Abortion

Now That Opponents of the Texas Abortion Ban Are Using Its Provisions To Defeat It, Pro-Life Activists Are Crying Foul

In the first two lawsuits filed under S.B. 8, all of the parties seem to think enforcement of the law should be blocked.

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S.B. 8, a Texas law that took effect at the beginning of this month, authorizes "any person" to sue "any person" who performs an abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, facilitates it, or "intends" to do so. Plaintiffs, who are promised at least $10,000 in "statutory damages" per abortion plus compensation for their legal expenses if they win, need not live in Texas or allege any personal injury or interest. The only limitation is that they cannot be state or local officials, who are explicitly barred from trying to enforce the law.

That scheme, which covers the vast majority of abortions, was designed to prevent pre-enforcement challenges to S.B. 8 and to maximize its chilling effect, since the law's supporters hoped the mere threat of litigation would encourage clinics to dramatically curtail their services, which is exactly what happened. But now that the first two lawsuits authorized by S.B. 8 have been filed, anti-abortion activists are crying foul. Those cases raise the prospect that the law finally will be tested in court, potentially nullifying its chilling effect by allowing defendants to argue that the ban is inconsistent with the Supreme Court's abortion precedents.

The first two S.B. 8 lawsuits both target San Antonio gynecologist Alan Braid, who recently announced in a Washington Post opinion piece that he had deliberately violated the law. Braid's intent was to invite lawsuits that would help settle the issue of whether S.B. 8 is constitutional. That is also the avowed aim of the two plaintiffs who have sued him, Oscar Stilley and Felipe Gomez. Stilley, a disbarred Arkansas attorney who is serving a home-based federal sentence for tax fraud, said he was troubled by the fact that S.B. 8's reliance on private civil actions had frustrated constitutional challenges. Gomez, an Illinois lawyer whose license has been suspended, describes himself as a "pro-choice plaintiff" who likewise would welcome a ruling against S.B. 8.

All of the parties to these lawsuits, in other words, seem to think enforcement of S.B. 8 should be blocked. That situation dismays Chelsey Youman, Texas state director and national legislative adviser for Human Coalition, an anti-abortion group based in Frisco. "These out-of-state suits are not what the bill is intended for," Youman told The New York Times, which notes that her organization "said it had no plans to file a lawsuit" against Braid "or to encourage others to do so." Youman "speculated that the lawsuits were 'plants,' and she portrayed Dr. Braid's opinion essay as an attempt to bait a frivolous suit that would challenge the law's constitutionality in court."

Texas Right to Life also argues that the Stilley and Gomez lawsuits are improper. "Texas Right to Life is suspicious that Braid's op-ed is purely a legal and publicity ploy," it says. "The abortion industry's 16 previous efforts failed to stop this law from saving lives so far, and this may be another attempt….Neither of these lawsuits are valid attempts to save innocent human lives. Both cases are self-serving legal stunts, abusing the cause of action created in the Texas Heartbeat Act for their own purposes."

Contrary to the implication, S.B. 8 does not require that plaintiffs be motivated by a desire to "save innocent human lives." Its description of potential plaintiffs—"any person"—could not be broader. Private civil lawsuits ordinarily seek to vindicate the plaintiff's rights and compensate him for an injury. By eliminating any such requirement and embracing legal tricks that conservatives have long condemned, S.B. 8 invited just the sort of gamesmanship that offends Human Coalition and Texas Right to Life.

S.B. 8 not only defines potential defendants and plaintiffs very broadly; it rigs the rules to favor the latter over the former. The statute limits the defenses available to targets of the lawsuits it authorizes, and it bars them (unlike plaintiffs) from recovering their legal expenses if they nevertheless win, both of which make the threat of litigation more daunting. Now that Braid, Stilley, and Gomez have taken advantage of S.B. 8's provisions to defeat it, the law's supporters are suddenly concerned about "legal stunts" that "abus[e]" the civil justice system.

It is not hard to see why anti-abortion activists might prefer that no lawsuits are ever filed under S.B. 8. "The goal is to save as many lives as possible, and the law is working," Youman told the Times. Similarly, John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, estimated that "over 2,000 lives have been saved so far by the Texas Heartbeat Act." The law's deterrent effect will prove short-lived if judges in cases like those against Braid conclude, as seems inevitable, that S.B. 8 cannot be reconciled with the Supreme Court's abortion precedents and their rulings are upheld on appeal.

The Times reports that "anti-abortion leaders in Texas said they never expected many people to actually file lawsuits, thinking the process would be too costly and onerous." They thought they could achieve their goal without any litigation, and that expectation has proven correct so far. "After the law's passage," the Times notes, "clinics across the state immediately said they would comply; some reported that they had temporarily stopped providing any abortions at all." Women seeking newly banned abortions, which include any performed after six weeks or so unless they are necessary to address a "medical emergency," were forced to do so in other states, a barrier that in some cases was prohibitive.

The goal of immediately stopping abortions, however, was always at odds with the goal of giving the Supreme Court another chance to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that said women have a constitutional right to abortion, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that retained Roe's "central holding." The continued viability of those precedents is at the center of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case the Court already has agreed to hear. Oral arguments in that case, which involves a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks, are scheduled for December 1. Unless the Court renounces Roe and upholds Mississippi's law, the broader Texas ban won't have a chance.

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  1. Fucking Reason. The end justifies the means. It that law accomplishes it’s goal then good. So what if the means will be used by the others in the future. It accomplished a goal. Principles are for libertarians and children. But I repeat myself.

    1. Like the constitutionally unsupported usurpation of State authority and the democratic process by Coury that Roe was?

      1. Hey, without the notions conceived during the process that allowed the right to abortion to be cut from whole cloth, the SCOTUS would never have been able to pull gay marriage out of their asses.

        1. Are you trying to tell me the FF didn’t have penaltaxes in mind when they were crafting the constitution?

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      2. It’s a fair ruling. Abortion law requires a definition of who counts as a distinct person. Roe v. Wade decides that, at some point a fetus is not distinguishable from the mother’s own body and if we’re just talking about a woman’s own body and no one else, then the law doesn’t have a right to stand between her and a doctor. Where that line is when a fetus becomes a person wasn’t defined, and I hope it doesn’t get clearly defined because I personally don’t believe there’s a hard demarcation line and becoming a person is a gradual process that starts at conception and continues well past birth, but if you want to start making real abortion laws you will NEED that kind of judicial decision.

        1. Well said. The abortion debate will never be solved until we have a single bright-line answer that defines the start (and end) of “life”. Despite several millennia of careful work by some of the best thinkers on the planet, we still have no answer to that question.

          1. Which means that the utilitarians will pushing for treating certain classes of humans as property when it is convenient will be unabated.

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            2. Like Deontologists and Divine Command Theorists never treated human beings as property.

          2. Actually, we do. It’s only that there’s a large group who refuses to accept it so that they can murder their children without anyone seeing it.

          3. There is no answer, of course, since biology goes on with or without human cultural constructs and approximations. We have only tradition to appeal to, and in this case that means legal precedence rather than religious tradition, and not only because the US constitution forbids religious law from being actual law: Christianity itself, alone or as a force of law, never considered a fetus a person. That would be ludicrous for a pre-modern society.

            The notion was invented so anti-abortionists didn’t have to constantly defend the goal of making women’s reproductive systems the property of the state. It was PR. But, as with is undoubtedly a feature of all religions that last long enough, the practitioners got high on their own supply, and some people on this very thread actually believe that it’s legitimate to call a fetus a person with more rights than its mother.

            1. Educate yourself as to the difference between “precedence” and “precedents”.

              And, no, the tradition of considering a fetus a person is quite hoary. Why don’t you read the history laid out in the MAJORITY opionion in Roe v Wade.

              Talking about getting high on your own supply, exactly no one asserts that the fetus has “more rights” than its mother.

              1. It’s bullshit, but let’s assume for a moment that a fetus is a person.

                If one person is prevented from voluntarily disassociating from another person, the one whose right of association is being constrained has, by definition, lesser rights.

                It will be interesting to see how conservatives react if they gain personhood for a fetus, but that allows women to get rid of the fetus due to other legal rights of association or some other more … pedestrian areas of law than ConLaw.

                1. The claim was, “Christianity… never considered a fetus a person. That would be ludicrous for a pre-modern society. / The notion was invented so anti-abortionists didn’t have to constantly defend the goal of making women’s reproductive systems the property of the state.”

                  From the MAJORITY decision in Roe: “The English statutory law. England’s first criminal abortion statute, Lord Ellenborough’s Act, 43 Geo. 3, c. 58, came in 1803. It made abortion of a quick fetus, § 1, a capital crime, but in § 2 it provided lesser penalties [transportation for fourteen years] for the felony of abortion before quickening….” Got that? 1803. And before that it was a common law crime. Here’s Wikipedia’s further comment: “Similar provision was made for Scotland by the 6 Geo 4 c 126 (An Act to make provision in Scotland for the further prevention of malicious shooting and attempting to discharge loaded firearms, stabbing, cutting, wounding, poisoning, maiming, disfiguring, and disabling His Majesty’s subjects).” The point of abortion is of course to kill the fetus without damage to the mother, but such a successful abortion, leaving His Majesty’s adult subject uninjured as intended, was no defense to the charge.

                  1. I should have distinguished between a quickened fetus and an unquickened one, but I didn’t want to complicate my rant with trimesters.

                    “Personhood rights begin at conception” is novel. It’s not necessarily fair to say that the goal of the movement is to transfer ownership of women’s bodies to the state. Their goal is “end abortion.” They don’t like the practice. The rationalizations are just details.

                    I certainly would never be one to suggest that the Catholics and cultural cons ever were influenced by concerns of patriarchy.

                    1. So then banning abortion after twenty weeks, will be acceptable? Because the Planned Parenthood types like Obama want it legal until the moment of birth.

                  2. Abortion prior to quickening was not a crime at common law.

                2. I will add that characterizing abortion as “voluntary disassociation” is quite Orwellian.

                  And, no a prohibition against post-partum child abandonment isn’t a prohibition on “voluntary disassociation”, either, still less a declaration that the mother has “lesser rights” than her child. Obligations are not mere associations.

                  1. Persons have the legal right of free association. If you establish a fetus as a person. The mother has no obligation to associate with the fetus. She has no obligation to feed, house, or nurture the fetus. This is the essence of the evictionism theory of Walter Block.

                    The bottom line is that if you have two legal persons, there are no involuntary obligations on either. Which mean that if the woman doesn’t want to have the fetus in her, she doesn’t have to.

                    It’s a little crazy, but it has a certain logic. And it isn’t just under free association that the fetus could be separated from the woman. Think about an area of law and consider; if the woman is a person and the fetus is a person, how do the rights of each interact under established law.

                    Basically, you don’t just have to get a fetus personhood status. You have to establish a woman’s obligation to nurture and carry that baby. Which means that you either have to follow established laws and precedents or you have to make an entire subsection of law to cover persons that are also fetuses, as separate from persons that are not fetuses.

                    1. Garbage in, garbage out.

                      No, persons do not have a “legal right” to disassociate from human lives they have brought into existence. That’s crazy talk, and if this Walter Block person has a theory that says such a nonsensical thing then he should be ignored.

                    2. Like giving a child up for adoption? Like surrogacy? Voluntary disassociation is well established. It isn’t even controversial.

                  2. Post-partum a woman may instantly voluntarily disassociate from the just-born child. Look at all of the safe harbor laws, adoption, or any other arrangement in which the mother surrenders responsibility for the baby. If a fetus is a person, she can choose to do that at 10 weeks preganant if she wanted. Because she could just sign away her parental responsibilities and would no longer have any obligation to the fetus.

                    Granted, Walter Block uses property law as the framework for evictionism. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure there are equally … unique … situations in contract law and various other branches of the law.

                    1. Screw this Walter Block person. As long as the child is better off if his mother disappears from his life I’m prepared to allow her to do so, perhaps after securing child support, but this “right to disassociate” that you claim exists is not a right at all. It’s a fantasy.

                    2. Block’s Evictionism argument is more nuanced and more based in logic than the aspect that you mentioned. He argues that the conflict over Abortion in society is due to the fact that it deals with two intertwined rights: the right of the woman to do what she wants with her body and the right of the third party fetus to live.

                      He argues that we should separate these rights. He says that the woman has the right, at any time, to “evict” the fetus from her body; but, she never has the right to intentionally kill the fetus in doing so.

                      He argues that (1) if the fetus is viable, and (2) if the procedure used to extract the live fetus does not materially increase the risk to the woman, and (3) if someone else will volunteer to pick up any extra cost required by the procedure plus accept all further responsibility for the child, then the woman must allow the fetus to be born alive.

                      I believe that proponents on both sides of the Abortion argument will have trouble finding major faults with this brilliant compromise. “Pro Choicers” will have a tough time arguing that the woman has the right to kill the fetus, while “Pro Lifers” will have a tough time arguing that the birth woman must be responsible for a raising a baby that she doesn’t want.

                      The only valid concern would be with “Pro Lifers” who believe that the fetus is a person from conception on because Evictionism will still allow abortions until viability. Block argues that future advancements in technology with eventually eliminate this concern.

                    3. Yup. Like I said, it is a little crazy as a theory because it relies on property rights as part of the premise, but it does have a certain logic.

              2. It´s not about personhood. The tension in Roe v. Wade was between a pregnant woman´s liberty interest in making an autonomous decision regarding whether to bear a child and the State of Texas´s governmental interest in preserving fetal life. SCOTUS fixed viability as the point at which the governmental interest took priority (subject to an exception to preserve maternal health).

                Let me illustrate with a hypothetical. Suppose you have a relative or close friend facing an unwanted pregnancy, who asks you for advice on whether to carry to term. Are you going to tell her ¨I´m sorry, but you are not competent to make that decision. Go ask the governor and do whatever he says¨?

