Abortion

Odd Denver Post Editorial About Abortion

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From the Denver Post:

In a strikingly clear message to those who would erode abortion rights in this nation, nearly 59% of Colorado voters struck down a proposed ban on abortions after 22 weeks of gestation.

Women and doctors should be making these medical decisions, not politicians. More voters cast their ballots against the ban than voted for Joe Biden, a testament to Colorado's strong libertarian streak. Biden won by 13 points. Proposition 115 was rejected by 18 points.

Anyone who knows the history of abortion in Colorado is not surprised. We were among the first states (many say the very first) to decriminalize abortion in certain cases in 1967.

We worried that Proposition 115, sold as a reasonable ban prohibiting abortions during the second half of pregnancy, would have a chance in a purple state like Colorado. We are relieved that it did not pass. Women from across the nation come to Colorado seeking abortion care when their home state denies them the medical care they need. Bravely, some of the women who have had late-term abortions came forward to share their heartbreaking stories of love and loss. These women reclaimed the narrative surrounding abortion, helping to remove stigma and shame and replace it with human faces.

Opponents of abortion should take this loss for what it is and refocus their efforts on supporting pregnant women, especially teens, promoting access to birth control and comprehensive sexual education, and boosting adoption programs and foster care services. There is so much need.

So far, it's a policy argument about abortion; but then the newspaper goes on:

And U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett should reconsider her position about abortion and stare decisis. Roe v. Wade is now a decades-old decision that laid the foundation for women's rights in a country that at the time was ruled by men. Women for generations have relied upon the guarantee that the government (local, state or federal) will not and can not interfere with their personal medical choices. To rip that foundation out from under women now, would erode this nation's commitment to freedom and our faith in time-honored institutions like the Supreme Court. Yes, Justice Coney Barrett, Roe v. Wade is a super precedent that should remain in place. When states bring ill-conceived restrictions on abortion, our justices should follow the lead of Colorado voters and strike them down.

That's what three Republican-nominated justices did in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The court weighed in on abortion restrictions, not a ban, and declared that abandoning the liberties afforded in Roe would come "at the cost of both profound and unnecessary damage to the court's legitimacy." Laws surrounding abortions performed before the point of viability, the court ruled, must not pose an "undue burden" to women seeking abortion care.

But why should the decision of voters in one state to reject one proposed restriction one year be used by the Supreme Court to bind all states in all years to reject restrictions more broadly? The Post doesn't explain. It does write:

The court must consider the constitutional crisis that would occur in a state like Colorado, in which a healthy majority of voters have definitively said abortion care is an inalienable right, were the court to open the door to a national abortion ban at any point of gestation.

Colorado has spoken and our justices should listen.

I appreciate the concern about a national abortion ban interfering with local citizens' choices; but it seems to me the solution to that would be to say that Congress may not limit abortions, not that states may not limit them. Indeed, why isn't the Court's nationalizing the abortion debate create even more of a "constitutional crisis … in a state like," say, Louisiana, "in which a healthy majority of voters have definitively said abortion … is [not] an alienable right"?

Of course, there are lots of plausible arguments to be made about abortion rights. Most obviously, one could argue that the Ninth Amendment or general notions of liberty secure a right to abortion (compare Roe and Casey themselves). One could argue for respecting precedent in this area for other reasons.

Indeed, if there were a broad and long nationwide consensus in favor of recognizing a right to abortion—rather than just one state's voters invalidating one restriction—one could argue in favor of considering that consensus in determining the meaning of the federal constitution (for instance, in deciding what the Ninth Amendment's phrase "rights … retained by the people" means). And of course there are familiar counterarguments to all these arguments, which I won't get into here.

But the Post's argument seems unusually weak, indeed almost beside the point. There are many reasonable, if controversial, arguments about how the Supreme Court should make its decisions about the federal Constitution. The Post's argument doesn't seem to be one of them.

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  1. Post: The democratic process in our state helps set good abortion policies.

    [Good luck figuring out what kind of argument could go here.]

    Therefore, no other state should be able to use democratic processes to set abortion policies.

    1. The court must consider the constitutional crisis that would occur in a state like Colorado, in which a healthy majority of voters have definitively said abortion care is an inalienable right, were the court to open the door to a national abortion ban at any point of gestation.

