The Supreme Court Probably Won't Kill Roe Yet

SCOTUS is likely to restrict abortion access, but in a more gradual way.


This week the state of Alabama enacted one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in U.S. history. The Alabama Human Life Protection Act bans abortion throughout every stage of pregnancy, with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and with only a limited exception when the life or health of the mother is at risk. Any doctor who performs a proscribed abortion in the state will be committing a class-A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

"Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973," declared Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, in a statement accompanying her signing of the law. "The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur."

The Alabama law undeniably violates Roe v. Wade, in which the Supreme Court held that a woman may have an abortion for any reason during the first trimester of her pregnancy. It is only during the third trimester of pregnancy, Roe said, when a state may regulate "and even proscribe" abortions, except when "the preservation of the life or health of the mother" is at stake.

The Alabama law also undeniably violates the Supreme Court's 1992 holding in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which both upheld Roe and introduced a new standard to the Court's abortion jurisprudence: the undue burden test. According to Casey, it is unconstitutional for a state to enact a regulation for "the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion." That, the Court held, would "impose an undue burden on the right."

So what happens next with the Alabama abortion ban? Planned Parenthood and other groups have already vowed to fight the law in court. Assuming such cases come before a federal district court judge who follows Supreme Court precedent (which those judges are supposed to do), the law will be ruled unconstitutional under the Roe/Casey precedents (which it is). The state, assuming it still wants to press the fight, would then appeal to the federal appellate court, which may not even take the case. But let's say it does take it, and that those judges also follow precedent and strike down the law. At that point, having lost in the lower federal courts, and assuming the state is still under the same conservative leadership, Alabama would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

But there's no guarantee that SCOTUS will take the case either. Indeed, it is even possible that the Court might prefer to sit this one out. Why? Because even those conservative justices who might want to see Roe/Casey overturned might still prefer to see the precedents gradually weakened and narrowed over time, via a series of cases, rather than simply obliterated in one fell swoop.

That, I suspect, is the approach that will be favored by Chief Justice John Roberts. As the legal journalist Joan Biskupic recently put it, "Roberts works incrementally, laying groundwork for his views, keeping an eye to upcoming cases, and avoiding any 'jolt' to precedent."

Here is one thing that we can expect on the abortion front at SCOTUS. In 2016, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that required all abortion clinics in the state to meet the same standards required of ambulatory surgical centers and also required all doctors who perform abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. "We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes," observed the 5-3 majority opinion of Justice Stephen Breyer in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. "Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution."

The next time that sort of abortion case comes before the Supreme Court, we can expect it to come out the other way.

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  1. Why should I care if lefties want to kill their own unborn children?

    I know that’s fucked up, but honestly, they are clamoring to murder their own children, which otherwise would be taught this exact same mindset… so, I think its a wash either way.

    1. Do you even Libertarian? An infringement on one person is an infringement on everyone

      Even when ACB replaces RBG you still only have four votes

      1. No, I’m not a libertarian.

        1. Now there’s a shocker.

          1. Pedo Jeffy, YOU are not a libertarian. Just an anarchist that happens to be a child rape enthusiast.

      2. “Even when ACB replaces RBG”

        Not. Gonna. Happen.

        RBG is in fantastic health.

        1. “Even when ACB replaces RBG”

          I’ve wondered about that, especially since “Notorious” was diagnosed with malignant nodes on her lungs in February of this year; this is most certainly metastatic disease, which could arise from her prior history of malignancies involving the colon and the pancreas. When that happens the medical conversation invariably turns to hospice.

          So I’m guessing she will sell the proverbial farm well within the next several months. If Trump, if only to be contrary, appoints ACB, I imagine many persons of delicate constitution will completely lose their shit. Yeah, he’s gonna do it.

          1. Whatever.

            Rumors about RBG’s supposedly “poor health” are just like the media’s overreaction to Hillary Clinton’s minor fainting incident in 2016. It’s a particularly offensive form of misogyny to suggest that a powerful woman “isn’t physically capable of the job.”

            1. Between (1) a self-made, hard-working, thin woman who exercises, is deliberate, and has a pleasant disposition and (2) a flabby, sedentary, silver-spooned, garbage-eating male coaster who is reckless and has an ugly soul, a 14-year age difference wouldn’t incline me to bet against the woman in a death pool.

              The life expectancy of an American woman born in 1933 appears to be six and one-half years.

              For at least two reasons, expecting Donald Trump to nominate a successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems unsound.

              Also, if Donald Trump arranged a stale-thinking religious zealot to replace Justice Ginsburg, that might make a flip in the Supreme Court majority in a few of years — consequent to enlargement — a strong bet.

              1. Are OBL & the Rev the same person?

              2. “a flabby, sedentary, silver-spooned, garbage-eating male coaster who is reckless and has an ugly soul”
                Now I am unsure here, are you referring to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

        2. “RBG is in fantastic health.”

          Totally uncool that I LOLed over that.

        3. I suspect she is hanging on in the hope Trump will not win in 2020. If He does, I doubt she will remain for the next 4 years after the election. We all know the reason she had not retired yet is to prevent Trump getting another pick on the SC, but I doubt she will continue for 6 more years in the hope that a democrat will win in 2024.

      3. Libertarians understand that a Black Market indicates a violation of Natural Law.

        1. Does that include the black market for hiring hit men?

          1. At least within the last century in the first world, the market for hit men has existed only in connection with organized crime, which has thrived only on victimless crimes and corrupt government. Without corrupt city governments such as Chicago, and without Prohibition of alcohol, drugs, gambling, and prostitution – that is to say, in a society that respected all the natural rights – the main market for hit men would be a few dissatisfied wives, and they are more likely to connect with an undercover cop than a killer for hire.

    2. And why would anyone care when you rant vitriolic nonsense?

      1. Why do you care?

    3. As a matter of fact, that *is* fucked up. 🙁

      1. I know. 🙁

    4. Girls get knocked up in all walks of life. Left, middle and Right. I have a staunchly conservative-Christian buddy whose girlfriend got pregnant when we were in our early twenties. They chose to discretely abort rather than wreck their futures and reputations amongst their judgemental families. I supported their decision (and still do) but lost a lot of respect for him because he chose to exercise a choice that he would deny others. His reasoning was that they weren’t using it as a form of birth-control. This shit happens every day to protect the reputations of good conservative boys and girls.

      1. I’m not for restricting abortion, but I still think its morally questionable. But I don’t particularly care either way. If other people want to murder their unborn children, that’s between them and their god. They probably would have been terrible parents anyway.

        1. “They probably would have been terrible parents anyway.”

          This. The guys who wrote Freakonomics had a very compelling hypothesis regarding Roe v Wade’s passage in the early 70’s and the precipitous drop in violent crime in the early 90’s.

          1. Yes, I read it, it said the correlation was moderately strong. Interesting chapter.

          2. The way to reduce crime is to execute the potential criminals before they have a chance to commit any crimes.

            Abortion rights makes libertarians accept some pretty gruesome arguments.

            1. It’s possible to read someone’s hypothesis and research without making a value judgement. In fact I think it should be a goal.

              1. If someone makes a utilitarian justification for abortion based on such a statistic, then precrime capital punishment is what they are trying to rationalize.

            2. It’s probably not an accident that most of the PP clinics I’ve seen have been in poorer neighborhoods.

              1. The founder was quite the eugenics enthusiast after all.

          3. It’s a messed up way to think about human worth though. Aborting people for being inconvenient to society is just eugenics by another name.

            1. Which is what planned parenthood was created for.

        2. No one has a ‘right’ to murder a baby. Period.

          1. No one has a right to force me to carry my rapist’s baby to term. No one.

      2. Really “Christian” to be having sex outside marriage, and then killing the little one.

        Also, do they not know about adoption?

        -A Christian An-Cap who is waiting to adopt

        1. I know few christians who do much more than “aspire” to being a good christian. Your mileage may vary i suppose.

          1. Oh, I know most Christians fail miserably (and I’m not that great, either), but I thought I’d point out just how premeditated those disobedient acts were!

            1. Yeah I imagine that those Christians will have to answer to their god for it and may not like the consequences.

          2. Eric, I know plenty of leftists who not only aspire to, but manage to be largely evil, totalitarian, infanticidal sociopaths in their daily life. Given a choice, I’ll gladly deal with the hypocritical Christian any day.

            1. Before I bother asking a specific question about your perspective, this is a prerequisite query: Are you capable or interested in using your imagination to put yourself in the shoes of a woman? Not politically aligned. Just a young woman.

      3. “rather than wreck their futures and reputations amongst their judgemental families.”