                1. Your “illustration” in the second paragraph illustrates nothing in the first paragraph.

                  SCOTUS’ from-its-butt declaration “fixed” nothing, of course, in either sense of the term.

                  1. Still got a problem with Marbury v. Madison?

                    And our failure to answer the hypothetical speaks loudly.

                    A statute that prohibits pre-viability abortion is just as destructive of personal liberty as would be a statute mandating abortion.

                    1. That should be ¨your failure.¨ You run away like a scalded dog from discussion of a pregnant woman´s liberty and autonomy.

                    2. You declaration of the equality of prohibiting and compelling abortion is what speaks loudly. About the fact that your brain is broken.

                      My failure to answer your strange Tourettes-like “hypothetical” was rightly dismissive of its place in this conversation, but, no, I wouldn’t say anything remotely like that, nor have I said anything to indicate to you that I would. If you think I have, quote me. Let’s see how delusional you really are.

                    3. The point is, there are some decisions beyond the rightful ken of governmental decision making. Whether to bear or beget a child is among them.

                      You seem to be comfortable with state governments making that kind of decision. I regard that as tyranny. Compare the People´s Republic of China making abortion compulsory. The notion of who decides is the same in either case.

                    4. I’m 100% a supporter of the idea that government has no business in what consenting adults do in the bedroom, what families decide concerning child-bearing and child-rearing, and only the lightest touch on medical decisions. These are some of the most personal and intimate aspects of life and the government has no business micromanaging them. Other people have absolutely no business injecting themselves or their moral decisions into them.

                2. A convenient fiction, much like Santa, not mom and dad, bring the presents. The same superstitions–that outside the jurisdiction of the Bill of Rights–stone and behead women and have for a millennium, are slow to concede the victory of reason and individual rights. Women gained the vote, used it in 1932 to topple superstitious mystical prohibitionism, and are using the violence of law to fend off the violence of ignorant, rapist-minded male bullies and their handful of brainwashed crones, harridans and Trilbys.

                  1. The nub of your gist is correct, except that far too many suffragettes were pro-Prohibitionism. And some of the most foaming-at-the-mouth Anti-Abortionists are women.

          4. What gives you the idea that the abortion debate is something to be “solved”?

            1. Yeah. The problem has been solved several different ways, many different times. The problem has nothing to do with smart people trying to solve it. The problem is with dumb people like ENB needing to bludgeon anyone, smart or not, who disagrees with her.

            2. Leftists must be solved.

              1. When you say leftists, do you mean socially or economically?

            3. Lee’s unconditional surrender to Grant sure as hell solved the use of quadroon ball girl slavery as a false front for moderation in tariff laws. You George Wallace Dixiecrats ought to be accustomed by now to unequal yet apposite reprisals.

          5. life: (A1) [noun] the period between birth and death, or the experience or state of being alive (Cambridge)
            life: (1) the period of time from someone’s birth until their death (Macmillan)
            More significantly…
            life: Independent existence as an animate being. (Duhaime’s Law Dictionary)
            — which goes on to legal citations, e.g.:
            ● “There could be no homicide without a living human being the victim. The killing of an unborn child was not a homicide at common law for the reason that the fetus was not considered a person…. It was necessary that the child be born alive and exist independently of its mother’s body before it could be considered a person….” People v. Selwa (1995)
            Cf. 1 U.S. Code § 8: “Person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual” as including born-alive infant — “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words ‘person’, ‘human being’, ‘child’, and ‘individual’, shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.”
            Collins English Dictionary: “A baby is a very young child, especially one that cannot yet walk or talk.”
            Wikipedia: “Biologically, a child (plural: children) is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty….”

            All these differing citations seem to share the same criterion, the same dividing line: live birth. This has been in the Common Law for centuries; how is it that you are not aware of it, and claim there is “no answer to the question”?

            1. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

        2. “.. continues well past birth..”. Well, good. Then there’s still hope that you’ll be aborted at some point.

        3. Have you ever read the RvW decision, or any analysis of it? The court exactly defined when the fetus becomes a human with innate rights… at the moment the fetus is mature enough to be likely to survive labor and delivery, and develop normally – which the court defined at 24 weeks based on expert medical testimony.

          After 24 weeks, elective abortion is prohibited. Medically dictated abortion is all that is permitted after that, because – wait for it – the government doesn’t get to tell the mother that she has to risk *her* life to bring the pregnancy to term.

          It is terrifying how many people on both sides of this issue, who consider themselves “informed”, have absolutely no CLUE what the decision is based on, or how it was written.

          It is quite possibly the most genuinely libertarian ruling ever handed down by the court, 7:2 with !5! conservative justices as part of the majority.

          1. Good post. I took the trouble to read RvW several years ago and the justices did their best to define when a person, in the legal sense, comes into existence. Many good people feel the court erred because it is clear to them that conception is the event at which a person comes into existence. Its main advantage is that it is a simple and relatively easy to define demarcation. But it has the disadvantage that there was no historical support for that position.

            1. The historical support for ‘viability’ is a lot closer to the actual historical view of ‘quickening’ (when the fetus starts to move – or about 18 to 20 weeks) than either of them are to ‘conception’.

              Before quickening, there is simply no way ‘society’ (meaning men) could even know whether a woman is pregnant absent massive intrusiveness. So there is no way to socially control of the pregnancy before that. They were simply beyond the law. Quickening was how people determined the due date. British common law only prohibited abortion post-quickening – and a pregnant woman could not be executed post-quickening. Even the Catholic Church ignored abortions pre-quickening until 1869. And of course anyone who reads Roe reads about quickening.

              Quickening is a bit of an obsolete term now even if 95% or so of abortions occur before then. And viability does has a much cleaner way of identifying two separate independent lives rather than one dependent on another where ‘society’ is supposed to choose which one is dependent.

              1. “Before quickening, there is(sic) simply no way ‘society’ (meaning men) could even know whether a woman is(sic) pregnant absent massive intrusiveness. So there is(sic) no way to socially control of(sic) the pregnancy before that.”

                1803 Britons disagreed. As I’ve noted above, Lord Ellenborough’s Act provided transportation for fourteen years as the penalty for the felony of abortion before quickening.

                1. OK. Well that is statutory law not common law. And the law was not used to prohibit abortion. It was to create a basis for a death penalty for attempted murder. Shoot a pregnant woman and even if the woman lives, the death of the fetus will deem that crime an attempted murder. Which is why the text was about shooting, stabbing, poisoning, etc for the malicious procuring of a miscarriage. Those are not the means women use to abort – and a court would not view that as malicious. Nor is there any logical link between ‘procuring miscarriage’, ‘killing bastards’, ‘setting fire to buildings’. Except as a way of creating potential capital punishments for attempted murder.

              2. Either pretext allows males to use violence to discriminatingly coerce women. So reviving the ERA is the lasting solution, like Sherman’s March to the Sea, the 13th Amendment and the bright light at Nagasaki were lasting solutions even men blinded by faith could not ignore.

                1. ERA: The Final Solution to Deplorable resistance!

                  Well, that’s not going to happen. What else you got?

          2. The court exactly defined when the fetus becomes a human with innate rights… at the moment the fetus is mature enough to be likely to survive labor and delivery, and develop normally – which the court defined at 24 weeks based on expert medical testimony.

            So they didn’t arrive at an answer from Constitutional principle. You say they arrived at a ‘likely’ answer as though that’s more definitive than something definitive like ‘shall not be infringed’.

            1. So – you’re saying the Comstock Laws were both constitutional and reasonable? Because those laws – prohibiting the US Mail from delivering abortifacients via mail – are the reason states started outlawing surgical abortion as well.

              1. “So you’re saying” followed by random irrelevant garbage is a self-discrediting tactic in argument.

              2. That’s right. See “Republicans banned ALL birth control” at the Libertariantranslator dotcom blog. And the lead up to that usurpation was making government mail a predatory monopoly, instead of letting it compete in an uncoerced market, like Lysander Spooner’s mail service. The Constitution does not demand a mail monopoly.

          3. Well. I’m man enough to admit when I get schooled.

          4. “Have you ever read the RvW decision, or any analysis of it? The court exactly defined when the fetus becomes a human with innate rights… at the moment the fetus is mature enough to be likely to survive labor and delivery, and develop normally….”

            Nonsense. SCOTUS pulled out of its butt the assertion that the States had no interest in preventing abortion so long as “mortality in abortion may be less than mortality in normal childbirth”, that it had the right to regulate abortion only for the benefit of the health of the woman up until the point of viability, and that “the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life” is compelling only after that. But it made no silly declarations as to when “the fetus becomes a human”.

          5. “The court exactly defined when the fetus becomes a human with innate rights… at the moment the fetus is mature enough to be likely to survive labor and delivery, and develop normally ”

            Good to know that courts have defined leftists as inhuman and without rights.

          6. It–the most important part stopping Wallace’s Dixie Hicks from bullying women at gunpoint–was fairly accurately copied from the 1972 Libertarian platform, with some rewording and an extra week tacked on for good measure. But Canada took the issue to an even better and more libertarian solution by striking down all fanatical laws presuming to single out women for discriminatory coercion. These things all played out in the same timeline.

        4. It doesn’t need to be a *judicial* decision. It can be a legislative decision. It’s not like the courts can somehow answer the question better.

          1. Since 1803, it has been the province of the judicial branch to declare when a statute violates the Constitution.

        5. ” Abortion law requires a definition of who counts as a distinct person.”

          No, it doesn’t. A law prohibiting abortions when a heartbeat is detected merely prohibits abortions when a heartbeat is detected. It does not claim that that detection determines when the fetus “counts as” a “distinct person”.

          1. Do you mean a real heartbeat, as in “the beat of a heart” or the thing that anti-abortionists falsely call a heartbeat?

            1. Pro-abortionist declares 20,000 adults to be inhuman lumps of cells in order to defend the right to murder babies.

              Seriously, you aren’t making a valid argument. You’re just proving that you’ll upend the English language and defy a hundred years of medical and physical science in order to murder babies.

              I’ve been an 8 weeks person for a long time and been labeled bot pro and anti abortion for it. 8 weeks is the point at which heartbeat *and* brainwaves have been established. Once both have been established, it’s a living organism, not a lump of cells. Once both cease, it’s no longer a living organism but a lump of cells. It’s really pretty simple.

              But, as Gandydancer pointed out above, people don’t want simple answers, they want excuses to avoid consequences and to go so far as to disregard or destroy centuries of human knowledge in order to bludgeon and kill people they’ve never met, but don’t like.

              1. Nelson isn’t a valid human.
                Do unto it as it does unto others.

                1. You aren’t the first to say that and probably won’t be the last. Fortunately, I’m not the type who needs validation from every Tom, Dick, and Harry I come across. Although Tom, Dick, and Harry are a gay throuple in my neighborhood and they are lovely people.

              2. If it is, indeed, “a living organism,” then until it reaches viability, it is a parasite, feeding on its host with no return. Also, no one has declared fetuses to be “inhuman.” They have been declared to not be PEOPLE, aka, they have no personal agency, nor personal responsibility. If you want to insist that they do, then I’m going to insist that they be held accountable for assaulting an unwilling host whenever a female is forced to carry a pregnancy against her will.

                Furthermore, a fetus is, BY DEFINITION, NOT a baby. A human being is only a baby AFTER BIRTH; before that, it’s a fetus. Perhaps if you want to accuse others of “upending the English language,” you should actually know the definitions of words.

                And finally, the people who perform abortions and the people who get them generally do not dislike fetuses. They just don’t see how it’s somehow better to force females to carry unwanted fetuses in their bodies, risking their health and safety for months, and then potentially having the postnatal BABY die of starvation, neglect, abuse, or lack of medical care in a society that only gives a FUCK about them when they’re fetuses, but once they’re born they’re trash and so are their mothers.

                1. “…fetuses… have no personal agency, nor personal responsibility. If you want to insist that they do, then I’m going to insist that they be held accountable for assaulting an unwilling host whenever a female is forced to carry a pregnancy against her will.”

                  And after they’re born babies are home invaders, I guess.

                  You are a loon.

                  1. To be fair, as soon as they are born the mother can surrender them with no repercussions. So the mother would either voluntarily take responsibility for the baby or would send it elsewhere. No home invasion either way.

              3. The brain activity at that point is not developed enough to run and regulate the body. That doesn’t happen until 26-30 weeks, in general. As does significant and necessary organ development. Basically what you just said is you agree with the viability argument, but you don’t agree with where they put it? I can see why the anti-abortionists think you’re pro-choice and the pro-choice people think you’re anti-abortion.

            2. SB8 declares what it means by a heartbeat (do you even know this?), and it makes no difference whether you agree that it ought to be called that so long as the definition is clear.

              1. The Humpty Dumpty theory of legislation?

                It is all about who is to be master, isn´t it? Just as in Wonderland.

                1. I have no idea what point you imagine you are making.

                  Nellie upthread suggested that SB8’s definition of “heartbeat” was deficient, My answer was on point.

                  Yours to me is deranged.

                  1. Come on, now. Humpty Dumpty famously said to Alice, ¨When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
                    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
                    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

                  2. Look up any medical reference to a human heart. Then look at what the fetus has when what anti-abortionists call a “heartbeat” is detected. They are not the same thing. Not even close.

                    Common sense says you have to have a heart in order to have a heartbeat.

                    But, although duplicitous and misleading, it is great marketing and excellent for bumper stickers. As is the false equivalence of “life” and “personhood” that anti-abortionists pretend is real.

        6. Actually, the Court did define when a fetus becomes a person–at birth. After surveying the use of the term “person” throughout the Constitution, as well as ancient attitudes, the Hippocratic Oath, the common law of the 19th Century (including contributions of Christian theology), English statutory law, and American law, the Court found that the intended meaning of “person” as used in the Amendment by those who ratified it in 1868 did not include the unborn.

