Mississippi Bans Abortions After 15 Weeks, Faces First Legal Challenge Today

The nation's most-restrictive law is passed amidst a long-term decline in unwanted pregnancies.


"We are saving more of the unborn than any state in America, and what better thing can we do?"

That's what Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said as he signed the nation's strictest law regarding abortion. The only exemptions in House Bill 1510, reports the Clarion Ledger,

are if a fetus has health problems making it "incompatible with life" outside of the womb at full term, or if a pregnant woman's life or a "major bodily function" is threatened by pregnancy. Pregnancies resulting from rape and incest aren't exempted.

Currently, federal law prohibits banning abortions before 20 weeks, which is considered the moment at which a fetus is viable. The law is being challenged by Mississippi's only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization:

Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis, in a sworn statement, said she'll have to stop providing abortions to women past the 15 week ban, or else lose her Mississippi medical license, as House Bill 1510 requires. Carr-Ellis said women shouldn't be forced to carry their pregnancies to term against their wills or leave the state to obtain abortions.

"A woman who is pregnant should have the ability to make the decision that is best for her about the course of her pregnancy, based on her own values and goals for her life," Carr-Ellis said in the statement.

I realize and respect that some libertarians are opposed to abortion except when a pregnant woman's life is endangered by bringing the pregnancy to term.

But Carr-Ellis's perspective seems right to me, especially before viability. Personhood is a legal concept, not a scientific fact, and will always be subject to definition and redefinition as our knowledge and morality change. But despite some ambiguity, viability has a strong claim as being the moment at which personhood should be granted and the state can rightly begin to take some interest, with interventions becoming more likely as the pregnancy continues. This is roughly the thinking behind Roe v. Wade (1973), which has been revised and amended in subsequent rulings by the Supreme Court, and it also accords well with public opinion on abortion. By a two-to-one margin (61 percent to 31 percent), Americans support unfettered rights to an abortion in the first trimester of a pregnancy but that position reverses in the second trimester (27 percent to 64 percent) and drops further in the final trimester (14 percent to 80 percent). That pattern is reflected in when women have abortions, too, with 95 percent of abortions taking place by week 15. In Mississippi, just "78 abortions in 2017 [were performed] when the fetus was identified as being 15 weeks or older. That's out of about 2,500 abortions performed statewide, mostly at the clinic."

Guttmacher Institute

Granting pre-viability fetuses full legal rights from the "moment of conception," the stated goal of many if not most abortion opponents, is imprecise and opens up our private lives to all sorts of invasive state interventions. For instance, prior to the new law, Mississippi counted a pregnancy as beginning with the first day of a woman's last menstrual cycle, or about two weeks before most other states started counting. So even though Mississippi's previous ban on abortions started after 20 weeks, it effectively meant it started at 18 weeks by the methods used in other places. Beyond that, there is a serious question of how to account for naturally occurring abortions. "Embryologists estimate that the rate of natural loss for embryos that have developed for seven days or more is 60 percent," notes Reason's Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey. "The total rate of natural loss of human embryos increases to at least 80 percent if one counts from the moment of conception." If "moment of conception" becomes the legal definition, then what is to be done about the millions of "deaths" that occur every year?

In any case, the rate of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 years to 44 years has declined below what it was when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Better contraceptives and more access to them is the leading cause of the reduction, as the incidence of unwanted pregnancy is way down across all age groups. It's also likely that increasingly tighter state-level restrictions and the reduction in the number of abortion providers plays a role, too, though given that only 1.3 percent of abortions are performed after 20 weeks, the legal cut-off in most states, it's not clear how much impact such restrictions have. Prior to the Supreme Court legalizing the procedure, it's estimated that between 200,000 and 1.2 million abortions were performed per year, with most of them being illegal.

The first challenge to Mississippi's new law comes today, with a federal judge hearing arguments for and against blocking the implementation of the 15-week ban as its constitutionality is tested in the courts.

In 2013, Reason held a discussion about "Abortion & Libertarians" featuring Katherine Mangu-Ward, Ronald Bailey, and The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway. Take a look:

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  1. Probably will get shot down due to being an obstruction to a right. It’s not the 2nd amendment.

    1. If I use a gun to save the life of a mother or prevent rape or incest can I be compensated under the ACA?

      1. I think there is an ICD10 code for that. Not sure about a CPT for billing. Probably a not otherwise specified code of sorts.

    2. What does the 2nd Amendment have to do with this?

      1. I suspect that four Members of this Court would vote to review a 10-day waiting period for abortions, notwithstanding a State’s purported interest in creating a ‘cooling off’ period?. The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court’s constitutional orphan.”Clarence Thomas

        Setting aside the overarching fact that the 2A is an officially-ratified Amendment while the ‘Right to Privacy’ as created in Roe v. Wade is little more than a SCOTUS penaltax-style fabrication or legal kludge.

        1. The 9th Amendment all but ensures the right to privacy. In fact, it ensures all rights that do not interfere with the execution of otherwise lawfully delegated powers to the state and fed governments.

          The fact that the SCOTUS likes to ignore the Constitution and make up their own pretzel logic to defend stuff they like doesn’t mean there isn’t other, more clearly viable avenues to reach the same conclusion. It’s one of my biggest gripes with the SCOTUS… by inventing things all the time they create an unworkable patchwork of precedent that could have been avoided had they just kept reading ALL of the Bill of Rights and applied it wholly all the time rather than partially some of the time.

      2. It should be such that if you can add a waiting period, or time based restrictions of one right, you can apply it to any other right. A right, is a box with special protections when you place an idea or freedom that you want to keep away from majority rule. It should not matter what is placed in the box with respect to how we treat the box.

        But for some reason SCOTUS has decided it can play favorites with rights. Especially when it comes to laws with the sole purpose of restricting the use of the right.

        1. when you place = where you place

        2. I wonder what the reason is.

      3. You cannot get away with restricting of this type. Unless it’s the 2A.

    3. How is this thread not yet at 300 comments? Come on, guys, you are slacking. Eddie, John, Ken, Hank, chop chop.

  2. But Carr-Ellis’s perspective seems right to me, especially before viability.

    What evidence do you have that Carr-Ellis’s perspective includes viability? That’s gotta be the king of all goalpost moves there.

    1. “Pregnancies resulting from rape and incest aren’t exempted.”

      There’s the rub.

      I maintain that elective abortions are generally unethical but should remain legal. Libertarians generally have no issue with the observation that just because some activity is immoral doesn’t mean the state needs to get involved. Cheating on your spouse may be immoral, but who thinks people should be thrown in jail for it?