        Totally my parents’ fault I killed my kid. Good argument.

        1. This.
          “If my parents weren’t soooo “judgey” I wouldn’t have had my eldest child torn to shreds with a razor-tipped vacuum”
          Fucking monsters.

    5. You’re delusional. They are infringing on individual rights

    6. What you should worry about is the paranoia FOX News is instilling in you leading to an early death by heart attack.

      There are no “lefties” under your bed. Just spiders.

      1. What is your obsession with Fox, Tony? Obsessed with jacking it to Tucker Carlson? Nothing Lara kid about being vigilant against garbage pail leftists such as yourself, and you masters in the DNC.

        1. The rest of the networks feed Tony his bien pensant thought parameters that he uses to substitute for critical thinking, but Fox introduces dissonance.
          For Tony it’s a virus that attacks his ideological subroutines.

          1. Does Tony even have ideological subroutines? I’m convinced that he’s a sociopath.

            1. Says the guy who tells me to die a painful death everything he talks to me.

        2. I’m obsessed with a significant portion of the country being dumb enough to accept rightwing propaganda (via FOX, Breitfuck, or wherever it is you idiots get your fake news) and then harming my country as a result. It’s sort of my Hillary’s pantsuits. The most evil force in the world.

          As a bonus, it also bothers me that I come here to have conversations with libertarians but almost all I come across is slavish, pathetic Republican cocksucking. I’m complimenting you in a way, however. Being the victim of propaganda makes you a victim, not an asshole. I hope you get the help you need.

          You, specifically, are also an asshole, but that’s neither here nor there.

    7. Thank you for not caring that I don’t desire to spend 9 months carrying my rapist’s baby to term only to either raise it with 0 support from its sadist dad or give it away to somebody who didn’t want to adopt unless it’s a newborn-in which case they sound fussy-boy I hope they aren’t as concerned about the genetic profile of their rapist-offspring child as I was. At least you’re for letting me follow through on the whole “murder” thing. Thx

    8. Oh my gosh thank you so much for not trying to force me to carry my rapist’s baby inside of my nonconsenting body for 9 months, only to give excruciating birth and raise a baby whose existence I resent as a constant reminder of the absolute, incomprehensible stripping of my free-will and dignity! With 0 support from its sadist dad! Oh, or I could give the baby up to someone who wants to adopt but *only if it’s a newborn* (can’t have one of those older models that’s been kicking around the orphanage, in and out of foster care). I’m SURE they’ll be FAR less concerned about their prospective child’s genealogy-being the offspring of a deranged monster and all- than I was! You are so zen for not minding.

  2. Using the coercive power of government to force rape victims and victims of incest to carry a baby to term is unconscionable.

    I am sympathetic to the argument that women consent to carry a fetus to term when they willingly engage in activity that might create a fetus. Rape victims never consented to any such thing.

    The question isn’t about morality. Lots of immoral things should be perfectly legal. The question is whether women can be forced to carry a child to term against their will in a free society, and the specific question in this case is whether any such obligation exists when the pregnant woman in question never even consented to the act that led to conception.

    Justice is when we hold people responsible for the things they choose to do. The perfect example of injustice is when the government holds someone responsible for something when they never had any choice in the matter.

    1. Good idea. Limit abortions to raped women who report the rape to the police within 24 hours of the incident. Same with incest.

      1. Why should rape and incest victims be limited by that?

        1. Ken, at what point do you draw the line in favor of the child being carried? For the sake of argument, let’s assume the child has no birth defects and is presumed to be in good health.

      2. And have the rapist locked up with 24 hours of the report. Does that work for you?

    2. Maybe I’ve never talked to the right people, but I’ve never been able to figure out the Pro Life utopian end-state. A lot of times I get the sense that it’s just signalling, since they seem to want a law without an enforcement mechanism (i.e. shackling women who are a threat to their unborn or jailing those who take action).

      1. There are plenty of prolife books and Web sites if you want the prolife point of view.

        There’s Randy Alcorn’s Why Pro-Life?: Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers. There are the memoirs of the people who defected from the pro-abortion cause to the prolife cause, like Won by Love, by the “Roe” in Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey, or the memoir of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortion doctor and one of the founders of NARAL (The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by The Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind).


        1. Those smell like treatises on the moral case for pro life. That’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for end state. It’s super easy to say “abortion should be illegal”. It’s far harder to take Person=Fetus rights to their logical conclusion and be willing to shackle/jail mothers.

          1. Find out what prolifers are actually for, and then quiz them on why they aren’t utopians who want to shackle pregnant women, etc.

            1. Hint: All criminal suspects have the presumption of innocence and 4th Amendment rights, and this is something we accept even though it would be more efficient to fight crime by just locking up all potential offenders under the auspices of a Department of Pre-Crime.

            2. I’m not claiming all. I’m claiming the ones that are judged to be an “inherent risk” to their fetus. Same shitty standard that DCYF uses.

              Look, you have two obvious punishment cases:
              1) Committing murder/abortion.
              2) Intending to commit murder/abortion.

              Again, like you’re doing, pro-lifers tend to dodge the legal particulars and simply use “illegal” as their (not particularly well thought out) end state.

              1. I don’t think that advocating a legal change automatically entails abolishing the Bill of Rights. Leave that stuff to the drug warriors and the NSA, etc., etc.

                Whatever’s practical – whatever can get through the legislatures and have a fighting chance of getting judicial approval – that’s what the prolife movement is going for right now. Dorm-session discussions about “you’ve totally sold out, man” are not part of this strategy.

                1. You’re simply reinforcing my point that there is no coherent end-game. It’s simply a push in a particular direction. And the problem means that the pushing will never stop.

                  Incrementalism is fine. But FFS be honest and stake out the end game.

                  1. It appears that you’ve been lying in your posts on the subkect, and have in fact decided that you DO know their endgame. FFS stop lying and just tell them what you know they think.

                    1. I have no idea what their end game is. What is it?

                    2. No. My original post had one simple question. What’s the end game? Is there none? Is it simply to constantly push in one direction forever, because they understand that the end game (whatever it is) isn’t politically achievable ever?

                    3. “My original post had one simple question. ”

                      No, it had an assertion you attempted to disguise as a question.

                      May.17.2019 at 1:25 pm
                      You’re simply reinforcing my point that there is no coherent end-game”

                    4. What’s the end game? Or are you going to dodge the question too?

                    5. Who cares? It will never arrive so discussing it is pointless.

                    6. It absolutely matters because it grounds the discussion and shows where areas of compromise may exist.

          2. Those smell like treatises on the moral case for pro life. That’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for end state.

            You could actually try reading the sources he cited and see for yourself.

            It’s a bit rich to complain that no one is offering the “end state” picture you’re demanding when you won’t even read documents by actual pro-lifers that may, in fact, have just that.

      2. That’s what I’ve been wondering. More and more I see this is a cultural issue. Convince people that unborn babies are persons, and you will see abortions slowly vanish where political solutions are not really necessary. Using law only forces people into their trenches.

        The way I see it, the rights of life, liberty and property are equal. Here we have a conflict between the life of the baby, and the liberty of the mother. These rights are equal, so there is no situation in which we can say that the right to life is more important than the right to property or liberty. Otherwise a man who is starving is entitled to move into your house and steal your food. His right to life would trump your right to liberty and property. Instead, as it stands, you would be free to expel this trespasser, even if it meant he would not survive the night.

        Inviting someone in is different. So I agree with Ken. We can’t force someone to surrender their liberty to a trespasser even if that trespasser was placed there against their will. Unconscionable is the right word for it. I do think it is reasonable to require people to surrender their liberty to an invitee. I think everyone knows the terms and conditions of having consensual sex. Each time you do it you’re rolling the dice on a 9 month lease.

        Such a framework though recognizes the life and liberty of both people involved in the choice. I think if that becomes the way that our culture looks at this, abortions will decrease. I don’t think we really need to change the law more than we need to change the way we talk about it. Sadly, it seems that one side of the political debate no longer believes in equal natural rights, and therefore have lost the idea of why abortion was legal in the first place. It has gone from a conflict of rights between a mother and baby, to a holy sacrament of the church of feminism.

        As an aside, if artificial wombs ever come around, then it could potentially become a non issue. A woman can have her liberty restored simply by expelling the other person involved to another location where their life won’t be in jeopardy. I think technology can fix this one for us.

        1. Certainly artificial wombs would destroy the “her body” argument – though even then the abortion-fanciers would, I think, hold on to their anti-life ideas until they’re defeated in the political arena.

