ForumTouchy Subjects ► Supreme Court Overturning Abortion Rights
Millpond said:
I don't see why this will divide Americans any more than they already are. It's legal, and half the country don't like it. Now it's going to be illegal, and half the country don't like it. It's just a different half.
It's even better than that. Currently, abortion is legal nation-wide. Unless the leaked decision is reversed, abortion will become legal in states that want legal abortion and illegal in states that don't. Of course, there will still be many people on both sides who are very angry because they want their stance enforced nationally, but this is far closer to a political compromise than the status quo.
States don't want anything. They're not alive. Why is the state the arbitrary political unit that we obsess over the political rights of? Why not county rights? city rights? neighborhood rights? If you actually fully follow through all the way with your logic, the least divisive option is to leave it up to individuals. Karen can decide its illegal for Karen to have an abortion and Susie can decide its legal for Susie to have one. I wonder if anyone advocates for a stance like that 🤔🤔🤔

The status quo preserves liberty at the individual level. The X% that believe in bodily autonomy can live with the ability to exercise it and the other Y% can live under their own self-imposed restriction. The leaked decision escalates it to the state level, stripping a vast number of individuals of their liberty to exercise autonomy over their own bodies. In anti-choice states, it rounds X and Y to 0 and 100 respectively, which is as far from compromise as it is possible to be. This is a massive move away from compromise.
  
States don't want anything. They're not alive. Why is the state the arbitrary political unit that we obsess over the political rights of? Why not county rights? city rights? neighborhood rights? If you actually fully follow through all the way with your logic, the least divisive option is to leave it up to individuals. Karen can decide its illegal for Karen to have an abortion and Susie can decide its legal for Susie to have one. I wonder if anyone advocates for a stance like that 🤔🤔🤔

The status quo preserves liberty at the individual level. The X% that believe in bodily autonomy can live with the ability to exercise it and the other Y% can live under their own self-imposed restriction. The leaked decision escalates it to the state level, stripping a vast number of individuals of their liberty to exercise autonomy over their own bodies. In anti-choice states, it rounds X and Y to 0 and 100 respectively, which is as far from compromise as it is possible to be. This is a massive move away from compromise.


You're just getting closer to the basis of a Republic. The idea is that each individual has the greatest possible responsibility and power to govern and take care of themselves. Remove as much over-arching government, (arguably, bloated power structures like those in the US federal government soaking up most of the budget while providing little in return) and give as much power as possible back to people first, then on up the chain from local governments to state, etc. In a republic. Part of the reason stratification of government exists (Federal, State, and Local) is that, without it, there would be no unified military, citizenship or currency, etc., and so Karen can't decide what Susie's rights are; that's why a document usually exists to guarantee certain rights to citizens. These days the "Republican" Party is just the Conservative Party because a Republic is more of an idealized form of government than a practical one. If only we could just be a federation or confederation, but historically, that just doesn't work.

The question "When is the unborn a person?" rests at the heart of the question of what rights could be given to the unborn. With the spectrum view of personhood, one might ask,"To what extent does the unborn become a person, and at which points do we grant which rights?" The problem is, that's tough. Who can possibly agree on when personhood starts and what the basis should be? The most influential political thinker of our time, John Rawls, uses the concept of an overlapping consensus to explain why we have principles of justice that guide our society, but in this instance, here in the US, there isn't enough of an overlapping consensus on when personhood begins.

Hydrogen here is not truly against a woman's bodily autonomy where it concerns pregnancy (if I understand correctly) because some like Hydrogen believe in personhood for the fetus, the rights that come with it, and that a woman's right to bodily autonomy here doesn't trump her fetus' right to live. In Roe v. Wade, the matter of 'when is a fetus a person briefly came up, but they just skirt around it and say it's a process. Some generally use viability outside the womb as the point when the unborn has rights, others, the general time at which sentience is fully possible, others when there's a heartbeat.

Hydrogen, you've probably said this before, but if I understand correctly, you believe personhood and the rights that come with it start at conception, and if so, why? If you give an answer based on your religious beliefs, I'd ask, aren't your religious beliefs unfalsifiable? In which case, I'd argue, it sets a bad precedent to have the reason personhood begins at a certain point be based on anything unfalsifiable; beliefs don't provide a solid consensus on the start of personhood.

TheDFRA said:
Your link backs up the numbers I gave you so you can use that as the source for what I said.
That's neat. Perhaps I'd care enough to pay attention to what you posted if it wasn't written as though you had that information off the top of your head. I spend too much time reading what people write online, I'd like to know I'm not wasting my time.

TheDFRA said:
Really? Most of your reactions, including mine are not negative.

That is a stupid take.

Yeah? I guess maybe the first response set the tone for the next several. Let's just look back on what I said as though it only applies to the above comment then.
  