      My contention that abortion is unethical disappears in the case of rape and incest. To whatever extent you are morally obligated to carry a fetus to term, it is only because you willingly engaged in an activity that might create a fetus. In cases of rape and incest, where the mother’s right to choose to engage in that activity was violated or the mother is too young to make such a choice, the ethical obligation to carry that fetus to term doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

      The government has no business forcing rape victims to carry a fetus to term. These women did not consent to the activity that impregnated them–and how can that situation NOT be different from those that did consent to the activity that impregnated them?

      1. Wasn’t supposed to be a response to any comment.

      2. They aren’t exempted from the 15 week rule. If you have a change of heart after crossing the legal viability bright line based on rape/incest, well…no sympathy here.

        1. Ok there, Judgy McJudgerson

      3. Surely whether the fetus has personhood rights is far more germane than paying attention to the private choices of women. I think pro-lifers would like to downplay the fact that they’re mostly concern with policing women’s sex lives–it’s why they invented fetal personhood to begin with (similar to why they invented a religious conscientiousness excuse for why they should be allowed to kick gay people out of their shops).

        If it’s unethical to abort at any given stage of development, the method of conception must be irrelevant. That’s if we’re talking about personhood. If you’re just interested in being the sexual purity police, I think we can dispense with that with prejudice.

        1. That all sounds fine and good, but late I heard, constitutions are “Democracy in Chains”, so fuck off tyrant I guess.

          1. Of course anyone who says that will quickly point out they have constitutional rights when confronted with law enforcement, or wronged themselves.

            1. If I’m forced to live in a system you bet I’m going to try and use what shred of decency there is in it to protect my rights in ways slavers may respond to. That doesn’t undermine the first choice preference of the whole thing going away. If you make me follow a set of rules, you better also follow them or I’m calling you out on it until you give up the rules all together.

        2. If it’s unethical to abort at any given stage of development, the method of conception must be irrelevant.

          That is the logical position and guess what? A lot of people support it.

          1. A lot of nutty people. It is an untenable position and shows the pro-life side is based on a faulty foundation.

            1. If untenable, you mean inconvenient, then yes. I’m unclear on what is particularly nutty about it. Care to elaborate?

              1. Preventing a raped woman from getting an abortion is nutty.

                1. Yes. Becoming a rape victim who is also a murderer is totally sane.

                  1. So, since every human life is utter sacred, even a tiny fertilized egg resulting from rape… Human life is a GOOD thing, then RAPE must be a good thing! Philly Collins low has a self-generated license to RAPE women on sight!

                2. If one person violates your rights, does that grant you a moral clearance to violate another person’s rights?

                  On the face of it the answer is clearly “No!”

                  But if the first violation causes you to become beholden to another person against your will, do you owe it to that person to keep providing that now established and vital support at your own expense?

                  That’s not so easy… But both sides are far from untenable. Messy, sure. But there is validity to both sides. And neither are nutty.

                  Sure…. there are nutty people on both sides of the issue at large. But there are also very sober people with very well constructed arguments as well.

        3. I think pro-lifers would like to downplay the fact that they’re mostly concern with policing women’s sex lives–it’s why they invented fetal personhood to begin with (similar to why they invented a religious conscientiousness excuse for why they should be allowed to kick gay people out of their shops).

          This says so much more about your thinking process than whatever you think it says about the thoughts rattling around in any given pro-lifer’s head.

        4. Please explain the connection between abortion and women’s sex lives.

          1. I’m not your parents.

          2. When a man and a woman love each other very much, yadda yadda yadda, oh fuck!

        5. It’s easy to be pro abortion when you’re safe from the forceps.

        6. I think pro-lifers would like to downplay the fact that they’re mostly concern with policing women’s sex lives

          As opposed to pro-abortionists, who want to police the sex lives of everybody…

      4. Analogy. If you own a lifeboat, and a rapist forces a passenger onto your lifeboat and then takes off. Are you obligated to keep that passenger safe until you can get to land, or is it okay to just toss her overboard to be eaten by sharks? Or a rapist takes an innocent hostage and is hiding out in your house. Is it okay to shoot the hostage for trespassing?

        The law has dealt with similar cases before. The legal answer is known. You are obligated not to kill the innocent person if your own life is not in danger. You may only eject the unwanted passenger when it is safe to do so. You may only evict the hostage when it is safe to do so. If you own life is not in danger.

        The same rule logically applies to abortion. Once the fetus becomes a human being then abortion is not permitted unless the life of the mother is in danger. Thus the question is when does the fetus become a human being. Convenience to the mother (or the state) does not matter. The mother (or the state) is not obligated to care for the baby, but they may not kill it without cause.

        1. “” The mother (or the state) is not obligated to care for the baby.””

          I assume you are talking about adoption. Otherwise you are obligated to care, else you can be charged with a variety of crimes. Neglect, or endangering the welfare of, for example.

          1. So it’s okay to kill a baby, but not abandon it? I agree that there is definitely some moral obligation going on, but when I’m putting arguments before those intent on killing babies, such nuances tend to be lost o them.

            1. “”So it’s okay to kill a baby, but not abandon it?”‘

              That’s were we are today.

              When I look at kids today, I’m starting to think the age limit on infanticide should be upped to 17.

        2. Why does the mother’s life trump the human fetus’s? Are we going into all of these debates assuming that, however much a person the fetus is, it’s less of a person than the mother? Doesn’t that open up some cans of worms?

          1. Because there is a legal principle, which has been around for thousands of years, that it’s okay to kill in self defense. In nearly all circumstances of pregnancy, it will be the baby that initiates the threat.

            1. Can’t we simply extend the metaphor to protection of her property… that baby is about to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from her.

              1. Careful, now you’re in the argument that the man does have a say.

        3. Right, Brandybuck. If we assume personhood after viability, then the woman can eject the fetus after this point at any time, but cannot kill it. Before that point, she can abort without consequences.

          1. It isn’t about the viability of the fetus.

            It’s about the consent of the rape victim.

            1. Well that too. In evictionism, to which I subscribe, the woman always as a right to eject. However, after viability, she has to offer the fetus to anyone that is willing to keep it alive. If no one is willing to do that, she has no responsibility to keep it alive herself. But if no one is willing to keep the fetus alive, then no one should be getting angry the fetus will die.

              1. I think it’s important to distinguish between legal rights and ethics.

                Thank God we don’t live in a theocracy.

        4. A baby inside a boat and a baby inside of a person isn’t really an apt comparison. The question isn’t whether the woman should be legally compelled to keep a baby in a boat. The question is whether a woman is guilty of a crime if she doesn’t carry the progeny of the man who raped her–inside her.

          Argue morality if you need to, but don’t tell me that’s a proper function of law.

