Choice

Broader Implications of 'My Body, My Choice'

I agree with this classic pro-choice slogan. But those who promote it would do well to recognize it has implications that go far beyond abortion. More people should embrace more of them.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The recent passage of state laws imposing new restrictions on abortion has resulted in understandable anger in the pro-choice movement, and reiteration of the classic slogan "my body, my choice."   Or, as philosopher Daniel Silvermint puts it in a much-retweeted response to one of the new "heartbeat" laws, "if a woman has a heartbeat, you can't tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever."

I very much agree! I fear, however, that many who repeat this and similar slogans don't embrace its other implications (which, I assume, apply to men as well as women). I hope they reflect further, and come to support more of them. Here are a few examples:

1. Organ markets should be legalized. People should be free to sell kidneys, for example (subject, perhaps, to informed consent requirements).  If someone wants to sell a kidney, the response to prohibitionists should be: "you can't tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever." Your kidney is part of your body, and the decision to sell should be your choice. As an extra bonus, legalizing such sales would save many thousands of lives.

2. Laws against prostitution should be abolished. They most definitely restrict people's freedom to control their own bodies (both prostitutes and their customers). The prostitute's body belongs to her, and using it for prostitution is her choice. Prostitution bans also restrict the bodily autonomy of customers. Thus, we should reject laws that punish them, while letting the prostitutes themselves go free. The "johns" own their own bodies no less than the prostitutes do. The kind of consensual sex you engage in with your body should be your choice.

3. The War on Drugs should be abolished. All of it. Not just the ban on marijuana. Its whole purpose is to restrict what sorts of substances you can put in your body. What you put in your body should be your choice. And, like the ban on organ sales,  the War on Drugs harms large numbers of people, both in the US and abroad, in countries like the Phillippines and Mexico.

4. The government should not try to control people's diets through "sin taxes," or  restrictions on the size of sodas, and other such regulations. Here too, the goal is to restrict what we put in our bodies. Although I'm not a fan of other aspects of her worldview, Norway's new health minister is right when she says that people should be allowed to "smoke, drink and eat as much red meat as they want." If that leads to increased government spending on health care, the right solution is to restrict the subsidies, not bodily autonomy.

5. Draft registration, mandatory jury service, and all other forms of mandatory service should be abolished (if already in force) or taken off the political agenda (if merely proposed). All such policies literally expropriate people's bodies. What work you do with your body should be your choice.

This list is far from exhaustive. Modest extensions of the argument would also cover many labor regulations and most immigration restrictions, for example. Both impose serious restrictions on bodily autonomy. But the above examples are at least enough to convey the general idea.

Several of the restrictions on liberty discussed above are probably even greater impositions than having to involuntarily bring a fetus to term. Bans on organ sales literally kill large numbers of people every year. The draft and other forms of mandatory national service often expropriate people's bodies for years at a time, not "just" nine months. And if a draftee is forced to engage in combat, he or she may face a severe risk of death or injury (often greater than that endured by women giving birth).

It's also worth pointing out that the items on the above list are, for the most part, easier cases for consistent advocates of bodily autonomy than abortion is. Few would deny that your autonomy does not include the right to attack other people. Thus, "my body, my choice" does not include a right to attack your body by breaking your nose with my fist. My right to my body is constrained by your right to yours.

Pro-lifers contend that abortion falls within this standard constraint on freedom because it takes the life of an innocent person (the fetus). The strength of that arguments depends on the issue of  the moral status of the fetus, and whether it has a right to life comparable to that of a person who has already been born. I think that in most cases (at least in the first trimester, when the vast majority of abortions happen), it does not. But I admit it poses a difficult moral issue.

By contrast, in most cases, no innocent third party's life or liberty is threatened by the activities I listed above. In the rare exceptions where this is not true, the problem can be dealt with by narrowly targeted restrictions rather than by categorical bans—for example barring people from driving while drunk or high, rather than through drug and alcohol prohibition. Those who believe that "my body, my choice" should govern even this relatively difficult  case of abortion should be at least equally willing to apply it in easier cases, where it is much tougher to argue that there is a tradeoff between liberty and innocent life.

I do not believe any right should be absolute. A great enough harm—perhaps even if indirect—might justify restricting virtually any liberty, if that were the only way to prevent it. But those who take the principle of bodily autonomy seriously should at least adopt a strong presumption against restrictions, and only support them in cases where there is very strong evidence both that the harm exists and that restricting liberty will solve the problem without creating comparably serious harms of its own.

"My body, my choice" has broad implications. I don't blame those who may not have carefully considered all of them. I ask only that they apply their own (well-founded) principles to more situations. If we truly believe that people have a right to control their own bodies, we should apply that ideal consistently. And it isn't too late to start!

UPDATE: In answer to various people who have raised this issue, I should note I am well aware that there are case-specific justifications for banning the activities I listed above. The purpose of this post is not to definitively settle these questions, but to explain why the principle of "my body, my choice," if applied  consistently, creates a strong presumption against banning them, even if not an absolute one. Several of the items on the list include links to earlier writings of mine where I address case-specific issues in greater detail, as with organ sales, mandatory jury service, and mandatory national service generally, among others.

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265 responses to “Broader Implications of 'My Body, My Choice'

  1. I’ve long argued against even government required prescriptions for the dispensing of medication, except for substances like antibiotics where individual use affects how well it will work in the future for others. Insurance cmpanies can require prescriptions before re-imbursment but that is a very different matter from the government requiring such before it is even legal to dispense.

    1. Agreed. If any drugs are legalized before others I would start with pain medications including opioids. To restrict them is barbarous cruelty, and drives many people to suicide or into the hands of hard (illegal) drug dealers. If I were the guy in pain I would go there too.

    2. The patent-holder should generally have the right to control the dispensing of antibiotics it holds the rights to. For out-of-patent antibiotics the restriction bar should be very high. Antibiotic-resistant pathogens largely arise and are spread through sloppy practices in the clinical environment…hand washing, cross contamination etc…and not from indiscriminate use in (or by) human patients.

    3. I know that there are many of you on here that demand that any woman found to be pregnant had better bring that baby to term and give birth to that baby….

      Even if the lady was raped…(wasn’t the baby’s fault.)
      Even if the “Daddy” fled or was her Blood Relative (you again say, Not the Baby’s fault)

      Even if that woman is 9 years old (But in the Muslim Countries…., again, ain’t that baby’s fault…)

      Oh, but you say if it is a “legitimate” rape or incest, then the female body has mechanisms to “shut that down,” right?

      Yes, it’s called Miscarriages, but even then… you want to insert yourself in that situation, and pass verdict…and expect to get PAID, for it, too!

      There are those that talk about “Clown World” and Hoo-boy! Are we living in it, too…

      The Left wants to take my Guns away (as if I had any) to make me more “safe” (at the expense of my safety) and then want to make ME disappear if I don’t sign on completely to their idiocy…..

      And the Right wants my Hoo-hah (if I had one) and the Baby to come popping out “on God’s(?) schedule” Or they’re going to send me to Hell….

      I’m tired of being given the 1-2 Punch by a bunch of fucking socialist clowns… that forever want MY WALLET to pay for their continuous idiocy meted out upon me, or my sister, or my nieces, or my nephews

      That’s why I’m not giving up my 2nd Am rights….nor my Genitalia (or what or who may be inside or not) because of any “moral imperative” that some use to demand I do so…

      To do THAT….then I’d become another clown, just like they are.
      And if they had their way….possibly one, who is no longer among the survivors of their clown world onslaught.

      That’s why I’m calling

      1. …for Naral, NOW, PP, and the NRA, and all Gun Rights AND Abortion Rights groups to NOW HEAR THIS:

        You’re being attacked from Two different fronts….
        The longer you stay seperated, for whatever reason…
        The better chance these socialist clowns will wear you down, and destroy you.

        It’s time to stop their onslaught.

        It’s time to team up.

        You have to stand up to them.

        We can’t take this crap from these clowns anymore….

        Tomorrow, I want to see a FULL BLITZ AD CAMPAIGN and OUTREACH, with women armed to the teeth….who say
        “You can take my hoo-hah, when you take my guns from my cold dead hands….”
        And make it STICK….
        At first they will laugh….just like they laughed at Trump…
        Then they will try to demonize….
        Then they will try to destroy….
        But when you win….
        They will be the ones on comment boards groveling and griping…but not having much effect….
        Leaving YOU to finally be free to go on with your lives as you see fit.
        Maybe Even TAX FREE….

        The longer NARAL, NOW, PP, and other Women’s Groups allow themselves to be UNARMED…

        then the longer Clowns on the Right will forever attack you for being “criminals”

        And the longer the NRA does not embrace the fact that their women are being threatened in their doctor’s offices, schools, and whereever else…

        Then the longer the LEFT will ATTACK you to try disarming ALL OF US…

        All it takes is a meeting to start it off….

        Can you at LEAST do THAT for all of us?

        1. because NO PRESSURE GROUP or PROTESTOR outside of any hospital or Clinic or Church, would even DARE try humiliation, browbeating, or otherwise, upon someone they think are “low-hanging fruit” to grab….

          If they’re packing MORE than just a bun in the oven that THESE SOCIALIST CLOWNS WANT BUT WILL NOT PAY ANYTHING BUT LIP SERVICE FOR, to get…

  2. Abortion isn’t about what a woman does or doesn’t do to her body. It’s about what her decision to abort does to the body of the child she is carrying. The “my body, my choice” mantra as it relates to abortion is misapplied. Women do have control over their own bodies. If a woman isn’t ready for, or doesn’t want, a baby she is free to stop participating in the one act that brings about pregnancy. Celibacy will prevent unwanted pregnancies and that is the proper lifestyle choice for women (and their bodies) who are unwilling to give life to the humans they conceive through their own actions. The mantra “my body, my choice” does apply to situations that don’t serve the sole purpose of taking the life of another human being (such as taking drugs for recreation or medical purposes etc). And please – of course rape and incest sometimes bring about pregnancy against a woman’s will, but the resulting baby didn’t commit the crime and doesn’t deserve the death penalty. So still “my body, my choice” doesn’t apply to killing a human through abortion in these circumstances either.

    1. “It’s about what her decision to abort does to the body of the child she is carrying.”

      No it’s not. Saying it is, doesn’t make it so. It’s about her right to control her body.

      “If a woman isn’t ready for, or doesn’t want, a baby she is free to stop participating in the one act that brings about pregnancy.”

      She’s also free to fuck like a rabbit. And she’s free to terminate her pregnancy. But you’re not free to decide what activities other people may engage in.

      1. Gigi : “It’s about what her decision to abort does to the body of the child she is carrying.”

        LiborCon : No it’s not. Saying it is, doesn’t make it so. It’s about her right to control her body.

        As you say “saying it is doesn’t make it so.” But you’re sayin’ is an order of magnitude dumber than Gigi’s. Because Gigi accepts the mantra of “her right to control her body” but argues that it applies equally to the child. You simply refuse to engage with the existence of the child.

        Consequently the argument – if you bothered actually to engage with it – is not about the “her right to control her body” at all. Both sides accept it. It’s about the child and whether she has an equal right to control her body. And if so what consequences fllow.

        Which is also why Silvermint’s slogan is philosophically dumb : “”if a woman has a heartbeat, you can’t tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever.”

        It refuses to engage with the other side’s argument. It’s just sayin’. And sayin’ doesn’t make it so.

        1. “It refuses to engage with the other side’s argument.”

          Most of one side’s argument derives from religion — superstition, a belief that fairy tales are true, a word in which “just because” is considered a legitimate argument.

          People are entitled to believe as they wish, but competent people neither advance nor accept fiction-based arguments in reasoned debate, particularly in the context of public policy. There is no legitimate opportunity for or point to “engagement” with superstition-based argument.

          1. Rev,
            I don’t think that’s really fair. Abortion is one of the issues where, for most people on the other side, I think they are arguing in good faith. I am strongly in the pro-choice camp, since (1) I think women should have the right to control their own bodies, and (2) Giving birth is MUCH MUCH more dangerous than having an abortion, and forcing women to undergo a far riskier medical procedure is not a good thing for society to do. But it would be dopey for me to say that a fetus is not alive…that would be anti-science. I just happen to believe that the woman’s autonomy greatly outweighs society’s right to control what happens in the woman’s body (and I give almost no weight to the “But the fetus has a soul” argument…or any of the religion-based arguments. If God causes 10-20% of pregnancies to spontaneously abort, then that would make it the biggest mass-murderer in history. And I can’t think of any organized religion in the world that would accept that definition of their own god.).

            1. It is a complex issue. That doesn’t make fiction-based, childish arguments any more relevant or persuasive.

            2. Would you extend that argument “The woman’s autonomy greatly outweighs society’s right to control what happens in the woman’s body” argument to mandatory vaccination?