      “HOW DARE YOU violate vox populi vox dei!!” carries a lot more weight if its clergy weren’t simultaneously running around today pooping on the Uber and racial preferences votes in California. Seems they had a problem with Prop 8 a few years back, too, and ran off to the courts to get the Will of the People overturned.

      I don’t defend that prop, but I am not a power broker using The Will of The People to control certain domains in the first place.

      1. Seems like only yesterday Robert Byrd (D-KKK-VA) stood on the floor of the senate during debates on sending out a balanced budget amendment to the states, decrying how it would thwart the Will of the People, presumably because 50.1% should carry more weight than supermajority amendment by The People and the Several States.

        He literally started crying, how awful that was to thwart ’em.

  2. Colorado is basically a one party state, and will end up like California eventually once the democrats have taken all the money out and run up the debt.

    1. No, we are not.

  3. We were among the first states (many say the very first) to decriminalize abortion in certain cases in 1967.

    Isn’t this the sort of question that could be definitively resolved one way or another?

  4. What strange Freudian impulse caused the Denver Post editorial writer in a column about abortion to caution Barrett not to rip out something she didn’t like?

  5. The court must consider the constitutional crisis that would occur in a state like Colorado, in which a healthy majority of voters have definitively said abortion care is an inalienable right, were the court to open the door to a national abortion ban at any point of gestation.

    What “constitutional crisis” would occur? Colorado would not ban abortion, the latest referendum proves that.

    A national ban would be on shaky grounds in terms of federalism. (Watch leftists suddenly become enamored of limiting federal power.)

    But assuming that a national ban is held within the federal power, where is the Constitutional crisis? The federal government often passes things that individual states don’t like. Marijuana remains a controlled substance at the federal level, even though many states have legalized it.

    “I don’t like that law” is not a Constitutional crisis.

    1. ‘Abortion Care’ ? WTF does that mean? If you can’t figure out, you want to kill your kid for 5 1/2 Months; too frickin’ bad. Your kid can feel pain, their Brain is functioning. They are a Baby. Deal with the consequences of your actions. No, I don’t owe you child-support, as a Taxpayer for 18 years. Collect off of your man, or keep your legs shut.

      1. Bet you’re a whole bunch of fun at parties.

    2. “A national ban would be on shaky grounds in terms of federalism.”

      Why? Even if an abortion is performed completely within the borders of one state, doesn’t that “affect” the interstate market for abortions? The Denver Post itself says that, “Women from across the nation come to Colorado seeking abortion care.”

      1. And we need to put a stop tp this shit. Annie Commie’s on the case.

  6. The vote in Colorado shows that SCOTUS should have stayed out of it and let Americans decide. Roe should go.

    The Constitution doesn’t mention anything about any health procedure or really anything like that at all. The people in the states should decide.

    If you want to add medical rights guarantees of various kinds, there’s an amendment process.

    1. The Constitution doesn’t mention anything about a whole lot of things. Doesn’t say anything, for example, about the right to own magazines with more than a 10 round capacity. Doesn’t say anything about the right to view hardcore pornography (perhaps requiring high-capacity magazines) — “clingers”, as Arthur calls them, should think about that for a while. If it weren’t for Lawrence v Texas, many, perhaps most, married couples in Texas would be breaking multiple laws frequently — depending on the current value of the variable “frequently.” And, of course, depending on married couples application of the variable “marriage.” Danny Goab, for example, would likely be safe. Gregg Abbott, too, for other reasons if not for the lack of imagination reason. But, maybe not — look up Larry Flint and mustard.

      Now, as long as this exchange is related to Roe vs Wade which is co-dependant with Griswold v Connecticut, if Roe v Wade falls,what keeps Griswold from falling as well? If you, kike Annie Commie doesn’t see the connection, it’s becaues you’re lacking in imagination.

      1. However, Stella, everything you mention is directly or indirectly affected by an explicitly laid out right.

        Magazines – Right to bear arms. You can’t allow guns while significantly banning bullets
        Porn – It’s a type of Speech
        Sodomy – There’s no allowance to regulate that at all

        However, the state clearly has the right to define and prosecute murder, the quintessential crime. Declaring abortion is murder is clearly within the state’s and constitution’s authority.