          Adultery is also immoral–doesn’t mean it should be a crime.

          1. If you accept that Personhood is the defining principle of the legal bright line, then the circumstances of conception are irrelevant.

            1. I consider consent to be the defining principle of criminal law.

              Again, the question isn’t whether what the woman is doing is immoral.

              The question is whether the state should criminally punish rape victims for freeing themselves of a burden they never took on willingly.

              It’s one thing if you willingly took on the responsibility to carry a baby to term when you willingly engaged in an activity that might result in the creation of a baby.

              Quite another if that burden was never accepted.

              Again, tell me that abortion is immoral in cases of rape, and maybe you’ve got an argument.

              Tell me that it’s proper for the state to criminally punish rape victims for refusing to be further victimized by their rape–and you don’t have a leg to stand on.

              1. You keep dodging the threshold question and seem to claim that rape/incest grants a unique absolute right to abortion. If you agree that there is a pre-term threshold (15/20/25/whatever) weeks, that agreement is rooted in the concept of the unborn’s right. Considering that, what’s the moral justification for revoking that right in the specific case of rape/incest?

                1. “You keep dodging the threshold question and seem to claim that rape/incest grants a unique absolute right to abortion”

                  You keep ignoring the fact that personhood isn’t the crux of criminal law and justice.

                  Now I’ll give you an example:

                  Suppose I shoot somebody in the face with a shotgun. Generally speaking, that’s frowned upon in criminal law. That all changes if I give you a little more information. Suppose the person I shot in the face were an intruder in a home invasion robbery, and he were threatening me with a gun himself. Suddenly, me shooting someone in the face isn’t necessarily frowned on anymore.

                  And why is that?

                  The correct answer is consent. It’s not that I have a right to shoot people depending on the situation; it’s that I get to argue self-defense, which is ultimately saying that I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. In fact, if any woman can show reasonable evidence that the man she killed was, in fact, raping her, I wouldn’t send her to jail for murder. I’d say it was self-defense.

                  Wouldn’t you?

                  1. The question certainly isn’t the personhood of the burglar. The question is whether the person who is using the self-defense plea should be punished by the government for defending herself in that situation. You can still argue that shooting burglars is immoral. I know people who do. But that isn’t the question. The question is whether the government should criminally punish people for doing something when they had no choice in the matter.

                    You’re responsible for the choices you make. The choice some rapist inflicted on you against your will and over your objections? Not so much. That’s justice. A mother’s legal obligation to carry a child to term stems from her willingly engaging in activity that might create that child. Without that willingly engaging in the activity that might create a child part, there is no legal obligation. There may be a moral obligation, but that’s another matter.

                    1. You keep ignoring the fact that personhood isn’t the crux of criminal law and justice.

                      It is when it comes to identifying whether a party is treated as a person vs. an object. You’re claim is that ultimately the personhood of the unborn is irrelevant because it’s background origin trumps its personhood.

                      There’s nothing in criminal law remotely similar to that situation. There was though. It was called apartheid.

                    2. “It is when it comes to identifying whether a party is treated as a person vs. an object.

                      I just pointed out that isn’t the case.

                      Homicide isn’t treated like murder when the killer didn’t really have a choice. Instead of murder, we call that “self-defense”–and it isn’t because the intruder isn’t a person.

                      We do the same kinds of things for children. For instance, having sex with them is generally considered a crime–and it has nothing to do with them not being considered a person. It’s because they aren’t considered old enough to give consent.

                      If rape victims and incest victims aren’t prosecuted for the same reasons–because they didn’t have any choice in the act that created the pregnancy or because they were too young to give their consent–then that’s consistent with the crux of criminal law resting on consent. Self defense and statutory rape are other examples of the same principle–it’s all about consent.

                      And it has nothing to do with personhood. Killing persons is not murder when the killer doesn’t have any real choice. Having sex with underage persons is a crime because they’re too young to give their consent.

                      Consent is the issue. Not personhood.

                    3. What about the idea of self-defense becoming aggression when the force applied is not equitable to the threat posed? For example… If a home invader drops the loot and runs at the sight of my shotty THEN I shoot him, wouldn’t that make me the aggressor and a murderer?

                      If carrying the child to term goes well and does not pose a serious threat to the mother, then what threat is she facing that can be met equitably with lethal force on her part?

                      Granted… If you want to add variables like “in such and such case life of the mother…” then yes, you are very likely to reach different conclusions. But for clarity, let’s establish a “normal” baseline first.

                      And for the record… I’m generally very pro-life but not always comfortable with it. And you often provide very sober arguments, imo.

                    4. We can move the goal posts around if you like, but the central issue is still a question of whether the killer really had a choice.

                      When you’re saying that the amount of force used wasn’t justified by the actual threat, you’re really saying that the claim of self-defense is bogus because the killer had more of a choice than that. It wasn’t really life or death.

                      It’s still about choice.

                      Do you want to tell me that having an organism inserted inside of you–against your will–to grow and cause physical trauma during birth (not to mention the psychological trauma of carrying your rapist’s child) isn’t really violence?

                      Have you seen Alien?

                    5. If the killer (mother) has a choice of responses, all of which remove the threat, does that invalidate the just use of lethal force?

                      Like brandishing versus shooting to stop a home invasion? (Granted, If the brandishing doesn’t work by all means increase force until the threat is removed).

        5. If a women carried a rapist’s baby to term, would it be acceptable for her to dump it in the trash, or smother it in a crib?

          1. The question is whether she should be convicted of a crime for not carrying the baby to term.

            Why change the subject?

            I suspect you’re holding onto the idea that the morality of abortion has something to do with personhood.

            Maybe you’re right!

            The question is whether the state should convict rape victims for the consequences of being raped.

            Do you or don’t you accept that some things are immoral but should be legal anyway? If you do, please don’t come back with more observations about morality. Convince me that these rape victims should be criminally prosecuted instead.

          2. No. A baby is a person. The woman has to advertise the baby for adoption.

        6. “?a rapist forces a passenger onto your lifeboat?”?

          No, man, you Kulak, you wrecker!!! Your wrecked your lifeboat, you wrecked your abortion analogy, and shit! Abortion is like this:

          You’re drunk off of your bleeding ass, driving down the road and shit, minding your own business and shit. Maybe you shouldn’t have dropped that acid, either, but the cops haven’t caught you, and, innocent till proven guilty, right? So you keep on driving? Your drunken ass is bleeding and shit, by the way, ’cause you’ve got some wicked hemorrhoids, and shit!
          Then some space aliens swoop in on your car, and abduct you, and shit. They start anally probing you. For some strange reason, the little green men have a conscience attack, they start worrying about fucking up your health, and shit, what with your giant bleeding hemorrhoids. So they cease and desist, yank their probes out of your ass, and probe your nose instead, and shit. They don’t even bother to clean the bloody shit off of the probes, and shit!