              Why or why not?

              1. Absolutely, and just as an employer may discriminate against someone with illegal (or legal) drugs or metabolites in their system it should e OK for any public or private entity to discriminate against anyone lacking proof of vaccination for highly communicable deadly disease.

          2. “Most of one side’s argument derives from religion — superstition, a belief that fairy tales are true, a word in which “just because” is considered a legitimate argument. People are entitled to believe as they wish, but competent people neither advance nor accept fiction-based arguments in reasoned debate, particularly in the context of public policy. There is no legitimate opportunity for or point to “engagement” with superstition-based argument”

            Kirkland, you’re twisting their argument. Their “superstition” tells them that it’s wrong to kill. It’s science that says that an abortion terminates the life of a living human being. Being sympathetic to the self-proclaimed party of science, you’d think you’d be able to comprehend that, but your animus toward people of faith overwhelms your ability to be rational. Or honest.

            1. Their superstition does not tell them it is wrong to kill, as history demonstrates vividly.

              Most opposition to abortion is not based on science. It is based on organized religion, whose arguments have no place in reasoned debate among adults, regardless of how much childhood indoctrination, faith, or zeal animates the person offering the superstition-based argument.

              1. “Their superstition does not tell them it is wrong to kill, as history demonstrates vividly.”

                Paraphrased – “some people who profess to believe something have acted contrary to that belief through history, therefore all people who profess that belief don’t actually have that belief”.

                You’ve really got a bug up your ass related to religion, don’t you? Their “superstition” does actually teach them that it’s wrong to kill. It’s one of the ten commandments. For somebody who is always babbling about science and rationality and logic, you don’t actually seem to understand any. Because whatever the pro-lifer’s basis is for opposing abortion, it’s a helluva a lot more grounded in science that the beliefs of the pro-choicers.

            2. hen use the term “human being,” I think you really mean “person.” Science has nothing to say about when personhood begins.

              1. If science has nothing to do with when person hood begins, Then for sure Judges don’t have any say. And yet here we are. Judges overuling the people. The only ones that have the constitutional power to decide.

          3. It must be painful to be so ignorant. Democrats are the party of science? What a joke. What does medical science say about fetal development? Do you even have a bleeding clue?

          4. Religion has nothing to do with it. In fact, the Hippocratic Oath, a work of Greek philosophy which predate Christianity by centuries, officially prohibits abortion as a type of deadly medicine.

            The question about whether a fetus is a person or not is an inherently secular one. The fact that religions have weighed in on it does not change this fact.

            A fetus, from conception through birth, is its own separate organism with its own separate life. It exists initially as a parasite on its mother, but by any definition of life we have, it is alive, and an abortion is killing it. Quit lying to yourself about the implications of your policies.

            Abortion is not a women’s right issue. It is not a healthcare issue. This is simply a definition of murder.

      2. Exactly. You are not free to decide what activities others engage in, so why should the mother be allowed to terminate her child’s life? Her child is another person.

    2. Women do have control over their own bodies. If a woman isn’t ready for, or doesn’t want, a baby she is free to stop participating in the one act that brings about pregnancy.

      If you need a text book example of “mansplaining” – this is it. The last person anyone wants dictate what one does with one body is you based on the sheer ignorance of this statement.

      1. The same principle applies to men, though, without the option to change his mind at some point in the next few months. If a man doesn’t want to take on the responsibility for 20 years of child support he can keep it in the holster.

        1. I’ve seen cases where child support was awarded where he used a condom, and she afterwards retrieved it and inseminated herself. I’ve seen cases where the kid was provably sired by another guy and child support was awarded.

          Basically, it’s celibacy or risking being on the hook for guys. Well, that’s life in a country transitioning to matriarchy.

          Anyway, it clearly is about killing the baby, not just controlling her body, or the pro-aborts wouldn’t be so determined that abortion be legal even after viability.

          1. I’ve seen cases where child support was awarded where he used a condom, and she afterwards retrieved it and inseminated herself. I’ve seen cases where the kid was provably sired by another guy and child support was awarded.

            Sure you have. What do you do, spend all day hanging around courts that handle paternity cases?

            1. Oh come on, bernard. That’s got to be one of the dumbest comments you’ve ever made. Some of the cases Brett describes were reported right here on the Conspiracy. And if memory serves, you even commented on some of them.

              Again, if memory serves, the paternity test case was Atkins v Atkins out of Colorado.

              1. Maybe, Rossami.

                I do recall reading about the paternity issue, though not the self-insemination one.

                Nonetheless, Brett’s “I’ve seen cases” does suggest that he has seen, more or less directly, lots of cases of these types, rather than just read about one or two here.

                1. I also thought this (and, mentally called BS on it). If he had said, “I have heard of . . .”, then I get your point–and agree with this. “I’ve seen X.”–to me–sounds like something personally witnessed. So, it might have been sloppy writing. Or a deliberate attempt to use more persuasive language. (“Wait. A random commentator has actually been there when this happened? Wow…it must be A LOT more common than I thought!” . . . vs . . . “Oh, he’s heard about one or two such cases. Probably the same few cases I and we all have heard about. Those were awful. But we don’t make laws (THANK GOD) based on extreme outlier cases.”)

                  I think we lawyers are pretty careful about language that we use. Or, we should be, in any event. And call it out, when misleading language is used–even when such use may be inadvertent.

      2. Well, he’s right…and absent force, women have the right to decide: They thereby have the obligation to live with the consequences of their decisions…

        1. Who is arguing that women should not live with the consequences of their decisions?

      3. If you need a text book example of “mansplaining” – this is it. The last person anyone wants dictate what one does with one body is you based on the sheer ignorance of this statement.

        How do you know the commenter is a man?

    3. “If a woman isn’t ready for, or doesn’t want, a baby she is free to stop participating in the one act that brings about pregnancy.”

      I always find this argument a bit perplexing as it essential boils down to “you did x therefore you must deal with consequence y even though medical procedure w can alleviate consequence y.” Does this same reasoning apply to other activities that have a high likelihood of an unwanted consequence for which medical procedures can alleviate? Why aren’t smokers who contract lung cancer told “you chose to smoke so now you aren’t allowed to get treatment for your lung cancer. If you don’t want lung cancer don’t smoke.” Or maybe start telling those who get skin cancer they should have just avoided the sun. Police officer shot in the line of duty and firefighters injured in a burning building, “no medical services for you, you chose to engage in risky behavior. Now deal with the consequences.”

      Such an odd way of approaching the subject.

      1. I always find this argument a bit perplexing as it essential boils down to “you did x therefore you must deal with consequence y even though medical procedure w can alleviate consequence y.”

        Not that perplexing surely. It depends on the type of medical procedure. If curing the smoker of his lung cancer, or the sunbather of her skin cancer, the police officer of her gunshot wound, or the firefighter of his injuries involve no more than a surgeon with a knife and a bag of pills, it would be odd indeed to insist on these unfortunates just grinning and bearing the consequences without treatment.

        But if the medical procedure involves carving out someone else’s lung for translplant, without their consent; or skinning someone else for grafting purposes or otherwise carving up other folk for spare parts, then it wouldn’t be terribly odd to say you’ve got to grin and bear it. Would it ?

        Moreover, even “I regret the consequences of sex” department, sometimes you just have to put up with the consequences. Two year olds, yea even fourteen year olds, can be pretty damn annoying some of the time. Wives can really get on their husbands’ nerves, and vice versa. A simple medical procedure can deal with all of these types of problem. But the government insists you don’t use it. Yeah, it sucks. But you gotta live with it.

      2. In a way, we already do that. People who smoked themselves into cancer aren’t the highest priority on a transplant waitlist. If anything, life should be more consequentalist, not less. Why should people who live well within their means be punished with higher taxation later in life? Why should anyone who makes good, moral decisions be stripped of the benefits their decisions bring?

    4. but you’re willing to have the woman die if the baby is saved…. risk of nasty thing called S-E-X….isn’t that right?
      Burn down the Village in order to save it….right?
      Who are you to demand celibacy on others, when YOU’RE dried up?
      Who are you to decide what others “better do” or “better not do?”
      Who are you, anyway?

      My married niece had a miscarriage and while it is a shame that it happened, at least she is free to try again to have children

      …but under your view of things…she better submit herself to some “panel” so that they might decide whether her miscarriage was “legitimate” or “not” and then pass sentence accordingly….

      Sounds like ObamaCare’s “death panels” to me, but with a RIGHT-WING BENT to it…to make it more “Godly?”

      That ain’t Godly. that’s a whole bunch of Voldemorts and Dolores Umbridges demanding to stick their noses in where it don’t belong.

  3. >>>>>>>>>
    Pro-lifers contend that abortion falls within this standard constraint on freedom because it takes the life of an innocent person (the fetus) The strength of that arguments depends on the issue of the moral status of the fetus, and whether it has a right to life comparable to that of a person who has already been born. I think that in most cases
    >>>>>>>>>

    There is absolutely no difference between babies eligible to be killed under many current abortion laws and babies living normally, other than their location they’re both structurally identical potentially free living individuals. If you support these laws you are basically saying personhood and murder is spatially dependent. If morality is supposed to be based upon rational logic; then a woman has no more right to kill a person she put into her own body (and had plenty of chance to get rid of in other ways and still has plenty of other ways she could get rid of), than she does to press a button to teleport you into her room and then blow you away with a shotgun.

    Maybe we should add this denial of reality to gender theory and economics as yet another way leftists go against science.

    1. Maybe we should add this denial of reality to gender theory and economics as yet another way leftists go against science.

      Here is the scientific way to limit abortion:

      Provide comprehensive sex education.
      Provide free and easily available birth control.

      And yet – every so called “conservative” fights against these policies. While trying to pass laws to control woman and to shame them.

      To put it more directly – the policies you support murder children (based on your definition of a human – which isn’t supported by science). And the facts and data backs it up.

      1. >>>>>>>>>>>>>
        Here is the scientific way to limit abortion:
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        Oh boy, I guess we’re off the ‘abortion is something to celebrate’ and back on the ‘abortion is a necessary evil’ track of the lib Jekyll and Hyde Routine.

        >>>>>>>>>>>>>
        Provide comprehensive sex education.
        >>>>>>>>>>>>

        I don’t think very many people are opposed to sex education as much as brainwashing under the name of sex education. Whenever you have a drop in abortions or pregnancies, leftists love to quickly credit it to teaching kindergartners that there are 76 genders and putting condoms on cucumbers. Mostly based on weak correlative studies. But this doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. As most drops in fertility/abortions including the current one seem to be associated more with economic factors and shifting/increasing cultural and political neuroses than any sudden uptick in sex education itself. Plus you also have large drops in places like ultraliberal Russia. So even if there’s anything to your idea of sex ‘education’ helping abortion rates, theres certainly no reason to believe its the ONLY or best way.

        >>>>>>>>>>>>>
        Provide free and easily available birth control.
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>

        You can already get a pack of pills for about 10 bucks or free especially if you’re poor. Why should I spend money out of my pocket to bribe people to do the right thing or indulge your fake victimhood narrative?

        >>>>>>>>>>>
        . While trying to pass laws to control woman and to shame them.
        >>>>>>>>>>>

        if you kill an innocent person maybe you should be shamed.

        >>>>>>>>>>>>
        (based on your definition of a human – which isn’t supported by science). And the facts and data backs it up.
        >>>>>>>>>>>>

        Alright. so you don’t agree with my definition? Under current and proposed state laws you can abort up until birth. Please explain logically how a baby just about to be born is structurally different from newborn in a way that you should be allowed to freely kill the former but not the latter.

        PS: If you see this twice blame this place’s still broken commenting system.

        1. Alright. so you don’t agree with my definition? Under current and proposed state laws you can abort up until birth. Please explain logically how a baby just about to be born is structurally different from newborn in a way that you should be allowed to freely kill the former but not the latter.

          Those laws actually provide the answer.

          In the cases where abortions are legally permitted “right up until birth”, it’s because the would-be-mother is dying and/or the baby won’t survive. No state law allows a healthy woman about to deliver a healthy baby to abort.

      2. To put it more directly – the policies you support murder children (based on your definition of a human – which isn’t supported by science). And the facts and data backs it up.

        No, it doesn’t. Only a very small percentage of abortions occur because people didn’t know how not to get pregnant or could not afford birth control.

        (Oh, and as for birth control being more easily available, check out which politicians support, and don’t support, making it OTC.)

        1. I think this might be nearly an empty set among politicians, but I think birth control pills should be sold behind the counter, with a mandatory pharmacist consultation the first time. Not for any limitation purpose for the user, but to ensure they understand the effect of the hormonal changes that will come.

