Abortion

Georgia Woman Charged With Murder After Self-Administering Abortion Pill

How can a pregnant woman's actions be murder if they fail to kill a fetus but not murder if they actually do?

|

Wikimedia Commons

Update: The charges have been dropped. Original post below.

A Georgia woman is being charged with malice murder after attempting to abort her pregnancy. Kenlissa Jones, 23, was five and a half months pregnant when she took an abortion pill called Cytotec (generic name: misoprostol), which she had purchased online. 

Misoprostol is more effective when taken in combination with another medication, mifepristone, and it's not recommended at all after 12 weeks pregnancy. For Jones, the drug sent her into early labor, and she delivered a live but non-viable baby boy on the way to the hospital, where he died soon thereafter. Jones was sent to the Dougherty County Jail without bond. From WALB Georgia: 

Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said this case will likely go before a grand jury, because Georgia and federal laws will need to be explored. It's the first time he has seen this kind of situation.

[…] Georgia law states that no abortions are authorized after the first trimester unless it is performed in a licensed hospital, in a licensed ambulatory surgical center, or in a health facility licensed as an abortion facility by the Department of Community Health.

The case is a difficult one. Even many who are OK with abortion may consider this situation murder, since the baby was out of the womb when it died. Yet Jones' attempt to abort took place when the baby was still in her womb, and still within the federal time frame for legal abortion. In many states, albeit not Georgia, including Georgia for now*—it passed a 20-week abortion bill in 2012, but it's been temporarily blocked by a state judge—Jones can still obtain an abortion legally at 22 weeks. How can Jones' actions be murder if they fail to kill the fetus in the womb, but not murder if they actually do? 

Had doctors not known about Jones' taking the abortion pill, they may have considered this a typical miscarriage—which brings us to more murky areas. As more cases like this arise—and with stricter and stricter state abortion regulations and increased access to abortion drugs via the Internet, more cases will definitely arise—there's a danger that doctors will start treating all women who miscarry suspiciously.

Another thing to consider is appropriate punishments. "Opponents of abortion rights have repeatedly said that if the procedure were ever banned, women wouldn't be prosecuted for having illegal abortions – only doctors performing them would be," wrote Irin Carmon recently. But with no doctor involved, it's the women themselves who are being charged with things like malice murder and feticide. In Indiana, Purvi Patel was just sentenced to 20 years in prison after possibly inducing miscarriage with the abortion pill. In Pennsylvania last year, Jennifer Whalen was sentenced to 9 to 18 months for purchasing the abortion pill online for her pregnant daughter. In 2013, Indiana resident Bei Bei Shuai was charged with feticide after trying to commit suicide while pregnant, an action that resulted in the death of the fetus. 

Is this fair? Does it matter whether the abortion attempt was consistent with medical protocol? And if inducing abortion intentionally through drug use or self-harm is considered murder, what about similar behavior that unintentionally causes a woman to miscarry? How can one be prohibited and not the other? The whole business is a legal and moral mess. As Emily Bazelon noted in The New York Times Magazine in April, "if [the Patel] case were only about a woman who clearly gave birth to a live baby and then killed her child, it would be clear cut." But in both Patel and Jones' cases, we're talking about actions they took before the fetus was out of the womb that ultimately resulted in its death out of the womb. 

"The details of these cases are tragic and grisly, causing both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups to shy away from them," wrote Mark Joseph Stern at Slate today. Indeed, I almost gave up on penning this post myself several times.

Perhaps the best takeaway is that stories like this will only be more common the more we restrict safe and legal abortion access. "Rather than obtain a safe medical abortion, [Jones] took a dangerous gamble, and—after a period of intense pain—delivered a fetus in a car," writes Stern. "Her story doesn't fit neatly into the pro-choice or pro-life narrative. It's simply an illustration of what happens when a desperate woman takes her abortion into her own hands." 

* Originally stated that Georgia had passed a 20-week abortion ban but not that it had been temporarily blocked by a state court. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

166 responses to “Georgia Woman Charged With Murder After Self-Administering Abortion Pill

  1. DON’T TALK ABOUT THE WAR!

    1. Here’s the thing, {REDACTED}. So, yeah.

    2. What war?

      1. The War that shall not be named.

        1. Is that the war I can reportedly read about at Popehat?

    3. Violations of Policy will not be tolerated. The fact that “grand jury” is mentioned in the article makes it suspect:

      Please Keep The Comments In Bounds

  2. Yet Jones’ attempt to abort took place when the baby was still in her womb, and still within the federal time frame for legal abortion. In many states, albeit not Georgia, Jones could still have obtained an abortion legally at 22 weeks. How can Jones’ actions be murder if they fail to kill the fetus in the womb, but not murder if they actually do?

    How is Federal law on the matter relevant? It just means a Federal prosecutor can’t try her, not that the state of Georgia can’t under its own laws.

    If you’re asking morally why it’s murder in some cases but not others then there is simply no good answer to that one.

    1. I didn’t mean to imply that it’s legally relevant

    2. If the federal legal framework should rule for abortion, then why should it not for marijuana? Or is the answer whatever has the most utility for the cause you are pushing at the moment?

      1. She wasn’t saying federal law should take precedent, but pointing out how the laws are inconsistent with one another. In many places, an abortion up to that stage is legal. Pointing that out is not akin to saying that federal law trumps here.

        As a libertarian, I tend to support the law that restricts freedom the least. There are cases where procedure matters. Here, I just see someone getting screwed so states can try to limit access to abortions. There is no definitive libertarian position on abortion, but why should someone be locked in a cage for something legal in one state and not another? Sorry if some top men said so doesn’t really cut it for me.