        Therefore Roe V Wade was decided based on a right to “privacy”, a right not enumerated at all. The logic is extremely twisted to get the result they thought was best despite there being no legal justification. I’ve heard many people say that it was a good policy but bad law. Not just conservatives. Justice Ginsburg herself was worried that Roe Vs Wade was badly reasoned (New York Times, Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wasn’t All That Fond of Roe v. Wade)

        1. Sodomy – There’s no allowance to regulate that at all

          At the federal level, sure (leaving aside narrow context such as the military, D.C., and the special maritime jurisdiction of the federal gummint). But there doesn’t have to be an “allowance” for the states to regulate it. State governments are not governments of limited powers, but are free to regulate whatever they damn well please that they aren’t specifically forbidden to regulate, by either their own state constitutions or by federal law (including the federal constitution).

          (By the way, the idea that “liberty” in the 14th amendment includes sodomy is laughable. It amounts to saying that “liberty” means “the right to do whatever the judges, guided by their own policy preferences, think is really important that people be allowed to do, without reference to any more specific language in the constitution.” By that kind of reasoning, depending on which judges get on the bench, there could suddenly be a constitutional right to take any kind of drug (“My body, my choice!”), to gather in groups of 15 during a pandemic, or to sacrifice goats in religious ceremonies (“My livestock, my choice!”).)

          1. Yes, they think shooting off in another man’s rear end is the most essential of human liberty.

  7. In a city nearby, citizens (through legal means) have torn down a statue of John C. Cahoun and I cannot help but note the irony. The popularizer of the argument that slavery was a “positive good” (as opposed to a “necessary evil,”) we find ourselves in the age of “shout your abortion!” propaganda when just a few years ago, Democrats claimed abortion should be “safe” and “rare.”

    The Democrat party does not change and history rhyming feels so right on time as the ties that bind us disintegrate.

    Considering that Democrats love baby-killing almost twice as much as they did owning black folk, I call on the WOMAN Justice Coney Barrett and the other justices to do the right thing and overturn Roe post haste.

    The right to life is INALIENABLE and no longer shall we make a mockery of the constitution and morality, but once and for all remove this evil from our shores.

    Abortion SHALL be abolished — fight on!

  8. Women and doctors should be making these medical decisions, not politicians.

    First, we are a representative republic. Representative elected by the People, (politicians) are exactly who should be defining and regulating abortions.

    Second, its not about abortion, its about the sanctity of life. Again, our elected representative should in fact, reclaim their constitutional power to govern. It’s not the role of the Judiciary.

    1. Murdering a defenseless human being without reason or cause is not a “medical decision.”

  9. EV has never encountered the argument that failure to prohibit abortion violates equal protection because fetuses have full personhood rights? Sheltered man, that EV.

  10. Dear Aborted Kid –

    Sorry you couldn’t live. You see, your Mom is a busy modern woman making $45,000 a year as an administrative assistant who makes PowerPoint presentations and coffee. She needs all that money to buy booze and clothes. Also a kid just cramps a modern lady’s style. Maybe next time champ!

    Sincerely,
    Colorado Voter

    1. The problem with your framing is that the abortion fanciers can “rebut” you by finding some hard case where the mother has a problem pregnancy, is abused, etc.

      If we started off by establishing the horror of a mother killing her own child, we could then move to the hard cases, and how it’s possible to help (say) an abused women by focusing punishment on the abuser and not on the innocent child.

      1. I don’t really see a problem with the “frame” unless of course you don’t want to deal with the cold hard fact that most abortions are completely elective based upon the personal preferences of the woman. There is no “other” factor in most abortions.

        The stories the left trodes out every single time are not the 99% of cases that show up to the abortion clinic every single day. They won’t ever present those cases because they would lose the “narrative” in 2 seconds.

        1. Jimmy. Let’s not be foolish. There are no happy stories that end in an abortion clinic. That “study” you mention was a single-question survey.

          Do you really think people are going to be honest about their situation in such a hugely emotional and stressful situation? If they are poor and barely making ends meet, do you think they will admit the shame? Do you think they’d worry that it would give a follow-up or be shamed about the even poorer woman who didn’t give up? If they said they were raped, would a detective be waiting for them after they were done? People lie through there teeth on embarrassing surveys in an university knowing they are talking to a researcher. How much more will they do so in a high-stress situation to a doctor performing a procedure they are desperate to get.