          In an ideal world, it would require a prescription (including from a pharmacist) for the first time, and then OTC every time after, including with drug changes. Not really administrator, hence the 2nd best alternative.

      3. Provide comprehensive sex education.
        Provide free and easily available birth control.

        What you are saying, without saying it. The Federal Govt will pay for.
        (taxpayers will pay for) (I will be coerced under penalty of law to pay for others people actions)

        Where in the constitution does the Federal govt have the power to do what you demand? How is this under federal jurisdiction?

      4. Conservatives are the ones proposing that birth control meds be made OTC, dipshit.

    2. AmosArch: I believe the logical consequence of your argument is a woman who has an abortion should be tried as a first-degree murderer.

      1. Perhaps a woman who experiences a miscarriage because of strenuous exercise should be locked up, too?

      2. Josh R,
        You hit the nail on the head. I respect the pro-life argument…I think the “The fetus is alive.” argument is a sound one. But the consequences of accepting that argument should be (1) No abortions in the cases of rape or incest, and (2) [as you noted] the women should be prosecuted for some form of homicide. But you NEVER EVER see the pro-life arguing for #2, and rarely for #1. Why? Because it would be, politically, suicide. That side would lose half its support overnight. And for me, it’s the failure to carry their premise to those two logical conclusions, that fatally weaken their moral conviction.

        1. No abortions in the cases of rape or incest

          But this doesn’t follow. See the Society of Music Lovers.

          If you wake up in hospital and find that a famous violinist has been connected to you so that he can survive using your kidneys, and he’s going to need to stay there for a matter of months; whether it’s morally acceptable for you to unplug the connection and go home leavng him to die, depends critically on whether :

          (a) you were drugged and kidnapped last night, and taken to the hospital and hooked up to the violinist, without your consent, or

          (b) you agreed last night to undergo this procedure to save the violinist, even after having been warned that although there were others willing to volunteer, the procedure did not allow for a swap of volunteers after the connection was hooked up

      3. Then I think you and the other repliers need to read my argument more carefully.

        1. You said, “a woman has no more right to kill a person she put into her own body (and had plenty of chance to get rid of in other ways and still has plenty of other ways she could get rid of), than she does to press a button to teleport you into her room and then blow you away with a shotgun.”

          A woman who blows away an adult with a shotgun is treated as a first-degree murderer. Why doesn’t your argument lead to the conclusion that a woman who has an abortion should be treated likewise?

  4. In Hillman v. State, 232 Ga. App. 741 (1998) a three-judge panel unanimously rejected the state’s argument that the then-worded abortion statute covered a female who induced her own abortion. The court wrote,

    “Under such construction, any woman who suffers a post-viability miscarriage could be subject to scrutiny regarding whether or not she intentionally acted to cause the miscarriage. A woman would be at risk of a criminal indictment for virtually any perceived selfdestructive behavior during her pregnancy which could cause a late term miscarriage, to wit: smoking or drinking heavily; using illegal drugs or abusing legal medications; driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or any other dangerous or reckless conduct. Taken to its extreme, prohibitions during pregnancy could also include the failure to act, such as the failure to secure adequate prenatal medical care, and overzealous behavior, such as excessive exercising or dieting. Clearly, the legal truism “hard cases make bad law” applies here.”

    While it doesn’t seem exactly clear on face of it, revisions to the Georgia abortion statutes have modified the language to the extent that would apply to a women who self-induces an abortion. However, it does not apply to “spontaneous abortions” (more commonly called a miscarriage). The question that the opinion highlights is how a distinction is made between a legitimate miscarriage and self-induced abortion. This seems particularly important given the prevalence of chemical abortions, which require the taking of two pills prescribed by a physician (or bought online). If a fetus is a “natural person” upon detection of a heartbeat, which the Georgia statute now declares, then a post-heartbeat miscarriage involves the death of a person, which would require investigation as to the cause of the death. The potential crime scene would quite literally be the woman’s womb.

    It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, particularly with the regards to the various legal implications that courts will be forced to deal with.

    1. The 4th Amendment and the presumption of innocence have always meant constraints on law enforcement so that convicting offenders is more difficult.

      When these rights have been eroded, it’s not because of lack of “abortion rights,” but because of the War on Drugs, and similar excuses for police excess.

  5. “Pro-lifers contend that abortion falls within this standard constraint on freedom because it takes the life of an innocent person (the fetus). The strength of that arguments depends on the issue of the moral status of the fetus, and whether it has a right to life comparable to that of a person who has already been born.”

    I would think that, especially in light of the horrors of the 20th century, the burden is on anyone who claims that a living human being isn’t a full person with the right to life, which cannot be deliberately taken away except upon conviction of the most serious crimes.

    And let’s assume all the talking points about how evil the prolifers are. Sherman Booth the abolitionist was accused of diddling his family’s teenage babysitter. Does that mean abolitionism as wrong. Edward Kennedy drowned a woman in a pond. Does that mean his “prochoice” arguments were wrong? Or do we deal with the merits of the arguments themselves?

    1. You are begging the question, Eddy.

      The whole issue, for me and many others, is when the fetus becomes a “person.” And this is not a new issue. It’s been the subject of debate within the Catholic church, for example, almost since the church’s beginnings.

      1. Well, the creature’s moral status at various stages of her development is certainly one of the big issues, but not quite “the whole issue.”

        But one thing that isn’t an issue at all, never mind the whole one is “my body, my choice” since that principle is agreed by everyone. Not only the general principle, but also the associated principle that it must be limited by the need to apply it to everyone equally. Which is when we come on to the question of who counts as “everyone.”

        Consequently it never does any harm, whenever slogans along the lines of “my body, my choice”, “a woman’s right to choose” or “if a woman has a heartbeat, you can’t tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever” are chanted, to point out that the sloganiser is either trying to avoid discussing the real issue, or is a teenager unaware that there is anything beyond the slogan.

        1. OK Lee. Not the whole issue.

          Still, Eddy’s comment does assume that issue away by starting from the premise that the fetus, at whatever stage, is a person.

          1. Eddy’s comment does assume that issue away by starting from the premise that the fetus, at whatever stage, is a person.

            I don’t believe it does, actually. It’s a claim about the burden of proof.

            the burden is on anyone who claims that a living human being isn’t a full person with the right to life

            You can certainly disagree, and argue that the burden of proof lies elsewhere, but it’s not a claim that a living human being pre birth is, unarguably a full person with the right to life, it’s an argument from the moral horrors of recent history that the burden of proof is on those who argue that there are categories of living human beings who are not full persons with a right to life.

            And the burden of (moral) proof question does seem to me to be one of those other important issues beyond {when the fetus becomes a “person.”}

            What should be do if we’re not sure ?

            1. Even if you assume the fetus is a person because we aren’t sure, it still follows that the logical consequence is a woman who has an abortion must be tried as a first-degree murderer (and ditto for a worker at an IVF clinic or a stem-cell researcher who destroys an embryo). Those results strike me as wrong, and thus satisfy the burden that the fetus isn’t a person.

              1. Well, no, on a whole ton of levels.

                1. there’s no automatic reason that the punshment for deliberately killing a Schrodinger’s cat human should be the same as that for killing a yup-we-can-see-it’s-a-cat human
                2. not all things that result in the death of a human are culpable homicide
                3. not all culpable homicide is first degree murder
                4. it’s not necessarily wise public policy to punish everything you believe is morally culpable

                So to pick up number 4 – if you believe that it is just as morally wrong to kill a chicken as it is to kill a human, but only 55% of the population agrees with you, while the other 45% vehemently disagree – is it wise to criminalise chicken killing ? Knowing that you will clog the courts with thousands of cases which ill never arrive at a conviction because you’ll never get a jury without 45%-ers on it. Maybe it’s wiser to go for laws on “humane” chicken-killing pro tem, and wage a political campaign to get your percenatges up until you can actually enforce laws against chicken-murder.

                1. 1) You have created a lesser person who gets lesser rights. Perhaps a woman’s liberty trumps the rights of the lesser person.

                  2) and 3) Of course, but why isn’t aborting a person-fetus culpable homicide and first-degree murder?

                  4) There is no doubt that people act illogically in the name of political expediency. But that shouldn’t effect the persuasiveness of the underlying argument.

                  1. 1) Perhaps a woman’s liberty trumps the rights of the lesser person.

                    Perhaps so. Perhaps so, always. Or perhaps so, in some circumstances. Lots to argue about. My point is that there’s no direct line from “fetuses may be entitled to the benefit of some doubts about their “personhood”” to “let’s fry all the mums and docs.” It’s compicated.

                    2) and 3) – depends on the details of the abortion, whether there’s a self defense argument and all sorts of things. It’s complicated

                    4) what’s illogical about not passing criminal laws you can’t enforce ? Sensible criminal law policy is complicated

                    You get the drift ?

                    1. I agree the lesser person theory complicates the issue.

                      I do not agree that the details of the abortion complicate the issue because the vast majority of abortions don’t have those complicating details.

                      Political expediency has no bearing on, and therefore does not complicate, the logic behind outlawing abortion.

      2. Bernard,

        Let me repeat what I said, and please explain to me where I begged the question:

        “the burden is on anyone who claims that a living human being isn’t a full person with the right to life, which cannot be deliberately taken away except upon conviction of the most serious crimes.”

        Of course, at one time some theologians thought a fetus wasn’t a living human being at the earlier stages of pregnancy, so they denied it personhood just as they’d deny personhood to a dog. At least these theologians had the excuse that scientific knowledge at the time was in a primitive condition. Even they didn’t claim that a living human being could be arbitrarily killed, they simply were wrong about who was a living human being.

        Religious people disagreed about a whole lot of stuff. They disagreed about whether African slavery was OK or not. They disagreed about eugenics. And they disagree about abortion.

        So let’s look to the quality of theological arguments for African slavery or abortion, see if these arguments make sense, and if not pronounce these arguments wrong.

        1. In short, if you waited for a theological consensus before presuming to pronounce anything wrong, you’d probably be on the way to the slave market right now to purchase a butler.

          1. “Preaching Eugenics tells how Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish leaders confronted and, in many cases, enthusiastically embraced eugenics-a movement that embodied progressive attitudes about modern science at the time. Christine Rosen argues that religious leaders pursued eugenics precisely when they moved away from traditional religious tenets. The liberals and modernists-those who challenged their churches to embrace modernity-became the eugenics movement’s most enthusiastic supporters. Their participation played an important part in the success of the American eugenics movement.”

            https://amzn.to/2HcpXcl

            1. “The list: American clergymen who defended slavery”

              http://baptistmessage.com/list-american-clergymen-defended-slavery/

              (In one or two instances it lists people who trained for the clergy but didn’t take the final step to ordination)

        2. Eddy,

          You write,

          the burden is on anyone who claims that a living human being isn’t a full person with the right to life, which cannot be deliberately taken away except upon conviction of the most serious crimes.

          The problem I see here is in defining “living human being.” You seem to me to simply saying a fetus is a “living human being,” with full rights.

          IOW, you could just as well, IMO, have written,

          “the burden is on anyone who claims that a fetus isn’t a full person with the right to life, which cannot be deliberately taken away except upon conviction of the most serious crimes.

          Substituting one term for the other doesn’t change the fact that you are making the same moral claim in both sentences.

          Maybe I misunderstood.

          BTW, I am well aware that through the millennia theologians have defended any number of morally obtuse positions. That doesn’t make those on one side or the other of this debate obviously wrong.

          1. Maybe I should have kept my original sentence rather than just quote a fragment of it:

            “I would think that, especially in light of the horrors of the 20th century, the burden is on anyone who claims that a living human being isn’t a full person with the right to life, which cannot be deliberately taken away except upon conviction of the most serious crimes.”

            Why not try and articular some principle for who is a person with full rights and who is not. Please avoid vagueness, so that we can tell which humans are persons and which are not. Also try to avoid any slippery slopes.

            Historically, when you hear arguments that a group of living human beings aren’t really persons, that’s preliminary to working up the nerve to kill them.

            https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/169351

            1. “Why not try and articular some principle for who is a person with full rights and who is not.”

              Pro-lifers have the distinct advantage of having a much clearer moral position. However, they must then be willing to punish a woman who has abortion, an IVF worker who destroys an embryo, or a stem-cell researcher that destroys an embryo as a murderer. Us pro-choicers see this logical consequence as wrong and therefore we fall back on being unable to come up with a clear principle for deciding when personhood begins.

              1. “we fall back on being unable to come up with a clear principle for deciding when personhood begins”

                Is a human being who is born alive, at the very least, a person?

                If personhood isn’t complete at birth, when does it take effect?