        1. “There is no definitive libertarian position on abortion,…”

          Then it is not definitive which law restricts freedom least. One side of the spectrum favors the rights of the woman, the other side favors the rights of the child. A decision has to made as to whose rights prevail, which is supposed to be under the federal system the bailiwick of the states.

          “… why should someone be locked in a cage for something legal in one state and not another?”

          Which implies that the states should not have their own laws. Which means that when one state decides to legalize drugs it should not be allowed to be inconsistent. You cannot logically argue for consistency of law and maximum freedom at the same time. At some point maximum freedom law will be the anomaly (in fact, that us likely the majority of cases).

          1. Or, I could just favor the law that is least restrictive on individuals. Which was the point.

            I don’t value state laws versus federal. Some of the most oppressive laws and regulations people deal with are local. It can be just as repressive as anything that the feds come up with.

    3. an abortion pill called Cytotec (generic name: misoprostol), which she had purchased online.

      But ENB, haven’t you repeatedly assured me that this is “emergency contraception” and not an “abortion pill”?

      Could you please explain the apparent discrepancies?

      1. You are a moron. Emergency contraception is not abortifacient. One pill you take a couple of days after sex to prevent fertilization – that is emergency contraception. Another pill causes termination of an early-stage pregnancy – that is an abortifacient.

        If you think that unfertilized eggs are murder you should go after the real monsters: tampon and condom manufacturers.

  3. I’ll go ahead and step in it. What exactly was preventing her from getting an abortion in those first twenty weeks that are allowable under state law? Or, to set aside the “you can not know you are pregnant” argument, between the 12th and 20th week?

    1. Why do social conservatives like yourself love to call yourself Libertarian?

      It doesn’t matter why she waited, she is still under 24 weeks which is the standard set in Wade.

      1. Since when do libertarians take the Court’s word for what violates NAP?

        (That’s called a “reversal”.)

  4. Technically she should be charged with practicing medicine without a valid license, which I imagine involves jail and heavy fines (since they have to make up those missing licensing fees).

    1. She was involved in the only real crime: Theft from the state!

    2. That would be hilarious, if only to see socialists get hit with cognitive dissonance.

    3. Exactly. Murder, I think is too much, but manslaughter? Definitely. She’s in the same territory as those hotel room “plastic surgeons” who perform butt implants by filling up someone’s buttocks with DAP caulk.

      1. I really can’t get overly worked up on this. The state has decided in its infinite wisdom to allow abortions past that point in many places. Because some bible thumpers in Georgia want to clamp down on it to win political points does little to convince me a person who is no threat to anyone should be locked up for years of her life.

        I’m a libertarian. I believe in jury nullification and ignoring stupid laws, when possible. So, screw Georgia’s laws.

        1. does little to convince me a person who is no threat to anyone

          Except to certain small humans.

          But once again, you miss the supposed purpose of law. The purpose of law is to exact justice, which means to “balance the scales”. It doesn’t matter if you (say) murder and are no longer a threat to anyone else. It matters that you took a life not yours to take.

    4. No. Self-care is not practicing medicine. Even faith healing is not practicing medicine. Taking $ is what makes it practicing medicine.

  5. I wonder if ENB woke up this morning and thought to herself “I haven’t seen enough of Eddie around here lately.”

    1. Honestly fuck him for caring passionately about an issue other than RACIST COPS or WEED.

      1. Get with the program, man – pot, ass sex and Mexicans. Which I still think Reason should use as an ad promo.

        1. We could use more ass sex articles

          1. Did you really miss all the Mattress Girl stuff?

            Or is it really just an axiom?

            1. I didn’t participate in any Mattress Girl articles because I think she’s just…ugh.

              1. JUST ugh?

                1. She meant “ugh” as in the sound one makes when anally penetrated.

                  1. I don’t know what you mean, I’ve never made that sound when doing my taxes. It’s more like BLAARRGHHH!

  6. Let’s consider this thread a place of silent reflection…

      1. STFU, twin, I’m trying to get to sleep.

  7. Wait too long to legally get an abortion. Order half of an ineffective drug combination to induce a late abortion. Fail to successfully abort. This bitch is criminally stupid.

  8. I foresee this case, or one very similar to it, will eventually become a cause celbre for the pro-infanticide wing of the pro-choice camp.

    That’s not snark, by the way–those people do exist, though I confess I have no idea how sizable or influential they are among the pro-choice movement.

    1. I’m one. & I love children!

      1. Especially with fava beans and a nice Chiaanti

        1. Don’t worry, I made my own slurping noise.

          1. And now that I think about it, it kinda sounds like an abortion taking place….

  9. I especially get a kick out of the contortions people go through to rationalize allowing abortion exceptions for rape on the grounds it was criminal. Let’s extend that. If it’s ok to kill a fetuschild because the father is a criminal, why does an arbitrary birth date enter into it? Shouldn’t it also be legal to kill the child if the father commits a crime after birth? They are still the spawn of a criminal, carrying criminal genes.

    1. The “rape” exception is because the mother is the victim of the rape not because the father is a criminal.

      1. You’re still punishing the child for the sins of the father.

        1. Punish the mother. Punish the mother!

          1. It’s not “punishment” to prosecute murder. Any anguish she suffers due to the rape are from the rapist, not the small human.

            Punish the father!

    2. Is this really your warped understanding of why the rape exception exists? I worry about you man.

      1. Exactly. The rape exception exists because of mushy moderate Dems wanting everyone to like them.

    3. Morally, there shouldn’t be a rape or incest exception if you’re pro-life.

    4. Philosophically, I’ve always understood it to be because the woman was deprived of her agency by the rape, therefore should not be responsible for carrying the fetus to term.