          But this idea of killing trespassers, including innocent trespassers, strikes me as wrong. Imagine a toddler wandering onto your land even though it’s posted and everything. A clear case of trespassing! But you wouldn’t be justified in blowing the toddler away. Even if we envision a circumstance in which the toddler is trapped on your land for 9 months and the only way to get him off is to kill him. Then there’s a conflict of rights, but who would dare claim that the toddler’s right to life should give ground to the property owner’s right to property?

          1. Right. None of these equal rights can supersede another. Someone is always dying, and they can almost always put it off for another moment by stealing from you.

            We would be justified to neglect this toddler (Pick them up and carry them off of our land/house) who wandered on to our land to the point where they would die. But there is not a soul on this earth who would do such a thing.

            The reason is because we talk about this toddler as if they are a person. If the discussion around abortion were framed in such a way, even the person who is raped and had the “trespasser” put there against their will would know they are not morally culpable if they choose to abort. But they would also know that another person’s life is at stake here. As culture, we would treat them as a kind and generous person, choosing to care for a baby that they have no obligation to care for. They’d be the highest among us.

            1. I dunno…we’ve seen the sort of kindness and compassion we get when we categorize a class of human beings as unpersons without the legal right to life.

              1. Fortunately, prolifers aren’t waiting for the law to change before helping pregnant women and their babies…they’re motivated to help precisely because they deem women and babies to both be persons, and they won’t wait for legal changes before offering prenatal assistance, adoption, etc., etc.

              2. That’s my point. We recognize the rights of all parties involved. The baby and the mother. In rhetoric, we’re “personing” everyone. The way we currently discuss it, the baby is unpersoned. The result is the same moral failing that has plagued western society every single time they have unpersoned someone.

                Under this framework, I am not opposed to making abortion wholly illegal to those who have invited a person into their care.

                This is why artificial wombs would be a wonderful advancement in this. Everyone’s life, liberty and property would be preserved. I do not doubt that adoptive parents and the same pro-life organizations that currently exist would continue to exist, serving the kids who got the boot, so to speak.

        2. Each time you do it you’re rolling the dice on a 9 month lease.

          Followed by an 18 year mortgage full of positive and negative covenants. Analogies aside, I really like your reasoning.

          1. Hah, of course. And a lifetime of ups and downs, anxieties and joys…

            Really the conflict terminates after birth. The baby can breathe and eat on its own and therefore can be put up for adoption to anyone who will voluntarily take care of him or her. I don’t realistically see the demand for adoptions vanishing.

        3. Except then lefties will finally just admit that they believe every woman has a right to a dead baby, period.

        4. “More and more I see this is a cultural issue. Convince people that unborn babies are persons, and you will see abortions slowly vanish where political solutions are not really necessary.”

          Pro-Choice and Pro-Life lobbies aren’t mainstream. Well, they’re both half mainstream.

          The general consensus is that elective abortion is both immoral and should be legal.

          If a majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal, far fewer are proud of having had one. They’re ashamed of it because it’s widely considered an immoral act. Even if people think of it as evidence of irresponsibility, irresponsibility is basically evidence of immorality in the popular mind.

          1. General consensus, two thirds, is abortion should be limited to the first trimester. Li erals want to murder the baby on the way out of the womb.

            1. Because liberals want something isn’t a good reason to support or oppose anything.

              Karl Marx was right about creative destruction.

              Keynes was right about the liquidity trap.

              The truth comes from wherever you find it. Jane Fonda, Nancy Pelosi, and Louis Farrakhan must be right about some things sometimes, even if it’s only by accident.

            2. Alabama just passed a law banning all abortions, including first trimester – just like the Victorian-era laws that Roe v. Wade overthrew. And there’s a significant part of the pro-lifers that would ban most contraceptive drugs because they might kill a fertilized ovum.

              A reasonable abortion law would recognize that a viable 8-month fetus is a human being, and a fertilized ovum or blastocyst is not. The argument between reasonable people would be where to draw the line – say 1st trimester, or the pre-Victorian standard of “quickening” at about 5 months -, and who decides when special circumstances allow later abortions, such as fatal developmental defects, and pregnant children who did not know what was happening or could not escape an abusive family until later in their pregnancy.

              In fact, the Roe v. Wade court anticipated some such debate with their remarks about trimesters. But fanatics took over on both sides. On one side, there were those that insisted that a woman should have the right to have a healthy full-term baby stabbed to death in the middle of a normal delivery – that’s a “partial birth abortion” isn’t necessarily all of that, but pro-choicers wanted to allow all of that. On the other side, nearly every post-Roe law to come before the Supreme Court was designed to make abortions more difficult, at least for some pregnant children or women, regardless of the stage of the pregnancy, and so nearly every one was overturned.

    3. Let me ask if you are for the execution of rapists. There used to be laws like that – but the U. S. Supreme Court said it’s cruel and unusual to execute someone for rape unless the rape is accompanied with murder.

      You can’t even execute someone for raping a child. Not even if it injures the child.

      Why is it unconscionable to say that an innocent person conceived in rape has the same right not to be executed as a guilty rapist?

      If a person conceived in rape has lesser rights than someone conceived in a one-night stand, then how do we define these lesser rights? When can you kill them? Any time during pregnancy? What about after birth? What about when the child starts showing facial features resembling those of the rapist, thus re-traumatizing the mother?

      1. When you’re willing to make a compromise and distinguish between Person and Fetus, that doesn’t necessarily Fetus is a non-person. It can be a not-quite-a-person. And with that, the actual Person rights can trump the not-quite-a-person rights based on line drawing compromises like rape.

        1. Exactly what is the pro abortion rights side compromising on there?

          Because, a compromise requires both sides relax their positions.

          1. I’d say compromise comes from the middle and not from either side. Most Americans from what I can tell aren’t really for abortion but are ok drawing a line that allows abortions up to 22 weeks or whatever the timeframe is. Anything after that the woman’s health needs to be in jeopardy or rape/incest (but even that is controversial after the prescribed timeframe).

            1. “up to 22 weeks”

              22 weeks – you mean like this?


              1. Whatever the timeframe is now, I don’t know maybe 28 weeks. Like I said I don’t know the exact timeframe. But mostly they don’t like abortion but are willing to tolerate it with restrictions applied. Its the two sides on either extreme aren’t willing to compromise (all though I understand and respect the pro life argument for lack of compromise more then anyone who is ok aborting at 8-1/2 months).

                1. I see what you’re saying, I just wish that of all the issues libertarians could pick to compromise on, they’d pick this one.

                  Would they be as willing to both-sides the parties to the gun-control debate?

                  1. wish they’d *not* pick this one

                  2. Abortion has an amendment specifically protecting it?

                    No. It doesn’t. No amount of argument can create one where it doesn’t exist.

                  3. They only argument that sways me from a purely logical (I hold others other then this) libertarian perspective is that one of the legitimate roles of government is protect life and they should do so vigorously. But then you get into the realm of when does life begin conception or birth and that tends to start falling into the theological. Best I can hope for is that as birth control technology improves this becomes a non issue and is as quaint of an argument as whether the Eucharist should be leaven or unleavened bread (see East/West Schism).

                    1. Theologians and clerics have discussed all sorts of issues, and disagreed over things where you might not think men and women of God would disagree.

                      Religionists disagreed over whether slavery was legitimate, even the extreme form of slavery in the U. S. Was that a “quaint” theological quarrel”?

                      Religionists disagreed over whether euthanasia was OK. Was that a “quaint” theological quarrel?

                      Eventually you have to look at the arguments offered, even if a religious person is offering them, and see if you’re convinced.

                      There are plenty of religious people who don’t think every living human being is a person with rights. Consider the Clergy Consultation Service (I’ve often given this example), which before Roe v. Wade offered assistance to pregnant women to get abortions by getting around the prolife laws.

                      There’s the Satanic Temple which argues that abortion is one of its religious tenets.

                      To this day you find theologians defending slavery:


                      And don’t forget all the “Christian” defenses of socialism and big government. Are these also to be dismissed as abstruse theological issues?

          2. Roe was the compromise. The standard pro-choice activist would go all the way to the umbilical slice.

            1. A compromise would be the position advocated by the dissenters in Roe and the anti-Roe justices today: Instead of imposing abortion or prolife on the states, let the states make their own decisions.

              I’m not even sure this compromise is correct under the 14th Amendment, which speaks of the right to life and equal protection without excluding the unborn from personhood. But if you want a compromise position, the dissenting opinions of White, Scalia, etc. are the place to look.

              1. That’s simply a path to a range of policy compromises. That’s not actual a policy compromise.

                Pro-lifers don’t like the Roe boundary. They’d change it everywhere. This states right shit is irrelevant to the social compromise regarding the final law.