    2. Gov. Babbitt’s GOP law repealed the last of the papal laws bullying girls in the holdout state of Coahuila–bordering half of Texas. Let’s see Statehouse televangelists sue the Mexicans for profiting off the stupidity of the voters who wasted suffrage on a party shot through with Taliban-style fanatics.

  2. They should have seen this coming.

    1. And done what?

      Sullum’s triumphalism is showing, but the fact that two clowns have filed suits doesn’t prevent anyone else from filing suit.

      Now, there was an injunction against Texas Right to Life filing suit (and GoDaddy tried to deplatform them), which I thought quite curious, but I haven’t heard of any further developments.

      1. The Texas legislature has gotten what it asked for. The self-styled ¨right to life¨ groups would rather have the in terrorem effect of SB8 than judicial consideration of the constitutional merits.

        1. “.. than judicial consideration of the constitutional merits.”

          You mean like Roe and Casey and other examples of excreta posing as “judicial consideration”.

          1. Only SCOTUS can overrule Roe and Casey. That may happen, possibly next spring. In the meantime, there is that pesky Supremacy Clause.

          2. Gandydancer, I understand that you regard Roe and Casey as having been wrongly decided. How can you dispute, though, that they are controlling and dispositive as to the unconstitutionality of SB8´s ¨heartbeat¨ provision?

            Make an intellectually honest effort to answer, if you can.

              1. To be fair, the comment system sucks and if you post more than a few times, it is easy to lose track of what you’ve replied to.

  3. are not what the bill is intended for

    I for one am, SHOCKED, that a law would be used in a way unintended by the drafters.

  4. So all you have to do to overturn any law is get a friendly prosecutor to intentionally tank their case. Hmmmm, somehow I think our law system is not this easily gamed.

    1. Write a law that is deliberately crafted to be used in a way intended to evade normal legal procedure for the purpose of pursuing an extralegal agenda – proceed to clutch pearls about the “rule of law” when people accept your premise, and exploit it to further their own.

      It is Texas, and the pro forced birth groups that are learning this lesson, not the guys using the courts to actually test the crack brain legal theory.

      1. “This lesson” exists only in your imagination.

        Sure, abortion mills have temporarily stopped processing post-heartbeat abortions and anti-abortionists are in no hurry to attempt change to that status quo, but I see no reason to assume that they thought pro-abortion loonies wouldn’t bring sabotage suits. It’s not like bogus consent orders are uncommon. But I assume there will be legit plaintiffs as well. The pro-SB8 position will be presented by pro-SB8 individuals. Sollum’s triumphalist pose is ill-founded.

        1. According to the language of SB8, Mr. Skilley is a legitimate plaintiff, notwithstanding his lack of injury or nexus to the abortion at issue.

          1. Yep. That’s what it says, bigger’n Dallas, in plain black-and-white. Only belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel, could possibly confuse it. But that Third Law, with its unequal yet apposite retaliatory force–backed by a Second Amendment protecting the 19th–that’s the one I’m betting on.

          2. It seems that this is supposed to be a reply to me, but it asserts something I didn’t deny. Are you always this stupid?

            1. Didn´t you write ¨I assume there will be legit plaintiffs as well¨? That necessarily excludes the legitimacy of the extant plaintiffs.

        2. And the “real” plaintiffs will do more to tank the law than the “fake” ones. Sometimes you just need to prime the pump.

    2. The US doesn’t have a legitimate legal system anymore.

      1. Of course it does. It just doesn’t have a *perfect* legal system. Which should surprise no one.

    3. Superstitious politicians who cost their party its only Hitler avatar in 2020, are poised to put it out of business entirely. That’s what its numerous but stupid dupes did to put the Whigs out of business and reestablish an eye-gouging protective tariff after the Nullification ordinances impasse. Those manipulators are what make the laws. The legal system is the arena in which wishful thinking is eventually crushed by reality–like at Gettysburg and Nagasaki.

  5. >>the first two lawsuits authorized by S.B. 8 have been filed

    you seem to think filing = winning.

    1. State courts are bound by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey unless and until those decisions are overruled. Perhaps the Texas legislature will appreciate the wisdom of the maxim, be careful what you ask for.

      1. LOL

        Yes, faggot.
        Be real fucking careful.

      2. That’s not how it works.
        You can always distinguish your case from precedent if you want to.

        1. When and where did you get your legal training, if any?

          1. Roe for example nowhere admits that it is overturning precedent, but of course it overturned hundreds of years of precedent, some of which is shamelessly and dishonestly cites.

            Is there some Law School which disgraced itself by graduating you?

            1. The University of Tennessee College of Law, in 1987. I notice you dodged my question about your training or lack thereof.

              And Roe by no means overturned any precedent. Do you understand what that word means?

    2. Um… no. He assumes that the plaintiffs are so unappealing that they will succeed in sabotaging the law.

      But these two have no monopoly that I can see.

  6. It really does not matter. SCOTUS will soon overrule Roe and states won’t have to play stupid games like this.

    1. God I hope not. We already have enough religious coercion in our laws. We don’t need more.

      1. Thou shall not kill…unless it is a peaceful protestor trespassing in proximity to Pelosi and AOC.

        1. If quoting the 10 commandments to this crowd is the best argument you can muster, you are REALLY in the wrong place.

          Maybe you thought this was OAN?

          1. So you object to “Thou shall not kill?”

            1. It’s more that using a list of religious rules for American law is unconstitutional on its face. General legal restrictions that permeate legal codes throughout history (before and after Christianity) are probably good.

              Let’s play a game. Which of these survive legal challenge under the Constitution?

              Commandments 1, 2, 3, and 4 are blatantly unconstitutional. 5, 7, and 10 aren’t (and shouldn’t be) illegal and any law would probably be unconstitutional. 6, 8, and 9 are illegal (using “bear false witness” to mean purgery) and constitutional, but came from older legal traditions. Because killing, lying under oath, and stealing are all disruptive to social order, which people figured out long before Moses.

              So I don’t object to a law against “murder” (a legal term), but “thou shalt not kill” is way too open-ended. The same way that I don’t object to a law against purgery, but if you use “thou shalt not lie” we’re back at unconstitutional.

              Because unless it is in a legal proceeding, you can lie all you want. It often happens in conjunction with adultery, which means you’re in trouble in Heaven but perfectly fine in America.

                1. Yes, because it’s too broad, since you apparently lack the brain power to read. Literally every human being kills, moron, just to stay alive. Even vegans kill the plants they eat. Ergo, “Thou shalt not kill” is decidedly objectionable. And even if you accept ban implied “Thou shalt not kill humans,” it’s too broad, as that would literally prevlude ANY form of self defense. Additionally, “thou shalt not kill” is 100% a MISTRANSLATION of the Hebrew word “retzach,” which is translated best as “viciously slay/murder,” with a particular implication of specifically of wanton disregard for life and very SPECIFICALLY excludes accidental death, armed combat, or legitimate self-defense. As such, any use of “thou shalt not kill” as an attempt at moral superiority bis in fact deliberately relying on a corruption of holy writ, which in and of itself is a sin, thereby DESTROYING your pose of moral superiority.

                  1. The commenter almost stumbles upon the “initiation of force” distinction the Nuremberg judges failed to grasp. That plus the original “do Not do unto others that which you would Not have them do unto you” form something pretty close to the Principles of the Libertarian Party, at the head of every unsullied LP platform. Another approach is “The Reluctant Cannibal” by Flanders and Swann, which is a delightful listen on Youtube.

                2. If you can’t read a few paragraphs, there are adult literacy classes all over. If it’s an attention thing, there are pharmaceuticals.

                  1. My time is more important than your squawking and sputtering.

                    1. Probably not. Or you overestimate the value of your time.

                      Or, more likely, you don’t like logical arguments that can’t fit on a t-shirt or a bumper sticker. Nuance doesn’t seem to be your thing.

                    2. What is the value of my time? And what do I value it at?

                    3. As a practical matter your time, when working, is worth what you have negotiated with your employer. Your free time is worth nothing. Try to claim the cost of your time as a charitable deduction and see what that gets you.

              1. Is purgery what happens when you take an emetic?

                Your idea that “religious” prohibitions can only be enforced if they date to before Moses is highly obtunded.

                The removal of the tumor on the law that is Roe is not remotely equivalent to the instantiation of “religious coercion”. In deciding what acts will be illegal State Legislatures certainly ought, however, to be free to consult their religious beliefs. What the Constitution prohibits is a Federal Establishment of Religion, not religious insight into right and wrong.

                1. Roe sprang from the 1972 LP platform which stops fanatical bullies from pulling guns on unarmed physicians and pregnant women. The 13th Amendment did something similar after Dred was decided based on the prewar Constitution. It sure as hell stopped the cowardice of enforcing human slavery by instigating bounty hunters with pistols. So the Equal Rights Amendment now beckons with the clear solution to politicians like Babbitt, Lyin’ Ted, Leslie Graham Cracker and Miz Greene Teeth. Roe merely postponed it…

                  1. “Roe sprang from the 1972 LP platform,,,”

                    And here I thought the story was that it sprung from some previously unnoticed penumbra of something in the U.S. Constitution.

                2. Holy crap. I didn’t even see the perjury/purgery thing. I’d assume it was autocorrect, but that isn’t even a word!

                  You missed the point about the 10 Commandments. The ones that predate Moses are actually likely to be legal in America. The other 7 that are pure Christian? Unconstitutional. And that includes any religious legal code, but you mentioned “thou shalt not kill” so I ran with that.

                  The belief that life (or, to be more accurate, personhood) begins at conception is a religious belief. The people, funding, organization, groups, supporters, language, rhetoric, moral superiority, etc. are all religiously based. Looking around with wide eyes saying, “Who, me?” only works with the hopelessly stupid or completely naive.

      2. Pretty sure non-religious people can think Roe was a crap decision, too.

        But Roberts is more about “institutional integrity” (i.e. sticking with poor precedent because he doesn’t want to undermine SCOTUS’s infallibility in the eyes of the public) and wanting his Court to appear nonpartisan (i.e. siding with the liberal justices on polarizing cases so he isn’t dismissed as a conservative ideologue). I strongly suspect he’d come up with a reason to save Roe, like he came up with a reason to save Obamacare.

        1. Roberts is pathetic, and he’s most likely compromised. Justice Thomas is the last man standing.

          1. I would think you would approve of Alito and Barrett.

            1. No brainwaves detected in Nelson.

              1. Alito is a dependable culturally conservative Justice and Barrett is likely to settle in there as well once she stops worrying about people seeing her as a partisan in the culture wars. You should love them.

        2. Roe Roe Roe v Wade, gently down the stream,
          Aborting babies left and right, hear their dying scream.

          1. You can’t scream without lungs. Or a mouth. Or access to air.

            Hmm. Turns out you’re right. If a baby can scream, it is being murdered. Of course, that also means they have been delivered as a live birth. Which makes them a person.

            Wow. I totally agree with this. But I’m guessing you don’t see it like I do.

            1. So if someone suffocates you, you are ok with that and it isn’t murder?

              1. You are asking a person who has lungs and the capacity to scream if removing those things from them is murder, which is not equivalent to the plight of a fetus who has not had them in the first place.

                Perhaps you need some remedial logic courses.

                1. The baby has a heartbeat. That is a determinable feature. Unfortunately, some want to kill the baby before they can even scream.

                2. I do think it’s murder after live birth. Before? Nope. Not at all.

                  He thought he was talking about a fetus when he said, “Aborting babies left and right, hear their dying scream.”, but since it could scream it was clearly already born. Which is why I agree with him, but only because he didn’t think his little ditty through.

                  1. Varika makes the distinction between “with lungs” and “without lungs” in response to a question about murder.

                1. Question. Not statement. Try harder.

                  1. You are intentionally (and in bad faith) misrepresenting my position to have an easily rejected position to beat up on. That is setting up a straw man.

                    1. No. And I was responding to Varika. Is that a sock of yours?

                    2. Nope. I have enough difficulty typing one account. Plus I’m not sure what the point would be.

                    3. I didn’t make a statement. I asked a question.

        3. I’m non-religious. And I don’t mean “agnostic” except in the most technical, irrelevant sense. I’m not even opposed to abortion. Killing babies makes me a bit queasy, but only fairly late in pregnancy, I think. But, yeah, Roe is dictatorial kritarchy, and I say to hell with it.

      3. Nothing to do with religion, genius. You’d rather have one power controlling everyone? Sounds like you’re the big believer in religious coercion.

        1. If you are trying to pretend that “life begins at conception” isn’t an overwhelmingly religious belief, don’t bother. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

          1. So, tell me when life begins, Smelly.

            This is one of the few tings the Roe decision got right, btw.

            But you probably thinks it said something different than it does.

            1. My belief? Live birth. A reasonable compromise point? When the fetus has the organs, systems (nervous, circulatory, and gastrointestinal), and brain activity necessary to exist biologically independent which I say that way because if I don’t include “biologucally” some dumbasses always says “baby’s aren’t independent”) of the mother’s womb. Basically, can the fetus sustain it’s own life separate from the mother? Then I can see it being called a person. Before that? Nope.

              If you like numbers, the compromise position I use is at somewhere between 26 and 30 weeks.

  7. But now that the first two lawsuits authorized by S.B. 8 have been filed, anti-abortion activists are crying foul. Those cases raise the prospect that the law finally will be tested in court, potentially nullifying its chilling effect by allowing defendants to argue that the ban is inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s abortion precedents.

    So then all the handwringing was for nought?

    1. Well, I’m really thinking that nothing changes. There was always going to be a lawsuit and a challenge.

      And the law specifically contemplates that the law might be blocked early and then reinstated.