      1. Philosophically it is saying that if something bad happens to me it’s ok for me to do something bad to someone else. Assuming I am normally prolife

      2. Then those philosophers might think the rapist to be guilty of murder.

  10. I’m strongly pro-choice, but the thing I can never figure out is why do some of these bitches wait so damn long?

    1. Who knows, maybe she thought her family would support her and they decided the wouldn’t or maybe the babies father took off after he said he would stick around. Maybe 23 year old pregnant women don’t make all the best decisions.

    2. It’s possible she was in denial or not even showing much until recently, then thought, “oh shit, what am I gonna tell the family”.

      I’m trying to remember the number of stories I’ve read where a woman gave birth and her family never knew she was even pregnant.

      1. There are stories of women giving birth and not even knowing themselves that they are pregnant.

        They go in to the hospital because they’re in some kind of inexplicable pain–and then they find out it’s labor.

  11. In what way did this “attempted abortion” fail? Is it only that she got caught? Would this have been a succesful abortion if she had succesfully buried the baby in a shallow grave. The goal of abortion is to succesfully snuff out the human life in one’s womb. Mission accomplished.

    1. It was still alive upon delivery. Kill it right in the womb!

      1. Your well known list for death and destruction is well known. Also you are Canadian so no one cares what you think. Maybe when Alan Thicke dies a spot will open up for you.

  12. Fetus at 4.5 months –

    http://americandigest.org/fetus1.jpg

    “How can Jones’ actions be murder if they fail to kill the fetus in the womb, but not murder if they actually do?”

    Hmmm…that *is* a difficult question!

    “”Her story doesn’t fit neatly into the pro-choice or pro-life narrative.””

    Speak for yourself, choicers!

    1. This does point out the complete logical inconsistency of Wade and most abortionists’ logic, yes…

  13. For Jones, the drug sent her into early labor, and she delivered a live but non-viable baby boy on the way to the hospital, where he died soon thereafter.

    So she murdered him. That much is clear. The baby human died of asphyxia after she cut his oxygen supply in a depraved and indifferent way (hence the “non-viable” qualifier, right?) I don’t see what the problem is.

    1. It wasn’t human yet.

      1. Re: Cytotoxic,

        It wasn’t human yet.

        Do you mean each of us suddenly becomes human by some mystic force?

      2. And, yet, the “human” distinction, at least as it is commonly referenced, does not appear to be your true dividing line, as below you advocate for “abortion” of already born children, at least in some circumstances.

        1. The implication is not all humans are persons, which gives the state the authority to decide whether someone has rights it is obliged to protect.

          Rationalizations for abortion undermine the concept of universal human rights.

          1. which gives the state the authority to decide whether someone has rights it is obliged to protect

            In the same vein as Dred Scott.

    2. The fetus draws resources from the mother and increases her chance of death. You could make a case that the fetus harms the mother each day and the mother has every right to separate from it regardless whether it can survive on its own or not. The fetus would only have a right to life in so far that it can support that life itself and not by forcing others to care for it

  14. Perhaps the best takeaway is that stories like this will only be more common the more we restrict safe and legal abortion access.

    I don’t understand. Do you mean that there will be more prosecutions like this or that there will be more attempts to the life of baby humans like this? Which one is it?

  15. As Emily Bazelon noted in The New York Times Magazine in April, “if [the Patel] case were only about a woman who clearly gave birth to a live baby and then killed her child, it would be clear cut.”

    That’s what happens when people disregard logic in such a blatant way. What difference is there if the baby human is inside the womb or outside? It is the SAME baby human! If you asphyxiate the baby human by depriving him (or her) of oxygen inside the womb or by stabbing him (or her) to death, why would those two actions be any different? They’re both depraved and evil.

    1. You’re right. That’s why post-birth abortion should be okay in some circumstances.

      1. Re: Cytotoxic,

        That’s why post-birth abortion should be okay in some circumstances.

        It’s too late to kill baby Adolf or baby Iosif Vissarionovich.

      2. You’re right. That’s why post-birth abortion should be okay in some circumstances.

        Oh Cytotoxic, it’s impossible to stay too annoyed at you, knowing that you’ll never be in that situation.

      3. And here is depraved and evil.

      4. That’s why post-birth abortion should be okay in some circumstances.

        If you are referring to your parents aborting you, I would be tempted to agree, but still would not. It is called “having principles over principals”. Something with which you are apparently unaware.

        I appreciate when you comment about abortion. You reveal the kind of vile, revolting “person” that baby killers are. What I don’t understand is why you don’t go ahead and change your nick to Cytofascist. It fits and you seem to wear the “I believe in baby murder” badge quite proudly. Why not simply call yourself what you really are? Cytonazi would also be acceptable.

  16. It’s simply an illustration of what happens when a desperate woman takes her abortion into her own hands.

    The same could be said about a woman who decides to kill her husband: it is an illustration of what happens when a desperate woman takes the murder into her own hands.

    The same could be said about a woman who decides to rob a bank: it is an illustration of what happens when a desperate woman takes the robbery into her own hands.

    The same could be said about a woman who decides to sink a ship: it is an illustration of what happens when a desperate woman takes the sinking into her own hands.

    NONE OF THAT, Elizabeth, justifies murder, or robbery, or the destruction of property. Desperation is NOT JUSTIFICATION.

    Non-Aggression Principle: You shall not initiate violence against another human being. Period.