I've read some of the decision now, and it seems to base its overruling of Roe on the fact that Roe is based on the 14th amendment, which guarantees "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". The Canadian Charter phrases its equivalent different. Specifically, "life, liberty, and security of the person". So in the US, it's considered as a matter of liberty, whereas in Canada it's considered as a matter of security of the person. I find this very interesting and totally stupid. It suggests that life/liberty doesn't include security of the person. And if property is included but bodily security isn't, property is valued more? It also relies on the fact that abortion was mostly illegal at the time of the amendment. This is what happens when you freeze your interpretation of legislation at the time it was made, two hundred fucking years ago, rather than treating the Consitution/Charter as a living tree.

You can legally finagle your way into any interpretation of shit that broad if you really want to. This seems a rather absurdly myopic view, though.

The US really loves to elevate the opinions of some random dudes two hundred years ago to the level of religious sacrosanctity. At that time, women weren't allowed to vote, either. Perhaps we should go back to that, since apparently 1868 was the year where everything was completely correct.
  
Nah, that's the whole point of textualists vs. contextualists. Half of the court recognize that things change and the intention is what matters, the other half refuse to do anything than literally read what is written down.

I bet you can guess which party favors the "read it as written 200 years ago" ideology
  
Hydrogen's take about states "getting what they want" is so bafflingly stupid to me. They tried that with a contentious issue in the history of this country. It didn't work out very well. Also said contentious issue involved oppressing a minority. Also, a lot of these same states were involved. Reversing Roe is worth another civil war, honestly.
  
It won't cause one, though.
  


Seconded.
  
By the by, where's all the debate about mandatory organ donorship?
  
I find the argument to be extremely similar, as I said super early on. Based on hydrogen's arguments, they would probably be for it since they seem to represent an actual conservative for govt control of our bodies lives and anything else necessary to "preserve life". I don't agree with this ideology any more than American conservatives. I also think American conservatives would not be pro compulsory organ donation because it would take away their choice.

Conservatives literally used "my body my choice" in protests about masks and vaccinations. They are not against the idea of bodily choice, they just don't agree that the mom's choice is more important than a fetus who doesn't have sentience to make the choice yet. Or maybe, more accurately, they are unempathetic shit heads who only want the people they respect to have a choice. I've known anti abortion folks who make exceptions for their own families. There's a lot more to this than just unborn babies, in fact I would say that's the least important to most of them.

In response to the "I'm always prolife, are you always prochoice" pedantry, I think we all, including you, are aware of what I was trying to point out when I said the irony statement. I don't care if you have extremist beliefs on control, the neoliberal fascists that make up the republican party pretend that they do not want govt control. That is the majority of Republicans and I'm not going to argue against someones niche beliefs as if that's the majority of the opposition. The point is that the neoliberals are often the pro-choice folks in every other regard because freedom. Masks, vax, guns, discrimination, hiring practices, etc. The point is that their beliefs in freedom stop when they cannot consider a woman's life over a hypothetical child. Because it is not in existence as a child until it doesn't miscarry, and comes fully to term. Miscarriages are extremely common for a first pregnancy and often have to be aborted. That's a fun fact for this thread too. Abortion is sometimes required to take the DEAD baby out. This isn't about murdering babies, and we have far too much medical research showing that for you to be ignoring it. You have your beliefs and I think you have every right to enforce those beliefs on yourself. The government does not get to enforce those religious or spiritual beliefs on its populace. This is a health issue and should only discussed as such. That health discussion should include the fetus once it's viable, but I have a feeling discussion from medical doctors focuses on preserving the human with an established existence.
  
Where I live, in Louisiana, Republicans advanced a bill to have abortion be counted as murder. That's outright ridiculous and whoever suggested something like that is out of their mind.
  
You know what else is ridiculous? A chocolate cake with 4 layers.
  
W_Licky said:
Where I live, in Louisiana, Republicans advanced a bill to have abortion be counted as murder. That's outright ridiculous and whoever suggested something like that is out of their mind.
Welcome to Louisiana.
  
Kylljoy said:
Nah, that's the whole point of textualists vs. contextualists. Half of the court recognize that things change and the intention is what matters, the other half refuse to do anything than literally read what is written down.
I think I support textualists. Not because I don't want to change the law, but because it's not the court's job to change the law, it's the government's job.
  
Decisions made two hundred years ago are lacking fundamental information about the current world and the context necessary to properly function.
  
I agree with you, I just think it's the government's responsibility to change laws, not the court's. If a law from the 18th century is unfit for the 21st century, the government needs to step up, do its job and change it.

Maybe it's something to do with being a Republic, where these things tend to freeze in time at the point the republic started. On the other hand, the US does famously make Amendments to its constitution when it wants to.
  