          1. A mucus vampire, well, they’ve got some sort of magical nose for this kind of thing, and somehow he catches on to what’s going down, and he wants to suck your mucus, and shit. So he shows up, to get in on the action.
            But when the mucus vampire sees all your blood and shit mixed up with your mucus and shit, he gets all disgusted and shit. The blood, he can handle? Some of his best friends are blood vampires. He’s a tolerant and broad-minded vampire, and shit, you know. But REAL shit, in his mucus??! Now THAT is TOO MUCH shit, and shit!
            So he says, “Dudes, getting blood and shit into your mucus and shit, that’s like getting chocolate into your peanut butter and jelly and shit! That’s like getting your stupid and your evil all mixed up into your philosophy! This is some seriously fucked up bloody-snot shit! I’m outta here!” And the mucus vampire is SOOO sickened, he barfs all over you! Then he wraps his cloak around him like Batman folding up his bat-wings around himself, turns into a bat-shit crazy bat, and shit, and flies away, all disgusted.
            The little green men, being kinda autistic, take everything literally. They are also HORNY little green men, already excited by anally and nasally probing you, and, upon hearing the mucus vampire talking about “?seriously fucked up bloody-snot shit?”, get all carried away, and shoot their little-green-men jism all over your bloody-snot shit!

            1. Now if we sit back and think about this, your shit bacteria get all fucked up, ’cause they were expecting a decent burial in your toilet, and they don’t get one. Your nasal bacteria and viruses were expecting to LIVE, or, at least, a traditional, honorable drying-out session in your booger rag, and they don’t get that, either. Your little green men sperm cells get REALLY screwed over, ’cause they were expecting at least SOME long odds (but a real fighting chance) at some little green woman’s egg cell. Your red blood cells don’t matter, ’cause they have no cell nucleus, let alone a nervous system, or any kind of independent life. Your white blood cells? Well, yes, they have a nucleus, and their own genes. But they’re WHITE, dammit! You cracker muthafuckers!!! WHITE means you’re a RACIST, and WHO CARES about the rights of racist honkeys?!?!
              Ergo, we must conclude, this whole thing is an abortion all around! Since abortions are, by definition, abortions, they need to be outlawed!

      5. It would be nice to see a statute of limitations on Title IX. If you were rape-raped, go to the police, they’ll take you to the hospital where evidence can be collected and you can get an anti-viral, antibiotic, and, if you choose, abortifacient cocktail. Even the most hardcore libertarians and cultural conservatives will cover the cost of something like this.

        Waiting 15 weeks to eventually decide that you were raped and/or discover you were pregnant? Those would have to be some pretty extenuating circumstances. Even if you were 14 weeks into the pregnancy and the father/sibling *then* raped/incested you, it is still morally an bit of an issue of punishing or killing the fetus for the male parent’s sins (arguably morally exonerating them). Certainly, the viability of a child as the result of incest would play a significant role but, as a libertarian, I remain somewhat skeptical of the benefits of legislating in a such an exception as anything more significant than a hat tip. Not that I necessarily think that the exception should be excluded but that some women have demonstrated a blatant and general willingness to contort the definition of rape to exceedingly trivial ends.

      6. the ethical obligation to carry that fetus to term doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

        Well, if you believe even an unviable fetus is “life”, sure it does.

      7. Let’s look at it this way – you can’t execute someone for rape – not even for the violent rape of a child unless the child dies. Yet you can execute the rapist’s innocent child.

        Personhood (and moral worth) don’t depend on the crimes of the father.

        1. But personhood does depend on the stage of development.

          1. Really?

            There’s a category of living human beings who aren’t persons?

            1. Depends on your definition of “human being.” If you think a zygote is a human being, then yes, because a zygote is not a legal person, and shouldn’t be.

        2. What if it happened to your teenage daughter?

          1. To the rapist? I figure whatever he used to violate the victim now belongs to the victim.

            To the child? Nothing. It is guilty of nothing.

            1. “”I figure whatever he used to violate the victim now belongs to the victim.””

              Lorena Bobbitt?

              1. To be fair, he didn’t rape her. And this would be after a far trial. And the victim may show mercy.

                And if the victim doesn’t, then don’t rape, and you have no problem.

                (All human justice depends on humans figuring out truth well. They don’t always succeed. That’s not an argument against repayment, it’s an argument for being really careful.)

          2. I would want to *execute* the rapist of any of my loved ones (not the rapist’s child, the rapist himself). But the Supreme Court in its wisdom – the same Supreme Court which proclaims the right to kill a child in the womb – says such an execution would be unconstitutional.

      8. Not sure I buy the reasoning. Innocent persons should not be killed, escpecially not by choice.

        Yes, this requires viewing rape, not merely as a brief isolated incident, but indeed as an act that creates long term consequences for the victim.

        Which is exactly why rape has long been a tool of war, and has likewise long been considered an extremely heinous act.

  3. This seems like a pretty trivial law. It moves the time from 20 to 15 weeks. Which only effects (78 out of 2,500) around 3% of abortions. It won’t change the fundamentals of the situation to any significant degree.

    However, I’m sure the cultural warriors on both sides will take to the field, to make sure that the other side doesn’t gain even 1 inch.

    1. I was also interested in the numbers ‘rape or incest’ exception. Not that I think it should be absent but, in line with the thinking on Title IX, 15 weeks is a long time to wait before figuring out you were raped.

    2. Also, abortionists should’ve seen this one coming and started picking out which hills to die on. Minimum viable age in and out of the womb are only going to continue to drop and it’s only going to become more apparent which of advocates are pragmatists and which of them are raving murderous sociopaths.

      1. There’s really no way around drawing a bright line somewhere. And I doubt SCOTUS will take up the case unless such a line is grossly beyond any concept of “viability”.

      2. I’ve always wondered why some State legislature didn’t put a final point on it all by legislatively declaring when personhood, and thus state protections against unlawful killing, begins.

    3. Rights don’t depend on how many people are affected. This is a fundamental principle of libertarian thought. Even if only one person’s rights are violated by a law, the law is at least partially immoral.

    4. Well, Nick is basically wrong on what the law here is. Twenty weeks isn’t when a fetus becomes viable, and it’s not the cutoff point after which states may prohibit abortion. Twenty weeks has been chosen by anti-choice activists as a rallying point because, they claim, it’s the point in development at which fetuses can feel pain.

      Twenty week bans are constitutionally dubious; a fifteen week ban would be even more so.