          Finally, the answer was “No reason given/Elective”. Yes, it was listed as an “other” choice, combined with a “refuse to answer”. No wonder why 90% answered that question.

          1. “There are no happy stories that end in an abortion clinic.”

            In the sense that ending in an abortion clinic precludes happy, sure.

            In the sense that the choice to abort wasn’t medically necessary? Of course women sometimes go for elective abortions for no better reason than that they don’t want to be mothers, and sometimes they make that decision quite late.

            Look, you’re just underestimating the range of human motivation. The average woman absolutely would not up and decide to kill their kid late in the pregnancy on a lark. But women kill their born children every day. Literally every day. (And more than 2/3ds of the time it’s the mother, not the father.)

            How much easier is it to kill your child before you’ve seen them, with society telling you that it isn’t really murder?

            So, yeah, late term, genuinely elective abortions really are a thing.

      2. If, as I do not, I accepted the premise of the anti-abortion movement — that the fetus is a child — then I don’t see that there should be an exception for any cases, no matter how hard. Why should a child die because her father is a rapist? Or because she has a birth defect? Murder done for humanitarian reasons is still murder in any other context, so why should abortion be an exception?

        1. I have thought about this a lot, the concept, the argument, that a fetus is not a child, but at some point becomes a child; “child” being a constitutional person. I have come to the conclusion that it is flawed to argue that at some (arbitrary?) point a complex organism makes a transformation from one life form to another. But let’s skip zygote and embryo and jump to fetus. Consider this, from the Merk manual:

          “At the end of the 8th week after fertilization (10 weeks of pregnancy), the embryo is considered a fetus. During this stage, the structures that have already formed grow and develop. The following are markers during pregnancy:

          By 12 weeks of pregnancy: The fetus fills the entire uterus.
          By about 14 weeks: The sex can be identified.
          By about 16 to 20 weeks: Typically, the pregnant woman can feel the fetus moving. Women who have been pregnant before typically feel movements about 2 weeks earlier than women who are pregnant for the first time.
          By about 24 weeks: The fetus has a chance of survival outside the uterus.”

          Now, let’s consider this, in the loose patchwork of laws we have in the States, and the prosecutorial discretion of district attorneys: people can be prosecuted for homicide and murder for causing the death of a fetus. Not a property crime, or animal cruelty, but homicide, murder. So, clearly the law may consider this a constitutionally-protected person in this case. Why not always? And, how early in a pregnancy has a prosecutor gone in pressing a person-crime against someone who harms the fetus, or even zygote?

          I don’t think prosecutors and mothers should have it both ways.

          If abortion without explicit permission on a per-case basis from a court is to be allowed to continue, we should define at what point the organism becomes a constitutional person, for all legal purposes, and hold fast to that definition.

          1. The problem is that there is no consensus as to whether and when a fetus becomes a child. It’s not like killing someone who’s already been born, in which case there is absolutely zero plausible argument that it’s anything other than a person.

            And precisely because there is no consensus, it’s essentially a religious/philosophical/moral argument, on which, in a free society, people generally should have free choices to reach their own moral conclusions. In a highly charged, highly disputed question of morality, why should your views Trump those of others who feel as strongly about it on the other side as you do? Especially when the consequences for pregnant women are as great as they are.

            If you think abortion is wrong, don’t have one. Respect the choices of others who disagree with you.

            1. There’s no question an infant is reliant on his parents. There’s no reason why a mother who doesn’t want to take care of the baby shouldn’t be allowed to kill it. If you don’t want to, don’t, but don’t tell her she can’t have that CHOICE!

            2. not like killing someone who’s already been born, in which case there is absolutely zero plausible argument that it’s anything other than a person

              Au contraire :

              https://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/nelson-jones/2012/03/birth-abortion-infanticide

              1. I said “plausible” argument. In case you missed it, the pro-choicers roundly rejected the argument for infanticide, and the anti-choicers responded with glee because it’s an opportunity for them to caricature the pro-choice side.

                1. Never mind the politics, what are your objections to the argument that a 37 week old fetus in utero is not importantly different in either its developmental or moral status to a human organism that is two weeks older, but which has been born ?

                  Or even more to the point, a human organism of exactly the same age that has been born ?