      So, I’m thinking the people quoted aren’t actually the right people to ask about the law.

  8. Yes, complaining about what should have been an expected tactic is foolish. Why would a pro-life group expect abortionists and their defenders to have scruples and ethics?

    1. So fascists restricting freedom and then having the absolute nerve to fight back using legal measures is showing a lack of scruples and ethics?

      If that’s your idea of scruples and ethics then I thank fuck I’ll never have to meet you in person. And I bemoan anyone who has had the displeasure.

      1. I see, fascism in your mind is putting restrictions on destroying human lives. That makes so much sense.

          1. Birth Control will prevent abortion. It will do away with the practice of taking drugs and poisonous nostrums to end undesired pregnancies. It will put an end to the tens of thousands of illegal operations to which women resort in despair. Mothers will not submit to the murder of unborn children when they can control conception.

            Margaret Sanger, “A Better Race Through Birth Control.” The Thinker, November 1923.

            1. Ugh, you people keep trying to run Sanger down.

              By extracting misleading soundbites from her forays into eugenics, detractors have painted Sanger as a racist and repurposed birth control as a means of controlling minority populations for decades. Manipulating Sanger’s words to support such a claim is historically inaccurate—a gross misuse of quotes without context. However, given the contested nature of the activist’s attempt to wed the function of birth control to the ideology of progressive eugenicists, exploring Sanger’s actual relationship with terms, such as dysgenics and eugenics, presents a valuable learning opportunity.

              Sanger was light and goodness. Quit portraying Eugenics as a Bad Thing.

              1. I think the thing you most resist is participating in a valuable learning opportunity.

                What kind of half-wit can’t separate ethical principles from the personal beliefs of some random historical figure? Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, so you aren’t permitted to celebrate any of his ideas, right?

              2. Ha. I didn’t even bring up Sanger’s enthusiasm for eugenics (and population control), but that quasi pro-life quote of hers does come from such an article. To be fair, eugenics was all the rage among the intelligentsia in her day.

        1. Fascism is defining fetuses as human lives and women as expendable cows.

          1. You calling pregnant women “cows,” Tony?

            Biology acknowledges fetuses as human lives. They aren’t dead (yet) or inanimate matter, and these organisms belong to the species Homo sapiens, so I suppose natural science is fascism.

            Fetal human rights do not make women into baby factories. You talk as though motherhood were some patriarchal religious device and pregnancy a mysterious, deadly pathology that unfairly and inevitably afflicts females, converting them to slaves. Birth control exists, and the pill is 99+% effective when taken consistently as prescribed.

            1. Damn no edit button and my shit-tier HTML skills.

            2. “Biology acknowledges fetuses as human lives. ”

              Biology does no such thing. Science takes no position on moral norms, no matter how universal or provincial. The closest thing you’re going to get to an authority on this matter is Webster’s dictionary, and I think we both can agree that it’s better to change a dictionary than it is to force all women to hand their reproductive systems over to the state for safekeeping.

              You cannot simply say a fetus is a person with rights and wipe your hands of the issue. The cost to doing that is to make the state the decision-maker in individual reproduction rather than the individual. The so-called pro-life stance fails at libertarianism before it fails at anything else.

              Now, I don’t actually think we’re still operating under the post-birth-control religious backlash that motivated this thing to begin with. I think many of the fundies actually believe in their hearts that fetuses are persons with rights. That’s what they’ve been told all their lives by now.

              The only options on the table for me are to try to patiently explain the folly and radicalism of this position, or just simply keep them from power, as I would anyone who wanted to force the state into people’s bodies for the sake of their belief in the Easter Bunny.

              1. Biology doe NOT accept fetuses as human lives. Not under any principal or rubric.

                After implantation, and prior to viability, a fetus is most accurately described – in biological terms – as a parasite. An organism that is completely dependent on the host organism for all resources required for continued development, and that would die without its host. It is not a symbiotic relationship at this point because the host derives no benefit from the presence of the organism.

                Once the fetus is viable – ie, able to survive labor and delivery, and likely to be able to continue to grow and develop normally outside the host — they are ALREADY considered “people” in the eyes of the law, and abortion in the absence of significant medical risk to the mother – is already outlawed.

                So how do late term abortions happen? We’ll that’s a simple question. Can the government *force* me to risk my life, or long term health to save the life of someone else?

                If you are here, presumably you think not. But if that’s true, then the government cannot *force* a woman to risk her life or long term health to bring a pregnancy to term.

                There is absolutely no such thing as a risk free pregnancy. Healthy women die in the delivery room all the time, frequently during or after delivering healthy babies.

                The fact that we **permit** the state to abridge the right to abort a pregnancy at all – even after viability – is actually a violation of that principle. Technically, no one can compel anyone to risk their life for another person. But it is one compromise of principle that I, and most people are comfortable with. The risks of an uncomplicated pregnancy are well known, and statistically quite small, and well within what we generally considerable “tolerable”.

                Its not perfect, but we all agree to *some* impingements on our so called “natural rights” in order to benefit from living in an advanced civil society where we have a say (but not final veto power) over the laws that govern us.

                You cannot be a libertarian, and also want to compel any human being to sacrifice their life to save another. They are simply mutually exclusive. You do not have to agree with their choice – but you must respect it.

                1. You cannot be a leftist and not be a parasite.

                2. Stop pretending to know what you’re talking about. First, parasitism is a kind of symbiosis, so get that straight. Second, ecologists do not consider the relationship between an animal mother and fetus parasitic. They are the same species, and the placenta will actually restrict nutrient flow to the fetus if the mother needs it more. It is not passive tissue or a one-way-only relationship where an afflicted host is drained by a foreign organism. It is a parent-offspring relationship.

                  1. I think these are just imperfect words that don’t mean anything. Obviously, there’s a difference between a typical parasite and a gestating human.

                    Interestingly, the placenta shares genetic history with viruses that are able to integrate into cell membranes, a technique placentae use to fuse cells to shield the fetus (as if a parasite) from the immune system of the mother.

                    When we’re all being grown in womb-bots, some of these issues will go away.

                    1. Totalitarian Tony loses on debating points against an actual Libertarian. Prof. Tara Smith developed an unsurprising and consistent definition of moral rights no socialist or nationalsocialist dares take on. So by evasion, most of the gesticulating is done by those least competent to set forth real-life definitions, use those as premises and employ formal rules of inference to derive valid conclusions. Then again, Tara Smith and every woman in America can vote, and vote better than any force-initiating foe.

                    2. Never heard of her. Professor Tony thinks things get sticky when you try to pin down a precise justification for rights. One doesn’t need a moral premise at all to define what rights are and what they’re used for, and I tend to leave the moral premises to the moralizers. If you torture me, I will describe my ideal society (something Randians seem to think is a sufficient exercise of political discourse), or I will say what I think our particular society should do next. The only question in this particular debate is whether a pre-viability fetus should get rights that interfere with existing rights of the mother.

                    3. Hank Phillips – the degraded alcoholic and unsuccessful human misfire – thinks anybody gives a tinker’s curse about his Tony-tally of communicative futility points.

                    4. “I think these are just imperfect words that don’t mean anything.”

                      If that is true then all human communication is just animal grunting conveying no meaning.

                      Get away from that postmodern bullshit.

                3. From a biological point of view, reproduction is a basic biological function, therefore there is benefit in an offspring’s existence to the parent, hence unborn cannot be considered a “parasite” by any biological definition.

                  1. Hmmmm…

                    Survival of the species is the purpose of that basic biological function and requires live birth. Perhaps all decisions on this subject should side for completing the process whenever possible.

                    I expect if you removed all of the regulations surrounding this issue, and especially any that involve taxpayer funding the issue would mostly disappear.

                    People would do as they have for millenia and the numbers of negative outcomes worthy of Public Notice would be as indistinguishable from the negative outcomes of weekends in Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago or any other Democratic enclave.

                    It doesn’t have to be your business if you aren’t forced to be involved by Government. If you want to be involved donate to adoption agencies or medical clinics. If you don’t want to be involved don’t.

                    It isn’t your business without the legislatin’.

              2. Saying a human fetus is a human life and saying a fetus is a person with natural rights are two distinct things, at least conceptually. You undermine your own position when you reject the biological facts that the object of abortion is alive and human because you attribute moral significance to those indisputable facts. Other pro-choicers are happy to concede that the fetus is a living human, but they either deny the personhood of the aborted or consider homocide justifiable when the intended victim is unborn or nonviable.

                1. I can’t think of any other type of living human we don’t give any rights to, other than accused Muslim terrorists, so the issue is not how we conceptualize the fetus but whether it has legal rights.

                  Life is a continuum that goes back billions of years. Almost all of your cells contain your full set of DNA. And even some people generally acknowledged to be human persons have restricted rights depending on their biological circumstances, such as if they’re in a coma or are children. For those people we often appoint custodians, who sometimes are empowered to decide whether they live or die.

                  The legal rights are the only thing at issue, and there are two sides to that coin. What’s certainly not true is that there is something magical happening at conception, other than the orgasm sometimes.

                  1. At your conception, nothing magical happened. That’s for sure.

                    Apart from you denying that we totally don’t even know what the emergent quality of being conscious and alive even is (and so we have no idea if it could ever occur in artificial intelligences or if they would just mimic it), the majority thinks that a life that just started with a heartbeat is different from an unfortunate human vegetable that a bunch of custodians have to take care of (see Hank Phillips for good measure LMAO).

                    That being said, as you display a degree of soullessness that puts you in the neighborhood of human crops, you can’t ever hope to know any common sense. That’s why some in here take the time to give you some hints.

                    And all of your examples, including the vegetables, have a well-acknowledged right to live, no matter how much you stomp and whine in defeat. Apply this to unborn children as well.

                    1. Brain death = death. The horror of watching people who are supposed to love someone drag things out because they don’t want to acknowledge the truth is heartbreaking.

          2. Then nobody here is trying to engage in Fascism. All we are trying to do is define women as individuals with personal agency and foresight, so that they could anticipate the consequences of their own actions.

            You – the proponent of weakness and authority bootlicking – are the one who is trying to define women as expandable cows by denying their agency as individuals and their ability to foresee the consequences of their actions. You are the fascist who expediently denies personal responsibility.

            1. Yet between us, you are the one arguing that the state should insert itself into the most personal and life-affirming choices humans make.

              You miss the point. The state is not all-wise. It shouldn’t be involved in these decisions because humans are supposed to be free.

              You’re the one asserting that everything, including the most personal aspects of our biological lives, belongs to the state. Guess what the fascists believed?

              1. Maybe we shouldn’t have laws against vehicular homocide because that would suggest our cars belong to the state. Maybe we should permit murdering houseguests because what business is it of the state what we do in the privacy of our own homes?

                1. Yeah, the state steps in when activity stops being personal and starts being communal. So we get to the same old boring question: should we give a fetus new rights that interfere with the existing rights of women?

                  It’s not a question that has an answer. It’s just a choice we are free to make.

                  1. Lack of consensus about the answer does not mean there is no answer or that the answer is unknowable. Hard agnosticism about a question demands its own justification, and “can’t be determined by quantifiable scientific investigation” is not enough because science is not the be-all and end-all of knowledge. Yes, whether abortion affects multiple persons is indeed the crux of the issue, which is precisely why the privacy argument outlined in Roe is question-begging.

                  2. Killing our kids at age 5 is also just a choice we are free to make, as long as we do it privately in our own homes? Oh, so is that how it is in lefty circles then?

                    Killing an unborn child that is past a certain developmental stage IS communal to the non-sociopathic members of our society. Just like murder.

                    1. A lawful abortion and a murder are mutually exclusive. Like red and green or a circle and a rectangle, one cannot be the other.

                    2. @not guilty

                      IOW, there is no higher law. If it is not illegal, then it cannot possibly be murder because “murder” is unlawful killing, and abortion is not against the law.

                      That’s your argument?

                    3. “A lawful abortion and a murder are mutually exclusive. Like red and green or a circle and a rectangle, one cannot be the other.”

                      Correct. I was talking about killing an unborn child. That’s what you do after it became a child. Grow a brain?

              2. Again Tony whips the rednecks with green teeth and pin heads on debating points. Freedom is the absence of coercion by exactly the kind of superstitious whining for someone else to do the deadly gun-pointing that Governor Babbitt signed. Calling forth a girl-bullying lynch mob is a far cry from signing a legitimate law. Voters are learning the distinction on their hides, so these cowards are certain to learn it on their way out the windows after the elections.

                1. Tony only ever whips anyone in the eyes of craggy, alcoholic-faced, impotent, human misfires. (Source: https://libertariantranslator.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/libertariantranslator14.png)

                  Asking women to be able to anticipate the consequences of their own actions isn’t fascism. Unless you think women are morons. Well, maybe on the liberal side of life, they actually are. And therefore they need laws to protect them from the consequences of their actions.

                  I don’t even support that bounty-based abortion law, just to clarify. But a vast majority agree that abortion past a certain point shouldn’t be allowed.

                  Do you think the state should also keep their paws out of our private homicidal affairs?

        2. The deaths of millions of BIPOC babies is a small price to pay for the right to call oneself anti-fascist.

        3. Yes. Anti-abortion laws are anti-American laws. Keep your faith to yourself and I’ll do the same. Deal?

          1. Nelson is lying, but it does not have the intelligence to know how we can tell.

          2. If you believe moral opposition to the killing of inconvenient human beings betrays religious sensibilities, then secularists have already conceded that liberal egalitarian humanism, more faithfully represented here by the anti-abortion position, is, as Christians have maintained, derived from Christian anthropology and ethics.