    5. I also thought the rule was no real restrictions for the first trimester.

      15 weeks is not the first trimester. 12 weeks would be the limit for that.

  4. Well proggies keep on telling everybody they want to be more like Europe, where mandatory waiting periods and 12-week elective abortion limits are the norm.

    1. Well they haven’t figured out that in socialized medicine, you get what the government wants to give. They think they will get high quality, on demand health care for anything they want.

    2. Not to mention warrantless searches, lack of Miranda warnings…

      1. “”lack of Miranda warnings””

        New York state has a new Miranda warning.

  5. if a fetus has health problems making it “incompatible with life” outside of the womb

    Some might wonder what’s magic about “fetus” wrt such termination.

  6. Abortion thread, wooo-hooo!!! Who brought the popcorn!?!?

    1. I really needed to get some work done today.

      1. Then have some self control.

  7. This is exactly like The Handmaid’s Tale!

    1. If they went with the Handjob’s tale, they wouldn’t be in this situation.

  8. You are using a ridiculous number of strawmen.

    Pregnancy weeks counted from the first day of the last menstrual period is normal, especially in medicine. Conception starts two weeks later. Mississippi has this right.

    Nothing should ‘be done’ about the millions of natural deaths after conception; why pretend that it is particularly relevant to purposefully killing a fetus? Indeed, in my state (and probably others) it’s assumed in the laws that the fetus is alive; somehow natural deaths don’t muck things up.

    Pro-life activists don’t want to grant ‘full legal rights’ to fetuses, but enough to protect them from violence. Rather similar to children. Even if we don’t recognize their legal rights it doesn’t make their natural rights disappear.

    I don’t see how it would allow for more government invasion of privacy (your example is shit, as noted above). To the extent that it does, government intervention in personal affairs is warranted when individuals are transgressing upon another’s rights.

    1. “” government intervention in personal affairs is warranted when individuals are transgressing upon another’s rights.”‘

      That’s how the conservatives see it. The mother is transgressing on the right of the unborn, and they think they are the champion of the unborn. If the mother isn’t going to defend their unborn child, who will?

      1. That’s how non-anarchist libertarians see government, as well. Fraud, murder, rape and so on warrant government intervention because of the violation of rights.

        If you just meant that’s how conservatives see abortion specifically, then sorry, I misunderstood you.

        1. Yeah, the latter.

    2. What “natural rights” do fetuses have, and on what basis?

      What’s missing in your comment is any consideration of a woman’s right to decide whether her body is to be used for the benefit of another. Anti-choicers aren’t just intervening to protect fetuses; they’re seeking to impose a kind of servitude upon the women carrying them.

      It is also not hard to see how enforcement of abortion bans results in the invasion of privacy (setting aside for now that abortion rights fall within the scope of constitutional rights we refer to as “privacy rights,” which include also our choices of sexual partners, use of contraceptives, etc.), because we can see how this happens any place where there are restrictive abortion laws. Miscarriages are investigated; doctors withhold life saving treatment for fear of running afoul of abortion laws; laws are selectively enforced and interpreted. Even right here in the US we have someone who has taken it upon himself to have to personally approve any abortion sought by a detained minor. What business is it of his?

      1. What’s missing in your comment is any consideration of a woman’s right to decide whether her body is to be used for the benefit of another.

        If I understand the anti-abortionists correctly, they consider fucking to constitute an agreement to a contract on the part of the mother with the fetus to attempt to carry it to term.

        1. Essentially, this. The pro-lifers DO consider the rights of the mother. It’s just that she is considered (absent other variables like rape) to have purposefully and knowingly engaged in an action that she knew may result in her taking on an obligation for the consequence of such an action. Imagine if a woman picks up a small child and throws the kid in the air. Is it a violation of her rights to legally hold her responsible for the child’s safe landing? If she simply walks off and let’s the child hit the pavement on purpose, she has committed murder. What natural right to privacy or choice exempts her from the charge of murder in this case? Is she not, while the child is in the air, burdened with the obligation to wait for the child, to exert energy in catching the child, in risking some minor level of discomfort or harm in the name of preserving the child (say a foot hits her in the mouth and cuts her lip)?

          1. Your analogy fails on the fact that, in the case of the woman having sex, the child in question does not exist.

            1. But it does exist as a result of her action. In my analogy, at the start, there is no child in the air. In the case of abortion, before sex there is no child in the womb. The sex is the throwing the child in the air. The child in the air is the child now existing in the womb.

              1. But there is no child at that point.

  9. Abortion, Native rights, slavery reparations, transgender rights, and deep dish pizza.

    Issues of times.

    Not to make light of abortion. I do think bio-ethicists are evil and 5 months is a bit too much.

    1. issues of OUR times.

    2. Abortion, Native rights, slavery reparations, transgender rights, and deep dish pizza.

      The abomination known as ‘thin crust’ is a pre-term abortion of a deep dish pizza. Deep Dish issues are abortion issues, abortion issues are women’s rights issues, women’s rights issues are human rights issues.

  10. We should have to figure out what difference it makes to the fetus if the line is drawn at one place rather than another. If no increased fetal pain or hardship results from a later deadline, then what’s the point of restricting it to an earlier one? The only variable here is the woman’s freedom, so restricting that for no good reason betrays the fact that the motive behind such restriction is to decrease her freedom, not do anything for the unborn.

    1. /Puts Tony in a gentle chokehold. Injects lethal concoction in his veins.

      See? Painless!

      As Tina Turner once sang, what’s pain got to do with it, got to do with it?

      I’m not so sure this is JUST about women’s freedom anymore.

      1. I just don’t think “it feels more like a person to me at this stage” is a good enough reason to restrict fully fledged human beings’ freedom to control their own major life choices.

        1. Yeh, but five months ‘feels’ wrong.

        2. It doesn’t limit choices at all.

          She had the same choice that the man, who will have to pay for the child if she chooses to go to term, had.

          1. That is an injustice. A man should have no responsibility for a child he sires with a woman he is not married to, unless he agreed to do so previous to the sex act. That would properly balance the woman’s sole right to choose not to bear the child or give it up for adoption.

    2. “The only variable” after just acknowledging that pain and hardship could vary, and are therefore variables. You aren’t very good at algebra, I assume.

      1. Assuming there’s no difference between one deadline and a later one for the fetus, what is the point of restricting it to the earlier one?

        1. You aren’t very good at defending your abilities in algebra, either.

          1. Fucking number nerds. You do know that societies cannot run on Asperger Syndrome alone?

            1. If they’re all numbers, your side is all emotions.

              You just deceived yourself into thinking emotions = rational.

    3. no increased fetal pain or hardship results

      You don’t consider “pain” and “hardship” to be even more vague than “viability”? The whole personhood argument needs some bounding principles.