                  Or twins, one of which has just popped out, but the other has not ?

                  1. For starters, I would also not support aborting a 37 week fetus, absent unusual circumstances. I’m not one who thinks abortion should be permitted right up until the moment the baby’s head enters the birth canal.

                    But if pressed, if those last two weeks of development weren’t important, evolution would have shortened the gestation period to exclude them. Pregnancy is risky and detrimental to a woman’s health, and shortening the gestation period would be a huge evolutionary advantage. So the fact that the gestation period is what it is strongly suggests that those last two weeks really do matter.

                    And, so long as the fetus is inside the woman’s body, regardless of the stage of development, it is depending on her for food and sustenance. Birth is a bright line at which the fetus is no longer dependent.

                    1. if pressed, if those last two weeks of development weren’t important, evolution would have shortened the gestation period to exclude them. Pregnancy is risky and detrimental to a woman’s health, and shortening the gestation period would be a huge evolutionary advantage. So the fact that the gestation period is what it is strongly suggests that those last two weeks really do matter.

                      Sure they matter, but not because those couple of weeks are especially important to the baby’s development. Obviously every two week period of development from conception to adulthood is important to some extent, and it’s a plausible simplification to say that the importance of each two week period falls with age. But the two weeks from 37 to 39 are unlikely to be significantly more or less important for development than weeks 35 to 37, or weeks 39 to 41. There’s nothing about the baby’s development itself that is particularly significant around the 38 week mark.

                      It’s not a secret that the length of human gestation represents an evolutionary compromise between infant head size and the dimensions of the female pelvis. So as far as evolution is concerned, birth happens when further delay will present too great a risk of killing or injuring baby and mother. (Which is why birth is a dangerous business. Human females are rubbing up against a size constraint.)

                      Human infants are born very immature compared to most mammals, including our primate relatives, so it’s biologically realistic to describe all human new borns as “premature”.

                      And, so long as the fetus is inside the woman’s body, regardless of the stage of development, it is depending on her for food and sustenance. Birth is a bright line at which the fetus is no longer dependent.

                      I don’t think that’s a workabe distinction. If I lock you in my cabin in the woods, you’re dependent on me for food and sustenance until I let you out, or you escape. The dependence is a function of being locked in. Whereas if you’re bedridden in my house, you’re dependent on me, because you can’t get out of bed. So the defensible distinction is viability. If the baby is capable of being born, even if it’s still inside, it’s only dependent by virtue of the locked cabin, not by virtue of anything in itself.

                      If one is looking for a legal bright line, then birth works better than viability, because birth is easier to measure. But there the justification for that bright line is the ease of measurement not moral analysis.

                    2. ” So as far as evolution is concerned, birth happens when further delay will present too great a risk of killing or injuring baby and mother.”

                      Another limit is metabolic load. Towards the end of pregnancy women are pushing the limit for sustained metabolic activity.

                      The head size is an evolutionary constraint, but level of metabolic activity probably is what triggers delivery.

                    3. Evolution is a pretty good engineer. Don’t overdo your specifications. Design all the working parts to fail at about the same time 🙂

                    4. Lee, except that the specific two weeks we’re talking about just happen to be the final two weeks before the fetus stops being a fetus, at which point most of the development that we’re talking about has already happened.

                      And I’m really arguing a position that isn’t my position. I would agree that under normal circumstances, abortions shouldn’t be happening that close to birth. So your question is actually better addressed to someone who does support abortion up until the moment the head enters the birth canal.

                      Though in the case of the person confined inside your house, I would still draw a distinction between you merely walking away versus you actively shooting them. If there is a comparable way for a woman to walk away from a pregnancy without killing the fetus, I don’t know what it would be.

                    5. And I’m really arguing a position that isn’t my position. I would agree that under normal circumstances, abortions shouldn’t be happening that close to birth. So your question is actually better addressed to someone who does support abortion up until the moment the head enters the birth canal.

                      Not at all. It’s excellent practice for a lawyer. Or a philosopher. Or indeed anyone with a brain. How verkrampte one would be if one could not argue on several sides of a question.

                      It is quite difficult though, so you are to be congratulated.

          2. it is flawed to argue that at some (arbitrary?) point a complex organism makes a transformation from one life form to another.