    1. The Unborn are not human beings.

      1. What about newborns?

        1. Until there is a viable and freely available artificial womb, any person should be free to electively remove any portion of their own body…including a child. My personal view is that a baby is not so much a person as a ball of potential personhood. Civilization has lowered the infant mortality rate such that even late-stage pregnancies can be viable and is the reason we now attach any personhood to the unborn. Its interesting that you can find archeological evidence for infanticide (post birth abortion, if you will) fairly recently in history. Many societies wouldn’t even name a child or become that attached to it until it passed 4 years of age and was likely to survive. My point is that there isn’t a hard line – and when there isn’t a hard line we should defer to the first principle of self-ownership. Self-ownership, it woulds seem to me, can’t be extended to that which cannot provide for itself and it own survival, so abortion defaults to the mother’s choice, not society’s.

          1. The above argument was about what a human being was, not a “person”.

            To bring your argument to its only logical conclusion, the Supreme Court may as well have said that Dred Scott wasn’t a “person”.

            Or, more relevantly, I declare you not a person. Now you must prove otherwise.

      2. Re: Cytotoxic,

        The Unborn are not human beings.

        Women beget non-human things?

        First time I’ve heard that.

        1. There’s a long history of abortion. Women are always going to find a way to do it. So, what NGK and his pro choice advocates want and are on board with is locking up young girls and women who are going to do something regardless of what the state says. Often times risking their own lives to do so.

          Many don’t see it as murder, especially in today’s society.. Abortion past that point is legal in many places in this country.

          1. Re: Brochettaward,

            Women are always going to find a way to do it.

            Evil people will always exist. That is why we have fences, guns and public scorn or shunning.

            Many don’t see it as murder, especially in today’s society

            Many didn’t see the killing of native people’s as murder, either. People’s perceptions change.

            1. I love the certainty with which you call a large numbers of women evil. You have an entire society that can’t decide what the proper threshold is, but you know for sure and are perfectly willing to tell everyone else how they should view it.

              And if I question the basis of your reasoning and point out that it most likely comes from the Bible, I would likely get some faux argument based on pseudo-science.

              Sorry, but I lack your moral certainty on this issue. Nor do I find it comparable to something like slaughtering natives to colonize their land. An ethical argument can be formed there now just the same as it could centuries ago or thousands of years before that. You don’t know when a human is a human or ‘person’ because no one does. And there isn’t even a strong consensus.

              Many didn’t see the killing of native people’s as murder, either. People’s perceptions change.

              So, what are your thoughts on gay marriage?

              1. Many social conservatives like OldMexican love to call themselves Libertarian, yet don’t like all the icky stuff freedom entails.

                1. Small “L” libertarians are best defined as people who people who practice NAP. Some believe all abortions violate NAP. That isn’t inconsistent with libertarianism.

                  Though I will prove your own system of beliefs regarding killing the unborn as to be logically inconsistent in approximately 6 posts if you’ve got the time/will.

                  1. @ace_m82, Actually, you wont, since you’ll never convince me that a fetus that isn’t developed is a person. You’ll never convince me that a woman shall be held slave to a fetus.

                    I used to be pro-life. I used to be a social conservative. I used to be religious. I have thought about these issues in depth for many many years. Any argument you make is one I’ve heard before.

                    1. I don’t argue that it’s a “person”, because that’s a meaningless term. It is a whole, living human being. It is the only whole, living human being that many other whole, living human beings don’t think has rights.

                      No, I don’t usually argue others’ arguments. I ignore what most people say, because they’ll talk your ear off about morality. I’m arguing that if NAP is to be applied, then it applies to whole, living human beings, not to the arbitrarily defined “person”.

                    2. Actually, it’s not a “whole, living” human being. It is missing many parts to make it a whole human being. It doesn’t even get a brain until week 5.

                      Your argument is wrong.

                    3. The entirety of its DNA is in those cells. It is a whole human being in that it isn’t a part.

                      (A hand has no rights. A living, whole human being has rights.)

                      If I lose my arm am I no longer a whole human being? How about my heart?

                    4. It’s not a whole human being. Like I said, how can something be a whole person that doesn’t have a brain?

                      It has unique DNA sure, but without a brain, it isn’t a person. If we take a living person, and remove his/her brain. We call them dead. We can keep their body alive with machines, but they are considered dead in our society.

                      It is the same thing with a fetus.

                    5. It’s not a whole human being. Like I said, how can something be a whole person that doesn’t have a brain heart/arms/legs/stomach?

                      It has unique DNA sure, but without a brain, it isn’t a person

                      Still not arguing person. Red herring.

                      If we take a living person, and remove his/her brain. We call them dead.

                      Except this thing is still alive. Its cells are still moving, absorbing, growing, splitting. And it will eventually become what even you agree is a living, whole human being as some of those cells become brain tissue.

                      It seems you’re arguing more that it’s not alive than that it’s not a whole human being.

                    6. Because you can live without arms/legs, maybe not a stomach, and you can live with an artificial heart.

                      A person with their brain removed still has its cells growing and absorbing and everything.

                      That’s why you’ll never convince me. My argument is just as valid (probably more so) than yours is. Yours is an argument from emotion. Not science.

                    7. A person with their brain removed still has its cells growing and absorbing and everything.

                      Until they don’t…

                      Yet the small human with only a potential brain just keeps going. It’s not just a potential living, whole human, it already is a living, whole human. It just doesn’t have all the parts other whole, living humans do yet.

                      Yours is an argument from emotion. Not science.

                      No emotion here. Sounds like projection to me. Also, perhaps you should look up what “science” is. I’ve never heard the philosophical question of “to whom does NAP apply?” asked in a scientific way. Science is an explanation of what is, not what we should do.