      1. I suggest that since there is no scientific answer to the question of personhood, if we’re going to allow abortion at all, the woman’s freedom should be paramount all else being equal. If someone can demonstrate a difference it makes to the fetus to cut her off earlier rather than later, that would change things.

        1. Doesn’t “paramount” = “absolute”?

          no scientific answer to the question of personhood

          There doesn’t have to be. The bright line will always be a political compromise.

          I think that as long as an abortion absolutist believes that the unborn is non-human, then they are being logically consistent. Unfortunately for them, that belief is nowhere near dominant in this country. So politically, it’s a losing position.

          1. I’m suggesting a logical approach, which doesn’t always coincide with a political one. The primary subject is restricting women’s freedom over their pregnancies. Does it not behoove us to consider why we’re picking one date over another, if it doesn’t make any difference to the fetus?

            1. You could logically argue that until the entity gains self-awareness it’s not legitimate. That occurs long after birth, thus given legal basis to infanticide.

              I don’t think the fetus’s perspective has to be relevant to the concept of personhood. As others have mentioned, taking the perspective of the entity also means that comatose individuals (or other situations of that sort) would lose their personhood.

              1. But those are special cases, and we’re talking about drawing a line whose primary function is to restrict people’s freedom over their bodies for every pregnancy. Common law drew a line at quickening, and others have equally arbitrary reasons for their lines. I suggest that we err on the side of more freedom for the mother unless there’s a good reason not to.

                1. whose primary function is to restrict people’s freedom over their bodies for every pregnancy

                  That’s one perspective. Another is that it’s a line which preserves human life.

                  Regardless, I’m not sure how your rationale gets us any closer to common ground. The line is ultimately a compromise of the two core perspectives. The reasoning behind the minutia of the line (15 vs. 20 vs. 25) will almost certainly always be subjective and thus totally a political instead of a purely objective boundary.

                  1. Thus, why not make it later rather than earlier? The only answer is to deprive women of choice.

                    1. No. Pushing it one way maximizes individual freedom for the child-bearer. Pushing it another way maximizes individual freedom for the child (or more specifically, maximizes the number of successful births).

                      Since there’s a freedom pull in both directions, the ultimate argument becomes when is does something become enough of an entity such that it’s entitled to a degree of legal protection?

                2. “” I suggest that we err on the side of more freedom for the mother unless there’s a good reason not to”‘

                  When do you ever err on the side of more freedom?

                3. Special cases indeed.

                  And special pleading does not eliminate the fly in your ointment.

        2. I suggest that since there is no scientific answer to the question of personhood

          I suggest that “personhood” has been a red herring ever since the term was invented.

          Is it a full, non-brain dead human? Then it has “rights”, and you have no “right” to kill it.

          Shockingly enough, if you brought it into the existence, you likely have more of an obligation to it.

        3. If there is no scientific answer to the question of personhood, then personhood applies to all human creatures or it applies to none. Your position is the one that requires a scientific answer, that is that some humans are persons and others are not.

          1. By human creatures you mean legal persons, right? As in a totally circular argument with no point?

            1. I would assume he means humans. Full, non-brain dead humans.

              (Just my guess.)

            2. By “human”, I mean a living individual organism of the species Homo sapien.

              Whether you consider those “persons” is your own metaphysics.

              1. But you cannot say that there are humans that are persons and humans that are not persons and then whinge that you cannot give a definition of which are which and why.

                1. So you’re saying fertilization, when the entity receives a complete set of human DNA, is when they become persons for legal reasons? So no abortion ever. And when spontaneous miscarriages happen, we must mourn the loss as if it were the death of a child.

                  Do you work for the funeral industrial complex perhaps?

                  1. So you’re saying fertilization, when the entity receives a complete set of human DNA, is when they become persons

                    Looks like he’s saying the term “persons” is useless. Which is what I’m saying as well. It’s a red herring.

                    And when spontaneous miscarriages happen, we must mourn the loss as if it were the death of a child.

                    You may do whatever you like. There’s no men-with-guns (aka “government”) forcing you to do that. Basically, Non Sequitur.

    4. “” If no increased fetal pain or hardship results from a later deadline, then what’s the point of restricting it to an earlier one? “‘

      So if the law doesn’t work, what’s the point of having it?

      1. Yeah, but then I have to consider the freedom of people who want to live in a world where babies aren’t murdered.

        At this point, it all gets too squishy, since freedom is so complex.

        Therefore, we turn to democracy, and the fact that constitutional limits on government are “Democracy in Chains”, and you’re obligated to give Mississippi government whatever it wants, or else you’re a big fat fascist or something.

        I mean, you can try appealing to “self-ownership” or “individual autonomy”, but, please, those are just simplistic concepts for immature minds, amirite?

    5. Your team is the master of incremental gains. Turnabout is fair play.

      1. But this country is seeing incremental losses (in women’s freedom), with the ultimate goal of the opposing team turning this country into a pale Christian imitation of Saudi Arabia.

        1. Yeah, that kind of stuff happens when you make a mess of individual rights for all of the special pleading exceptions in which case it’s totally OK for democracy to say “Fuck You.”

          So hey, maybe it’s illegal to say no to a gay wedding cake.

          And maybe it’s illegal to get an abortion.

          You made your bed, now lay in it.

          In my opinion: the woman who can’t get an abortion is in a much worse case with your government and the gay guy that can’t force someone to make him a cake. But this concept of freedom wasn’t my idea. You explain it.

          1. The libertopian despotism you apparently have in mind as an alternative will be saying “fuck you” to lots of people as well.

            1. Then enjoy abortion regulations and stop appealing to individual freedom, because you lost credibility a long time ago.

              1. But I’m all about individual freedom. I’m in favor of far more than any libertarian, who counterintuitively actually argue for the least amount of individual freedom this side of absolute dictatorship. That’s because I recognize that “freedom from the federal government” isn’t the only important freedom that can exist.

                1. And I greatly admire the individual freedom arguments you’re making for abortion.

                  Now, when you realize that you’ve soundly rejected all of these arguments in the past, let me know how you resolve the cognitive dissonance.

                  In the meantime, I’ll just take your word for it how much of a freedom lover you really are.

                2. “”But I’m all about individual freedom. I’m in favor of far more than any libertarian”‘

                  OMG, I’m laughing so hard I can’t keep my breath.

                  You are very anti individual and pro social.

                  1. If the majority wants a society where babies aren’t killed, then aren’t we tyrants for not liking the sound of that?

                    Apparently not this time, because special pleading deep deep libertarians are crazy except when they’re exactly right, arguments, ideals, and all.