                1. Yes, live birth is the very latest that personhood begins.

                  1. What about the eighth month?

                    1. I’m not sure. As I said, the pro-choice viewpoint is mushy.

                      Do you agree your position requires treating a woman who has an abortion, an IVF worker who destroys an embryo, or a stem-cell researcher that destroys an embryo as a murderer.

                    2. No.

                      As for women who have an abortion performed by a doctor (or nurse or midwife or physicians assistant or whoever), then I will assume the prolife movement is correct in wanting to punish the abortionist, not the woman. Likewise with having lesser degrees of criminal homicide for abotrions and the like.

                      I’m not going to assume that I’m a purer pro-lifer than Lila Rose, the National Right to Life Committee, the Susan B. Anthony List, Norma McCorvey (the original “Roe” in Roe v. Wade) and others who have dedicated themselves to this cause – I intend to learn from them, rather than to teach them the “real” meaning of the prolife position.

                      And I’m certainly going to roll my eyes at any suggestion from choicers that these folks aren’t True Scotsmen, or that they don’t believe what they believe, etc.

                    3. How can you logically defend not punishing those who intentionally kill a person as a murderer?

                    4. As I said, the people I’ve mentioned have an actual track record in saving unborn lives and defending the cause of life in the public arena. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve proved themselves, and I don’t intend to heckle them from the sidelines about how they’ve sold out, man. Even if this loses me “cool points” with choice-oriented Internet commenters.

                      Once we’ve reached the point where abortion is viewed the way African slavery is now, we can talk about fully reforming the laws to make them “purely” and “consistently” prolife. By that time, as with African slavery, everyone will be saying they were against it all along, and of course it’s wrong.

                      Right now, when we’re still debating whether the law should protect babies after they’ve been born, it’s fair to say there are more urgent issues on the prolife agenda – things like saving lives – than indulging in dorm-room style philosophical debates.

                    5. Specifically, when experienced people who share my philosophical premises take the political stances they do, I defer to their experience and presume they’re doing what is necessary to save babies.

                      What you consider the “parade of horribles” would only manifest itself in a future era when legal abortion is on the ash-heap of history and we can argue about the logical implications of that glorious triumph.

                    6. I think there are two reasons why pro-lifers do not support treating the woman as a murderer:

                      1) political expediency
                      2) they don’t believe she should be treated as a murder.

                      If it’s #2, then deep down they don’t believe a fetus is a person and their argument is undermined. If it’s #1, they are waiting in vain for the majority to believe as they do.

                    7. When Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia emancipation bill into law, it contained a provision for paying compensation, not to the former slaves, but to their former masters.

                      Was this consistent with the idea that slavery violated the natural rights in the Declaration of Independence? I mean, come on, rewarding people for having owned slaves? How can that be philosophically justified?

                      So, did Lincoln sell out? Deep down, did he think slavery was A-OK and that he was wrong to oppose it? Or was this the price (literally) that he had to pay to emancipate DC slaves? I think it was the latter.

                      Imagine him vetoing the bill for lack of doctrinal purity – the practical effect would have been to prolong the bondage of the D. C. slaves.

                      The British abolitionists faced a similar situation in the 1830s when the finally achieved freedom for slaves in British Empire – the price (literally) was paying off the former masters in the British West Indies. I’m sure the abolitionists had to swallow hard to accept this, but they did, because the alternative would be to die on the hill of purism and perpetuate slavery.

                      Since prolifers operate in the world as it is, and not as we would like it to be, and they want to save babies in the actual world and not the philosophical world in their heads, they have to make political compromises. Getting a bill to punish abortionists is politically feasible, but a bill to punish the woman who hires the abortionist would be as unfeasible, under the circumstances, as freeing those slaves without paying some ransom to the masters.

                    8. And you left out a third option, namely that prolifers – many of whom are women, even post-abortive women – actually see women as victims – minor girls pressured into abortion by parents and boyfriends (some of whom are violent and/or statutory rapists), etc., etc. Maybe they’re a bunch of sentimental females, not tough-guy philosophers like you and I – but their sincerity is not open to doubt.

          2. “BTW, I am well aware that through the millennia theologians have defended any number of morally obtuse positions. That doesn’t make those on one side or the other of this debate obviously wrong.”

            No, my point is you can’t take the existence of a quarrel among religionists as the occasion to shrug and say a moral question is unanswerable, and thus can be ignored.

            1. you can’t take the existence of a quarrel among religionists as the occasion to shrug and say a moral question is unanswerable, and thus can be ignored.

              I agree, Eddy. I was just trying to suggest that even in a strongly anti-abortion religious organization – the Roman Catholic church – there is a history of disagreement on the question. So we need to recognize that proclaiming absolute truth, on either side, is foolish.

              1. So…there’s no “absolute truth” on eugenics or slavery, either?

                I mean, there were proslavery Quakers before the 1770s – William Penn himself wrote of the advantages he gained through slave ownership – therefore, if even an antislavery group like the Quakers can disagree over slavery.

                Therefore we can safely say that the so-called “morality” of slavery is strictly relative, and absolute assertions like “slavery is wrong” should be out of bounds in public debate.

                Which is silly, but it’s the logical equivalent of what you’re arguing.

                1. Therefore we can safely say that the so-called “morality” of slavery is strictly relative, and absolute assertions like “slavery is wrong” should be out of bounds in public debate.

                  Which is silly, but it’s the logical equivalent of what you’re arguing.

                  No it’s not. Slavery and abortion are two different things. It’s possible to have an absolute position on one issue and recognize that others are debatable.

                  In the case of abortion, Roe, as I understand it, sets viability as the line. The New York law extends that in the case of a non-viable fetus. OK. That’s a line. You don’t like it, but that doesn’t make it not a definition.

                  1. “No it’s not. Slavery and abortion are two different things. It’s possible to have an absolute position on one issue and recognize that others are debatable.”

                    You were trying to preclude “absolute” positions on abortion by saying the Catholics disagree about it, which supposedly has great significance because the institutional Catholic Church is prolife.

                    I simply suggested that the same logic applied to the Quakers and slavery. The Quakers were known as an antislavery religious group, yet you can find plenty of Quakers in history, including William Penn, owning slaves and accepting slavery. Thus, *by your logic,* an absolute position on slavery can safely be ruled out.

                    If you want to show how slavery and abortion are different, you’ll have to find another example, because so far you’ve pointed to a similarity, i. e., quarrels among religionists as to the legitimacy of these things.

          3. bernard : Maybe I misunderstood.

            I think you did.

            You say : The problem I see here is in defining “living human being.” You seem to me to simply saying a fetus is a “living human being,” with full rights.

            I think Eddy is using “living human being” in a straightforward biological sense – a living being that is human – and then is arguing that the burden of proof is on those who argue that some “living human beings” are not persons with a full right to life.

            That shows clearly that he is accepting that “personhood” is within the realm of argument, and he has not defined all living human beings as persons ab initio. The argument is based on the fairly well developed taboo – developed in the debates about slavery and then in spades during the 20th century – that folk who claim that not all living human beings are equal in moral rights are presumptively a bit odd. But only presumptively.

            Remember that for most of history the idea that some folk are superior to other folk, not merely in achievement, but moral worth has been commonplace. We are quite recent heretics and we are therefore sensitive to backsliding.

            Replacing “living human being” with “fetus” would be a poor swap. First fetus is less accurate, failing to capture the crittur’s humanity, and failing to capture other stages of prenatal development. And it also fails to capture Eddy’s point – which is that a prenatal human shares the important biological feature with you of being a living human being, a biological feature that then informs his moral suggestion that the burden of proof lies with those who would carve out an exception to the modern presumption.

            You can see, I imagine, that in a debate about slavery, an abolitionist would find it telling if a pro-slaver insisted on editing out all mentions of “human being” in the abolitionist’s argument, and replacing those mentions with “n***o” ? Both expressions, in that context would be accurate, but one would be more accurate than the other for the proper understanding of the argument.

            1. Lee,

              Thanks.

              So you and Eddy object to using the word “fetus?”

              As for the burden of proof, this is not a lawsuit, or a physics experiment. It is fundamentally a moral dispute. I don’t expect to be able to prove anything to you or Eddy, and I don’t expect you to be able to prove anything to me.

              1. “Fetus” is fine with me as long as it’s understood to refer to a human being at a particular stage in development.

                It’s not an OK term if it’s used as an attempt at dehumanization. Which is actually not the correct dictionary definition, but choicers often use words in new and creative ways.

                By all means disagree, but you can’t say I’m begging the question simply because you disagree with the argument I made about the burden of proof.

                And, yes, this is a public policy debate and not a lawsuit, and yes, the concept of burdens of proof is still useful outside of the strictly legal context.

                And it’s relevant in the legal context also, for any court which is asked to hold that a living human being is not a legal person.

              2. bernard : So you and Eddy object to using the word “fetus?”

                Not at all, in a suitable context. And I explained why it would be a poorer expression to use in the context of Eddy’s argument.

                “John should be freed. He is a n***o and no n***o should be enslaved. Every n***o has a fundamental right to live as a free man or woman. Keeping any n***o in chains is a disgrace.”

                simply doesn’t get the point across as well as :

                “John should be freed. He is a human being and no human being should be enslaved. Every human being has a fundamental right to live as a free man or woman. Keeping any human being in chains is a disgrace.”

                And the reason it doesn’t get the point across is that it fails to identify clearly what it is about John that I am appealing to in my argument. Which is not his n****ity, but his humanity.

                If that’s difficult, I can do a J*w illustration too.

                1. What bothers me is the phrase “human being” has the connotation of personhood. I think your slavery example above does just that.

                  If you instead want to make the argument that a fetus is a human being, you should be clear at the outset that you are not assuming the fetus is a person. Rather you think the burden of proof falls on those who argue the fetus is not a person. And as e discussed earlier, I believe the implication of that argument is a person-by-the-burden-of-proof is a lesser person.

                  1. What bothers me is the phrase “human being” has the connotation of personhood.

                    “Personhood” itself doesn’t necessarily imply “full moral rights” – though people now often use it in that sense. And “human being” has traditionally implied no more than a simple biological identification – including all sorts of human beings who were regarded as “lesser” in some way. So the implication of “personhood” in the sense of having full moral rights” is not inherent in the original usage of “human being.”

                    If it has acquired such a connotation more recently, I would say that is largely a function of the modern notion of human moral equality, which also gives rise, in Eddy’s opinion, to the very burden of proof that Eddy is arguing for. So I don’t see why he should be expected to amend his language just because you don’t like what it connotes.

                    After all “My body, my choice” is an order of magnitude less biologically accurate than “human being” and is chosen, unashamedly, for rhetorical effect. “My body enclosing and connected to another human’s body, my choice” lacks the same ring, don’t you think ? But it would be silly for pro-lifers to insist that pro-choicers use that slogan instead.

                    No – “human being” is a perfectly reasonable and accurate description, covering the human animal at all stages of its life cycle. Moreover if we desperately tried to avoid the color of incipient personhood that “human being” might these days convey, and chose to use say, just “human” as a noun to convey that idea, it would not be long before the noun “human” acquired the same color as “human being.”

                    The only way to avoid the color is to choose a noun that expresses a different idea – that the different stages of the human life cycle involve fundamentally different things, particularly if we can select names for things that ordinary folk have no famiiarity with.

                    1. And here’s a well known example of personhood not implying full moral equality :

                      “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

                    2. I think both “my body, my choice” and “human being” (or “human”) cloud the discussion.

                    3. So, if you are ruling out “human being” and “human” what, shorter-then-paragraph-length, expression to convey the idea of :

                      {animal of the species homo sapiens, at any stage in its life cycle}

                      are you willing to accept ?

  6. Pro-lifers contend that abortion falls within this standard constraint on freedom because it takes the life of an innocent person (the fetus).

    It’s worth noting though that this is not necessarily so (even if you accept that the fetus is the moral equal of its mother.)

    For those interested in moral arguments less shallow than :

    “if a woman has a heartbeat, you can’t tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever.”

    it should be remembered that, in principle, abortion is achieved by the eviction of the fetus from the womb, not by its death. Consequently there are important moral differences between abortion methods which :

    (a) require the kiling of the fetus to effect the eviction
    (b) evict the fetus without killing it, but which leave it, post eviction, unable to survive, thereby leaving it to die, and
    (c) evict the fetus without kiling it, and which allow it some chance f survival post eviction

    And, with due deference to the “My Body, My Choice” slogan there are important moral differences between abortion methods which involve action only on the mother’s body itself – ie maternal tissue; and methods which involve the intentional infliction of damage on fetal tissue. So, for example, something which prevents implantation by affecting the mother’s endometrium does not involve any “assault” on the blastocyst.