            1. I see it as a child of the Enlightenment. As moral philosophers started believing (and writing) about moral reasoning separated from (and sometimes in conflict with the teachings of the Catholic and Protestant that they were raised on. It was the first large-scale rejection of the idea that religion was the source of moral authority and an embrace of the idea that each human had the capacity to reason, morally, for themselves. It is a secular version of the split between Catholics and Protestants, where Catholics taught that a relationship with God could only happen with the guidance and agency of a priest. One of Protestantism’s core principles is that each person can have a personal relationship with the divine without anyone else “helping” them.

              1. The idea that “all men are created equal,” speaking of the American tradition, is not a reasoned empirical observation or a conclusion arrived at through the exercise of pure reason. It is a theological claim with ethical implications inherited from Christianity. Liberal Enlightenment values were not totally severed from the medieval religious world. Nietzsche recognized it. The postmodernists recognize it. Liberalism and secular humanism are still conditioned by and ultimately dependent on a Christian ethic.

                1. If it seemed like I was saying they were mutually exclusive, I apologize. Everyone is influenced by the past, whether it be their personal experiences or the traditions of their community.

                  However, the idea that religion is no better than an individual’s moral reasoning abilities in creating a moral code was an idea that didn’t have widespread acceptance before the Enlightenment. America is the result of Enlightenment ideals, which is why the Constitution is intentionally neutral on religion instead of establishing a Christian nation.

      2. The fascists are always the first to call others fascist. Restricting freedom by endorsing the murder of babies? You people really are a sick bunch.

        1. It’s an incoherent application as well. The people who insist that PP has to be supported with government funds and that abortions should be part of government healthcare are the definitive fascists. The abortionists may be authoritarian but, even then, implicit evil behind authoritaarianism is that they’re oppressing people to death not oppressing people to life.

          1. Planned Parenthood, by making contraception available, has prevented more abortions than the anti-choice movement has ever dreamed of.

            I have trouble understanding what is ¨pro-life¨ about creating a black market for surgical services.

          2. Your rhetoric would have more merit were it not for the fact that the MOMENT the fetus is delivered, all pretense at caring ceases on the part of you forced birthers. You hysterically deny state-sponsired healthcare, you want to deny funding to low-cost clinics whose MAJORITY business is NOT, in fact, abortion at all, but the health of women and the promotion of HEALTHY babies and mothers, you scream bloody murder about the mere existence of programs such as food stamps and WIC, and you spout sanctimonious bullshit about how “you shouldn’t have kids if you can’t afford them!” while consistently seeking to deny the ability to PREVENT that–including everything from stripping sex ed from any ACTUAL education, to restricting the availability of birth control, to actively misleading and bullying young pregnant women.

            You have ZERO moral superiority. All you have is 100% hypocrisy

            1. Birth control is cheap and readily available…and its the libs that force women to have to go to a doctor for the pill and not just offer it over the counter (in order to enrich Planned Parenthood and their “mark up”). Please don’t try to say conservatives and libertarians are taking birth control away..they are not.

              Abortion is and has always been a States issue not a Federal Issue. Get a constitutional amendment passed that abortion is a natural right and there you go…no more issues with those darn Catholics..

              1. You believe that it is liberals who are trying to make contraception more difficult to obtain and conservatives are trying to make it more accessible? I think you aren’t paying attention to who is shutting down condom distribution in high schools, promoting ignorance-only sex ed, fighting to keep birth control and Plan B prescription only, supporting pharmacists who think that their personal beliefs allow them to refuse to provide medications prescribe by a doctor, and so on and so on.

        2. Read the 1920 Hitler platform and 1933 Enabling Act. Every clause drips Positive Christianity, superstitious bigotry, and sanctimonious hogwash… Search: “Republican National Socialism”

      3. “So fascists restricting freedom and then having the absolute nerve to fight back using legal measures is showing a lack of scruples and ethics?”

        Stop bemoaning and learn to keep track of your nouns.

        The ones you view as “fight[ing] back using legal measures” seem pretty clearly to the pro-abortionists, previously identified by you as those who are “fascists restricting freedom”.

        LOL!

  9. Youman told The New York Times, which notes that her organization “said it had no plans to file a lawsuit” against Braid “or to encourage others to do so.” Youman “speculated that the lawsuits were ‘plants,’ and she portrayed Dr. Braid’s opinion essay as an attempt to bait a frivolous suit that would challenge the law’s constitutionality in court.”

    The first sentence clearly separates the words of the never-partisan NYT from those of the person they are opining about, but in the second sentence, unless you actually trace out the quotation marks, you might not realize those words are also the opinion of the NYT and not the words of the only person identified in the sentence.

    I understand that the author has already taken a side. He has my support as well as a significant portion of the readership in that. But if the argument is strong enough to support “the broader Texas ban won’t have a chance,” then why resort to such petty deceptions?

    Fuck, Suderman, be better than the petty NYT. Speculated and portrayed are fucking weasel words, and they aren’t even your own. If you think she is full of shit, just say she is full of shit, don’t use a quote of a biased opinion to make is seem like she is.

    1. She is full of shit if she thinks either that lawsuits against Braid need be frivolous (he did after all admit to breaking the law) or that Stilley was probably a plant (his lawsuit was clearly intended to grab attention for what he views as an unearned fate, and it succeeded, so why assume a different motivation than that?).

      1. Parsing the pleading suggests that this plaintiff has a hundred thousand dollars worth of motive.

  10. Fuck, Suderman, be better than the petty NYT.

    Oops. That should be “Fuck Sullum. The rest of you be better than the petty NYT.”

    1. Do you sullumly swear not to mix them up again?

  11. I disagree. The law was written within the context of current court rules. These test cases should be bounced not because “S.B. 8 invited just [this] sort of gamesmanship” but because the parties in this case are not adversarial. The existence of an actual controversy is a necessary element of standing. Those test cases should be bounced for the same reason that the EPA ‘sue-and-settle’ cases should be bounced. When both the plaintiff and defendant agree, then the court’s usual assumption of vigorous, adversarial advocacy is untrue.

    1. The legislature authorized ¨any person¨ to file suit. And if one party is seeking money damages and the other party is resisting that demand, you have a live controversy.

      1. There isn’t a party actually seeking monetary damages in either filing; all parties are simply seeking to overturn the law. Accordingly, there’s no controversy. Dismissal and the imposition of sanctions on the nominal plaintiffs is accordingly the correct result.

        1. In the first suit, the one from Oklahoma, the guy did seem to indicate that he wanted the money

          1. The two phony plaintiffs discussed in the article are from Arkansas and Illinois. Neither of those is Oklahoma.

        2. Have you read the Arkansas plaintiff´s complaint, DRM? He is seeking $100,000 in damages.

          1. There is a not-subtle distinction between seeking damages and pretending to seek damages, and the court is not obliged to go along with an abuse of process based in pretense.

            1. Issues in a lawsuit are framed by the pleadings. The Texas legislature engaged in gamesmanship to try to evade a pre-enforcement challenge to constitutionality. No one should be heard to complain when mischief results.

              1. Come on. Someone is going to come along and knock down their house of cards by doing what the law said they could do? Those bastards!

                Next time, write a law that actually tries to accomplish your goal rather than put together some duplicitous, own-the-libs crap law that has zero chance of surviving scrutiny.

            2. I see little reason to think Stilley doesn’t want the $100,000, if he can get it.

              Whether he is well prepared to defend SB8 is a different issue, but SB8 on its face entitles him to at least $10,000, so I seen no case for “bouncing” him and depriving him of that.

              Presumably now that the ice has been broken dozens of others will step up to sue Braid. As I understand it, there’s no limit. So, perhaps you will find your palaibn there.

              But maybe that will be a feature of the law not allowed, in which case they will have to depend on Stilley’s cupidity to let them help him get his jackpot.

              1. * paladin

                Damn Reason’s trash comment software.

              2. My understanding is that SB8 permits only one recovery per abortion.

                The complaint suggests that this suit will become ripe for judgment on the pleadings when Dr. Braid files his answer.

                1. That’s not my understanding. But, here, take a look:
                  https://legiscan.com/TX/text/SB8/id/2395961
                  Both suits mentioned are against Braid, no?
                  So somebody already lost the race to the courthouse?

                  1. Looks to me liker the Gomez(IL) suit ought to be tossed. He’s not asking for money, so where does his standing come from? (Not to mention that he misstates SB8.)
                    http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2021/images/09/20/fg.v.abriad.roev.wade.defense_7733a4f3%5B2%5D.pdf

                  2. The limit runs from judgment, not from the filing of the complaint. As I noted, this seems to be an appropriate case for judgment on the pleadings once an answer is filed, so it may be a speedy resolution.

                    A determination of unconstitutionality of SB8 could even be made on a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. Like it or not, Roe and Casey are controlling and dispositive. Not to mention that the purported abolition of an injury in fact requirement is fatal to subject matter jurisdiction under the Texas Constitution.

                2. “My understanding is that SB8 permits only one recovery per abortion.”

                  That sounds reasonable, but I’m not seeing it in the law:

                  SB8 ” Sec. 171.208. CIVIL LIABILITY FOR VIOLATION OR AIDING OR
                  ABETTING VIOLATION. (a) Any person, other than an officer or
                  employee of a state or local governmental entity in this state, may
                  bring a civil action against any person who:
                  (1) performs or induces an abortion in violation of
                  this subchapter;
                  (2) knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets
                  the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for
                  or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or
                  otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induced in violation of
                  this subchapter, regardless of whether the person knew or should
                  have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in
                  violation of this subchapter; or
                  (3) intends to engage in the conduct described by
                  Subdivision (1) or (2).”

        3. Thats a fascinating legal argument, but it’s utterly irrelevant.

          The state clearly and unambiguously provided a legal test for standing. If you find that the state does not have the power to do so, then the law is invalid and must be struck down – but that’s a tough hill to climb, because legislation does that all the time.

          If the state IS permitted to specify a test for legal standards, then your argument is moot, and the cases go forward. If these plaintiffs do not challenge that clause, others will.

          In both cases, the law falls. You can also correct me if Im wrong, but while there is logic to your arguments, I’m not finding any specific rule or statute that would permit the courts to unilaterally decide that both parties to a suit were acting in bad faith – except in the case where there is evidence of a crime being committed, which is not the case here.

          In this case, you cant even provide any evidence of bad faith. “I think this is a bad precedent, and I meet all specified criteria, so Im going to challenge it” is not evidence of bad faith. Even “I dont approve of the purpose of this law” is not sufficient.

          The Texas AG might be able to step in and ask the courts to vacate – but that would functionally kill the law because it would mean that the state is not allowed to define standing in the way that it did. I dont think even this supreme court could fail to block enactment/enforcement while THAT argument was litigated.

          1. Faith–the belief in things you know to be a lie–is in every case bad. The loony-bin Ladins tricked the Republicans into stampeding over a cliff, and now it’s too late to back off and think this through. The unreasoning urge to pick up a gun and threaten pregnant women and physicians is as good a proof of insanity as ever kept Robert Dear from being hanged by the neck until dead.

            1. Not seeing this “cliff”. Asa noted by Sullum this law has prevented abortions, What’s the supposed downside?

          2. The Gomez (IL) suit misstates the law (it declares SB8 outlaws abortions after 8 wk) and asks that the law be declared illegal with out asking to be awarded the penalty or fees. I’m not seeing any controversy as between him and Braid.

            He’s also second in the race to court, SB8 doesn’t limit the number of suits for a single abortion, but it hardly seems that that can be right.

  12. That a specific statute does not limit who may file suits does not change the fact that all “friendly plaintiff” suits are inherently illegitimate because they do not reflect an actual conflict between the parties.

    A big hint that the suits are illegitimate, by the way, is the fact that the filers are a disbarred lawyer and a lawyer with a suspended license.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong but having one’s license suspended or disbarred, simply means that they cannot represent someone else. Their access to the courts is not restricted.
      Laws should be constitutional. Let it be tested in a courtroom rather than in the public.

      1. Yeah, they have access to the courts on their own behalf. But it shows how they treat the law, doesn’t it?

        You want the law to be tested? Sure. But let it be a fair test with actual opposing sides instead of a farce where one side fully intends to lose.

        This is how this type of lawsuit, with non-opposed sides, should go:

        Plaintiffs file suit.
        Defendants move for dismissal on the grounds that the law is unconstitutional.
        Plaintiffs agree that it’s unconstitutional.
        Judge dismisses the lawsuit on the grounds it’s unconstitutional.
        Plaintiffs appeal.
        All appeals are denied due to lack of controversy. Since no appeals are decided on the merits, no precedent is set. “Both” sides pay their own legal fees and nothing changes.

        If instead of agreeing that it’s unconstitutional the plaintiffs make a weak argument for constitutionality, any appeals should be nonprecedental unpublished opinions.

    2. You aren’t wrong that standing being conferred by state statute does not automatically guarantee compliance with the “Cases and Controversies Clause”. But if a Plaintiff requests the $ and is awarded it over the Defendant’s objection, and the Defendant appeals, your “friendly suits” argument is dead. But the inquiry does not end there.

      Because the thing about this cockamamie Texas statute is that even an anti-abortionist wouldn’t be able to prove a “personal harm capable of redress by the Courts” unless they were filing on behalf of the fetus or the putative father of the fetus or the like. It’s absolutely absurd to say that someone experienced a personal harm because a stranger drove a stranger to an abortion clinic to terminate a 7-week fetus, let alone that $10k remedy redresses any such purported personal harm.

      If this is truly about fetal right to life and not nut bags’ right to impute their moral and religious beliefs upon others, then pass a frigging law that says so and take another bite at a much more conservatively comprised SCOTUS apple. Instead of passing a law that explicitly states that the former is the issue.