            I’m not sure we need to insist on a “point” transformation. It is not necessary to specify precisely what thickness of stubble qualifies as a beard, to be quite comfortable that some people definitely have beards and some definitely do not.

            In any event, when we are talking about “persons” we are not discussing a biological categorization. Nobody is in too much doubt as to the biological chronology of the human life cycle, and in particular that the human zygote is very much the same organism as the tenured Professor it later manifests itself as. The “person” question is one of moral status, and we can perfectly well accept that Zygote Volokh and Prof Volokh are the same biological organism at different stages of the Volokh life cycle, without insisting that they must both have the same moral status.

            Nor do we need to insist that the Volokh crittur acquires all of its aspects of moral status in one fell swoop. Maybe we think it acquires a limited moral status at, say, birth, but retains an inferior moral status – perhaps being subject to the commands of its parents, restricted from owning firearms, unable to consent to medical procedures and sexual contacts – until it gets a bit older.

            But let’s skip zygote and embryo and jump to fetus.

            Let’ s not.

            For there is an interesting aspect of IVF / assisted reproduction that is relevant to the abortion question. A zygote that is created by normal internal fertilization is never independent of its mother (until birth.) It implants in its mother’s uterus, for there are no other options. It then stays put for nine months or so, and then is born. After it is born it acquires new options – somebody other than its mother could look after it. So if we regard a baby, in utero, as an unreasonable imposition on its mother – perhaps where it was created by an unwanted contraceptive accident – the baby has some claim, except in the case of rape, that the mother knew what she was getting into, and if bad luck landed her with a pregnancy she didn’t want, it was her own choice to take that risk and the whole of the baby’s life should be regarded as weightier than nine months of the mother’s. It’s a view.

            But in the case of an IVF baby, where it exists for a few days ex utero, this argument for the pregnant woman’s responsibility to look after it is MUCH stronger. There was no unfortunate accident about it. Not only did she actively welcome it aboard, but by welcoming it aboard she cut off its options to find a different host – which unlike the naturally conceived embryo – the IVF embryo actually had. So you could certainly make a case that she has a greater moral responsibility to the baby than she would normally.

        2. If …… the fetus is a child — then I don’t see that there should be an exception for any cases, no matter how hard. Why should a child die because her father is a rapist?

          This is not that much of a hard one. Note I am not trying to persuade you that you must grant an exception for rape, merely that there is no necessary inconsistency in doing so, even if you are fully convinced that the fetus is a child, ie a human being with moral rights fully equal to its mother’s.

          Imagine you are a 37 year old US Senator who happens to be driving a young lady home from a party. She’s a bit drunk and is sleeping it off in the passenger seat. You are a moderately competent driver, and you have not drunk enough alcohol to be over the legal limit. It’s dark, the road is not that great , so you are proceeding with appropriate caution.

          But, accidents happen. You skid off the road into a body of water. It wasn’t particularly your fault, you weren’t breaking the law and you weren’t driving recklessly. But there you are in the pond. You manage to struggle free of the car and get to the bank. Now, what if any, are :

          (a) your moral obligations towards the young lady who does not seem to have managed to escape from the car ?
          (b) your legal obligations in an ideal world (ie never mind what your legal obligations may be in this world, what ought your legal obligations to be ?)

          I will add that (1) although you were not engaged in any hanky panky, you were just kindly driving her home after a party like the gentleman that you are, the press will not believe that, and will make a big fuss about it, (2) as will your wife, who is inclined to be on the jealous side, (3) you are up for difficult re-election fight next year. So any kind of publicity is likely to cause you a lot of pain and suffering – it might even destroy your political career. Your chances of becoming president, or at least the four decade long “Lion of the Senate” may be destroyed.

          Not everyone will agree of course, but some folk will think you have some moral obligations to the young lady. Maybe you ought to dive in again and try to pull her out. Maybe you should rush off and try to get help. What about legal obligations ? Should you be legally obliged to dive in ? Should you be legally obliged to run and get help ? Even if that would cause you great suffering – like destroying your whole career ?

          You did nothing wrong, you just offered to drive her home. It was an accident. Accidents happen. Why should you wreck your whole career for something that wasn’t your fault – or at least wasn’t your fault any more than anyone who steps into a car and drives it legally and responsibly, but knowing that accidents can happen.