    1. In principle, yes, but the term is normally used for killing the the fetus in the process of doing it, not live delivery, and this IS the central focus of the debate on both sides, as you can see from the fact that pro-lifers do not object to live delivery, while pro-‘choicers’ DO object to born alive laws.

      1. Sure, but I’m not focussing on the political horse race. I’m encouraging those on each side, whose minds are not hermetically sealed, to consider some of the rather complex moral and factual questions involved – beyond “my body, my choice” and “it’s a baby !”

        In particular, the march of technlogical progress may make the distinction between death and mere eviction much more practically relevant in the not too distant future.

    2. I think most pro-choicers acknowledge the difference between pre-viability and post-viability abortions.

      1. Not the ones in control of the movement, though.

        It’s like that with a lot of social movements: The extremists get control, and the numbers are provided by the moderates. But you find that the extremists go far beyond what the moderates want, if they get the chance.

        Thus that recent change in NY law, to de facto legalize elective abortions until shortly after birth. (Nominally killing a born infant is still legally infanticide, but the state no longer inquires into deaths shortly after birth, so it’s only nominally anymore.

        1. Of course for the movements you believe in the extremists are right, aren’t they, so no problem.

          Anyway, we are having a somewhat interesting exchange here, and I don’t appreciate you interrupting it with a stupid, false, Trump talking point.

        2. I don’t think the NY law (which permits abortion after fetal viability only when a doctor certifies that the abortion was necessary to protect the woman’s life or health) is the work of extremists who don’t distinguish between pre-viability and post-viability abortions.

          To the contrary, I believe most pro-choicers honestly believe there are fewer acceptable reasons that justify a post-viability abortion. However, no one has been able to craft a law that protects those reasons without opening up the possibility of a doctor fraudulently certifying a reason when none exists.

          1. Josh: “I don’t think the NY law … is the work of extremists who don’t distinguish between pre-viability and post-viability abortions.”

            In general the new law is consistent with Roe and other cases. It is more liberal than the law it replaces in that abortion is now completely removed from the state’s penal code, so there isn’t really any penalty for the very rare late-term abortion. Also, it merely requires that a doc decide that the abortion is in the interest of the woman. BY this one would mean her “life or health,” but …

            …that’s really an issue of SCOTUS, since in Doe v Bolton the court ruled that “medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment.”

            Which is to say, the woman’s “health” can refer to — well — let’s just say a GREAT many things that would justify an abortion at any time during pregnancy. The NY law is consistent with this wording, and yes it basically does in principle legitimate abortion on demand until birth — which to most peoples’ minds is pretty radical. But it’s frankly had legal status since the early 1970’s.

            1. it merely requires that a doc decide that the abortion is in the interest of the woman.

              Would you rather a judge made this decision?

              I don’t think law schools generally equip their graduates to decide this. Further, judges are vastly more likely to act on political motives than physicians are, IMO, as well as being substantially less well-informed on medical matters.

              1. bernard11: “Would you rather a judge made this decision?”

                I think that’s an interesting question, and not just because I’m less sanguine than you about the supposedly apolitical character of physicians. My personal position is one thing. I’d be interested in hearing yours. My COMMENT looked somewhat wryly at the NY law and the Doe decision as practical matters — facts on the ground.

            2. I agree the NY law comports with Roe. The both allow for the (hopefully very unlikely) possibility of abortion on demand until birth because no one has come up with any other way to protect legitimate reasons for post-viability abortions.

      2. Georgia just banned abortions at six weeks. It joins five others.

        I don’t think your claim survives contact with what pro-choice activists are actually accomplishing.

  7. This slogan is one of the most intellectually dishonest that the left employs, and that’s saying a lot. The debate isn’t whether or not women have a right to control their bodies. It’s about whether the right to not have a fetus in a woman’s body outweighs the fetus’ right to life. One can make a reasonable argument for either, but the left’s mindless slogans pretend that the fetus’ right to life doesn’t exist, and therefore, isn’t even in the “weighing” equation.

  8. I basically agree with all the points except the mandatory jury part.

    Believe it or not, we live in a society and all of us enjoy the benefits of our society (I’m talking about the large-scale benefits like stable food, energy, and water sources; stable comms/trans/monetary systems; no risk from invasion, stable govt systems, etc.).

    Tasking people for jury duty is such a small price to pay for our benefits.

    1. Infringements of liberty usually start small. Somehow they don’t always stay that way.

      1. So, Jason is in need of a jury – maybe he has a dispute with someone and sued them, or someone is suing him. Or he is a defendant who wants a jury trial, or is a crime victim who wants his assailant tried.

        There aren’t any volunteers. Is Jason just SOL?

        1. Given no volunteers at whatever hourly/daily pay rate the court offers to, presumably, attract a sufficient number of jurors, Isn’t Jason SOL if tried by a jury of conscripts who resent being forced to be there?

          1. “Isn’t Jason SOL if tried by a jury of conscripts who resent being forced to be there?”

            Well, that’s precisely what we do now. Is the status quo better or worse than if you can’t get juries at all?

  9. @RestoreWesternHegemony has the right of this argument: the slogan is intellectually dishonest because it pretends that the most fundamental fact of human reproduction simply doesn’t exist. But you can’t wave away the fact of a baby’s existence. Once a baby is, it is.

    What abortion supporters mean in practice by the “My body, my choice” slogan is “my body, my choice, but the baby gets no choice about his or her body because I take it from them”.

    1. Exactly. “My body, my choice” would be an appropriate response to a proposed law about tattoos or piercings. Not abortion.

  10. This comment thread is a wonderful example of the jurisprudential rottenness of Roe vs. Wade.
    Blackmun’s decision stated that courts have no business answering purely philosophical questions–and then proceeded to do just that with a completely inane and medically baseless “trimester” analysis.
    Oh, and in the bargain, Roe also poisoned our judicial confirmation process.
    Great job, Brownie!

  11. Here’s a question for Ilya to consider with the “my body – my choice” arguments, in reference to abortion.

    If the child can be removed from the womb, but kept alive, should it be? Or should the woman’s wishes on the child health outweigh this?

    Let’s add on another point which Ilya is obviously missing, which is mandatory vaccination laws. If it’s truly “my body, my choice”, should these be enforced?

    1. I think you need to take another look at his penultimate paragraph:

      “I do not believe any right should be absolute. A great enough harm—perhaps even if indirect—might justify restricting virtually any liberty, if that were the only way to prevent it. But those who take the principle of bodily autonomy seriously should at least adopt a strong presumption against restrictions, and only support them in cases where there is very strong evidence both that the harm exists and that restricting liberty will solve the problem without creating comparably serious harms of its own.”

      Vaccination would clearly fall under this.

      1. Being unvaccinated is not itself a harm, and does not directly cause any harm to others. Therefore, it does NOT “clearly” fall under Somin’s suggested rule.

        I’m perfectly fine with the government restricting the rights of unvaccinated people to a certain extent – no public schooling, for example. Schools are government enforced disease pits, after all.
        However, I am not fine with the government being able to decide what to inject into me and what medical treatments I must receive.

        We’ve seen this before – and it didn’t turn out so good for those black farmers in Tuskegee.

        1. no public schooling, for example

          Ok. But what about playgrounds, swimming pools, playing in the yard, just going around in public?

          1. How many of those are required by the government?

            1. None. But the government should not permit unvaccinated citizens — other than those with a legitimate medical reason, such as chemotherapy or an immune system disorder — to visit playgrounds, parks, public sidewalks, and the like. It also, in general, should not permit parents who do not arrange vaccinations to have custody of those children.

              1. So we should all carry around our vaccination documents? Interesting. Should these carry our photos? Would they be valid for voting or buying firearms? The reach could be impressive.

        2. I’d argue that lessening the benefits of herd immunity directly causes harm to others.

          1. I know I’m late to the party but…
            The word you are looking for is INdirectly… as in, by definition, lessening herd immunity has INDIRECT implications.

            And indirect impacts on others generally are not considered harms that require justice (at least philosophically, I’ll never have my hopes up that a legal code makes much sense). After all… people who overeat cause the price of food to go up (increased demand over what is actually “needed” in any scientific sense), indirectly making it harder for those at the lower margin to gain access to food, thus increasing their chances to starve. So… by your logic, over eaters are DIRECTLY starving people? That’s ludicrous.

        3. “and does not directly cause any harm to others. Therefore, it does NOT “clearly” fall under Somin’s suggested rule.”

          Again, maybe you should read that paragraph? “A great enough harm—perhaps even if indirect

          1. A person being unvaccinated does NOT cause harm to others. Period.

            It DOES cause a harm to the person themselves, taking upon themselves a higher risk of catching a disease, or of getting a worse case of it.

            To claim a “”great enough” “indirect” harm you need to stretch the chain of causation and probability past reason. Measuring direct harm is something that is reasonable. Measuring “indirect” harms is almost impossible, based as it is on prejudice and guessing.

            I reject your claims – and Somin’s – of any “indirect” harms as nothing other than wishful thinking and blame casting.

            Certainly it is insufficient to qualify forcing medical procedures on the unwilling.

            1. “A person being unvaccinated does NOT cause harm to others. Period.”

              Until such people, predictably, become carriers and cause others to become infected.

              This is not a difficult point.

            2. “A person being unvaccinated does NOT cause harm to others. Period.”

              And that is an ignorant, provably incorrect statement.

              PS – The world is not flat, either.

              1. Oh, you fools.

                Being unvaccinated is different than being a carrier of an infectious disease.
                There are MILLIONS of unvaccinated adults in the US, not to mention the millions of children who have not yet completed the standard course of vaccinations. Many of these are for medical reasons – allergies, for example. Others are for religious or philosophical reasons.

                There are dozens (hundreds!) of people with infectious diseases, some of whom might have avoid infection if they had had a vaccination.
                You have, without doubt, met unvaccinated people. Do you think you could tell? Did you suffer harm? Of course not.

                I’ll repeat it again – Being unvaccinated does not harm anyone else. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant, and provably incorrect.

                1. Honestly, you’re too stupid to be deserving of anyone’s further time.

                  Best of luck.

                  1. Any excellent argument, most worthy of you. It sums up nicely your intellectual ability, and presents it in a clear and easy to understand manner for all the other readers.

                    1. You don’t understand basic mathematics, so you’re forbidden from using the word ‘sum.’

                      Also, if you were deserving of a rational argument, and I thought it would penetrate your rectum and somehow find its way to your brain, I’d give you one.

                      As is, you’re just a moron.

                      Kindly FO.

                2. Being unvaccinated is different than being a carrier of an infectious disease.

                  Undoubtedly. But of carriers of infectious disease, what proportion are :

                  (a) vaccinated against the disease they are carrying
                  (b) not so vaccinated ?

                3. “I’ll repeat it again – Being unvaccinated does not harm anyone else. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant, and provably incorrect.”

                  Repeating it doesn’t make it true. Being unvaccinated creates a risk vector. In much the same way leaving garbage out in a place that occasionally contains bears creates a vector for people to get injured by bears, even if there are no bears rooting through your garbage cans at this exact minute.

                  1. Risk of POSSIBLE direct impact on others… sounds like future crime. Owning a gun means I pose a GREATER risk to be an armed robber. I haven’t actually done that yet… but I am now a provable, greater “risk vector” than someone else. Therefore, the state should impose upon me certain requirements that lower the possible risk I pose others. Got it.

                    Look… being unvaccinated is dumb (save actual reasons). I agree. However, being unvaccinated is, by definition, not the same thing as having a communicable disease. There may be great correlation, but that does not make them interchangeable statuses (statuses? you get my point). If I have a cold and spread it, I have actually done a direct harm (even if by accident, which impacts my “guilt” in terms of justice). But my failure to wash my hands, which increased the chances of me getting the cold, is none of your business because that action, on its own, is not a harm to you in any possible rational way.

                    1. “my failure to wash my hands, which increased the chances of me getting the cold, is none of your business because that action, on its own, is not a harm to you in any possible rational way.”

                      If you increased the chances of getting the disease, you also increased the chance of passing the disease on to someone else. Increasing the chances that I’ll get a disease is a harm to me. You need to learn the difference between “highly attenuated” and “none”.

      2. I read it. I question however, whether it would really fall under this paragraph, given the other examples given.

        Again, vaccination is a choice. (For the record, it’s a choice I agree with). If you choose not to get vaccinated, you may get the illness. But that may be your choice to make. Likewise, you can choose to get vaccinated, and then your risk of getting ill is dramatically lowered.

        1. ” If you choose not to get vaccinated, you may get the illness. But that may be your choice to make. Likewise, you can choose to get vaccinated, and then your risk of getting ill is dramatically lowered.”

          And, of course, you’re fully liable to anyone who gets contagion from you. Failing to get vaccinated creates risks for people beyond the person making the choice.