                1. I don’t endorse the compromise position, but I certainly know Roe isn’t that position, as you seem to have suggested.

            2. The following jurisprudence around Roe does not allow for any restrictions, and again the mainstream pro abortion rights movement is horrified at the idea that a child that survives an abortion must be treated as a human rather than medical waste.

          3. In America Black Markets handle a lack of compromise.

        2. Yes MP, lets try and pretend that these babies ‘aren’t quite a person’ so as to skirt the issue of their individual rights. That’s very libertarian.

      2. “Why is it unconscionable to say that an innocent person conceived in rape has the same right not to be executed as a guilty rapist?”

        That wasn’t what I said.

        What I said was that using the coercive power of the state to force women to carry a child to term was unconscionable–if the mother never consented to the act that created the child.

        Yeah, if you got the confession by way of torture, that evidence is thrown out–even if the child murderer is guilty. Yeah, if you collected the evidence by way of a search without getting a warrant, then that evidence is inadmissible–even if the child murderer is guilty.

        We have these rules because we’re a free society. Not forcing women to carry a child to labor when they never consented to the act that created the child is another example.

        Incidentally, we also don’t convict people of murder in cases of self-defense. The reason is because in that case, the killer didn’t really have a choice. It’s the same way with rape victims. They never consented to any act that might create a person.

        If you want to hold someone accountable for the termination of a pregnancy in the case of rape, sentence the rapist. He’s the one that per mens rea consented to the act that created that child. It’s that choice that makes us criminally responsible. We’re responsible for what we choose to do, and the rapist is the only one that made the choice.

        1. “If you want to hold someone accountable for the termination of a pregnancy in the case of rape, sentence the rapist. He’s the one that per mens rea consented to the act that created that child. It’s that choice that makes us criminally responsible. We’re responsible for what we choose to do, and the rapist is the only one that made the choice.”

          Now it sounds as if you’re arguing in favor of the innocent child’s right to life. The child didn’t consent to the rape, thus should not be killed.

          1. Killing in self-defense is something you can do if your life is at risk, and abortion laws tend to have exceptions for cases where the life of the mother is indeed in danger.

            But if you have no reasonable cause to think your life is at risk, then self-defense doesn’t extend to the taking of life. So if, as I said elsewhere, a toddler trespasses on your land, you can’t just shoot him/her or rip him/her limb from limb.

            1. “Killing in self-defense is something you can do if your life is at risk”

              Because when your life is at risk, you don’t really have a choice.

              Rape victims have even less of a choice than people who kill in self-defense.

              Oh, and self-defense isn’t only for cases of deadly force being used against you. If someone comes up and start beating you up, you have a right to defend yourself without being convicted of assault and battery. You have a right to defend yourself–even if the person attacking you isn’t necessarily trying to kill you.

          2. “Now it sounds as if you’re arguing in favor of the innocent child’s right to life. The child didn’t consent to the rape”

            The government doesn’t have any business performing abortions.

            It also doesn’t have any business throwing rape victims in prison for choosing to get an abortion.

            Are you really having a hard time seeing the difference between what the government does and what individuals do? There are all kinds of things individuals should be free to do–immoral things even–that the government has no business doing whether theyr’e immoral or not.

            The government also shouldn’t be teaching creationism in public schools. You understand why that’s okay for church schools to do, though, don’t you? It has something to do with restrictions on government in a free society.

            The government has no business killing fetuses.

            Rape victims have no obligation to carry their fetus to term.

            Hope that clears things up.

    4. “Using the coercive power of government to force rape victims and victims of incest to carry a baby to term is unconscionable.”

      This idea that if a woman gives birth after she was raped it’s like she was raped all over again is unconscionable. Not everyone considers pregnancy and childbirth as bad as rape or incest. Most people wouldn’t, if they thought of it that way.

      1. When you try to justify abortion in the case of rape you are on the same moral ground as a crazy BLM activist who wants to kill whitey because of slavery. Yeah, some shitty people have reproduced. But their children shouldn’t be automatically condemned for it

        1. At least understand the point of view of fathers of teenage girls.

          Imagine dancing with your daughter at one of those purity ball things, when she pledges to you that she will remain a virgin until marriage.

          Imagine some creepy incel raping her, taking away the precious jewel she was saving for her wedding night.

          Imagine your daughter tearfully telling you she is pregnant because of that rape by that creepy incel.

          Do you really want the state to force her to give birth to the creepy incel’s offspring?

          Do you really want the state to aid this incel in polluting your family line?

          1. So, you’re saying it’s OK to kill your grandchild in this case? (assuming that you, the father of the raped girl, also believe that a zygote/embryo/fetus/developing baby is a human being and gift from God)

            1. Dearest son,

              You daddy was a rapist. He rapped me. He is serving 20 to life for the crime. We can visit him if you like. On visiting days. When he is not in solitary.

              1. I understand your appeal to emotion. Just wondering what the acceptable line is to kill an innocent baby.

          2. “taking away the precious jewel she was saving for her wedding night.”

            Ahahahwut? It’s a pussy, those things are a dime a dozen.

            1. Inflation puts it at a few hundred for one. Tens of thousands of married.

              1. The “precious jewel” is the girls’ virginities, according to their logic.

        2. Like a child that is the product of rape is somehow part of some subhuman caste or crap like that.

      2. “This idea that if a woman gives birth after she was raped it’s like she was raped all over again is unconscionable.”

        Those are your words. Not mine.

        The only legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights. Our right are our right to make choices for ourselves. Women are only morally obligated to carry a child to term if they consented to the act that might create that child. The only legitimate purpose of government in this case would be if she never consented to any such thing.

        In a contract case in civil court, the court might “force” party A to pay party B. But that use of the word “force” is odd, because the court is actually finding that party A consented to take on certain obligations to party B in the contract. “Forcing” someone to do what they consented to do with their own signature isn’t really force at all. You willingly consented to that obligation. The court is just making you do what you are obligated to do by your own choice.

        Rape victims have no such obligation, and it is absurd to imagine libertarians believe that people have obligations to which they never consented–because the government says so? Even in the case of the “special responsibility” argument, which holds that mothers have a responsibility to bring their fetuses to term that is unlike any other obligation, that responsibility to their fetus, that obligation to carry the fetus to term ultimately derives from the fact that she consented to the act that might create that child.

        In rape cases, there is no such consent. She is only obligated to carry a fetus because she consented to the act that created that fetus. without that consent, there is no obligation.

        You are not responsible for the terms of a contract that you never signed–not even if the contract is unlike any other contract in every other way.

        1. You’re making a pragmatic argument but trying to frame it as moral.
          You believe the child has rights, as any other person does, if it’s the result of a consensual act by the woman, no?
          So what then removes the child’s rights if it results from rape?

          1. A woman’s obligation to carry a fetus to term is willfully accepted when she willingly engages in activity that might create a child. This is the argument for why abortion should be illegal if the woman willingly engaged in the activity that led to conception. If she doesn’t willingly consent to the act that led to conception, then she has no obligation.

            A lot of people seem to get hung up on the viability of the fetus, etc., but that isn’t what this is about. The question is whether women should be thrown in prison for refusing to be victimized by rapists, and the answer is no–they have no obligation to the fetus because they did not consent to the act that created the fetus. If they had consented, they would be obligated.

            Incidentally, there isn’t anything particularly original about abortion in this regard. The government shouldn’t be able to tax, declare wars, or set immigration policy without the consent of the people who are viable adults. Self-defense cases don’t rest on the question of whether the person you shot is a viable fetus. The only pertinent question is whether you had a real choice. If not, then you have no obligation and you should not be thrown in prison for murder.

            It’s all the same thing. The only thing special about the abortion issue is that the pro-life movement has convinced people that the crux of the matter is something other than what it is. If you willingly sign a contract, you are obligated to fulfill the terms of that contract. If you did not sign a contract, you are not bound by the terms. Rape victims didn’t consent to anything and so they are not obligated.

            The reason people who kill in self-defense and soldiers on the battlefield shouldn’t be thrown in prison as murderers has nothing to do with whether the fetus is viable, and the reason rape victims shouldn’t be convicted of murder doesn’t have anything to do with the viability of the fetus either. It has to do with choice and consent. Obligations should not be forced on people in a free society simply because the governments says so.

            Surely there’s a difference between people who are conscripted into the military against their will and people who join up of their own free will. I have tremendous respect for people who volunteered to serve their country and then died because of it. Not sure I understand why anyone should be conscripted to fight a war against their will. How do you thank someone for their service if they didn’t give it freely? We don’t owe them our thanks. We owe them an apology.