          Now, having calibrated your moral and (ideal) legal responses; let’s just change the facts a bit.

          In fact, you were driving home alone. Along the way you saw a guy desperately waving by the roadside and you stopped to help. The guy pulled a gun on you. He heaved an unconscious young woman into the rear seat of your car, got into the passenger seat, aimed his gun at you and said “drive my daughter and me to Eureka Flats right now or I’ll blow your brains out !” You proceed, but unfortunately that “not your fault” accident happens. You swim from the car to the bank. You see the guy’s body floating on the pond, but there’s no sign the young woman got out.

          What are your obligations – moral and (ideal) legal towards the woman? Are they any different from the obligations you computed for the earlier case ?

          In particular, are your obligations greater in the case where the young woman got into your car as your invited guest, than in the case where she was foisted on you by a gun toting hijacker ?

          Well, we must all make our own judgments. But some people would argue that you have more of an obligation in the first case than in the second. Even though the second young woman is obviously just as much of a human being as the first.

          And thusly, of course, with rape. A woman who is pregnant by rape has not consented in any form to the presence of the crittur inside her. Indeed it is only there by virtue of an illegal, immoral physical assault on her body. Even though the crittur itself is blameless, the woman has definitely not invited it in.

          Whereas a woman who is pregnant by voluntary intercourse has consented to the crittur’s presence. Like our 37 year old Senator who took a normal risk in getting into his car, the woman took a normal risk of getting pregnant. Accidents can happen.

          And just as the Senator may, arguably, have a greater responsibility for dealing with the consequences of his accident for the young woman, when she is present at his invitation, rather than having been forcibly foisted on him; the mother may have a greater responsibility where the fetus is present at her invitation, than when it is present emphatically not at her invitation but as a result of rape.

          1. Lee, your analogy breaks down on multiple levels, but here’s the most obvious: There is a huge difference between saying “I have no duty to someone” versus “I can affirmatively kill someone.”

            Unlike Ted Kennedy simply walking away from the car, a woman who has an abortion actively takes actions that kill someone. The closer analogy would have been if Mary Jo Kopechne’s father had forced her into Kennedy’s car at gunpoint, and Kenney responded by taking his own gun and then shooting Mary Jo.

            1. Clarification: When I said “a woman who has an abortion actively takes actions that kill someone,” I was arguing from the standpoint of someone who is anti-abortion. That is not my actual position.

            2. 1. Obiter

              No pro lifer thinks a mother has a moral right to “kill” her child under any circumstances. That is to say to will its death. But in these exceptional cases, some hold that she has a right to end the pregnancy. Ending a pregnancy and killing the baby are not quite the same thing.

              Of course in the current state of technology, in practice, ending the pregnancy will usually, as an incidental, foreseeable, but not willed effect, result in the baby’s death. This is that old Doctrine of Double Effect which has been around in Catholic moral teaching since at least Thomas Acquinas.

              In the third trimester, even under current technology, inducing premature birth is an alternative to actually killing the baby. The woman’s right (if she has one) is to evict rather than to kill. And as technology improves, the chances of the baby’s survival improve, earlier and earlier in the pregnancy.

              Our 37 year old Senator does not will his female passenger’s death – that is the incidental effect of his decision to protect his own interests.

              2. Ratio

              Anyway you have slightly missed the point of my example, which is not to make a direct moral comparison between Senators who drive off bridges and pregnant women.

              The point is that in either case, the moral obligations of the person facing unfortunate costs in attending to other people’s interests ahead of their own, may vary according to whether the person is faced with these costs as the natural consequences of their own choices, or as the consequences of their being imposed upon by others.

              The example of the Senator is intended to show that the volunteer has moral obligations that the pressed does not.

              1. Yes, one’s own choices are not entirely irrelevant here. However, in practice, almost all of the time there is no way to abort a fetus without killing it. I suppose that a late stage fetus could be removed via what would amount to a C-section and then kept alive on machines, but that’s not true of most abortions, and certainly not first trimester abortions.

              2. “No pro lifer thinks a mother has a moral right to “kill” her child under any circumstances. ”

                As I point out to Ben above, you’re not taking seriously the full range of human motivation/opinion. Pete Singer isn’t fictional.