          1. And IF/WHEN you spread it through negligence or on purpose… THEN and ONLY THEN have you committed a harm. And at that point, you should be held liable. Anything prior to that point makes this Minority Report and you’re advocating to prosecute future-crime (more accurately, future-possible-but-not-guaranteed-to-happen crime).

            1. If you shoot into a crowd, without aiming at any one individual, are you guilty when the bullet leaves the gun, or when it strikes somebody?
              Is driving while intoxicated only a crime if you run somebody over?
              I hate to tell you this, but there’s quite a number of crimes that exist when the risk of harm to somebody is created, not when the harm becomes instantiated. See, e.g., the criminal law of attempt.

    2. mandatory vaccination laws

      These have a couple of other features that distinguish them from the simple “my body. my choice” mantra.

      1. when applied to children, we have the issue of a non-competent subject, and whether and when the state may insist on its view of the child’s interests over the view of the parents, and

      2. we have the question of disease carriers, ie non vaccinated folk who may infect third parties

      These make vaccination a different question from tattoos.

  12. Somin says, the poor ought to be free to sell body parts to the rich, and nobody required to defend the country in time of war. Wow.

    1. Sorry, fella, but that is the world we already live in: poor people sell plasma, and to quote Sgt. Hulka:”…uh, son, there ain’t no draft no more…”

      1. Pointing out the obvious for victims of progressive educators . . . fluids are not body parts and most wars require more than mercenaries.

    2. There is a long history of the rich avoiding military service by hiring a poor person to take their place. The Vietnam conflict just upped the ante.

    3. Do you like to pretend that volunteers would refuse to step up during a time of war in which Congress had duly acted upon their power to Declare War?

      It’s a neat fantasy to imagine that citizens would just allow our country to be overrun.

      1. I’m pretty sure congress declared war in WWII, and they drafted people for that.

        1. How many were drafted into the Marine Corps?

          1. According to Google, 42,000.

            1. But that may have been entirely during the Vietnam War. Not actually sure.

  13. What about incest? I mean, if you want to marry your first cousin, at one end of the spectrum, and at the other, have consensual, of-age, recreational sex with your siblings, parents, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. – why not?

    1. Oedipus was a real motherfucker.

    2. Marrying one’s cousin isn’t illegal in my state.
      And, indeed, as an isolated occurrence isn’t perilous to society (ask any livestock breeder). It’s when it happens for several generations (see, The Habsburgs) that you have problems.

  14. The War on Drugs should be abolished. All of it. Not just the ban on marijuana.

    If you mean the absurdly harsh sentences given drug users, and other ways these laws ruin lives, I agree.

    Its whole purpose is to restrict what sorts of substances you can put in your body.

    Well, current drug laws work that way. But I can imagine an argument for banning some drugs for the same reason we outlaw drunk driving. If a drug is both highly addictive and potent enough to interfere with normal functioning then it seems to me that its use is highly likely to lead the user to damage others through criminal activity.

    If you want to wait until there is actual crime, rather than a potential one, fine, but then let people drive drunk and only punish them if they cause an accident.

  15. “if a woman has a heartbeat, you can’t tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever.”

    So, intellectual honesty would mean only males be aborted since, most all fetuses have heartbeats at the time?

    1. But you can’t tell whether a human is male or female in utero. You have to wait till it can talk, so you can ask it how it identifies 🙂

      1. Best post so far today!

        1. The foxhole humor of conservatives, as they wait their unavoidable fate as culture war casualties, can be good for a chuckle or two.

    2. “So, intellectual honesty would mean only males be aborted since, most all fetuses have heartbeats at the time?”

      Depends on the method used. Medical abortions can occur pre-implantation, when the fetus is a handful of undifferentiated cells.

  16. The core problem with the banal “my body, my choice” slogan is that it isn’t even remotely true when it comes to abortion.

    First off, it completely ignores the fact that terminating a pregnancy kills off what will be, if given the time to grow in vitro, a living breathing human being. Choosing to abort an infant is killing another human being.

    Secondly, it also ignores the fact that, yes, a woman serves as an incubator for about nine months, but the man that is the father of the child has an interest in that human life as well. There is no argument that women and men are similarly situated when it comes to carry a baby to term, but ignoring (or just using the sexist argument that men don’t care about potential offspring or children) doesn’t discount the fact that they do have some interest in a baby that a woman might not want.

    I think as a matter of public policy abortion should be permitted to some extent, but it is certainly not a constitutional right, and considering the interests of the human life in vitro and the interests of the man, it ought to be heavily regulated.

    1. “First off, it completely ignores the fact that terminating a pregnancy kills off what will be, if given the time to grow in vitro, a living breathing human being. Choosing to abort an infant is killing another human being.”

      Well, a potential other human being. Are you as generous with your own stuff as you are when telling a woman what to do? If I show up and your house, move in (possibly by force), and tell you I should be out of the place by next February, do you start talking about property rights, or recognize that I’m a living, breathing human being? (yeah, it’s not quite the same thing, living in your house and living in your body. Close enough for this point, though.)

      1. Is that really the best argument you have?

        1. When can I move in?

          1. As soon as Jimmy the Dane performs an act that has a real, established risk of resulting in you being in his house to begin with. If you move in prior to that, against his wishes, then he has every right to evict you with increasing degrees of force to accomplish that task.

            1. “As soon as Jimmy the Dane performs an act that has a real, established risk of resulting in you being in his house to begin with.”

              So, you figure being born a woman is grounds for overruling her wishes regarding reproduction? Yowza.

  17. I will not repeat the pro-life (my “side” of the issue) comments above generally. I do note that the pro-life side is no more based on religion than the pro-choice side. Each “side’s” view of the nature of an in utero human life and its deservedness of protection is based on one’s knowledge of biology and one’s philosophical beliefs which may or may not be rooted in religion. The same is true of one’s belief that killing an infant is or (as held by the Spartans and proposed by some avant garde philosophers) is not wrong.

    1. “I do note that the pro-life side is no more based on religion than the pro-choice side.”

      That explains the lack of church activity on the anti-abortion side, the prevalence of church activity on the pro-choice side, and the lack of strong correlation between being superstitious and being pro-life.

      1. Most mainline Protestant churches and certain Jewish denominations are strongly pro-choice. While some atheists (e.g. George Will) are pro-life.

        1. The main problem in this debate is that the two “sides” are really arguing about different things, and never seem to notice this. They buy into the false dichotomy (“there’s only two sides to this question, and if you aren’t 100% on my side, you’re one of THEM”) and choose not to listen to what anybody else is actually saying.
          The majority of the heat from the “pro-life” side favors empowering the government to decide whether or not children should be brought to term, instead of the person most involved.
          These people routinely ignore the fact that “pro-choice” includes the choice not to have an abortion. They seek to bully the would-be mothers into doing what they want instead of convincing them (Note that this is NOT a blanket condemnation of everyone who takes a pro-life stand… just condemnation of the people they let speak for them.)
          Approximately 0% of the population is pro-abortion. There’s a disagreement as to who should be deciding about the issue, which is not the same.

          1. “Approximately 0% of the population is pro-abortion.”

            Meanwhile, out in the real world…

            “Abortion is normal. Our stories are ours to tell. This is not a debate.”

            https://shoutyourabortion.com/

            Incidentally, in what sense was Jefferson Davis pro-slavery, under your demanding standards of what you have to do be be pro-anything?

            1. “in what sense was Jefferson Davis pro-slavery”

              You mean, besides leading a rebellion that killed hundreds of thousands of people, in order to preserve the institution?

              Anti-abortion folks like to label anyone who disagrees with them as “pro-abortion”, despite the fact that it just isn’t true. As I said before, it’s part of the problem… there’s actually two different issues, with groups of people on firmly on one side of one of the issues. When was the last time you saw an ad suggesting you go out and get an abortion? A President’s Day sale on them, or a suggestion that you buy two and save by buying in bulk?

              1. “leading a rebellion that killed hundreds of thousands of people, in order to preserve the institution?”

                I’m simply applying your own logic.

                Jefferson Davis didn’t force anyone to own a slave. He wanted the personal decision of whether to own a slave to be up to each individual. He simply wanted to preserve the independence of the Confederacy as a country where that deeply personal choice was respected, not interfered with by the government.

                How can you call someone pro-slavery for defending, by force, the right to own slaves, while denying that someone who is willing to use force to defend the right to abortion, is pro-abortion?

                It’s one or the other. If Jefferson Davis was pro-slavery, then Planned Parenthood, et. al. are pro abortion.

                1. Your “zero percent” remark is so extreme, it means that people who perform abortions, and women who have abortions, and boyfriends who pressure women and girls into having abortions, are not pro-abortion.

                2. “I’m simply applying your own logic.”

                  Not very well, alas.

                  “Jefferson Davis didn’t force anyone to own a slave.”

                  Whereas pro-choice advocates ARE forcing people to have abortions?

                  1. You’re dimmer than one of Edison’s early, failed attempts at a light bulb.

                    I said that someone using your logic would have difficulty showing that Jefferson Davis was pro-slavery.

                    You say he owned slaves? But if actually having or performing an abortion doesn’t make you pro-abortion, then owning slaves won’t make you proslavery.

                    He defended the supposed “constitutional right” to own slaves, per Dred Scott? Well, if defending the “constituitonal right” to abortion, per Roe v. Wade, doesn’t make you pro-abortion, then defending Dred Scott doesn’t make you proslavery either.

                    He defended the right of people to own slaves? So what, the choicers defended the right of people to have abortions, and according to you this doesn’t make them pro-abortion.

                    Seriously, how can you call Jefferson Davis pro-slavery without violating your own retarded logic?

                    1. “You’re dimmer than one of Edison’s early, failed attempts at a light bulb.”

                      Whereas all you can do is curse the darkness.

                      “I said that someone using your logic would have difficulty showing that Jefferson Davis was pro-slavery.”

                      Then I used my logic to show how wrong you were. It helps that, of the two of us, only one of us actually understand logic. (Hint: Not you.)

                      “You say he owned slaves? But if actually having or performing an abortion doesn’t make you pro-abortion, then owning slaves won’t make you proslavery.”

                      I, uh, didn’t say that. If you can’t even get what I said right, it’s NO WONDER that you can’t follow my logic.

                      “Seriously, how can you call Jefferson Davis pro-slavery without violating your own retarded logic?”

                      See above.

                3. How can you call someone pro-slavery for defending, by force, the right to own slaves, while denying that someone who is willing to use force to defend the right to abortion, is pro-abortion?

                  You seem confused on who is bombing whom’s clinics.

                  1. Yes, Christian prolifers are responsible for the actions of the atheist Eric Rudolph and other fanatics and deranged persons, whose attacks happen less frequently than cops getting convicted of violence against citizens.

                    Just as all choicers are responsible for murder, arson, etc., committed against prolifers.

                    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/violence-against-pro-lifers-is-common.-the-media-never-report-it

                    1. Oops, Rudolph said he’s a Christian who simply “prefer(s) Nietzsche to the Bible.” Sorry about the confusion.

                      Those Nietzsche-loving Christians sure have some explaining to do.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rudolph

              2. Rebellion? The War between the States was a a defensive war by the Confederacy against violent opposition to free association.

                1. “violent opposition to free association” sounds like slavery, yeah.

                  Your summary of the Civil War, however, does not sound like history.

          2. “They seek to bully the would-be mothers”

            What’s your position on bullying teenage girls?

            “The mother of teenage girls who (Democratic) Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims offered money to identify earlier this spring said she filed a police report against the Democratic politician.

            “Ashley Garecht told CBS Philadelphia that Sims’ aggressive behavior had her concerned for her daughters’ and their friend’s safety. The girls are ages 13 and 15.

            “Absent the pro-life issue, this was about an adult interacting with minors in an aggressive manner and an adult infringing on minors’ speech,” she told the news station. “I don’t need an apology from him. I’m an adult. I’ve already forgiven him.””

            https://www.lifenews.com/2019/05/10/mom-of-teens-brian-sims-harassed-files-criminal-complaint-wants-him-to-apologize-to-her-daughters/

            1. “What’s your position on bullying teenage girls?”

              I’m against it. You couldn’t figure that out from my criticism of people who bully teenage girls?

              1. It’s just interesting that you’d bring up the whole subject of bullying after a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat bullied prolife teenagers and tried to dox them, prompting a prolife rally against bullying.

                1. “It’s just interesting that you’d bring up the whole subject of bullying after a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat bullied prolife teenagers and tried to dox them”

                  You’re surprised that this incident that I was unaware of, and that isn’t even vaguely relevant to the discussion I was participating in, didn’t change my beliefs?