      Also, for anyone who actually is interested in the legalities, Hollingsworth v Perry is a compelling read on standing and the State’s role in defining it. It’s distinguishable substantively and procedurally from anything that could arise from a Heartbeat Act, but the odd majority/minority composition of the justices and the fact that standing and the State’s role in defining it is so central to the issue is worth a read.

    3. So Rudy Giuliani? Hm. I thought he was busy looking like a complete jackass.

    4. There’s an escape route for the Gee-Oh-Pee! Mystical bigots in the background bullying girls have already cost The Don a second term. Republican parasites are now losing out on billions in graft and boodle–probably forever. Gov. Babbitt can sign a repeal of the law on the politician’s promise that the new, improved version will only allow fanatical collectivists to sue. Ladies, meanwhile, bring back the Equal Rights Amendment with no fool deadline and no collaborationist harridan (other than Greene Teeth) stabbing them in the back. THEN let the unwanted wankers try to pass another girl-bullying law!

  13. Its description of potential plaintiffs—”any person”—could not be broader.

    Indeed, has anyone consulted a single fetus on its feelings on the matter?

    A particularly insightful fetus might feel that never experiencing the slings and arrows of this race through the mud we call life is vastly preferable. Life may, at best, leave you off a little better than even, a blip of meaningful experience in an uncaring universe. Many people will experience nothing but horror. A fetus who opts out at the beginning is not getting the full range of being, but let’s be honest, if their parents are contemplating abortion, their odds are starting off suboptimal.

    Ending it all before it begins is breaking even, which isn’t bad, and a rational fetus should be free to make that profound choice for itself.

    1. Whose lives would mystical bigots get to ruin if everyone thought like Tony? The essence of mystical ethics is the maximization of guilt, suffering, coercion and death… much like other forms of socialism.

      1. Depends on whether you define socialism as what Stalin did or what Denmark does, but yeah.

  14. Are you the fuckwit denying the inalienable right to life of the unborn because you claim they are not alive, human or persons?

    You also deny the established definitions of those words that prove the unborn are alive, human and persons.

    Instead you claim that the law has ruled that the unborn are not those things.

    I provided a copy of “The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) is a United States law which recognizes an embryo or fetus in utero as a legal victim, if they are injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence. The law defines “child in utero” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”

    This is proof that the law recognizes that the unborn are living humans with rights.

    At this point your argument was refuted as a lie and it was finally obvious that you are insincerely wasting our time. I told you to fuck off and you should have.

    This is when you chose to play your final card, the nefarious proof that the law determined that the unborn are not alive and hence have no rights.

    Your own post, own goal, showed that your law as evidence clearly states in section c that it does not apply to or make any determinations about the unborn in any way.

    c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being “born alive” as defined in this section.”

    I have demonstrated that the law clearly recognizes that the unborn are living humans with rights and I have demonstrated that the law that you provided as evidence doesn’t deny that the unborn are living humans.

    You have been soundly refuted. Your argument is refuted. The definitions of living human persons with inalienable rights apply to the unborn.

    1. You again? Figure out how to read and interpret a law, please. The 2004 doesn’t mean what you think it does and neither does 1 US Code 8. Your willful ignorance is no excuse.

      1. There’s the text. It’s crystal clear.

      2. Rational people base their understanding of what is communicated by the definitions of the words used.

        Apparently you don’t.

        1. OK, I’ll try this again. The 2004 law describes the way that a fetus will be treated as a victim (not a person) under a very specific set of circumstances: If (and only if) it is injured or killed AND IF (and only if) the crime was one of the 60+ listed crimes named in the law. Therefore, any other situation (anything from an unlisted crime to one of the listed crimes that did not injure the ferus) conveys no status to the fetus. That is exactly what the law you listed says and no more.

          Regarding 1 US Code 8, the first subsection specifically limits “person”, “child”, “human being”, and “individual” to a live birth. Subsection C just says that you can’t apply Subsection A to anything before live birth (a fetus).

          If you can’t understand that after so many opportunities to do so, you are beyond help.

          1. A victim is a person.

            If you’re going to insist otherwise, demonstrate the specific wording in the 2004 law where the law excludes the unborn from personhood.

            The law is specific.

            The first section of code 8 specifically says , “persons” are included in the group born alive. Nowhere does code 8 specifically exclude the unborn from personhood. If you insist otherwise, prove it by showing the specific wording where they exclude the unborn from personhood.

            Failing to demonstrate either, your argument is refuted, you are refuted and it has been demonstrated that the unborn are afforded rights. If any rights, then the inalienable right to life.

            1. “A victim is a person.”

              A victim is not a person, according to the text of the law. And a fetus is *only* considered a victim in very specific circumstances, which are 1) only if the result of the crime is injury or death AND 2) only for the listed crimes. Both conditions must be met for the fetus to be considered a victim. And there are no conditions, in this law, establishing personhood.

              “The first section of code 8 specifically says , “persons” are included in the group born alive.”

              OK, I may have found where your confusion comes from. It doesn’t say that “persons” are included in the group “born alive”. They are saying that “born alive” defines what a “person” is.

              If one of you with a law degree can chime in, I think that Rob is probably a teenager who doesn’t understand how to read a law. Your input could help him understand.

    2. When interpreting the law, courts generally look to the text of the law and perhaps other evidence of its intended meaning. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court did just that. After surveying the use of the term “person” throughout the Constitution, as well as ancient attitudes, the Hippocratic Oath, the common law of the 19th Century (including contributions of Christian theology), English statutory law, and American law, the Court found that the intended meaning of “person” as used in the Amendment by those who ratified it in 1868 did not include the unborn.

      With respect to a law treating a fetus as a victim (which you would like to extrapolate to mean a fetus is a person), it will not come as a surprise to you, I trust, that different legislatures at different times may pass different laws for different purposes, and not all of these laws are entirely consistent with each other. The existence of any such laws does not–in the least–affect or change the meaning of “person” in the 14th Amendment.

  15. They need an appellate court decision for a precedent that can be used to easily block other lawsuits brought by the laws supporters.

    How are they going to get in front of an appellate court if the plaintiff admits in the trial court that enforcement should be blocked?

    1. The Arkansas plaintiff has not taken that position in the trial court. No matter what he has told the media, he is still invoking the statutes to get into the doctor´s pocket.

      An appellate court is not bound by a party´s confession of error. Statutes enjoy a presumption of constitutionality. (In this case that presumption is easily overcome.)

  16. An anti-abortion domestic terrorist, Cheryl Sullenger, has filed a complaint with the Texas medical licensing board seeking revocation of Dr. Braid´s license. https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tax-cheat-disbarred-attorney-attempted-110053340.html The doctor will no doubt raise the unconstitutionality of SB8 in the administrative proceeding and in any judicial review thereof.

  17. Make murder a tort again.

  18. Hey LOOKIE — MORE [WE] mob battles about who get to use the Gov-Gun-Forces against their neighbors… We’re on a roll; a roll to civil war and [WE] mob tyranny..

    So once again, and again, and again; People will spill blood in order to finally learn the MOST fundamental lesson about “Government”. It’s ONLY reasonable purpose is to ensure Individual Liberty and Justice by [WE] mobs who wish to take that away.

  19. The conservative members of SCOTUS got what they wanted, a law that allowed them to stop abortions without actually having to make a decision. “Oh, nothing we can do here to stop the law.” Well someone found a way around that trick. This could be bigger than abortion as it could mean a curtailing of the shadow docket.

  20. “anti-abortion activists”

    You mean “anti-choice activists.” Nobody is pro-abortion.

    /sarc

    1. No, these are people who are anti-abortion. Pro-life is a much bigger concept that includes issues like anti-capital punishment, anti-war, and anti-police brutality positions, among others. I have no idea where they stand on issues of life, but I do know where they stand on abortion.

      1. The problem is you can be for defensive wars and the execution of (say) assassins, poisoners and serial killers without being LOGICALLY REQUIRED to support the killing of the unborn.

        1. So not pro-life, but pro-some-lives? Or the other option, which is anti-abortion because, you know, they are against abortion.

          Seems like my description is a lot more accurate than theirs.

  21. “Women seeking newly banned abortions, which include any performed after six weeks or so unless they are necessary to address a ‘medical emergency,’ were forced to do so in other states, a barrier that in some cases was prohibitive.”

    You mean the babies will survive?

    I don’t get it, I was told with great assurance that prolife laws don’t reduce abortions.

    1. Does it matter? Is there a vital government interest in reducing abortions?

      1. I seem to recall debating you before.

        I’m not saying the previous debate wasn’t constructive, just that we sure covered a lot of ground, and right now I don’t want to risk going over the same ground again.

        1. It was a good debate and you made good points. And, even better, did it in a civil manner. We didn’t cover vital government interests or Evictionism, but I hear you about just wanting to be a spectator sometimes.

  22. A glance at Reason’s archives show that people in the magazine have supported “loser pays” for years, even outside abortion cases.

    I, too, think anyone falsely accused of abortion, or of complicity in abortion, should be able to demand compensation from the false accuser.

    1. But this isn’t “loser pays”. This is “if the plantiff wins, the defendant pays, but if the defendant wins the plaintiff can’t be required to pay”.

      It’s almost like it is an extremist, partisan law. But that couldn’t be true, could it?

      1. In that case we have a lot of extremist partisan laws.

        Reason has at least called for the loser pays reform outside the abortion context.

        I support loser pays for those falsely accused of abortion. Those truthfully accused should not only be denied compensation for the truthful accusation, they should be grateful they got off lightly with a fine and the costs of defending the prosecution.

        1. “In that case we have a lot of extremist partisan laws.”

          Yeah, we do. And because of it, most of them are complete garbage with massive unintended consequences.

          If the defendant wins, they are by definition falsely accused. Combined with the “bounty hunter” and “no need for injury” provisions, it is a trifecta of terrible elements.

  23. Excellent work by Sullum, bringing the Christian National Socialist accusation that the lawsuits are “plants” before an audience of dues-paying, straight-ticket libertarians constantly infiltrated and beset by Sharia Law Swaggarts, cross-dressing Comstockers, fascist fifth-columnists, insidious infiltrators, papal pederast plants, Bible-belting Landover Baptist busybodies, Mormon misanthropes and gullible girl-bulliers. Libertarians have since 1972 understood that women are individuals with rights. It’s in our uninfiltrated platforms. Mystical misogynists on the other hand are ordered to believe stuff, then believe it, are then told to resort to the violence of law and force those falsehoods on others by deadly force. Burning and stoning women; burning books and Beatles albums, and renewed jihads against the 4th, 5th, 13th and 14th Amendments. These tools are turning the Republicans into another Prohibition party: safely ignored bigots with a shrinking voter base. –Libertariantranslator

    1. A very unironic “what he said” to you, good sir!

    2. I don’t know if a couple of whiny, obese self-sabotagers with weird hair colors could cause a significant shift in any voter base. Especially compared to the daily train-wrecks dished up by Joe Bi… who? You know, The Thing!

  24. Now That Opponents of the Texas Abortion Ban…

    Immediate stolen base noted.

  25. The lawsuit is likely to be dismissed for lack of standing because Texas applies the same “injury in fact” requirement as the federal courts. In In re Abbott, 601 SW 3d 802, (200291.pdf (txcourts.gov), the Texas Supreme Court was unequivocal:

    Standing is implicit in the concept of subject-matter jurisdiction, and subject-matter jurisdiction is essential to the authority of a court to decide a case. Tex. Ass’n of Bus. v. Tex. Air Control Bd., 852 S.W.2d 440, 443 (Tex. 1993). The Texas standing doctrine derives from the Texas Constitution’s provision for separation of powers among the branches of government, which denies the judiciary authority to decide issues in the abstract, and from the open courts provision, which provides court access only to a “person for an injury done him.” Meyers v. JDC/Firethorne, Ltd., 548 S.W.3d 477, 484 (Tex. 2018) (citing TEX. CONST. art. I, § 13; Tex. Ass’n of Bus., 852 S.W.2d at 443–44). The Texas standing requirements parallel the federal test for Article III standing, which provides that “[a] plaintiff must allege personal injury fairly traceable to the defendant’s allegedly unlawful conduct and likely to be redressed by the requested relief.” Heckman, 369 S.W.3d at 154 (quoting Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 751 (1984))

    If so, that will make the law useless and the constitutionality of a right to abortion will remain unresolved.

    1. The legislature has attempted to abolish standing requirements in this matter, particularly the injury in fact component. Whether that comports with the Texas Constitution is a likely issue to be determined in the first instance by the district court. That issue is capable of resolution on a motion to dismiss or, once an answer is filed, on motion for judgment on the pleadings.

    2. If so, that will make the law useless and the constitutionality of a right to abortion will remain unresolved.

      It seems to me that at the very least both biological parents suffer an injury from the abortion and hence have standing.

      1. Correct. But no one else. And it’s an easy assumption that the woman doesn’t feel it was an injury.

        1. And it’s an easy assumption that the woman doesn’t feel it was an injury.

          Feelings in these matters often change with time. And, in any case, it doesn’t matter what they “fell”, it matters whether they have an opportunity to profit from a lawsuit.

    3. That won’t make the law useless. It will scare abortion providers out of the business, because they won’t want to risk the expense of defending against legal actions. The fetophiles will achieve their goal of reducing the number of abortions. They won’t need to win any actual cases to do that.

  26. I seriously doubt that the proponents of the Texas law believed it was all going to be smooth sailing.

  27. Neither issue is a driving issue for me, however I’m basically Anti-Death Penalty and Pro-Life.

    The narrative is that the vast majority of people where Abortion is a driving issue are either Pro-Choice and Anti-Death Penalty or Pro-Life and Pro-Death Penalty.

    To me people whom are either Pro-Choice and Anti-Death Penalty or Pro-Life and Pro-Death Penalty and inconsistent in their logic.