            Soldiers who kill unarmed prisoners are murderers–because they had a real choice. Civilians who kill others who aren’t any threat to them and did not kill in self-defense are murderers because they had a choice. Women who willingly engage in activity that creates a fetus are obligated to carry that fetus to term because they had a choice. Rape victims who were never given a choice should not be convicted of murder for getting an abortion–because they were not given a choice.

            1. Look, I’m pro-abortion – but I don’t value life in an absolute and abstract sense, so I don’t really care about some homicides.
              I don’t need to rely on moral bullshit to justify my opinion. Agree or disagree, don’t care.
              But your argument is “homicide isn’t murder if the killer was raped… because freedom!” You absolutely refuse to admit the conflict of rights and responsibility because you’re desperate to maintain a moral high ground, and that’s beneath you.
              Just admit that you don’t think the government is justified in safeguarding the rights of a rape-child because, according to your values, it would be too much of an imposition on the raped woman.

    5. “Using the coercive power of government to force rape victims and victims of incest to carry a baby to term is unconscionable”

      The “rape and incest out” has never sat right with me. If the goal is to protect a human life, then how does the form of conception devalue said life to the point where it’s OK to kill it?

      1. The big problem with the abortion quandary is that there’s actually a ton of different positions people can hold, and yet it’s always presented in binary fashion. It’s not a binary issue, there’s many shades on both sides, but somehow it’s always presented as if there’s only two choices.

        1. I would normally agree with you. However, this bill in particular is pretty binary in nature.

          I don’t agree with the legal reasoning of how we got to where we are, but I do believe that the compromise of viability of the fetus is the best possible compromise on what I see as competing rights.

          If SCOTUS would just recognize the 9th amendment and incorporate those rights to the states it would seem to make a lot more sense to me.

          1. This bill is itself a result of said binary thinking-ie, has to be all or nothing. I think some well-chosen phrasing like “heartbeat bill” got it to be marketable, but I have a tough time imagining that even in Alabama a majority of the population would approve this bill if they knew what it really meant.

            It’s deceptive labeling, because when you say “heartbeat,” people are thinking about a small human with a heart, when we’re actually talking about a fairly undifferentiated organism around the size of a cherry.

      2. I would agree. It’s a glaring inconsistency in the pro-life position. Likewise, not locking up the mother and doctor for murder or conspiracy to commit murder is another glaring inconsistency with that world view.

        It’s difficult for me to accept that if you truly believe that it’s a life that must be protected above any rights of the woman to have control of her own body or medical privacy, that you can accept any position that allows it under certain circumstances or doesn’t require that you treat it as a murder, legally.

        1. Perhaps prolifers *aren’t* the utopians they’re accused of being in another post, and seek laws which save babies’ lives, leaving the dorm-room philosophical bull-sessions to others?

          As for the rape exception, that would be a glaring inconsistency, but this very article discusses how Alabama has *rejected* a rape exception.

          1. You know what prolifers would do if they “didn’t really believe” in protecting the unborn? They would offer “purist” bills without a chance of passing, just so they could virtue-signal about how they’re willing to lost nobly rather than sacrifice a single particle of principle.

            In reality, as you can see from the freakout from the abortion-fancying media, they are putting forward bills which actually pass, and which actually protect lives here in the real world.

            1. Bills which actually pass, but without much chance of being held up by the courts.

              1. In this case, the Supremes are known to be shaky on Roe and this bill (if the Supremes so choose) would be an excellent chance to reconsider that decision.

                That’s the whole idea. They sincerely want Roe to be “terminated,” and they’re reading the signs of the times on the Supreme Court. It might work and it might not. Like much in politics.

                1. SCOTUS is known to be shaky on the logical foundation of Roe. Where they stand on the Rights divide between Mother and Unborn is entirely unknown.

                  1. If it’s unknown, then there’s one way to find out, and that’s to pass a law like Alabama’s.

            2. “abortion-fancying media”

              Wow. Two dog whistles in one smear. But I guess you have to find new tactics to oppose liberty on a libertarian website.

              1. So you’re more in ENB’s cheering section than Stephanie Slade’s?


      3. “The “rape and incest out” has never sat right with me. If the goal is to protect a human life, then how does the form of conception devalue said life to the point where it’s OK to kill it?”

        The goal is a free and just society.

        We let murders go free if the police or the courts violated their right to due process, their right to have an attorney president, their miranda rights, their right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, etc., etc.

        The preservation of human life is secondary to the goal of a free society, and in a free society, women are not forced by the state to carry a fetus to term and go through labor because they were the victims of a crime.

        We also don’t torture terrorists in the ticking time bomb scenario–because the goal is a free society and torturing people is incompatible with a free society.

        1. Thus could be read as you proposing that homicide of an innocent is justifiable in the name of a free society.

          That’s not an invalid argument, but you’ve eliminated the NAP as a moral principle.

          1. “Thus could be read as you proposing that homicide of an innocent is justifiable in the name of a free society.”

            Is it possible for military pilots in a free society to kill innocent civilians with their bombs without being murderers?

            There’s a big difference between targeting civilians intentionally and knowing that innocent civilians will get caught in the middle sometimes. I don’t think those pilots should be convicted of murder in a free society.

            I think they generally avoid killing innocent civilians if they can. Sometimes, vicious dictators like Saddam Hussein use innocent civilians as human shields. I believe our pilots do their best to avoid civilian casualties in those situations, but, even so, has there ever been a war without civilians casualties?

            Sometimes innocent civilians get caught in the crossfire. That doesn’t mean the pilots need to be convicted of murder.

            1. What crossfire is the unborn rape child caught in?

    6. Is it murder if you find someone tied up on your boat and throw them off?

      Is it murder if you take your infant and leave them out on a cliff to die of exposure?

      If the government isn’t competent to punish murder, then why have it at all?

      1. (Sorry for the double, but I can’t edit)

        It is murder if someone rapes you and you kill a random other person for it?

        Is it murder if someone kidnaps you and the only way to get out is to break another victim’s neck?

      2. Is it murder to shoot someone in self-defense?

        The correct answer is no because in that case, the killer didn’t really have a choice.

        Even in the case of negligent homicide, the prosecution needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant willfully neglected other people’s safety.

        1. “The correct answer is no because in that case, the killer didn’t really have a choice.”

          Untrue. There’s always a choice. The reason why it’s not murder is the “victim” is guilty of attempted murder, and that’s just instant justice at that time.

          “the prosecution needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant willfully neglected other people’s safety”

          Sure, and that’s why you’d still need to prove it. In this case, the little one’s safety was more than simply neglected.

          1. “Untrue. There’s always a choice.”

            Yes, propriety and justice have led society to hold that the government shouldn’t force people to choose between being murdered by an armed intruder or going to jail for murder yourself–because if the only apparent alternative is to be a victim, then that really isn’t much of a choice.

            There may be a moral component to it. Maybe you should turn the other cheek. Maybe you should go the extra mile. But to whatever extent those are legitimate choices, they’re certainly not worthy of the government’s consideration. The government have no business throwing people in prison for choosing not to be a victim like that. Even non-libertarians understand that. Why don’t you?

            1. “Homicide of an innocent being is justified because sins of the father”

            2. No, it’s definitionally not murder to kill someone attempting to kill you. It’s homicide, yes, not murder.

              “Maybe you should turn the other cheek.”

              Ok, that misconception is forgiven, as many people misunderstand it. My Lord told you to turn the other cheek …to a slap. He told you to give up your tunic …not your underwear. He told you to go with the soldier 2 miles …not allow yourself to be permanently enslaved.

              Self defense is still allowed (Luke 22:36-38).

              The State has no business doing anything, so we agree there. That being said, justice still ought to be sought, and just because one should submit to certain minor wrongs doesn’t mean those wrongs are anything other than wrongs (read as “initiations of force” in these certain cases). Justice may demand “A” should respond to “A”, but the choice to seek the extraction of that justice is the victim’s (or NOK in the case of murder), and if the victim wants to forgive it, that’s their business.

    7. Lot’s of crime victims are forced to deal with all manner of long term consequences. Should a theft victim be able to steal someone else’s shit because their own shit got stolen?