                    1. The majority does want a society where it’s punishable to kill a baby. Who’s talking about babies?

                    2. Isn’t the real question: “who are you to fuck with democracy?”

                    3. If there were enough Christianists in America to inflict the federal government on women’s bodies, there’s not much anyone could do about it. Whenever you people attack democracy, you never get around to saying just what the alternative is. You get to make all the rules, perhaps?

                    4. I don’t really see what “individual freedom” has to do with any of that.

                      Is bitching about Mississippi abortion law special or something?

                      It’s democracy just like any other. Do you have an alternative?

        2. But this country is seeing incremental losses (in women’s freedom)

          This is only true, literally or technically if you wholly equate women with pregnancy and strip them of all other agency; that things like the #metoo movement mean fuck all if they don’t advance abortion access.

        3. a pale Christian imitation of Saudi Arabia

          Your bigotry on this matter can’t deflect from the fact that there are perfectly rational reasons to grant fetuses natural rights that you would deny them.

            1. Google “future like ours”

  11. Viability is still problematic. If it means viability outside the womb without intervention, then there are many functioning legal persons alive today that are not considered viable. (The late Stephen Hawking was one, to suggest he wasn’t a person is bullshit). On the other hand, if viability allows for intervention, then technology is moving viability back every year. It’s an argument that means once a practical artificial womb is developed then abortion should instantly be made illegal. Not something I think any pro-choice person would accept.

    Thus viability is a bad standard, as bad as the “let the courts pick a cutoff date on a whim” standard. The problem arises because society has delegated our moral responsibilities to the state. And pro-life libertarians have gone along with it. The real question is when life begins. Abortion before that date is a mere medical procedure, but after that date it’s manslaughter. The state may be necessary to pin down the date long a rather fuzzy line, but that fuzzy line is not theoretical. At some point a fetus becomes a human being entitled to the same unalienable rights as everyone else. Whether or not they are capable of exercising them. That does not mean we start throwing pregnant women in jail, but it does mean we stop acting as if human beings are expendable.

    When does human life start? That’s the question. The only question.

    1. without intervention

      I don’t think that’s generally included under “viability”. The problem of course is that technology is going to keep pushing that viability line backwards.

      1. Yes, this is obvious. But the pro-choice side seems to completely ignore that in their zeal to pin down a late date. Many living and rights bearing adult human beings are not “viable” without intervention. I myself was born prematurely, and required intervention to survive outside the womb. Was I not human at the time?

        We are soon going to reach the point where viability reaches all the way back to conception. Legal protections for a blastocyte is ridiculous, of course, which is why the viability definition does not make sense.

        1. viability definition does not make sense

          I’d suggest it’s the best we’ve got and we’ll put the technology component down the road.

    2. Not something I think any pro-choice person would accept.

      Presumably at that stage a woman will be able to remove the inconvenience without killing it. Win-win?

      1. Presumably yes. I also suspect we’ll get even better morning-after pills that actual abortions will so rare that it becomes a non-issue. Despite probably falling on the pro-life side of that very thin but very bright tribal line, I have zero problem with morning-after pills.

    3. Yes, the “Stephen Hawking problem” is always a good point.

  12. “Currently, federal law prohibits banning abortions before 20 weeks, which is considered the moment at which a fetus is viable.”

    Technically, there are no restrictions. State bans on abortion after 20 weeks can be avoided if the doctor contends that carrying the child may cause emotional harm.

    Nonetheless, this was a fair article by Nick and a fifteen week abortion ban (while in line with the restrictions in place in the vast majority of the world) is excessive.

    1. Also in that clip provided, Bailey behaves like an ass. Rule of thumb: don’t be a jerk to a woman who holds a different view on abortion than you. That should work for all men involved in discussing abortion.

      1. Because men have no rights to their own opinions on this matter. The right thinking women have spoken.

        1. Maybe I shouldn’t have waded into this topic, since I take a more moderate position than the usual dichotomy. Bailey was being an ass to Mollie Hemingway, who was presenting the pro-life position. I was just trying to suggest that as pro-choice women contend that men should not speak on abortion it is pretty ironic that pro-life women are constantly berated by pro-choice extremist men like Bailey. Bailey wasn’t even polite in his disagreements. His contempt for Mollie (with all his eye rolls and head shaking) was so obvious and asinine.

          1. To sum-up: Bailey behaved like a pretentious ass and should be embarrassed of himself.

    2. “article by Nick”

      So it is, I thought it would be ENB.

      1. No way would ENB even feign fairness on this topic. She defends the federal funding of Planned Parenthood on extremely dubious grounds. I too was surprised that Nick provided some level of fairness on the topic.

        1. Maybe I’m biased, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it fairness, just “acknowledging that others think differently for non-fascist reasons.”

          1. I agree, but that is a pretty substantial concession by writers at Reason (beyond Stephanie Slade)

  13. Personhood is a legal concept, not a scientific fact, and will always be subject to definition and redefinition as our knowledge and morality change.


    Granting pre-viability fetuses full legal rights from the “moment of conception,” the stated goal of many if not most abortion opponents, is imprecise and opens up our private lives to all sorts of invasive state interventions

    So, “personhood” (whatever the heck that means) is imprecise but good, but “moment of conception” is imprecise but bad?

    Second, wouldn’t “personhood” (and/or “viability”) be much harder to nail down than “moment of conception”? What kind of argument is that?

    The problem with the state is that it exists and initiates force (twice) by its mere existence. Also, if we argue that the state is incompetent to define “murder” (probably the best argument for its existence), then we really need to abolish it.

    1. Double plus one! I’ve ways wondered what is different from an old man, a young man, a small boy, a newborn, a child in the birth canal, a child in the womb, and a child in the womb a few days earlier, and a few days earlier ad infinitum until the only place to go for explaining any real difference is conception. Each stage is the correct and exact level of development of the human being from start to finish. All equally human, unequally developed. A young boy is not the same as a healthy adult… the brain is not fully developed. Why not say a young person had not fully reached complete personhood?

      The only clear point of existing as a human or not is the moment a full cell with all the requisite DNA exists and begins doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing at that point.

  14. I normally wouldn’t cheer for artificial Brave New Worldish developments in childrearing, but once they invent an artificial womb, and develop the ability to transfer an embryo into that artificial womb, right after convention, then the key rationale for the “prochoice” movement will disappear (at least their publicly-stated rationale): Women won’t have to carry a child for nine months, they can have it transferred to the artificial womb and be rid of their responsibility in that way. The large number of would-be adoptive parents – who sometimes go abroad in search of adoptive children – could then be called on to provide homes for these artificial-womb children once they’re born.