    I understand that we do not live in a perfect and there are evil people who deserve a fate worse that the Death Penalty. I also recognize that our judicial system is less than perfect and there are scores of people convicted for crimes they didn’t commit.

    I fail to understand the notion that a baby that is still in the womb does not have any degree of consideration, is not considered alive and can be snuffed out at a whim. I do not pretend to know exactly when during a pregnancy a baby in the womb should be considered.

    I do however feel that partial-birth abortions are simply murder and anyone who advocates for partial-birth abortions is lacking in any degree of a conscious.

    The best resolution is abortion issue should be handled more locally and not federally. In other words by the individual states and not the entire nation. This gives people the opportunity to vote with their feet.

    Personally I would shed zero tears if the federal government was dissolved or severely scaled back. Effectively changing the “United STATE of America” into the “United STATES of America”. Even better if the various states were broken up (peacefully) in to smaller states that better reflect the citizens of the given region.

    Just looking at any state where the majority of the population votes for one political party, but the vast majority of the counties vote for a different political party. Typically urban versus rural. In general the citizens who live the rural counties are not represented and oppose being bound by the wishes of the masses from the cities.

    In truth the rural versus urban have very different concerns and a solution to solve an issue that works in a city may fail miserably in the countryside. Why do we pretend that a one-size fits all approach will ever be cost effective or even work?

    Imagine if the country were the “United Counties of America” where the power was at the county level. We would all be much more individual freedom and could move a few miles to live if we disagree with the direction any specific county decides to be.

    1. I don’t believe abortion is a local v federal issue. But I really do believe that breaking states up when they reach 10 million or so people is a great idea.

      1. So New York city would be two different states? And California would be 4 states? Intriguing idea.

    2. To me people whom are either Pro-Choice and Anti-Death Penalty or Pro-Life and Pro-Death Penalty and inconsistent in their logic.

      I don’t see the inconsistency. Christianity prohibits murder, not killing. Furthermore, the motivation behind prohibiting abortion is not just to protect the life of the fetus, it is just as much about the mother.

      Imagine if the country were the “United Counties of America” where the power was at the county level.

      I agree. However, the legal framework for that exists at the state level. Given population growth and diversity of the country, we should probably just have a few hundred states at this point.

    3. The death penalty is a punishment for committing murder.

      What crime are the unborn guilty of?

      1. They are inside a woman’s body against her will. That violates several criminal laws.

        1. She put the person there voluntarily.

          1. The 30% ?person? who has a ZERO as-in 0% chance of being alive by rest-oration.. You know what they call that state of being?? DEAD-ALREADY!

            I can see it now; next fertilization or eggs will be a ?person? too. B.S. Indoctrination/Propaganda is at work full-time in the Pro-Life lobbying group.

            Why can’t you people MIND YOUR OWN F’EN BUSINESS??????????????? Why are you so hungry to use the Gov-Gun-Forces to Oppress your neighbors, their families and their personal life’s??? Do you *feel* special/powerful pointing and threatening your neighbors with Gov-Guns ??

            Be sure no one surgically removes 30% of themselves or the [WE] mob who has absolutely ZERO as-in 0% business in the matter will pull out their Gov-Guns and makes threats and shoot anyone who defies them.

          2. And just stop with the ‘she voluntarily’ did it. No woman or doctor is going to sew a baby into her womb on request. Accidents happen; it’s just a part of life JUST LIKE miss-carriages happen and people go into comma’s. That’s no excuse to send in the [WE] mobs into everyone’s personal life..

            Government TYRANNY isn’t a solution to accidents of nature.

          3. “She put the person there voluntarily.”

            Nope.

        2. She had sex and she knew the possible consequences and accepted them.

          If you make a commitment to care for a vulnerable infant, you are bound by that commitment.

          1. … And you have that ‘commitment’ in writing?

            Ya; Didn’t think so – just another ‘imagination’ of the Pro-Life control freaks who like to *pretend* their Mega-mouthed “consequences” are inherent while they use the Gov-Gun-Forces to enforce those consequences.

            1. At the time she had sex, there was no such “infant” to make any promises to. If you insist that the fetus is a “person” like any other, then she clearly has a right to expel it from her body if its presence is unwelcome. A woman does not lose her self-ownership upon becoming pregnant, and fucking certainly does not constitute a contract with the fetus.

  28. allowing defendants to argue that the ban is inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s abortion precedents.

    It is this issue and this issue alone that Reason is willing to go to bat for the SC’s unconstitutional precedents. They really love killing babies that much. Why does Reason have such a hard-on for abortion?

    1. As Justice Robert Jackson observed, the Supreme Court is not final because it is infallible; it is infallible because it is final.

    2. They really love killing babies that much. Why does Reason have such a hard-on for abortion?

      Because they genuinely believe that fetuses are not persons worthy of legal protection, and hence abortion becomes a matter of individual liberty.

      Even if you believe that abortion is a homicide, the state does not have an obligation to make each and every homicide in the universe illegal. Fetuses are not persons or citizens under the US Constitution, and hence simply don’t fall under the protection of the Constitution.

      The pro-choice and pro-life positions are a fundamental conflict of values; they are irreconcilable. The solution is to allow different states to make different choices, the way this country was envisioned to function. But the authoritarians on both sides can’t accept that.

      1. I feel like if there is an option that allows both groups to pursue the path their conscience tells them to, with the added advantage of minimizing government interference, that should be the way to go.

        Oh, wait. That is an option.

        1. minimizing government interference,

          Minimizing government interference is a principle of communist utopias. A free society instead embrace subsidiarity and self-determination.

          Oh, wait. That is an option.

          Yes. And the option is not a federal mandate to legalize abortions, the option is to leave it to the states.

          1. Communism has a VERY high level of governmental interference, as does any other authoritarian regime. The only difference between fascism and communism is the fringe of the political spectrum that spawned it. They are both authoritarian (or totalitarian, if you prefer) governmental.systems.

            The law isn’t about making statutes to say what is allowed. That would create a legal code with infinite laws. It is about what behaviors are constrained, with the court system determining if the statute has been violated and, further up the appellate ladder, whether the statute is valid.

            Anti-abortionists want to make a law that makes abortion illegal. Pro-choice folks oppose that. Oly one side is trying to use the power of the state to restrict behavior.

            1. Communism has a VERY high level of governmental interference

              Socialist states have a very high level of government interference; communist utopias, on the other hand, have perfect individual liberty. Your vision of a libertarian society is that of a communist utopia, namely where individual behavior is as unrestricted as possible.

              That isn’t libertarianism. Libertarianism doesn’t deny the need for strong restrictions on individual behavior, it simply wants those restrictions to be imposed via voluntary, binding private arrangements instead of mandates from elected representatives.

              Anti-abortionists want to make a law that makes abortion illegal. Pro-choice folks oppose that. Oly one side is trying to use the power of the state to restrict behavior.

              That’s because in our system of government, “the power of the state” is the only way to make such arrangements. If the US were a libertarian society, abortion would be strongly restricted and penalized across large parts the US, but the restrictions and penalties would be the result of private arrangements.

              But we aren’t a libertarian society, we are a federation of republics, and in our system of government, issues like abortion are handled through subsidiarity and local/state forms of government.

              Again, you want a communist utopia, not a libertarian society.

              1. “communist utopias, on the other hand, have perfect individual liberty”

                Actually, perfect individual liberty is anarchy. I’m not advocating for perfect individual liberty, I am advocating for a government that uses the lightest hand possible. Think of it as the “Nunya” theory. If it doesn’t harm you and it doesn’t involve you, it’s Nunya Business.

      2. The solution is to respect the constitutional inalienable right to life of all people whether you find them inconvenient or not.

        Suggesting otherwise is to advocate destroying the foundation of the nation.

        We’re under no obligation to compromise with murderers or traitors.

        1. Do you also want the US to bomb Sweden? They have a lot of abortions there too! Or do you limit your totalitarianism to American states?

          People like you, Misek, are responsible for hundreds of thousands of preventable abortions every year, because with your ego, you rather lose the entire country than do what you can to stop abortions where you live.

          If your reprehensible, totalitarian views represented “the foundations of this country”, this country wouldn’t deserve to exist anymore.

          1. Respecting inalienable rights for all isn’t totalitarianism.

            Bomb Sweden?
            Lose the country?

            You’re a lunatic.

            1. Well, Misek, you are willing to have the federal government use force against Califonia and Californians to impose restrictions on abortion, against the preferences of the great majority of Californians.

              So, the question is: if you’re willing to use force against California to impose your views on abortion on Californians, why aren’t you willing to use force against Sweden to impose your views on abortion on the Swedes?

              (In reality, of course, progressives are going to use force to impose abortions on whatever state you live in, all because you were too bigoted and stupid to compromise.)

      3. Fetuses aren’t persons. Quit trying to act like you’re a Libertarian, you’re just a Republican who is trying to use “let the states handle it” to say you believe in small government. You just want to suppress like the other theocrats in the republican party.

        1. suppress women that is 🙂

          1. The abortion arguments on both sides are ludicrous. Misek and his ilk think that fetuses are little citizen-people that the state should move heaven and earth to protect. And you think that if women are forced to live with the consequences of having sex, they are being suppressed and the Handmaid’s Tale is just around the corner.

            Really, people, the level of stupidity on both sides of this argument is just astounding.

            1. ^THIS…. Yep, Except today it’s not really a “both sides” claim because the Roe v Wade ruling was actually a very well established middle-ground. Honoring Individual Rights and Justice as well as practical federalism of the USA. Leaving Post-21 weeks to each State.

              Only one end is currently being the ‘extremists’ today trying to repeal that ruling? MORE, MORE, MORE Gov-Gun-Force/Power they insist. Sadly from the party who is SUPPOSE to be for LIMITED Government.

              The old ‘puritan’ religious-right trying to legislate their religion again.. They really need to join the Nazi-Regime as they really cannot be associated with the LIMITED/Conservative Governing party.

              Like there is really any difference between —
              Gov-Gun Forced Sterilization of the Nazi’s…
              Gov-Gun Forced Reproduction…

              Both put Gov-Gun-Forces in an area it doesn’t belong in.

        2. Canis, OYB2 has, in my limited experience with him, always advocated for that sort of extreme (small r) republicanism. You may disagree with it (as I do), but it is consistent with libertarian principles.

        3. Fetuses aren’t persons.

          I agree: fetuses aren’t persons. I have no problem with abortion. But there are millions of Americans who do.

          Quit trying to act like you’re a Libertarian

          Oh, I am certainly no big-L Libertarian: big-L Libertarians are idiots as far as I’m concerned and are barely distinguishable for socialists and communists.

          I’m a small government, classical liberal who believes in the right of people to govern themselves. So, if Californians want to have abortion until birth, let them. If the people of Utah want no abortion at all, let them.

          you’re just a Republican who is trying to use “let the states handle it”

          I stopped voting in 2016. I watch the US go to hell in a handbasket from the sidelines. You people deserve to get what you voted for, good and hard.

          1. “I agree: fetuses aren’t persons. I have no problem with abortion. But there are millions of Americans who do.”

            So explain to me why something that an unconnected third party chooses to believe should compel the government to act? There needs to be a predicate for the government to create a law and “some people believe something that you don’t” isn’t a valid predicate for government action.

            “who believes in the right of people to govern themselves.”

            Which people? You say “So, if Californians want to have abortion until birth, let them. If the people of Utah want no abortion at all, let them.”. But neither Californians nor Utahns are monolithic, nor is abortion the only issue people differ on.

            Taking each political issue and reducing it to a yes/no question and giving each their own state ignores the fact that you would need to do that for the hundreds or thousands of different issues people differ on. Resulting, in a country of roughly 350 million people, in about 350 million states.

            The radical states-rights solution isn’t a solution because it isn’t possible. Someone, in each and every state, will be unhappy. And even if there was a state that perfectly mirrored your issue profile, there’s nothing that says you could actually move there. Leaving out personal factors like family, what about profession? If you work in the space industry and Montana is the state for you, you’re screwed.

            So given the fact that you can’t make everyone happy and you can’t collect everyone of like minds in one state, the question becomes “what is the least restrictive path that will allow each person to make their own choice for themselves?”. The question isn’t whether you can make a law. The question is: should you?

    3. Gaslighting defined; Using ‘babies’ to define a 30% UN-survivable fetus inside a *REAL* person during the reproduction stage.

  29. Good fuck Abbott and the Texas lege. Never has there ever been a more yella bellied bunch of f*cks in the Capitol building. They want to create the Texas Taliban

  30. Canis, OYB2 has, in my limited experience with him, always advocated for that sort of extreme (small r) republicanism. You may disagree with it (as I do), but it is consistent with libertarian principles.

  31. Jump on the [WE] mob train; were Deception, B.S., Indoctrination, Gaslighting, Word Redefining and Propaganda runs rampant……

    Sell of your souls to the [WE] foundation; Because you don’t own you, [WE] own you!!!! Especially if you’re pregnant.

  32. Person: a human being, whether an adult or child: Dictionary.com

    The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004(Public Law 108-212

    Senator John Kerry, his main opponent in the 2004 Presidential election, voted against the bill, saying, “I have serious concerns about this legislation because the law cannot simultaneously provide that a fetus is a human being and protect the right of the mother to choose to terminate her pregnancy.”[9]

    Roe vs Wade in 1973 decided that the fetus is not a person because it is “the mothers body”.

    DNA fingerprinting science in 1989 proved conclusively that the fetus is not the woman’s body.

    The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 declares the fetus is a human being and therefore a person.

    All the elements necessary to collapse RvW are present. It just needs to be brought to court.

    What are you afraid of?