                      To make this more clear, why is it that it’s only OK to kill the unborn but not any other living, whole human beings? Or, if you still don’t think it’s a whole, than why are they OK to kill but not other living human beings (parts excluded)?

                    8. *then, not than.

                    9. You keep calling a fetus a whole living being. I’ve already demonstrated that they are not whole, they are missing many parts, including the brain.

                      You aren’t truthful, and you lost the argument. Good day.

                    10. You keep calling a fetus a whole living being.

                      It is. It has its own metabolism, its own DNA. It is growing and alive. No-one else has any of its parts.

                      I’ve already demonstrated that they are not whole, they are missing many parts…

                      So are those with artificial hearts. So are amputees.

                      …including the brain

                      Things can be alive without a brain. A jellyfish comes to mind. A jellyfish isn’t human, of course, but this small thing does have human DNA…

                      You aren’t truthful, and you lost the argument. Good day.

                      I’m sure you think you won, as pride is the original sin. Does the cognitive dissonance hurt?

                      Veritas liberabit vos.

                      Also, eventually all abortionists take their toys and go home when proven wrong, so thank you for continuing the tradition.

                      God Bless you (no sarc, I really mean it).

                    11. “God Bless you”

                      And there it is, your true reason for being against abortion.

                      “Things can be alive without a brain.”

                      Humans can’t… Which is the whole point of this.

                    12. And there it is, your true reason for being against abortion.

                      There are many reasons to be against murder. One is NAP. Another is the bringer of our concept of NAP. Either one will suffice.

                      Basically, Ad Hominem attack. Try again.

                      Humans can’t… Which is the whole point of this.

                      Except they can. The little human is definitely human (not anything else) and is definitely alive. So, under this circumstance, a human can be alive without a brain for a relatively short amount of time. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

                      Your “all swans are white because all I’ve seen are white swans” induction is incorrect.

              2. I call all humans evil. I am evil. You are evil. They are evil.

            2. So in Anarchotopia, when most people choose not to shun or scorn women who get abortions, what do you do? Make a pouty face?

              1. when most people choose not to shun or scorn women who get abortions…

                Statistics say otherwise, statist.

    2. OldMex, the NAP does not protect trespassers. The property-owner is entitled to expel the trespasser, using deadly force if necessary. If the trespasser is located inside someone’s body and is not welcome there, then the body-owner is even more entitled to expel him, because body-ownership is a stronger, more intimate form of ownership than property-ownership.

      1. Re: Intelligent Mr. Toad,

        OldMex, the NAP does not protect trespassers.

        A baby human is not a trespasser. A trespasser has to consciously commit an act of aggression ?tresspass? for you to call him (or her) a “trespasser.”

        the body-owner is even more entitled to expel him

        A baby human was invited in. If by the actions of the body-owner the baby-human dies, then that is murder, just as if during the course of expelling a woman out of the home she was renting her oxygen supply is compromised and dies as a result, the person responsible is guilty of murder.

        Did you really think I haven’t given this issue any thought? That is why the N.A.P. provides an almost perfect moral foundation from which judgments can be rendered without equivocation. You, by the way, are equivocating.

        1. A baby human may or may not be “invited in”, as you put it. But to take the metaphor further, invitations can be rescinded. If I invite you into my house and then rescind the invitation then you are trespassing, no aggression is really necessary. And in the eviction example, absurd as it is,you are guilty of murder only if there were other options for eviction that wouldn’t have resulted in death. An no, staying out your lease is not one of those.

          A better example would be a farmer bringing a pig (voluntarily), or having a wild pig (involuntarily) on his property, where the pig becomes a nuisance. I use the pig here, because it has no personhood, or conscious volition in the matter at hand – the Farmer is the sole agent. If he decides to get rid of the pig and the only way to do so is to kill it, He is not guilty of murder. Further even when presented with an option that preserves the pig, at some expense to the Farmer, he is still not guilty of murder if he chooses not to exercise that option.

          Any exception you have to this metaphor can only be based on a peception of some personhood belonging to the pig – and even though “People’s perceptions change” for many of us they either haven’t or we simply disagree, and only force/coercion on your part can resolve that difference.

          1. ” If I invite you into my house and then rescind the invitation then you are trespassing, no aggression is really necessary.”

            If the person you invited cannot leave before a certain time without killing them, you would have no legal right to evict them before that time is up. That is aggressive act.

        2. OldMex, RE: “A trespasser has to consciously commit an act of aggression ?tresspass? for you to call him (or her) a “trespasser.”

          WRONG! An unwitting trespasser is still a trespasser. If you own property, you are entitled to expel anyone who is on your property, regardless of why he is there and regardless of what will happen to him if he leaves. That’s Libertarianism 101. And as BDub says below, a guest who refuses to leave when ordered to do so is just as much a trespasser as someone who enters unbidden. In the case of the fetus, it isn’t just on the womb-owner’s external property; it is inside her body, so her right to expel it is greater.

          And location is just the tip of the iceberg. The unwelcome fetus is itself guilty of violating the NAP by taking materials (water, oxygen, nutrients) from the womb-owner’s bloodstream without her ongoing permission, conducting a continuous chemical raid on her body. It is guilty of injecting toxic metabolic end-products (CO2, creatinine) into her bloodstream without her continuing consent, poisoning her. And it is preparing to subject her to major medical/surgical trauma in the form of full-term labor and delivery, which is a potentially life-threatening assault. These are violations of the NAP which the fetus is committing (unintentionally, but still committing) against the womb-owner, and the Self-Defense Principle entitles her to prevent or stop these violations, using deadly force against her fetus, if necessary.