      1. The coercive power of the state tells them no, but why should that be the case?

        1. The real question is whether rape victims should be thrown in prison for getting an abortion.

          When women willingly engage in sex, they have an obligation to the fetus because they willingly engaged in the act that created the fetus. How can you not be responsible for what you willingly choose to do? Rape victims, on the other hand, have no such obligation to the fetus because they did not consent. Where pro-Choice gets it wrong is that women do choose–they just choose to accept the obligation when they choose to have sex. Pro-life gets it wrong because the obligation to carry a fetus to term doesn’t derive from the viable humanity of the fetus. It derives from the same place as our all of our other obligations–our own free will. Because rape victims did not consent, they have no obligation. We are not obligated because of things that were done to us by criminals. Never mind abortion, we’re not even supposed to have taxation without representation. And, yes, it’s the same principle.

          Even if elective abortion should be illegal when the mother consented to the act that conceived the fetus, no rape victim should be thrown in prison for murder because she aborted the fetus. She has no obligation.

          And, again, the question isn’t even if the fetus is innocent and has rights. The question is whether the rape victim should be thrown in prison for murder.

    8. Is it any more unconscionable than killing an unborn child who did nothing and whose consent we cannot acquire? For all you know, that child might say if it could “I want to live even though I’m a rape baby with a despicable father and a mother who shunned me.” Why is their choice elevated above others?

      Until we invent artificial wombs and partial pregnancy transfers, women should be inconvenienced. Compared to killing an innocent clump of cells that will become a person, violating someone’s right is small time.

      1. The question isn’t whether what’s happening to the fetus is fair. The question is whether the government can force women to go through labor when they never consented to the act that made them pregnant.

        If anyone should be held criminally responsible for the consequences of a rape, it’s the rapist.

        1. P.S. The humanity of the fetus is mostly a red herring.

          We let people off the hook for murder in self-defense cases all the time. The humanity of the dead isn’t the question there either. The question is whether the killer really had a choice. If you didn’t really have a choice, then there was no crime. In fact, you can kill people by accident and not have committed any crime. And there’s no dispute about the humanity of the dead. The only question is whether you killed someone on purpose, whether you willfully neglected someone else’s safety, etc.

          1. The difference here is that the killer does have a choice. It’s just not a choice that you like. If the killer didn’t have a choice, there wouldn’t be rape babies or incest kids, yet women make that decision every day even when abortion is available to them. That alone proves abortion can be a choice.

            1. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

              Are you trying to say that, for instance, men shoudln’t be subject to paternity suits because women have abortion available as an option?

              You take responsibility for every choice you make when you make it. If you willfully engage in activity that might create a child, then you may be on the hook for the choice YOU MADE when you willfully engaged in activity that might create a child.

              Incidentally, when you willingly drive your car down the street, you also accept the responsibility for any damage you may cause with your car—even if it’s by accident. The difference is that rape victims never got behind the wheel, never pulled out the keys, never put them in the ignition, never pulled out of the driveway, etc. Everything that happened to them was done to them against their will, and they’re not obligated to anyone for anything that was done to them against their will.

              The idea that you’re responsible for the choices you make and other people are not obligated just because you inflicted your will on them by force is only hard for stupid people to understand.

              1. If something is inflicted upon you, you can choose to endure it or not. Some rape victims choose to sacrifice their child and run away. Others realize that two wrongs don’t make a right. Showing sympathy for what is blatantly murder just because the optics of blaming rape victims are awful is weakness. I can’t imagine you would have been a proud abolitionist. After all, the only solution was pushing the South into a corner, declaring war, and killing them until they submitted, as if often the case with moral progress.

                1. “If something is inflicted upon you, you can choose to endure it or not.”

                  That’s painfully stupid.

                  1. How is it stupid to admit the reality that you have a choice? This shouldn’t be too hard to understand. People think differently than you.

        2. If so, then the government is coercing the fetus to die.

          You can’t reason your way out of this conundrum. Someone’s rights will be violated and in the short term, it’s better to piss someone off than kill them. Compromise to the idea of jailing women; all PP profits and additional tax revenue goes to artificial womb research.

          1. Rape victims choosing to abort is not the government choosing to kill someone.

            It simply isn’t.

            1. The government is granting the privilege. There is no natural right to kill and the one situation where the fetus literally harms you and could be likened to self defense/preservation (life/health of mother) is the exception provided for in the AL law.

              Killing children as an act of self defense is like shooting the parents of a burglar. I guess they’re related, but who cares?

              The blatant disrespect for life is why pro abortion advocates are so disgusting to moral people. The real root of this issue isn’t that there’s a kid inside of you from an unfortunate circumstance; it’s the fact that you’re being told what to do for someone else’s benefit. That’s why this subject is so contentious. To altruistic people who would bear the pain and humiliation of carrying and raising a rape baby, people who run away from that hardship are subhuman. Now you understand why religion tends to get violent. If you’re doing the right thing and others refuse at every opportunity you give them, final salvation has been decided. They’re going to hell, so send them there sooner.

              1. “The government is granting the privilege.”

                You’re living in fantasy world.

                In the real world, you’re talking about prosecuting rape victims for choosing to get an abortion. The rape victim is on trial for murder because she aborted a fetus. There is no granting of privilege. That’s all in your head.

                1. 9 months of jail for 500k mothers or 500k kids living for an average of almost 80 years (and rising). If you can do something that isn’t a natural right, it’s a privilege. If government says it’s okay, they have granted that privilege to you. It’s that simple. We permit the murder of unborn children because people like you lack the conviction to tell women they’re wrong, even when they’re victims.

                  1. “9 months of jail for 500k mothers or 500k kids living for an average of almost 80 years (and rising). “

                    Are you really stupid enough to believe that 500,000 women are impregnated by rape every year?

                    Or are you so unbelievably stupid that you can’t comprehend the fact that just because abortion in cases where the women engage in sex willingly should be illegal, that doesn’t mean abortion shouldn’t be illegal when the woman is a victim of rape?

                    Because if it’s the latter, that would make you the dumbest person I’ve engaged with in years.

                    I promise you, not everyone that opposes abortion is as fucking stupid as you are. And you really are stupid. You couldn’t believe that and not be stupid. Not after responding to everything I wrote. You must be so stupid that everyone who knows you thinks you’re stupid–including your friends and family. Congratulations on being a prince of idiots.

                    1. You shouldn’t be calling people stupid when you’re trying to couch your own pragmatic value as a moral imperative.
                      His argument is far more consistent than yours.

                    2. I never said such a thing. I am presuming a hypothetical world where abortion is illegal in all cases except death/harm of the mother. In such a world, many women (as indicated by recent protests) would try to abort no matter what and would most likely have to be jailed in order to ensure their pregnancy is completed. I ballparked 500k because some abortions are also due to health/nonviability of the child and I believe those abortions are acceptable as well.

                      Regardless of the scenario, the issue isn’t what the woman did or what was done to her. The issue is the right of that clump of cells to become a human. If she’s raped and impregnated, that has no bearing on the right of the cells to live. If she and her husband consent to have sex and protection fails, that too has no bearing on the right of life. That’s why this issue is so contentious; you’re just talking past me. You’re fixated on what the woman did and can’t even realize that the right to life is absolute. Personhood, fault, blame, all are irrelevant. That clump of cells, most of the time, will become a healthy, viable person like you and me and NOBODY has the right to determine if their life is worth it.

                      I understand in terms of practical policies that the most realistic outcome today is maintaining Roe. We don’t have the ability yet to save the child and not force the mother to carry. I recognize how fucked up it is to tell a woman she has no choice, but morally, she doesn’t. Fortunately, morality doesn’t always have to dictate policy. All I try to do is advance the moral cause to the point where one day we might stop aborting entirely.

                      An ideal world would look like this: if the child will live a short, painful life and die, you can abort. If the mother will be injured or die, you can abort. In all other situations, people will recognize that we SHOULDN’T be aborting, but it will be safe and legal nonetheless for practical reasons. We will try to have as few as possible. People will use contraceptives better and respect life. People who want to have safe sex will realize there’s no such thing as will accept responsibility when contraceptives fail. Men will be better partners to women. Women won’t feel that it has to be “their” choice because for the first time, men and society will actually support them. Right now, I don’t blame women one bit for wanting a right to choose. If you’re in a shitty situation all by yourself, having a kid can make your life very difficult. Of course they want to be able to choose because in reality, they don’t have any other choices. Pro-life adherents need to put their money where their mouth is and give women a real choice. Maybe then, when a woman won’t feel like her life is over by giving birth AND she can have an abortion too, she will feel like she has a genuine choice.

                      Such a vision is hardly stupid.

    9. “The question is whether women can be forced to carry a child to term against their will in a free society…”

      Oh, that’ll be struck down, as the article points out, it’s clearly in violation of SCOTUS. In the meantime women can jump the state line.