                  Yeah. Still doesn’t.

                  1. It doesn’t surprise me that an incident of which you were unaware, and as to which you show no curiosity, doesn’t affect your cliched thinking.

                    1. The rally was covered in the May 10 Washington Post (“Anti-abortion rally blasts lawmaker who badgered protesters”) and
                      The Atlantic – you know, a couple of niche publications aimed at right-wing religious nuts.

                      The legacy media must be losing even its core readers if Pollock is unaware of important news which they cover.

                    2. “The rally was covered in the May 10 Washington Post”

                      I’m not a subscriber. Even if 100% true AND as you say, it’s still not relevant.

                      Sorry I don’t fit into the niche you’d like to place me. No, that’s not true. I’m not sorry about that at all.

        2. JSeast: “While some atheists (e.g. George Will) are pro-life.”

          As was the great civil libertarian Nat Hentoff.

      2. “church activity on the pro-choice side”

        What you intend as sarcasm actually describes reality – here’s the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice:

        http://rcrc.org/

        They started out *before* Roe as the Clergy Consultation Service, which involved ministers and rabbis referring women for abortion, skirting and bending the law to do it (ministers and rabbis – sounds like a sick joke, doesn’t it?).

        (You can confirm this by going to their About page and clicking on “Even Before Roe: RCRC’s Legacy of Bold Clergy Activism”)

        1. The reality is that organized religion drives and constitutes the anti-abortion movement.

          1. So organized religion is like a tap you turn on when when you want and turn off when you don’t like it? When you want the stamp of approval from organized religion, you go to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. But then just as suddenly you forget about these clerical allies – who, remember, were boosting the pro-abortion cause before Roe v. Wade – and make them unpersons. “Never saw these guys in my life!”

            1. “So organized religion is like a tap you turn on when when you want and turn off when you don’t like it?”

              Organized religion is just like any other tool ever invented by man… it can be used for good or ill, depending on the choices of the person(s) wielding it.

  18. How dumb do you have to be to just ignore the central issue, the personhood of the baby?

    Instead it’s just a straw man about controlling one’s own body.

    Make an argument that is actually relevant.

    1. “How dumb do you have to be to just ignore the central issue, the personhood of the baby?”

      We’ll never know, since approximately nobody does this.

      “Instead it’s just a straw man about controlling one’s own body”

      How does a person trained as a lawyer not know what “straw man” means?

      “Make an argument that is actually relevant.”

      Try taking your own advice.

      1. “approximately nobody does this.”

        Actually it’s about 99.9% of “pro-choice” chatters.

        For example, this article by Somin focuses almost exclusively on this argument about controlling one’s own body in a way that doesn’t affect third parties, as if there was actually any controversy over that in the context of abortion. That’s a straw man. Nobody’s arguing against that. Nobody cares if a woman wants to rip out her entire uterus, if there weren’t another person inside it. It’s the innocent third party involved that’s the issue.

        1. “Actually it’s about 99.9% of ‘pro-choice” chatters.'”

          Sorry, didn’t realize this was a discussion about things that happen in your imagination. Never mind, then. Imagine it however you like.

      2. approximately nobody does this.
        …wow.
        Walk into any NARAL office and ask the first 20 people you see when a gestating baby achieves moral personhood.
        (I suggest you wear a cup).

        1. “Walk into any NARAL office and ask the first 20 people you see when a gestating baby achieves moral personhood.”

          You wouldn’t need a cup if you didn’t choose to be so confrontational.

          You’ve confused “both mother and fetus have rights, and when they’re balanced against each other’s, sometimes the fetus wins and sometimes the fetus loses” for “a fetus has no rights”.

          1. That’s right, you tell ’em James. Better watch how you exercise your “freedom” of speech lest you get some broken bones.

            May 7, 2019:

            Shock: Pro-Abortion Activist Assaults Peaceful Pro-Lifer (Warning: Offensive Language)

            1. “That’s right, you tell ’em James. Better watch how you exercise your ‘freedom’ of speech lest you get some broken bones.”

              Still working on distinguishing the things that happen in your imagination from those that happen in reality?

              Hint: The one talking about needing a cup in the conversation you joined wasn’t me. And nobody was talking about broken bones until you dropped in.

          2. “My body, my choice” gives everything needed to understand the position. At no point do you need to consider the existence of a third party to follow the logic. A) A woman has a body, B) It is her body, C) Because it is her body, she gets to decide what to do with it.

            That logic is infallible. And I agree with it 100%. However, if you introduce another variable… a third party, it begins to fall apart. So yes, all pro-choice people, at the end of the day, rest on the existence of a woman’s body and her ownership of it as the supreme reason that no other variable can trump, therefore making any consideration of any other variable pointless and functionally serves as discarding the life of the baby in the name of “Her body, her choice.”

            However, if I say “My body, my choice” and throw a punch that lands in someone innocent person’s face… all of a sudden every thinking person would realize that “my body, by choice” is a really shitty defense of my actions and that yes, I’m guilty of punching someone and justice is now due.

            1. ” So yes, all pro-choice people, at the end of the day, rest on the existence of a woman’s body and her ownership of it as the supreme reason that no other variable can trump”

              This hasn’t been true since 1973, at the latest. The original Roe balancing test finds the fetus’ interest to be superior once viability is reached.

  19. “The strength of that arguments depends on the issue of the moral status of the fetus, and whether it has a right to life comparable to that of a person who has already been born. I think that in most cases (at least in the first trimester, when the vast majority of abortions happen), it does not. But I admit it poses a difficult moral issue.”

    LOL. So Somin admits that first trimester abortions pose a difficult moral issue. And it seems he might oppose legal abortions beyond that (and thousands of such abortions take place every month while also having nothing to do with saving the mother’s life or health).

    So it seems that Somin is actually pro-life relative to the status quo.

    1. It turns out that yes, lots of people disapprove of abortion as birth control but disapprove of other people trying to enforce their decisions on other people even more.
      This leaves the moral actor with one choice… try to convince individuals considering abortion to choose something else, WITHOUT coercing them. Oh, yeah, and also without being deceptive, such as opening “crisis centers” whose approach to people considering abortions is to stall them until they can no longer legally obtain one, and then abandon them.

      1. Yes, I disapprove of killing but don’t want to enforce that on anyone else. We shouldn’t dare try to enforce or coerce anyone away from killing.

        Crisis centers pour an incredible amount of resources and passion into helping people in need, and they do it very efficiently and effectively. A family member is the director of one such organization. Your ignorance is laughable.

        1. “Yes, I disapprove of killing but don’t want to enforce that on anyone else. We shouldn’t dare try to enforce or coerce anyone away from killing.”

          So, your diet consists only of inanimate materials? Or you feast on the already-dead?

          “Crisis centers pour an incredible amount of resources and passion into helping people in need”

          Some do, sure. I’m talking about the other ones.

          “Your ignorance is laughable.”

          Yours is superior. Not in the good way.

          1. So, your diet consists only of inanimate materials? Or you feast on the already-dead?

            Do many people feast on the living?

            1. You do when you love your spouse properly.

              1. Pretty sure loving cannibalism is just as illegal as the other kind.

                Consult a professional licensed in your jurisdiction to be sure, though.

      2. In a well run society, the moral actor would have a 2nd choice: the legislature.
        Just like for capital punishment, and every other morally fraught problem society faces.

        1. “In a well run society, the moral actor would have a 2nd choice: the legislature.”

          You’re going to have to wait a lot longer to get people on board your “everything the legislature does is moral” train.

          1. I didn’t say that everything a legislature does is, ipso facto, moral; I said that moral arguments–like the death penalty and the level of welfare payments to poor people–are designed, under our system, to be decided in the legislature–not the Courts. That way, if the morality changes, all we have to do is change the statute rather than pray that Ruth Ginsburg (or, Antonin Scalia) has a stroke.
            Nice try at shifting the goal posts though.

            1. “Nice try at shifting the goal posts though.”

              Back atcha.

  20. “1. Organ markets should be legalized. People should be free to sell kidneys, for example (subject, perhaps, to informed consent requirements). If someone wants to sell a kidney, the response to prohibitionists should be: “you can’t tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever.” Your kidney is part of your body, and the decision to sell should be your choice.”

    Nah. Once you take it out, it’s not part of your body anymore. This is why abortion is only legal in utero. Once the baby is delivered, it’s not your body, it’s his/her body, and infanticide remains illegal.

    The real argument goes like this… creating a legal organ market creates incentives to harvest organs from people who may or may not consent to said harvesting. Destroying the market for sold organs removes the incentive to stealing them… if you can’t sell it for money, there’s no point in stealing them in the first place.

    1. There is a legal “market” for organs that already exists, though. However, it’s controlled by people other than the sellers. Money exchanges hands, and people profit (some significantly!)… just not the donors.

      Additionally, you cannot “destroy” the market for organs. People are willing to pay vast amounts of money to not die at this very moment… yet involuntary organ harvesting is almost unheard of. Living people have organs removed is more a matter of fiction than record. Even harvesting for corpses is rare.

      Despite the vast demand.

      1. “There is a legal “market” for organs that already exists, though. However, it’s controlled by people other than the sellers”

        More importantly, it’s not controlled by the buyers.

        “Additionally, you cannot “destroy” the market for organs. People are willing to pay vast amounts of money to not die at this very moment… yet involuntary organ harvesting is almost unheard of”

        Which side of the argument are you trying to take? You’ve got a pretty good straddle, at this point.

        1. Since I hadn’t stated my position in these comments before, let be say it plainly: I agree with Somin, in that I think there should be a legal market for people to sell their organs.

          How do you think I’m straddling the issue, though?
          There is currently a market for organs; one that gives no benefit to the donors for their loss. This is inherently unfair to them.

          The fact that a market currently exists, and involves profit, means that nothing we have currently has “destroyed” the market for organs.

          One of the common arguments, that you made, is that “creating” a market for organs will cause criminals to go about harvesting organs from living people. This is, in fact, very rare, to the point of being almost unheard of outside of fiction. Claiming that expanding the current organ market to benefit the donors will suddenly cause the criminals to change their behavior (even as it drives up supply and down prices) is… odd.

          1. “How do you think I’m straddling the issue, though?”

            Look at the text I quoted. You firmly support both pro- and anti- sides of the claim I made.

  21. “The government should not try to control people’s diets through “sin taxes,” or restrictions on the size of sodas, and other such regulations. Here too, the goal is to restrict what we put in our bodies”

    Hold on. Don’t confuse the government attempting to influence your decision-making with the government attempting to control your decision-making. (For example, the difference between offering a property-tax reduction for “landmark” buildings, vs. just ordering property-owners who own such property not to make changes.)

  22. I believe that every person who sells nicotine products (cigars, cigarettes, vaping materials) should post the “My Body, My Choice” sign near their cash register. The same people who advocate for post-birth abortion (aka child murder) have been demonizing tobacco use for over 50 years. Force them to live by their own standards.

    1. Tobacco — lying sellers, second-hand smoke (much of it associated with child abuse), offloading medical expense onto others, dopey users, litter — seems a poor rallying point.

      1. At this point the tobacco purveyors are still one step above “The Truth”, an almost comically dishonest group attacking vaping.

    2. “The same people who advocate for post-birth abortion”

      Literally nobody?

      1. Parents should be able to abort their children until they become adults (which is apparently 26 now).

        1. I stand corrected. Literally ALMOST nobody advocates this. Very possibly, nobody advocates this seriously.

  23. This is the most eloquent assertion of libertarian ideals, as they should be, that I’ve seen in far, far too long a time. Too bad you can’t run for President. Maybe it’s time to amend that Constitution.

  24. Nobody has mentioned motorcycle helmet laws yet. “My body, my choice” indeed.

    1. Meh. They just need to make riding without a helmet a positive declaration of intent for organ donation.

    2. Arizona handles motorcycle helmet laws correctly. You’re required to wear eye protection (so you don’t become a danger to others from road debris) which most helmets provide, if you’re not obligated to protect yourself.

      In short, only the externality is remediated, self damage is not. Seat belt laws work the same: drivers must wear them (so keep you in your seat and in more control of your vehicle in case of a collision), minors must wear them (because they can’t legally make a decision otherwise yet), but everyone else is on their own (including in the back of a pickup truck). Darwinism is a state policy.

      1. No evidence that seat belt laws allow drivers to keep control of vehicle so this is a straw man argument.

        As far as “organ donor” comment from JP, typical failure to address the argument and instead make negative comments about those who make that choice. Care to address the argument as to why people shouldn’t be able to make that choice themselves?

        1. Humorless twit alert!

  25. 6. Single Payer Healthcare. Under “my body, my choice,” people should have the right to buy the type of insurance they want and have control over their own healthcare, not subject to a government bureaucracy. So, single payer healthcare is therefore in direct conflict with “my body, my choice.”