                1. Every side has its lunatic fringe and Pete Singer is ours. He’s no more representative of most mainstream secular humanists and pro-choice advocates than the God-Hates-Fags funeral picketing Westboro Baptist is representative of all Christians.

                2. I don’t believe Pete Singer is a pro lifer.

          2. LOL! I love how you pretend Teddy wasn’t guilty of DUI…

            1. You called him “Teddy.” I just used familiar circumstances to frame my illustration.

              I want my hypothetical Senator to be innocent of moral or legal crime, just someone caught up in the sort of accident that fate brings to the ordinarily conscientious.

              To paint him guilty of something would raise an inappropriate element of blame when translated to the circumstance of an ordinarily conscientious woman to whom fate has brought an unwanted pregnancy. Assuming she made a decent effort at contraception, she’s just on the wrong end of a twist of fate, just like my Senator.

              Though in practice the forseeable risk of pregnancy even if you use contraceptives is quite a bit higher than the risk of being involved in a serious car accident, even if you drive averagely competently.

  11. I would think this newspaper editorial makes perfect sense. The struggle for “choice” as they used to call it (now I guess it’s “abortion care”) is a political battle which includes a political campaign in the courts. What difference is there between fighting for abortion in an initiative campaign and fighting for abortion in court?

  12. ACB has two goals for her time on the Supreme Court—overturn Roe and restore the Bush dynasty by installing George P Bush as president. I have it on good authority that ACB got a full on “lady boner” in 2003 during shock and awe while watching Fox News and seeing all of the Iraqi babies Bush was slaughtering.

  13. Hey, could a governor ban abortion in his state by executive order if he believes doing so could help slow the spread of Covid-19? Some people seem to think that a governor’s powers to slow virus spread is basically unlimited. For example, Massachusetts is updating its mask order to include wearing masks outdoors *even when socially distanced*, i.e., even under circumstances where The Science (TM) says coronavirus doesn’t spread.

    Also, can states “ban” abortion by imposing civil, rather than criminal, penalties? Some people also seem to think states’ powers to impose anti-Covid measures are basically unlimited as long as they enforce measures through civil, rather than criminal, penalties.

  14. Legacy media, lamestream media virtue signals to their market. Meanwhile I anyway avoid curated ‘news’.

  15. Curious that the Denver Post included this sentence from Planned Parenthood v Casey :

    Laws surrounding abortions performed before the point of viability, the court ruled, must not pose an “undue burden” to women seeking abortion care

    when cheering Colorado voters for voting down a ban on aborting fetuses post 22 weeks. I’m not convinced it’s a quote that bolsters their argument.

  16. Emanations and penumbras.

    Anyone associated in any way with Orange Man Bad is as bad as Orange Man Bad, and must be treated the same way as Orange Man Bad.

  17. There has been a nationwide consensus that abortion should be legal for decades.
    https://www.npr.org/2019/06/07/730183531/poll-majority-want-to-keep-abortion-legal-but-they-also-want-restrictions

    that does not mean unrestricted

    that the same people who want to outlaw abortion also want to limit access to birth control, and cut funding for social programs tells you everything you need to know about them

    liars

    1. Polling indicates the consensus falls apart after the first trimester, and doesn’t even hold for purely elective abortions in the 1st trimester. Colorado is very much an outlier in US public opinion.

      1. AS I said, not without restrictions

        Many people who would not choose to have an abortion themselves or with their partner, nonetheless understand that for other people it is not for them to decide
        That is the difference between different polling results.
        IF asked if they ‘like’ abortions, a mahjority say no, when asked if they should be illegal, a majority say no

        When you focus on laws, rather than feelings, the consensus is clear

    2. Arpiniant1 comment “…..cut funding for social programs …”

      Cutting funding for many social programs is generally a good idea. The single most effective anti-poverty program since the great depression was “ending welfare as we know it” passed during the Clinton administration. Requiring work significantly reduced reliance on government handouts and greatly increased employment for those affected.

  18. From the Denver Post – . “Women from across the nation come to Colorado seeking abortion care when their home state denies them the medical care they need. ”

    Its not medical CARE by any definition

    1. If you regard the fetus as morally unimportant, and when unwanted, as a large and quite dangerous parasite, as some people do, it’s medical care.

      In just the same way as getting rid of a tapeworm is.

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