    1. right after conception, not after convention. Or maybe after convention, depending what you do at the convention.

    2. You’re probably right. The advancements in ultrasound technology has already made the no limit pro-choice position untenable. I am convinced that a hundred years from now our descendants will view abortion as a remnant of barbarism.

      1. They might view pregnancy as barbaric as well.

        1. Somehow I doubt that day will ever come. Ask a mom about her opinions on this. For all the difficulties involved in pregnancy most women tend to reflect on it fondly.

          1. This notion that machines will somehow change the natural character of humanity is farcical. People instinctively don’t want to live as robots. There will always be a substantial portion of humanity that will still place family and human interaction above convenience provided by machines.

          2. You seem to be ignoring the future were pregnancy is not required for procreation.

    3. More cheap labor! I might have to put in a baby hatchin’ plant adjacent to my mines.

  15. As far as natural embryonic deaths, I’d note that back in the days of extreme infant mortality, such an argument could be made to justify infanticide: “Look at all the newborns who die natural deaths, what’s the big deal in killing them?”

    1. It was normal to kill babies with birth defects.

      1. The Spartans were the original eugenicists. They would kill a baby just for looking at you funny.

      2. That should be done more today. Putting children with severe defects through years of tortuous treatments or multiple organ transplants, only, in most case, to live lives of severe disability, is cruel and inhumane. If the humane choice is made to withhold extreme intervention to keep them alive, then letting them suffer until natural death is also cruel.

        1. to live lives of severe disability, is cruel and inhumane

          Did you ever ask them if they want to die? I would think that even with severe disabilities, they’d rather exist than not exist.

          1. Infants are not able to answer questions. At that stage of life, all decisions are made for them by adults. Are you from another planet and unaware of that?

            1. You can ask them after they’ve grown up a little, right? Are you from another planet and unaware of that?

              1. You can ask them IF they grow up a little, and IF they have sufficient mental faculties to understand the question. Of course, that’s AFTER they have been put through years of pain and suffering due to extreme medical “treatment”. Parents can’t wait until their children grow up to ask them how they’d like to be cared for and raised. They have to make choices for them today. Why aren’t you as concerned about the infant’s inability to consent to treatment as you are about their inability to decline it? Either way, the choice has to made for them.

                1. Putting children with severe defects through years of tortuous treatments or multiple organ transplants, only, in most case, to live lives of severe disability, is cruel and inhumane…
                  You can ask them IF they grow up a little…

                  You already assumed most do grow up.

                  and IF they have sufficient mental faculties to understand the question.

                  But, knowing what we know the answers are from those who do, we can get a pretty good idea in the cases that we can’t.

                  They have to make choices for them today.

                  Yep. That’s why most of us use the “rational actor” assumption in making their decisions for them.

                  Why aren’t you as concerned about the infant’s inability to consent to treatment as you are about their inability to decline it?

                  The default in living beings is a desire to live, even if greatly disabled.

  16. But despite some ambiguity, viability has a strong claim as being the moment at which personhood should be granted and the state can rightly begin to take some interest

    But viability is subject to variation. The only way to tell whether an individual fetus is viable is to expel/express/deliver it, & then see if it survives.

    1. If it dies, then it was legal; if it survives, then it was illegal?

      1. What if it floats?

        1. Guilty!!

    2. Not entirely true. We can observe that none of the babies accidentally born prior to 20 weeks have survived. And we know that this is because the lungs aren’t capable of oxygen exchange prior to that gestational age.

      This doesn’t mean the babies don’t suffer when aborted.

      1. But how many babies are born prior to 20 weeks that are otherwise healthy? Isn’t it that most children born at extreme early stages are also babies with health issues that caused the premature birth?

        I may be wrong on this. It’s just that I read something along those lines some years ago and was curious now what those numbers are.

        If it is because of other health issues, then we don’t know if a healthy child can live pre-20 and to find out would be an unethical trial because we would purposefully interupt healthy gestation.

  17. The GOP has been the party of Aborto-freaks and Big Gov for decades now.

    We need a viable Small government party based on liberty.

  18. 95% of women who have abortions agree that they should be done prior to 15 weeks.

    Why is this law controversial?

    1. I would agree that 15 weeks should be enough time, and in general I do not approve of abortions except in extreme cases, but introducing government makes everything worse so they should just stay out of it. IMHO.

  19. The brain isn’t fully developed until age 25. Is that when personhood arrives?

    1. Yes, excellent!!!

      Sad to say, I have seen people who are well, even WAY, past 25, and vague hints of wisdom haven’t yet even done ANY kind of open-ended, hyperbolic orbit, even ONCE, about them and their center of gravity! They are blazing hyper-velocity paths, clear out of our galaxy!

  20. Mississippi: Sanctuary state for babies. Leave ’em alone unless or until you indict Jerry Brown and the San Francisco mayor.

    1. Oooh, that’d be a good one.

  21. You should see the memes these liars put out on Facebook to confuse people. They’ve got one where the fetus looks like a small child when in reality at that stage of development the thing looks more like a fish.

    1. For anyone getting their science education on Facebook, you’re special.

  22. There’s no thread like an abortion thread.

  23. My wife was told by doctors that she was not pregnant for around 3 months into both her pregnancies even though she damn well knew she was pregnant well before that. It was ridicules. We never consider abortion but there’s 12 weeks gone by right there.

    1. But there’s still 3 weeks before the ban would hit.

      1. Provided you had an appointment at that time. If your next appointment wasn’t for a couple more weeks, now you have a few days if you can get time off work and get an appointment. As I stated above, I think we should just leave government force out of the equation. Too many variables.

        1. If the purpose of government is not to define and prosecute murder, then what is it?

          (I’m an An-Cap, so whatever logically consistent way you answer that is good to me.)

  24. The way I see it, the human’s right to live is greater than the mother’s right to not have a child.

    1. At what point does that right appear? Fertilization?

      1. Hadn’t you heard? Life begins at erection! See Ram Johnston, Republican for Congress!

    2. So, you would support mandatory organ or blood donation?

  25. I realize and respect that some libertarians are opposed to abortion except when a pregnant woman’s life is endangered by bringing the pregnancy to term.

    I stopped reading after this point because I assume the rest of the article just backs that statement up.

  26. Roe v. Wade copied the 1972 Libertarian Party birth control plank almost verbatim about 40 days after the electoral vote was counted. Mississippi is a Republican state in which the 2016 LP candidate got 1.1% fewer votes than the gap between the two wings of the looter Kleptocracy. This case is our opportunity to attract women voters away from the two major hate groups and into the ranks of card-carrying Libertarians.

    1. Definitions of murder be damned, we could attract more PEOPLE!

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