    1. If you have single payer healthcare, nobody’s saying you can’t also buy any kind of insurance you want. As for the second part of your formulation, people do NOT have the right to whatever healthcare they want. Never have, never will.

      1. Sure, you can “buy” any insurance, but it’s illegal to sell it because if the Affordable Care Act. You’re really ok abortion being legal to receive, but any provider will get the death penalty?

        1. “Sure, you can ‘buy’ any insurance, but it’s illegal to sell it because if the Affordable Care Act.”

          Except that it isn’t.

          “You’re really ok abortion being legal to receive, but any provider will get the death penalty?”

          WTF do you mean? This doesn’t make any sense.

      2. By its very definition, single payer means there are no other payers (unless the private health insurance companies won’t pay for anybody’s health care). And yes, Harris, Sanders, Warren and others have explicitly said they want to abolish health care. But, since words have different meanings for you, perhaps by “nobody” you mean “most Democrats.”

        1. *abolish health insurance companies, not health care

        2. “By its very definition, single payer means there are no other payers”

          Since this isn’t true, neither are your conclusions based on it.

      3. “If you have single payer healthcare, nobody’s saying you can’t also buy any kind of insurance you want. ”

        Never found myself wanting an ignore user function until this moment. James Pollock’s posts are not worth reading or responding to.

        1. If running into opinions that are better than yours causes you this much distress, why don’t you cancel your ISP service? It’ll save you a lot of whining.

    1. My death is still a sensitive subject for me.

      1. The rest of us are over it.

  26. No mandatory jury service?

    So only people eager and willing to be jurors would be available to serve?

    What could go wrong there, versus random selection?

    1. OR… most statists (and lets face it, most people are either statist, default to statism, or read reason.com because they want SOME semblance of a defense of freedom in their life) would prefer to not get involved and let the “system do the work” while someone like me would make a career out of being a jury member and I’d jam up the system as much as I could.

      But as it is now… everyone I know has gotten to be a jury, hated it (except my wife), did a half-assed job, didn’t care, etc. while I have to watch from the sidelines.

  27. And let’s not forget elimination of laws against bestiality. Seriously. We should keep the laws against animal cruelty, but whether a sexual act with an animal constitutes cruelty is largely a matter of size, especially since we already permit breeders to inseminate animals without their consent and sometimes artificially. But the blanket prohibition on sex with animals is not for the protection of animals, it’s because most people consider it yucky, and that’s not reason enough to ban sexual acts, as we’ve acknowledged with respect to laws about sodomy.

    1. “And let’s not forget elimination of laws against bestiality. Seriously.”

      If you want to fuck your dog, you’re welcome to… as long as the dog is capable of testifying that it was consensual.

    2. Leave gay folk out of your “yucky” abortion debates. This is a straight-world problem.

  28. A fundamental problem with this argument is that it isn’t really that different from the “my property, my choice” argument in favor of slavery. If you basically believe slaves are inferior beings and not really fully human, then it makes perfect sense that full humans ought to be free to make their own choices and morality regarding how to deal with lesser beings shouldn’t be imposed on them by the state.

    But if you fon’t Believe this, then Professor Somin’s position becomes less tenable.

    I want to point out a position that Professor Somin shares with the Roe court and most supporters of both abortion and slavery. This position is that personhood is a binary – either something is a full member of society with full rights, or its legally more or less a sack of meat. Supporters of slavery, using arguments similar to those used by supporters of abortion do today, took advantage of this binary to declare abolitionists ridiculously hypocritical. Do you really consider blacks absolutely equal to whites? Is there no situation where you would prefer a white person to a black person? Most abolitionists would equivocate and find exceptions, exactly as most opponents of abortion might today. Supporters would then seize on these gaps to declare victory. If not perfect, nothing!

    We see the problem with immigration today. In fact all human societies see in between states, states that stand in between full members and sacks of meat. We see this with aliens, who are in fact unequivocably in between in status under our constitution, regardless of exactly where in between one might think them. Binary thinking prevents dealing with them in a rational way. Full personhood means invading armies get to vote and can’t be shot at without process; non-personhood means objections to throwing children into concentration camps get characterized as religious beliefs.

    The fact is treating personhood as a binary – not persons in the full sense of the word means not persons at all, full rights or sacks of meat – was a fundamentally wrong decision on the supreme court’s part, inconsistent with the way human societies, including ours, have always worked. It will come back to haunt us in the immigration debate.

    Just as Dred Scott’s striking down of federal territorial anti-slavery laws on blacks-aren’t-full-person’s and right-to-property grounds was fundamentally wrong — abolishing slavery, even partially, is morally and constitutionally justifiable even in a society that doesn’t regard members of minority races as full citizens, just as the fact that aliens don’t have full rights don’t make laws protenting them irrational or hypocritical – so Roe v. Wade’s striking down of anti-abortion grounds on fetuses-aren’t-full-person’s grounds was fundamentally wrong, even though society has also never regarded them as having the same status as full citizens either.

    1. ” it makes perfect sense that full humans ought to be free to make their own choices and morality regarding how to deal with lesser beings shouldn’t be imposed on them by the state.”

      That doesn’t follow. Animal abuse laws exist and apply to all sorts of full humans’ dealings with lesser beings.

  29. In a way entirely typical of libertarians, Somin misunderstands his subject. “My Body, My Choice,” was never intended by those who invoke it as a claim to unbounded personal liberty. It was intended as a claim to the liberty of self-government—a claim to a collective right to so order the laws of the nation that those laws respect the autonomy of women, instead of disregarding and invading it.

    Libertarians reject that very liberty. A right of collective self-government never makes the cut to get on the libertarian roster of rights worth respecting. That clears the way for Somin to enumerate various ideologically inspired diktats as examples for which the liberty of self-government must be curbed to achieve, paradoxically, liberty. To understand libertarians, just notice that when they say “liberty,” they mean the opposite of what the founders meant when they said “liberty.”

    “My body, my choice,” is consistent with the founders’ notion of liberty—the liberty of collective self-government. Libertarian-style, Somin opposes that, while talking up an example which is actually against his argument. Happens all the time with libertarians.

    1. I’d hate to caim that Somin isn’t confused, but he seems less confused than you.

      It was intended as a claim to the liberty of self-government—a claim to a collective right to so order the laws of the nation that those laws respect the autonomy of women, instead of disregarding and invading it.

      The claim to Natural Rights (aka liberty) is prior to anything about government. Governments “are instituted amongst Men….to secure these rights.” And if government fails to do its job, the people have the Right to alter or abolish it and institute a new one that will.

      Thus the liberty of self government as you describe it (wrongly since it is a right not a liberty) is the means by which government is to be instituted, which is in turn the means to secure Natural Rights (aka individual liberty) – which are the primary beasties in which the founders were interested.

      So your “liberty of self government” (again, a weaselly misdescription of something that is not liberty) isn’t even secondary to Natural Rights (individual liberty) – it’s tertiary. It’s a means to a means, not an end.

      Which is not to say that it’s unimportant, clearly it’s very important. But on your account that the “liberty of self government” is what the founders understood by liberty, “those laws respect the autonomy of women” spring from thin air. Why shouldn’t a self governing People insist on compulsory burqas for women ?

      The founders answer is straightforward – because that sort of government is failing to secure Natural Rights. Thus the legitimacy of government stems not from the mere fact that the People sustain it, but from the fact that it sustains individual liberty. And if it doesn’t, we can overthrow it and have another try.

      1. Lee Moore, you cite the favorite 18th century quotes. But in these remarks, you haven’t much reflected on the political clashes across nations in that era—and especially in Great Britain and its colonies. Perhaps because of that, you give natural rights a 20th century interpretation that the founders would not recognize.

        Have you noticed that the specific natural rights cited in the Declaration are nowhere to be found in the Constitution? Why do you suppose that happened?

        It happened because natural rights were not the object of the revolution. They were offered in the declaration as a means to justify to skeptics the single most shocking thing the colonists proclaimed, which was a novel theory of sovereignty, based on humanistic values, not religious ones.

        That was not an easy sell in an era which still tended to attribute sovereign power to God, or to award it to kings said to rule by God’s grace. Some new source of sovereign right had to be offered, as an alternative to admission that in the light favored by many of their contemporaries, the founders were revolting against the will of God. Thus, humanistic natural rights—presented with quasi-religious overtones—got the nod—at least for the purposes of the declaration. After which, those kinds of rights largely disappeared, not making it into the constitution.

        All of that can be read between the lines of what follows in the declaration immediately afterward—the part of the declaration which proclaims outright what the revolution is really about:

        That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

        Note two things:

        1. The focus is on sovereignty based on popular will, not on anything to do with supernatural favor.

        2. Because it is popular sovereignty, there is no ongoing commitment at all to the specific “rights” so recently said to justify revolt. Instead, the ongoing commitment is to a timeless principle of change, to whatever a sovereign people will decide at that moment, or at any future moment, will best effect their safety and happiness.

        The revolution is about self-government by popular sovereignty, not about rights. By the end of the passage, the rights with which it began have been completely de-sanctified, and let go of as abiding values.

        There follows the long bill of particulars. People tend to skip over it. They shouldn’t. It demonstrates that this interpretation I offer you is accurate. Make it a point to notice. The grievances named are not mostly (if at all) about offended rights. They are, time and again, about offended sovereignty.

        Popular sovereignty, not rights, was the true object of the revolution. To the extent the founders prized rights, of whatever sort, they relied first on popular sovereignty to secure them. And they said so, right in the declaration.

  30. The difference between abortion and the other examples is that your examples actually involve just “your” body whereas abortion involves your body and another person’s body.

    1. Legal abortions are performed before the fetus is capable of surviving outside the mother’s body. Post-viability, if death occurs after the fetus is removed, that’s medical malpractice.

  31. I can agree with 1, 2 and 3 with no reservations.

    4… not so much. Generally speaking, I see nothing morally wrong with a “tax” in-which you pre-pay an amortized share of the foreseeable future expenses of a thing. The problem is when instead of doing that, the “sin tax” goes to a general fund or used for other purposes. So limiting “sin taxes” to actually pay for the problems created by the product? I don’t have a problem with that.

    5… again, not so much. While I don’t believe we need a draft currently (or hopefully, ever again), should the situation arise and it is actually needed, common defense of the nation is a legitimate abridgemetn of individual freedoms. Similarly, jury duty is part of the price we pay for having a (hopefully) unbiased jury should we ever be pleading out own case.

    Simply put, if your concept of “freedom” requires that you have no obligation to another person, then you should not live in a nation or city-state, you should live on an island, all alone. If you cannot abide or achieve that, then yes, sometimes your freedom will be curtailed.

    1. 3. Taxation is theft, period.
      4. “It’s needed” is a common refrain of tyrants. “Needed”, for what? To ensure that the current State remains in control of this territory? I don’t care! Also, your use of the word “we” is worryingly close to collectivism and signals that you don’t want to take personal responsibility for your actions (that mirror many others’ actions, granted).

      There are no “legitimate” abridgements of individual freedoms (the freedom to do anything other than initiate force). “The price we pay” arguments are the same, meaningless appeals to tradition instead of actually using logic to try to tell us why we should submit to tyranny.

      The only obligation I owe others is to not initiate force against them. It may very well be that I should treat them well on top of that, but that’s not an obligation.

      1. “The price we pay” arguments are the same, meaningless appeals to tradition instead of actually using logic to try to tell us why we should submit to tyranny.

        Cool story.

        There are no more frontiers. There is no where you can run to in order to escape governments. If you cannot find a government on Earth whose obligations and responsibilities of citizenship you find acceptable, then you do not have an option.

        Is that fair? Nope. But it is still reality. You were born too late to be an island.

        1. “Cool story.”

          And attempted appeal to ridicule, as a way to hide that you won’t answer the charge.

          “There is no where you can run to in order to escape governments.”

          Antarctica and the sea steading come to mind…

          “If you cannot find a government on Earth whose obligations and responsibilities of citizenship you find acceptable, then you do not have an option.”

          Lexington and Concord are always an option.

          “You were born too late to be an island.”

          That’s a really stupid false dichotomy coming from a “libertarian”. Not consenting to the State is not nearly the same thing as wanting to be an island. People are find, I love trading with them and spending some time with them, I just don’t like it when they send men-with-guns after me.

          1. *People are fine!

  32. “My Body, My Choice” only applies to women, and only if it is in their interest.

    Men can be exploited ruthlessly by women and by the state. That’s the way Democrats and feminists want it.

  33. […] for abortion is “My body, My choice.” While the view is easily refuted (as referenced here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) the phrase itself is one of empowerment and not easily […]

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