    1. All the elements necessary — EXCEPT how to remove it and make it INDIVIDUAL…

      And never-mind that old Slavery Individual Rights clause..
      “2021 GETS THEIR OWN SLAVERY!!!!!!!!!”, says Pro-Life control freaks.
      13th Amendment —
      Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States

    2. What are you afraid of?

      [WE] mob tyranny over people’s personal life’s and healthcare.
      As-if the USA’s current Nazi-Regime wasn’t a blatant example of what could possibly be wrong with that expansion.

  33. Debating “when life begins” misses the point–at least when the discussion is about law. The real issue when considering constitutional rights is to determine the meaning of “person” as used in the 14th Amendment, which provides that no state shall deprive any “person” of life without due process of law. This is a legal question. A court’s task is not to answer some scientific or philosophical question about when “human life” begins. When interpreting the law, courts generally look to the text of the law and perhaps other evidence of its intended meaning. The guiding principle is to determine the intent of the legislature or, in the case of the Constitution, the intent of those central to drafting and ratifying it.

    In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court did just that. After surveying the use of the term “person” throughout the Constitution, as well as ancient attitudes, the Hippocratic Oath, the common law of the 19th Century (including contributions of Christian theology), English statutory law, and American law, the Court found that the intended meaning of “person” as used in the Amendment by those who ratified it in 1868 did not include the unborn.

    Even the two dissenting justices did not fault the majority’s opinion on this point; rather they objected to other aspects of the opinion determining that women have a right of privacy. Indeed, Justice Rehnquist acknowledged the decision offers “extensive historical fact and a wealth of legal scholarship” on this point.

    1. A person is a human being. It doesn’t matter how old or how intelligent, a person could have no discernible mental function.

      Before DNA fingerprinting there was little conclusive evidence,other than logic and common sense, that the unborn were different human beings than the mother.

      Now we have conclusive proof of the personhood of a fetus.

      And we have flat earthers like you looking backwards in ignorance.

      1. One irony of this debate is that self-identified “conservatives” who typically favor “strict construction” and berate “judicial activism” would, regarding abortion, gladly disregard established judicial means of ascertaining the intent of the drafters and instead infuse the Constitution with new meaning drawn from modern scientific or philosophical arguments. On reflection, most would agree, I suspect, they do not want courts engaging in their own free form scientific or philosophical exercise in order to decide what the law means.

      2. Are you going to use transplanted DNA fingerprinting to ENSLAVE anyone who has a transplanted organ too????

        And we have slavers like you looking backwards into the days of “THOSE-PEOPLE need to be slaves” to our moral elitism and a wildly compulsive ignorance display to Individual Rights.

    2. The purpose of the word “person” is not to discriminate against the unborn.

      1. Where do you get that idea? The purpose of the term “person” in the 14th Amendment obviously is to establish the scope of the Amendment’s prohibition against a state depriving any “person” of life without due process of law.

        1. Don’t waste your time. Rob has continuously refused to acknowledge what both the 2004 law and 1 US Code 8 say. He refuses to acknowledge that the Constitution doesn’t recognize a fetus as a person. He won’t accept anything that he doesn’t ready believe.

          1. I thought I would nonetheless try–and got about as far as you did.

        2. I got that idea because the purpose of the word person predates the constitution.

          1. Well, duh, EVERY word in the Constitution predates the Constitution. How you might make anything of that needs some explaining.

            Courts naturally read the words in laws, including the Constitution, by giving them their ordinary, usual meaning. That’s just what the Court did in Roe v. Wade–as it explained. After reviewing use of the term “person” throughout the Constitution, as well as ancient attitudes, the Hippocratic Oath, the common law of the 19th Century (including contributions of Christian theology), English statutory law, and American law, the Court found that the intended meaning of “person” as used in the Amendment by those who ratified it in 1868 did not include the unborn.

            1. That smelled like bullshit, and a small sampling proved it.

              The Hippocratic oath said nothing about personhood. It did mention abortion here “ Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. ”

              Your reference to the 14th amendment is faulty as well. The amendment refers to “persons born or naturalized” as citizens and goes on to clarify that all other persons , according to you meaning the unborn, are protected by the inalienable right to life.

              By referring to all other persons than “born or naturalized” they must mean the unborn and unnaturalized.

              How did you come to the conclusion that the Hippocratic oath, and your other references, defined persons to specifically exclude the unborn from personhood?

              Cite your proof.

              If it deals with the faulty assumption that the unborn “is the mothers body”,as Roe vs Wade did, modern DNA science has refuted that ancient misunderstanding.

              1. You really should read Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113), which lays out what I said. Your comments so far are largely off point and just make a hash of it.

                The portion of the decision most pertinent to our discussion begins at 410 U.S. at 129, where the Court says: “It perhaps is not generally appreciated that the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage. Those laws, generally proscribing abortion or its attempt at any time during pregnancy except when necessary to preserve the pregnant woman’s life, are not of ancient or even of common law origin. Instead, they derive from statutory changes effected, for the most part, in the latter half of the 19th century.”

                Over the next ten pages, the Court reviews the several items mentioned in my previous comment.

                At page 156, the Court addresses the issue we’re discussing, and says: “[Texas] and certain amici argue that the fetus is a “person” within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument. On the other hand, the appellee conceded on reargument that no case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.

                The Constitution does not define “person” in so many words. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to “person.” The first, in defining “citizens,” speaks of “persons born or naturalized in the United States.” The word also appears both in the Due Process Clause and in the Equal Protection Clause. “Person” is used in other places in the Constitution: in the listing of qualifications for Representatives and Senators, Art. I, § 2, cl. 2, and § 3, cl. 3; in the Apportionment Clause, Art. I, § 2, cl. 3; in the Migration and Importation provision, Art. I, § 9, cl. 1; in the Emolument Clause, Art. I, § 9, cl. 8; in the Electors provisions, Art. II, § 1, cl. 2, and the superseded cl. 3; in the provision outlining qualifications for the office of President, Art. II, § 1, cl. 5; in the Extradition provisions, Art. IV, § 2, cl. 2, and the superseded Fugitive Slave Clause 3; and in the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-second Amendments, as well as in §§ 2 and 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only post-natally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application.

                All this, together with our observation, supra, that, throughout the major portion of the 19th century, prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word “person,” as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.”

                1. Where did the court recognize,

                  “By referring to all other persons than “born or naturalized” the 14th amendment must mean the “unborn and unnaturalized” have the right to life.”

                  Without addressing that necessary logic Roe vs Wade failed in its conclusion.

                2. If you’re suggesting that the 14th refers to persons “born and naturalized” to define citizens, then its reference to others would mean non-citizens.

                  That would mean they are not then defining “persons” in that sentence, they are merely referring to them and their established definition.

                  If you are suggesting that the definition of person is established somewhere else in the constitution, prove it.

                  1. After all that, you disregard all the Court explained in Roe, and revert to your single-minded, simple idea that the 14th Amendment definition of “citizens” as “persons born or naturalized in the United States” somehow suggest “persons” includes the unborn. I’ve learned over a lifetime that I tend to learn more when listening to someone other than myself. Were you to try that here, you might trouble yourself to understand and address what the Court actually said. You continue to call, for instance, for a definition of “person” in the Constitution, yet, as the Court pointed out, the Constitution does not define “person” in so many words. Hence the Court reviewed the Constitution’s use of the term in its various provisions to discern what was meant by it.

                    In any event, as for your idea, you speak of “necessary logic” leading to your conclusion that by referring to all other persons than “born or naturalized,” the 14th Amendment must mean that the “unborn and unnaturalized” have a right to life. I see no logic—necessary or otherwise—in your assertion. Your conclusion just does not logically follow from what you say—what is known as a non sequitur. If you wish to press your assertion, you’ll need to try connecting some dots.

                    A more rational, indeed plain, understanding of the term “person” in the 14th Amendment is exactly what the Court in Roe concluded, for the reasons it explained. After pointing to every reference to “person” in the Constitution, the Court observed: “[I]n nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only post-natally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application.”

                    The provision on which you have fixated fits the pattern noted by the Court. The plain meaning of the provision is that all “persons” who are either (1) born or (2) naturalized in the U.S. are “citizens.” This provision is entirely consistent with the understanding that “persons” do not include the unborn, and nothing in this provision suggests, much less necessitates, an understanding the term includes the unborn. Merely by defining “persons born or naturalized” as citizens, the Amendment does not, as you seem to suppose, somehow regard “other persons,” as you put it, to include the unborn. The Amendment does not juxtapose, as you suggest, persons born or naturalized in the U.S. with all “other persons” in any sense other than that such other persons are not citizens.

                    1. You said the constitution doesn’t define persons to exclude the unborn. I agree.

                      You said the court Roe vs Wade did. I agree.

                      Where we disagree is the validity of the court’s decision.

                      The definition of a person for all intents and purposes is a human being.

                      Our understanding of the development of a fetus has changed significantly post 1973.

                      Now we observe the fetus with ultrasounds and DNA fingerprinting science demonstrates beyond any doubt that the fetus is a living human being, exploring its environment learning while in utero.

                      Roe vs Wade made its decision based on ignorance.

                      The courts cannot ignore the truth demonstrated by technology.

                      Knowing this Roe va Wade needs to collapse.

            2. The only law that I am aware of that specifically excludes the unborn from personhood is Roe vs Wade and that law is specifically intended to deny the group of people defined as unborn the right to life, justifying genocide.

              That abortion of a law needs to collapse.

        3. And it predates Roe vs Wade who didn’t have DNA fingerprinting evidence to influence their erroneous conclusion.

          1. Why you think DNA fingerprinting is relevant is baffling, but you clearly think it is some sort of winning argument. Like your belief that the 2004 law and 1 US 8 make a fetus a person, you are sadly mistaken.

            1. DNA fingerprinting science is how modern science irrefutably defines different persons.

              It proves that the unborn are different persons from their hosting mothers and according to the 14th amendment deserving the right to life.

              1. That simply is not how the law works. Courts do not pluck ideas, scientific or otherwise, out of thin air to decide what words mean. However persuasive these ideas are to you, they mean diddly when reading the law to determine its meaning.

                When interpreting the law, courts aim to discern the intent of the legislature, or with respect to the Constitution those who drafted and ratified it. That is exactly what the Court did in Roe v. Wade. It reviewed the contemporaneous use of the term “person” and found that those who drafted and ratified the 14th Amendment in 1878 did not intend the term to include the unborn. The Court rightly did not engage in its some free-form search for modern scientific or philosophical theories and infuse those into the term “person” as used in the Amendment.

                1. Where did the court recognize,

                  “By referring to all other persons than “born or naturalized” the 14th amendment must mean the “unborn and unnaturalized” have the right to life.”

                  Without addressing that necessary logic Roe vs Wade failed in their conclusion.

                  If you’re suggesting that the 14th refers to persons “born and naturalized” to define citizens, then its reference to others would mean non-citizens.

                  That would mean they are not then defining “persons” in that sentence, they are merely referring to them and their established definition.

                  If you are suggesting that the definition of person is established somewhere else in the constitution, prove it.

                  Or accept that Roe vs Wade failed in it conclusion.

                2. Like I said, Doug. You can try to help the kid understand, but he isn’t willing to accept things that he doesn’t want to. La, la, la, la, I’m not listening is, to him, a reasonable argument.

                  1. Those are arguments of mine that you haven’t refuted.

                    Your response is bigoted.

          2. HILARIOUSLY — It doesn’t really even matter if you want to *pretend* the fetus is identified as a person. Nothing in the USA grants ‘involuntary servitude’ because the other party is a person.

            “I’m a person. I’m special enough to get from anyone else anything I want”???????? Give me a F’en break.

            1. The woman chose the voluntarily behaviour that put the person inside her with a nine month contract.

              Living up to your end of a bargain isn’t involuntary servitude.

              1. Show me the, “nine month contract”…..
                That’s right – you made that up out of thin air.
                And now want to *pretend* you can enforce that imaginary contract with the Force of Gov-Guns.

              2. Your *feelings* doesn’t write legal contracts for anyone else but yourself.

  34. Let me assure all of my conservative Republican cultists, I mean, supporters, here: WHEN I AM REINSTATED AS YOUR Y-U-G-E-L-Y GREAT PRESIDENT VERY SOON, I WILL MAKE ABORTION, EXCEPT, OF COURSE, OF ASIAN, BLACK, HISPANIC/LATINO, JEWS, ARABS, MUSLIM AND ALL OTHER NON-PURELY WHITE FETUSES, ILLEGAL! We must preserve our superior white race, and eliminate those who are inferior, but you all already knew this. And Jews WILL NOT replace us! LOCK HER UP! FAKE NEWS! THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED! Oops, sorry. I got a little carried away there. Anyhow, thank you, all of my conservative Republicans, for hijacking the term “libertarianism” and Reason magazine. It’s a beautiful thing!

  35. You said the constitution doesn’t define persons to exclude the unborn. I agree.

    You said the court Roe vs Wade did. I agree.

    Where we disagree is the validity of the court’s decision.

    The definition of a person for all intents and purposes is a human being.

    Our understanding of the development of a fetus has changed significantly post 1973.

    Now we observe the fetus with ultrasounds and DNA fingerprinting science demonstrates beyond any doubt that the fetus is a living human being, exploring its environment learning while in utero.

    Roe vs Wade made its decision based on ignorance.

    The courts cannot ignore the truth demonstrated by technology.

    Knowing this Roe va Wade needs to collapse.

    1. The courts cannot ignore the truth …. Nope, but apparently YOU sure CAN like nobodies business!!!

      Truth; Whatever you want to pretend it is; IT IS A PART of an Individual Person – that little factor the courts couldn’t ignore and that’s still TRUE today.

      You want permission to use the Gov-Gun-Forces to save fetuses??? LOBBY your STATE for medical survival of their removal (if possible)… but the FACT is (STILL TODAY) there is no survival technique for a 30% development on the Roe v Wade deadline; thus — the FACT is; it is already DEAD by standard terms!

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