          1. Actually, no. It is well-established law that, so long as a trespasser does not pose a threat, you cannot expel that person if doing so would result in more harm than allowing him/her to stay. The classic example is a lost hiker taking refuge in a cabin to escape a storm. Similarly, if someone left a small child in your property, you would not be free to merely leave the child outside to perish.

            1. Unn, that may be the law but it is contrary to libertarian/propertarian principle.

              Also, that may apply to trespassers on your PROPERTY but it does not apply to trespassers inside your body. Body-ownership is a stronger, more intimate form of ownership than property-ownership. It doesn’t hurt me if you poke my external property with a pin.

              1. Wow, I proved you very wrong last time you brought up this nonsense (e.g., you quit answering my questions because you knew they proved you wrong) but you still bring it up. Congrats on giving up the logical high ground.

                What is the one thing that makes it OK to kill the unborn? Is it being inside another human, not being “viable”, or that they take sustenance from the mother? If you dare pick one, I will quickly destroy your argument… again.

      2. Ah, the Blockean proviso, which always begins its argument in media res.

      3. First, trespassing requires at least some level of conscious volition. If I grab you off of a street corner, drag you into my house and tie you to a chair, you could hardly be thought of as a trespasser. Similarly, there is no evidence that a fetus made any conscious decision to be in a woman’s body that would classify it as a trespasser.

        However, even if I were to agree that a fetus were a trespasser, your argument still fails. While you may be free to use force in response to a trespasser, that force must be in proportion to the threat posed by the trespasser. For example, if the toddler who lives next door to me is feeling particularly precocious tomorrow and decides to crawl out of his house, across my lawn, and into my house through an open door, I doubt many people would seriously argue that I would be free to kill the child based solely on his trespassing.

        1. WRONG! An unwitting trespasser is still a trespasser. And you should love medical abortion, which does not directly harm the fetus in any way, but only detaches and expels it.

          1. You literally have no idea what you’re talking about. Someone may be an involuntary trespasser, i.e., he/she is walking along in the woods believing that he/she is on public property and is really on someone’s private property. That is still trespassing. I can’t kidnap you, drag you onto my property, and then claim that you are trespassing so that I can use deadly force against you. When the Simpsons mocks your position, you should know that you have really abandoned all logic.

            1. Kidnapping someone, dragging him onto your property, and then killing him for trespassing is not a good metaphor for abortion, for the following reason: when you kidnap someone and drag him onto your property, you TAKE SOMETHING FROM HIM–the freedom he was enjoying by being on his own property or on public property. The fact that you have taken this freedom from him obligates you to restore his freedom to him by allowing him to leave your property unharmed. You made him worse off, so you are obligated to make him better off again. In contrast, conceiving a fetus takes nothing from it–before conception it has nothing to take, not even a self–and does not make it worse off than it was before–it makes it BETTER off, since it is better to exist for a short time than not to exist at all. Since conceiving the fetus does not take anything from it, nor make it worse off, it incurs no obligation to the give the fetus more womb-time than you choose to give. The fetus gets a short life from conception until abortion; that’s just so much gained for it.

              Giving blood does not obligate me to also give the next transfusion the patient may need; similarly, giving someone a short life inside your body does not obligate you to also give him a longer one.

              1. It’s only a gain if it preferred it to its previous condition of not being alive. I think it’s even all around.

                1. Robert, no, it is better to be alive than not.

                  1. Clearly, Robert agrees with you or else he would have aborted himself.

        2. Death to be a harm requires some level of conscious volition to live. Most living things, including infants, don’t care whether they live or die, because they’ve no idea what it means. So killing them is not a harm to them. It may be a harm to someone else concerned (an owner), but not to the thing being killed.

      4. I give you the wonders of cosmotarianism. Abortion on demand but don’t you dare call the police on a mob of tresspassers if anyone of them happens to be black.

        1. Calling the police is not the problem. Improper escalation of force unrelated to the threat posed, especially when the party escalating the force is an agent of the state duty bound to protect the citizens he is inflicting the improper force upon, is the problem.

  17. Step 1) Impose ‘reasonable’ restrictions on abortion.

    Step 2) Use the inevitable negative consequences to justify more restrictions and punitive measures.

    There’s nothing ‘pro-life’ about being anti-choice.

    1. and who would no more about life than bomb them bomb them where they live cytotoxic.

  18. “How can Jones’ actions be murder if they fail to kill the fetus in the womb, but not murder if they actually do?”

    Because the birth canal is magic, remember?

  19. “Opponents of abortion rights have repeatedly said that if the procedure were ever banned, women wouldn’t be prosecuted for having illegal abortions ? only doctors performing them would be,” wrote Irin Carmon recently.

    Yeah, I saw that too.

    Here’s the rub, though. If the abortion is illegal, then somebody must be responsible for it. Where the abortion is attempted/performed without a doctor, the mother host is essentially acting as her own doctor. They aren’t prosecuting her as the mother host, they are prosecuting her as the de facto doctor.

    These later-term abortions raise an issue of personal responsibility. Essentially, we are saying that you have the choice to get an abortion before 22 weeks (or whatever), but that after that point, you are no longer terminating a clump of cells but a viable baby (which is to say, a person). That’s the original SCOTUS concept, and I actually think it is defensible. If you fail to get an abortion before the baby parasite is viable, then you are responsible for that failure and the consequences are that you either carry the baby to term, or take your criminal punishment.

    Past viability, my agnostic pro-choicish position starts getting more pro-lifey, on account of my thinking that women, even pregnant women, are responsible for their decisions and their actions or failure to act.