      The question, as always, is where the line is drawn. For most people, the third trimester seems to be the no-go zone. Sure, it’s an imperfect line, but if libertarians are looking for a nice, clean-cut issue to champion, abortion ain’t it. I see it very much like age of consent laws. Most under stand why you need them but is that age always optimum when applied to individual cases? No, but I’m not about to die on that hill.

    10. “when they willingly engage in activity that might create a fetus”

      Under no circumstance should any libertarian (or liberal) expect the government to act as Medieval sex police. You’re letting your inner sexual moralist show.

      If a fetus has personhood rights, it doesn’t matter how it was conceived. A rape baby is not less of a person.

      What women, other than your partner, choose to do with their vaginas should really not be any of your concern.

      1. “If a fetus has personhood rights, it doesn’t matter how it was conceived. A rape baby is not less of a person.”

        Something we actually agree on.

    11. “rape victims and victims of incest to carry a baby to term is unconscionable.”
      I see that child as a human being, no matter how unfortunate its provenance; but you clearly don’t if you’re so clearly willing to casually consign it to execution.

  3. “Assuming such cases come before a federal district court judge who follows Supreme Court precedent (which those judges are supposed to do), the law will be ruled unconstitutional”

    Now that I think about it, if judges are supposed to be frolicking through the daisies just making laws up as they go along – like they did in the Roe case – and if the actual text and history of the law doesn’t matter, then why should judicial precedents matter?

    What makes precedent any more sacred or binding than the actual words and original understanding of the law?

  4. I’m not sure that Alabama didn’t do the the pro-choice folks a big favor by the overreach. This may well backfire big time.

    1. +1

    2. Even Pat Robertson agrees.

      1. Color me skeptical. Much like gun control too many have a dog in keeping the fight, not ending the fight.

  5. Alabama should have just required an abortion permit.
    You know, a non-infringing requirement that the woman attend classes on the process of fetal development, when the heartbeat can be detected, when pain avoidance is observed, a few films of the abortion procedures, discussions by women who have had abortions, good and bad, and the like. Perhaps a requirement to document the need for the abortion. Then a full background check to determine the physical and mental fitness of the woman to determine her capability to withstand the procedure. And maybe a small fee of a few hundred dollars to offset the state’s expenses of permit processing. Issuance of the permit after these classes to be at the sole discretion of the county sheriff, with no appeal of his decision.
    I would love to see how that would be received by the left, especially if labeled “common sense abortion control”.

    1. a hilarious and awesome plan.

      >>>Issuance of the permit after these classes to be at the sole discretion of the county sheriff

      i think the sole-discretion no appeal part here would sink it … something v. something the mayor can’t have sole discretion to license parades

  6. Roe v. Wade is the most brilliantly reasoned Supreme Court decision in at least the past half century. Its logic is so convincing that leading legal scholars regard it as a SUPER-PRECEDENT.

    Besides immigration, abortion access is the other major factor that should motivate all Koch / Reason libertarians to vote Democrat. We need more libertarian-friendly RBG-style justices, and many 2020 Democrats have mentioned expanding the Court to at least 11 members.

  7. The Alabama Human Life Protection Act bans abortion throughout every stage of pregnancy, with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest

    None of the legislators who voted for this have teenage daughters?

    1. Maybe they could vote to execute rapists instead of killing their innocent grandchildren?

      Of course, executing rapists is racist, and cruel and unusual. In all seriousness, I’m not sure I support it.

      But such an appeal to emotion would work better in supporting the death penalty for rape than in supporting killing innocent children.

      1. Many of these men consider rape not just an attack on the girl, but her family too, bringing upon the family shame and dishonor.

        A pregnancy resulting from rape pollutes the family line, according to this logic. therefore, abortion is the method to restore honor to the family. And honor is more important to them than life itself.

        Abortion in the case of rape is honor killing.

        1. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see cases like that. Though it underlines the importance of protecting the children – the pregnant girl *and* the baby.

          Honor killers don’t respect the trimester framework. They’d kill a woman at 22 years if they think she’s been “dishonorable.”

        2. “Abortion in the case of rape is honor killing.”

          So is killing the primary victim, which is quite the rage in some areas of the world.

    2. Different set of rules; they quietly take a little trip out of State if that sort of thing happens to them or theirs.

      1. This is where the abortion-fanciers can do useful work by exposing such incidents – suppose, hypothetically, that the media were abortion-fanciers and that a legislator who arranged an abortion for his mistress or relative would risk exposure. That might reduce the chances of them doing it, no matter how evil and hypocritical they hypothetically might be (assuming for argument’s sake that they’re as bad as all that).

    3. “None of the legislators who voted for this have teenage daughters?” Many of them do, but if their daughter or mistress gets pregnant, they can afford to send them out of state for an abortion. And many of them will. The “pro-life” movement is full of hypocrites:


      Either these people are willing to murder for their own convenience, or the position that the unborn are humans with full rights is only something they _pretend_ to believe in order to condemn others for their “sins”. (Remember that all Christians believe that they themselves are sinners – but hypocrites pardon themselves while condemning others.)

  8. The Supreme Court will not restrict abortion. They could overturn Roe and abortion would remain legal in any state that chooses to make it so.

    Is Root just so stupid he does not understand that?

    1. Your take is pretty pedantic. It’s obvious if you read the article that he understands and means that the court is likely to allow states to restrict access in a gradual way, not restrict it directly.

      1. The irony is that all that is likely to come out of this is the status quo–the Court will affirm that states can pass restrictions, but not to the degree that Alabama did, probably due to the limited amount of time the mother has to make an informed decision. What they won’t rule is that abortion at any stage of the pregnancy, to include the exceptional allowances that the Virginia bill provided, is an unfettered right.

    2. There’s a push on the right fringe to get the Supreme Court to adopt a kind of fetal “right to life” which would, in fact, operate to ban abortion nationwide.

      It’s not in the cards just yet, but it’s coming.

  9. SCOTUS is likely to restrict abortion access, but in a more gradual way.

    That’s probably true, but not necessarily so. What people and legislatures in red states that pass increasingly restrictive anti-abortion laws seem to want seems to be slowly changing. The newer anti-abortion arguments are morphing from abortion as a matter of states rights, to a far more intrusive view that abortion is murder as soon as the sperm enters the egg and all abortions are murder in all states. That rationale is what some of the newer laws seem be grounded in. The right has been desperate to completely obliterate Roe ever since the decision was made. Those extremist folks just might get what they are asking for, especially with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the bench.

    1. There has never really been a change. They’ve always believed it was murder, they just thought murder was a State issue (and it is, except Roe made it a Federal issue).

      Yes, that’s “extreme”, just as thinking people have unalienable rights is “extreme”.

      Also, the left used to say “Safe, legal, and rare” and now say “Safe, legal, and whatever”.

      1. “Safe, legal, and taxpayer funded!”
        Otherwise, “you’re literally Hitler!”
        Oh… the irony

  10. Addressing symptoms and not problems. The general lack of personal responsibility is a cultural problem manifesting itself in too many ways to track and rein in. As abhorrent as I find the practice of abortion, it would be preferable to work towards removing ALL government subsidies/funding for the practice rather than criminalizing it. Imagine how hard it would be to prosecute?

    1. Abortion is murder. Isn’t it? And Premeditated at that.

      The death penalty is absolutely called for. Legally.

      There is no statute of limitations on murder. We have at least 30 million women who will need to be put to death.

      Except it is not popular. What is? The doctor gets convicted of misdemeanor murder and the woman goes free.

      And this is worth a moral panic?

      1. You don’t think defense attorneys would try to blur the lines between miscarriages and elective abortions? And that there would be legitimate grey areas that could come up as a result because we can’t account for every variable.

        1. If the Drug War is any precedent, every miscarriage will require a murder investigation.

          I’m sure the surveillance State can handle it. But it will be expensive.

          1. False equivalence and casting those with opposing views as extremist, are pretty tired and transparent tactics. Got anything else?

          2. See, if you think government is too stupid/evil to do this, then they have literally no purpose.

            Which I’m fine with, I’m an An-Cap.

            So, in the market, there are no witch hunts, and no qualified immunity, so you’d need evidence (and an accuser) before making accusations.

      2. sorry, I didn’t realize you were being disingenuous to paint your opposition in a negative light.

        Plainly put, Abortion is murder, but laws are meaningless if they can’t be enforced. Practically speaking, I don’t see how an abortion ban could be enforced.

        The real moral panic is that government gets to define when life starts. That’s pretty fucked up

        1. Government doesn’t define when life starts.

          It defines when that life becomes human.

          Half the body exiting the womb has been traditional.

          You might want to look into Jewish law on abortion for a view different from the ones being promulgated.

