writers disagree with each other about all sorts of things.

      Reason commenters don’t come here to be assigned a libertarian position to defend for the day, either. We don’t come here to be told how to vote.

      Most of us seem to come here so we can disagree with Reason staff, disagree with each other, and for entertainment purposes, too.

      Your insinuation that any of us might think what we think because the staff at Reason told us to is insulting.

      1. I was referring not to external commentators but to the author of this article and others like it…. you know, people who work for Reason.

  15. You know, as someone who supports abortion and finds these regs odious, one has to at least laugh at these regs, not out of support, but because they are EXACTLY the kinds of regs that progressives support every.. single… day… in this country and it’s happening to their #1 central pet issue. We all know that “my body my choice” only refers to abortion so they are being attacked in what one might say is an incredibly narrow part of their platform, but it’s an important one.

    Unfortunately, they won’t learn anything from it, in fact, quite the opposite, so the whole ritual is pointless.

    It’ll just become another ‘tat’ in the ‘tit for tat’ between political philosophies trying to punish each other to score points.

    1. It’s particularly funny when Planned Parenthood is vigorously opposing making birth control pills available over the counter.

      Abortion is a woman’s absolute right and no one should force her to wait or get a doctor’s approval! Now, if a woman just wants to take a common pill to avoid getting pregnant in the first place, she can’t possibly make that decision without a doctor!

      Yes, we get a ton of money from those doctor appointments, why do you ask?

  16. An predominantly

    Please explain.

  17. my friend’s step-sister makes $71 every hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her income was $15563 just working on the laptop for a few hours. why not check here….

    ???????? http://www.jobsaa.com

  18. We can afford to give an unborn child *three days* for the mother to deliberate on its fate.

    The preposterous and moronic fiction that a woman entering a clinic is acting on the spur of the moment, with no prior consideration of the meaning and effect of her decision makes you look like a mendacious scumbag.

    hth

    1. Uh, did you pay any attention to my analogy?

      When someone is on Death Row, a jury has already given “consideration to the meaning and effect of [their] decision.” In other words, by time you reach Death Row, there’s *already* been a lot of careful heart-searching deliberation about your fate, ending in a sentence of death.

      Yet, even *after* that death sentence, the state will wait decades in deciding whether to change its mind.

      And we can’t give the fetus *three days* in which the mother can change her mind?

  19. Well, that escalated quickly.

  20. Yet, even *after* that death sentence, the state will wait decades in deciding whether to change its mind.

    Nonsensical analogy is nonsensical.

    1. But if you’re going to go with “insulting to women! How dare you require she take three days to potentially change her mind!” then by analogy you should say “omg, once the jury sentences someone to death, just hang them already! Don’t give the system time to change its mind, that would be insulting!”

      Or are juries inherently less rational than pregnant women?

      1. But the important point is that I showed I don’t hold the straw-man position you imputed to me, and you haven’t even bothered to support your claim.

        1. Here’s the straw-man position you wrongly imputed to me:

          “that a woman entering a clinic is acting on the spur of the moment, with no prior consideration of the meaning and effect of her decision”

          Now, show were I said anything remotely like this. Put up or shut up.

          1. Wow, you seem to be having some difficulty defending your accusation.

            Really? Not a peep?

            1. So of the two options, (a) put up or (b) shut up, you seem to have chosen option (b). Not that I mind.

  21. Way late to this but I can’t help feel that no one will notice.

    Woman calls PP on a monday to schedule an abortion. PP says ‘we can fit you in on friday’ or even ‘the soonest we can fit you in is friday’

    Just like they do now. who’ll notice?

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