    1. Re: R C Dean,

      Past viability, my agnostic pro-choicish position starts getting more pro-lifey

      The problem with establishing viability is that it will always be based on opinion. You can choose to defer that decision to scientists or ethicists or what have you, but you cannot avoid the logical problem of defining a term according to preferences instead of objective truth. The objective truth when it comes to a baby human is that he (or she) is human, he (or she) is alive and he (or she) needs his or her mother to survive, at least until the human decides to fend for him or herself. This objective truth is completely and totally separate of whatever feelings you or even the mother may have, as you AND the mother were baby humans at one time, too. You can’t be logically consistent while depriving a new generation of what YOU enjoyed yourself by saying that they have NO right to the same. Why would that be consistent, or even fair?

      1. The problem with establishing viability is that it will always be based on opinion.

        Viability (speaking of fetuses generally) has a pretty solid professional consensus behind it. You can get into some wobble, but right now, the medical profession considers a fetus to be viable at 22 – 24 weeks. The number changes over time, but its not purely a matter of opinion. There’s actual data and science behind it.

        1. The objective truth when it comes to a baby human is that he (or she) is human,

          It depends, I think, on how you define “human”. Is a fertilized egg a human being? For all purposes? For some purposes? For any purposes? I don’t think there is an objective answer to this, myself.

          he (or she) is alive

          Again, definitions matter. My skin cells are “alive”, as well, but I’m not committing a crime every time I kill some.

          and he (or she) needs his or her mother to survive, at least until the human decides to fend for him or herself.

          Well, no. A baby needs their mother to survive until they are viable outside the womb. The timing of delivery is not up to the baby, and is not really up to the mother (outside of a pretty small fraction of cases), so saying someone “decides” when the baby will “fend for themselves” is not really true.

          I think there is some intuitive sense to the idea that, however much we may disagree about whether a newly fertilized egg is a human being and a person, etc., at some point we stop disagreeing about that. Everybody seems pretty comfortable with “delivery” confirming, at least, that the baby is a person. I think you can, and probably should, go further back than that, and I kinda like viability as the point at which a baby becomes a person and shouldn’t be killed.

        2. The argument is that because you can’t set a solid line on viability, then that means its all murder. Which is pretty obviously not true. It’s odd ha he would pick and use the word ‘viability’ at all. It’s a poor choice to base his argument.

          The objective truth when it comes to a baby human is that he (or she) is human,

          Yea, define human for us. And then tell me why how that is an objective truth and not something subjective that scientists, ethicists, and anyone else could easily disagree by moving around goal posts. Science can develop nothing more than a commonly accepted definition of what a human is.

          1. I don’t even think “human” is the relevant question. Is or is not the embryo/fetus/baby at any point a self-determining, self-sufficient agent? Pretty clearly the answer is no – even for some time after birth. After birth we can get into the question of are there any morally better options to death, and here I think we can say yes since, others are usually willing to care for raise and even adopt these children. But before birth there is the self-ownership, agency and personhood of the mother that I think supersedes that of the child up to birth.

            Ultimately, I think it is a mistake to ascribe to a being the properties of its potential self prior to it reaching that potential. That what keeps us in this morass.

            1. Hey, someone who agrees with me, apparently using somewhat different language.

        3. Which leads to the related problem that, as science advances, the viability line will become sooner and sooner in gestation. This creates legal problems of equal protection if we are pegging humanity and rights to a line that is constantly shifting (and may well differ drastically depending upon whether you live near a major hospital or a more rural area), and philosophical problems about whether we should attempt to lie “life” to a constantly shifting scale.

          1. We’re getting to the point where they will be test tube babies. I look forward to arguments on when those gain personhood or are human.

            Viability is an awful position for a pro-lifer to adopt.

            1. Maybe. There are many pro-lifers who take the opposite position, however. Their reasoning is that, if women are no longer essential for the gestation of a fetus, if they can be removed and inplanted at will, and even grow fully through gestation without the necessity of a human uterus, then a major justification for permitted abortion is eliminated.

      2. So you’re basing it on speciesism?

  20. Why does it seem to many that a ban on later term abortions (insofar no mother danger etc.) are an un-libertarian position? It is a position I still struggle with. Theoretically, at what point does one’s rights [the mother’s ownership of their own person] overrule over another’s [the child’s “right to live”]? I imagine it comes down to what the individual’s definition of the beginning of life is; but I don’t think it is fair to say being anti-abortion is necessarily anti-libertarian.

    I think what pisses me off the most is anyone who treats the issue as a cut-and-dry one. If there is anything the has room for debate, it is this.

    1. I would say that you’re stretching “the mother’s ownership of *her* own person” here. The mother (and father or turkey baster) made the decision to have sex, presumably knowing the outcome (I’m not interested in rape/incest/etc. convolutions here). It’s basically like inviting someone into your house, deciding you didn’t want to have them in your house and immediately deciding they’re a trespasser and shooting them.

      1. So what really matters is punishing her for her sluttiness? Clearly it’s not the fetus’s life, as you are leaving aside rape cases as if they are irrelevant.

        1. A child is a punishment? As Mr. Dean parodies so elegantly, your belief that child == disease is truly inhuman.
          If conception results, most of the time, in the live birth of a normal child, how is it not entirely wrong to end that chance at life? Do we not all have a right to life, let alone the other two?
          I leave out abortion, et al. because that’s a *weird trick* to make people believe that the “other side” hates women and wants to (see above) *punish* them. Don’t *other* me, Tony!

          1. You misconstrue his statement. The child isn’t the punishment, the force applied to the mother’s self-ownership and removal of her decision making is.