          This author goes into that.

          1. Whatever works for your personal convenience, man. You go with that.

            1. Well we had a thriving Black Market in abortion before Roe.

              Black Markets are an indication that a violation of natural law is taking place.

              1. Would you apply that same reasoning to child prostitution?

                1. What child prostitution? Perhaps you mean that occurring over in the UK, where the police were complicit – both by ignoring outright rape when it was done by Muslims, and by arresting the victims.

                  Or the rare but real occurrence in the USA, where some teenagers find their family (or often foster family) life intolerable and run away – but the government won’t allow them to get regular jobs, so they turn to prostitution. That’s the first natural rights violation. Second, if someone takes advantage of them, steals their earnings, or otherwise mistreats them, they can’t complain to the cops – who will either jail them for prostitution, or at best send them back to whatever horror show they ran away from.

                  Or are you talking about “sex trafficking”? That’s at least 99% imaginary. Every time a police agency announces a big operation against “sex trafficking”, it turns out that they arrested hundreds of women working voluntarily as prostitutes, and 99% of them were adults, but found no one enslaving women of any age.

          2. “Government doesn’t define when life starts.

            It defines when that life becomes human.”

            Behold the party of ‘science!’

            1. Law is not science. Obviously. Otherwise we would have never done Alcohol Prohibition.

        2. It can’t be 100% enforced, any more than laws against murdering children or adults.

          But just as not legalizing murder for hire can be presumed to have lowered the murder rate among those of us posting here, I think we can be pretty sure that you’d lower the abortion rate if it weren’t legal to commit abortions for a living.

          1. We can enforce murder laws because few commit murder.

            Compare that with a million murder trials a year.

            There are limits to what government can do.

            Libertarians used to know that. In their bones.

        3. “The real moral panic is that government gets to define when life starts. That’s pretty fucked up”

          Is it fucked up that the state gets to define when a “regular” murder has occurred? What about the degrees of murder, or of all homicides? Or even if a death is accidental? That state gets to decide that.

          Those murdered are viable human beings. You can’t murder an already-dead human. The question in abortion is not when life begins but when viability occurs. The two ain’t the same.

          If you accept that at some point in the pregnancy the fetus becomes a viable human being, then yes, beyond that point, abortion is murder.

          If you don’t believe that a fetus is human at ANY stage of pregnancy, then this is moot. But if you do, then how can you contend the state has no role to play in policing that murder which involves defining when that murder occurs where the idea of viability is central?

          1. Most abortions can be done very privately these days.

            You will need a police State to enforce the law.

            Women will need to be kept under surveillance.

            You think that will be popular? I think even conservative women would revolt.

            1. I don’t even know what you’re saying.

              I’ll try again: if you think abortion after the point of viability is murder then what bearing does you comment have? Are you seriously saying that because murder–any murder–is hard to detect that there should be no law against it or that police should not try to prevent it if they have information that one is about to occur?

      3. Something is an affront to liberty. But punishment would be hard. So let’s grant it government sanction instead.

        Yeah, that’s a winner.

        1. Do you really want to start warehousing woman for abortion?

          1. No, I’m saying that let’s not declare it a lawful medical procedure.

  11. SCOTUS isn’t “restricting abortion” gradually or otherwise; at most, they are going to allow states to pass restrictions.

  12. I love America and its propensity for Black Market circumvention of government.

  13. Jesus (told no one) “get into government and pass laws to insure that my opinions about morality are observed. “

    1. And appeals to Jesus have exactly what to do with protecting the liberty of individuals?

      1. Well he had some good ideas.

        Roughly “Preach and if no one listens move on.”

    2. Not murdering children isn’t exclusive to Christianity.

  14. a shame anyone wants to kill their unborn child. also, the supply side of the enforcement racket is terrible. no agreeable ground.

    1. I’m all for convincing women not to have abortions.

      No government enforcers required.

      1. in. except “convincing” sounds like work.

        1. Cheaper than enforcers. and the corruption that goes with them.

  15. Another great meeting of Libertarians For Statist Womb Management, Libertarians For Big-Government Micromanagement of Ladyparts Clinics, and Libertarians For Incarceration Or Execution Of Insufficiently Superstitious Rape And Incest Victims.

    Authoritarian right-wing malcontents are the very best faux libertarians.

    1. Government (the State) should do nothing.

      Private justice is possible. Murder is the best argument for Justice, and the definition of it is REALLY important.

    2. carry on, clingers?

  16. What a pathetic thread with male jerks pontificating about what women should be allowed to do with their bodies. It is not your decision guys. If you inseminate a woman and she conceives, it is she who has the womb with the umbilical cord to nourish the fetus. If she does not want to house and feed your damn baby she has the perfect right to reject it.

    1. The persuasiveness of your argument is underlined by your use of the terms “damn” and “jerk,” but may I suggest you add “fuck,” just to make yourself even more persuasive?

    2. What a pathetic thread with male jerks pontificating about what women should be allowed to do with their bodies. It is not your decision guys

      So that means women should also never demand child support? Or do you just consider men to be sperm donors and ATM machines?

      1. That’s different!

    3. Are you a pathetic self-hating male or a misandrist man-hating feminazi?

      Do you think men should have any parental rights? Or are they just second class citizens serving as sperm donors and ATM’s (as another poster phrased it)?

  17. If you simply cut through all the bullshit, we have a ruling class of theocratic sex police operating under instructions from a weird cult whose leaders wear red gowns and jewel-encrusted shoes and nobody thinks it’s weird. And that should bother a libertarian far more than an income tax hike for the spawn of scummy fake billionaires. But it won’t.

    1. I know it. It’s fucking crazy. It’s a good example of warning about if you believe absurdities you’re well on the road to committing atrocities.

  18. Most conservatives favor an incremental approach because that will impact poor women. Rich and middle class women whether liberal ,moderate, or conservative will still have access to abortion. Even when completely outlawed in a state, they can simple travel to another state. They also have access to resources that will help facilitate finding where they can have an abortion. It is the poor women who chooses abortion because they don’t have the resources to support a child who are penalized. They have made a responsible personal decision and are then criticized for that decision. The legislators who voted on the bills, the governors who sign into law and the judges who affirm the laws will never be affected by them. Their daughters, their sons’ girlfriend, and their mistresses will all have abortion access if they need it. It is hypocrisy at its finest.

    1. I don’t think the opponents of choice understand the consequences of recognizing the fetus as a person. If the fetus is a person then the women may not be allowed to leave the state with the “person”. These states would have to count the “person” in the census. The states would have to give the “person” standing in court. It’s a can of worms to declare a fetus a person. How would they deal with birthright citizenship? Giving birth no longer has meaning if conception is the event that bestows personhood. Could you put a pregnant woman in jail because that would mean you’re incarcerating the other person? For all of human history live birth was the event that had to occur for a separate legal identity to attach. The other problem is the way these conservatives are allowing states to throw up arbitrary regulatory obstacles that have no rational basis. If a state can undermine the rights of a pregnant women with bs made up laws imagine what they can do to undermine the rest of our liberties.

  19. Except all these bills happening at once is unmistakably part of a strategic plan. Why would they be doing this unless they were sure they had the votes to prevail at the Supreme Court?
    The only other reason I could imagine would be that it’s a fundraising scheme. At every stage of appeal they could send out mass mailings saying there’s a critical need for money.

  20. Roe v Wade 21-weeks. Chances of major mental retardation at 27-week birth is 80%. Survival rate at 21-weeks 0%. The Supreme Court was wise on this ruling (Actually, very conservative leaning). If a homo-sapien has 0% survival rate under what wild imaginative “propaganda science” does one claim public ownership of said adult person by excusing a 0% survival rate “piece” of a full grown living adult and functional person as public domain?!?! Believe what you want but keep your beliefs to yourself and your family. What right is there to be pimping out OTHER PEOPLES pregnancy (body) through public debate?

  21. […] this month I wrote a column titled, “The Supreme Court Probably Won’t Kill Roe Yet.” I think I’ll stick […]

  22. […] this month I wrote a column titled, “The Supreme Court Probably Won’t Kill Roe Yet.” I think I’ll stick […]

  23. […] this month I wrote a column titled, “The Supreme Court Probably Won’t Kill Roe Yet.” I think I’ll stick with that […]

  24. […] this month I wrote a column titled, “The Supreme Court Probably Won’t Kill Roe Yet.” I think I’ll stick […]

  25. […] gains” he has in mind. But let’s take Roe v. Wade as an example, since fears of its impending doom have been much in the news lately. It is possible to believe both that Roe was wrongly […]

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