        2. Of course the leftist would conflate taking responsibility for one’s actions as “punishment”.

  21. A woman is an individual even if pregnant. What the Ku Klux Khristians of Georgia want is to force women to squeeze out babies they can baptize and turn into mindless fundamentalist Crusaders. Admitting the fact is no more an option for them than admitting they wanted slavery for the rape privileges seven-score and twelve years ago. But those rubes are effective at rounding up morons and votes, and the GOP fears angering the Prohibition Party lest they rouse a spoiler vote in key elections. I’m gonna have to stand with Ayn Rand on this issue. The woman was perfectly within her rights, and on the day she exercised her right, 178,000 babies were born over and above those needed to crowd 7 billion humans onto the planet. Perhaps the Georgia legislature could import and adopt a day’s worth of added babies instead of mistreating that woman.

  22. The murdering bitch can always use the defense that it’s a woman’s prerogative to changer her mind. I thought Libertarians supported individual rights so long as that individual was not harming another. That bitch can rot in a cell. No sympathy for the devil…whooo whooo

  23. Hank, save your Christian hating. You obviously have deep seated issues with Christianity that you cannot even bring yourself to spell it correctly. Did you almost drown at your baptism because it would explain a lot. Your reasoning is lacking. Why would legislators believe that someone who was contemplating an abortion be more likely to raise them as a Crusader. I await your sound reasoning as to why. Not really because I don’t have that much time.

  24. I don’t know at what point a fetus becomes a ‘human’ in more than a purely biological sense, but it seems like it’s far before 5 1/2 months. As such, the libertarian in me considers this murder since the rights and freedoms of the baby were taken away.

  25. The libertarian in me doesn’t see any purpose whatsoever for inflicting the Georgia penal system on this woman for having an abortion. Is the line blurry? Perhaps, so why not err on the side of less needless suffering?

    1. Legally, I don’t think it’s that blurry at all. It’s clearly illegal in Georgia where it happened.

      1. I think ENB explains in this article why its legality is very much an open question.

    2. “The libertarian in me…”

      Who did you cannibalize?

    3. You know, I used to be on the fence about abortion, but then I realized piece of shit, barely human progressives like Tony support it with zeal.

      I tend to agree with Old Mexican on this subject overall. There is no excuse for the use of deadly force when there is no threat to your life.

      Extreme escalation of force is against the NAP. You unwittingly trespassing on my property does not give me the right to put you through a woodchipper.

  26. Yet Jones’ attempt to abort took place when the baby was still in her womb…

    He was alive when I shot him, therefore it’s not murder!

    How can Jones’ actions be murder if they fail to kill the fetus in the womb, but not murder if they actually do?

    Both sides of that razor are sharp, aren’t they?

  27. “…what about similar behavior that unintentionally causes a woman to miscarry? How can one be prohibited and not the other?”

    I honestly do not understand this question. The intentions of the accused are almost always – at least implicitly and often explicitly – a factor in a trial where someone is accused of doing harm. And the intentions of a defendant found guilty usually make a difference in the sentencing. Intentionality is a major factor in criminal law. You cannot ‘unintentionally’ murder someone. How can the author be unaware of this? What am I missing?

  28. The baby is a discrete, different individual than the woman who is carrying the baby.

    I wonder if women’s suffrage is a mistake since many if not most women are either incapable of understanding where babies come from, or incapable of acting on that knowledge. Imbeciles and the insane ought not have suffrage, and abortion rights advocates seem to say women are one or both.

    One of my takes on the law, is that very early abortions can’t be easily detected, so the “war on drugs” disaster ought not be extended. It was like this earlier – police looked the other way when “back alley abortionists” didn’t kill women. Today, the medical “standards” for an abortion clinic are less than the old cesspool speakeasies of yore – you have the right, even if the butcher kills you.

    At some stage, it is clearly murder. If she strangled, suffocated, or poisoned the same baby as a newborn, it would be clearly murder. She did the same to an apparently viable baby.

    If someone kills a baby at this stage (and the mother wanted the child) it is murder.

  29. Not a problem for me, because I’m for legal infanticide by parents.

  30. This seems screwy. I do think that at viability, one choice (abort pregnancy or not) turns into two choices (abort or not; kill the fetus or not). The woman IMO always controls the first decision. Any state law that takes that choice from her (which it appears to do) is unconstitutional. No one ever has the right to make the second choice after viability – and I also see no alternative to the state mandating certain processes beyond viability if the woman chooses to abort. If that means banning self-administered abortions beyond a probably arbitrary viability point; then so be it as long as the entire goal of the state at that point is to ensure that the fetus survives a safe woman-chosen termination of pregnancy. I doubt Georgia gives a rats crap about fetal survival after viability – but if they did, then i can see a penalty for self-admnstrd abortions. Prison seems stupid. Tying tubes seems more rational if she is deemed to be the same threat to future children of hers as she was to the last.

    The same principle applies after birth up until the age of majority. If parents can’t deal with having kids, its dumb and harmful to the child to force them to. Let them get rid of their kid by offering it to adoption or foster care – and yes the state damn well better get involved. Getting rid of the kid by disposing of its corpse in a dumpster (lets call it a market externality) is a pretty certain outcome if someone outside the family doesn’t get involved.

  31. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netcash5.com

  32. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.worktoday7.com

  33. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netcash5.com

  34. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netcash5.com

  35. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

    ????????????? http://www.pay-buzz.com

  36. Home abortion method is an easy and safe way to self-terminate a pregnancy. So to end a pregnancy by self, buy Abortion Pill online. It is the world most used and safest abortion pill. There are no side effects if you use this pill.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.