I could not possibly care less about the proper way to change the law. Why would I trust that people who couldn't even agree slavery was wrong made a good rulemaking process? Part of that rulemaking process as originally written was that people like me would not be allowed to have any input on it, nor would the vast majority of the country. Why would I ever in a million years feel bound to abide by that system?
  
Millpond said:
I agree with you, I just think it's the government's responsibility to change laws, not the court's. If a law from the 18th century is unfit for the 21st century, the government needs to step up, do its job and change it.

Maybe it's something to do with being a Republic, where these things tend to freeze in time at the point the republic started. On the other hand, the US does famously make Amendments to its constitution when it wants to.

Barely. The last two amendments were 1992 and 1971. That shit is absurdly slow and infrequent.
  
And considering it requires 3/4ths of states to approve an amendment, it's not a particularly reliable method of protecting the rights of marginalized folks from tyranny of the majority. Given that, as discussed earlier in this thread, about 26+ states would be banning abortion... Well, sadly that doesn't add up to 38 states supporting an amendment to protect it.
  
Is amending the constitution the only way to make new laws in the US? When other countries want to make new laws, they just . . . make new laws.
  
There are federal laws in the USA, but they have to be approved by both sides of Congress. it's a lot easier than an amendment though, because iirc they don't need as high of a majority to pass. But that's how we have the Americans with Disabilities Act, federal laws against marijuana, etc.
  
Basically, the US Federal government can only make laws according to the enumerated powers of Congress. Anything that is not an enumerated power is the power of the states' legislation. The exception is behaviour outlawed by the constitution (i.e. bill of attainder, ex-post-facto, etc.), which neither the fed nor the states can make laws about.

If you want to either make a change to federal laws that is not an enumerated power (outlawing slavery, outlawing suppression of speech, providing for equal rights), or alter the physical makeup of the constitution ( changing the rules for voting, how electing senators works), then you need an amendment.

There is nothing explicitly about abortion in the constitution (with the exception of the Roe reading about "privacy from the government" extending to a woman's body, but that's an interpretation and not a literal statement). As such, it is not really an enumerated power, so to outlaw it or liberate it equally across the states would mean the fed would have to write an amendment and get it ratified. Until then, it is up to the individual states.
  
I wrote responses as I read and am too lazy to edit, so apologies if I retread anything that others have already said.
At that time, women weren't allowed to vote, either. Perhaps we should go back to that, since apparently 1868 was the year where everything was completely correct.
(Putting this out of order since Kylljoy just addressed this.) The law is not set in stone. In this case, there are two legal ways to enshrine abortion as a right at the federal level: amend the Constitution or pass a federal law. It's not 100% clear that a federal law would be constitutional (10th amendment), but it could very likely slip in with a similar justification as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for instance. I'm more optimistic than Kylljoy that something like that could stand.
Why is the state the arbitrary political unit that we obsess over the political rights of?
From a legal standpoint, it's because of the 10th amendment, which states "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." If you want the federal government to be the supreme legislative authority on all issues, you'd have to move countries or repeal the 10th amendment.
If you actually fully follow through all the way with your logic, the least divisive option is to leave it up to individuals. Karen can decide its illegal for Karen to have an abortion and Susie can decide its legal for Susie to have one.
This exact argument could apply to any other law. I'm guessing you wouldn't want to repeal rape or murder laws, for obvious reasons: exercising the personal choice to rape or murder infringes on the rights of others, which is why we restrict that liberty.
E7 said:
Hydrogen, you've probably said this before, but if I understand correctly, you believe personhood and the rights that come with it start at conception, and if so, why? If you give an answer based on your religious beliefs, I'd ask, aren't your religious beliefs unfalsifiable?
I have never appealed to religious belief in the abortion debate; my pro-life stance is purely ontological in nature. Here's a short version of the argument:
1. Newborn humans have an individual right to life.
2. Pigs do not.
3. The only meaningful difference with regard to personal rights between pigs and newborns is that the latter have the potential to develop into full persons.
4. Human zygotes have the same innate potential to develop into persons as newborns do.
5. Therefore, human zygotes have an individual right to life.
It suggests that life/liberty doesn't include security of the person. And if property is included but bodily security isn't, property is valued more?
I don't think that's an accurate representation of Roe v. Wade or of its rebuttal in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Roe argued that prohibiting abortion is a violation of the right to privacy (which has been inferred from the 4th amendment), not of security. (Alito certainly didn't argue that people don't have a constitutional right to security, if that's what you're suggesting.)
It also relies on the fact that abortion was mostly illegal at the time of the amendment. This is what happens when you freeze your interpretation of legislation at the time it was made, two hundred fucking years ago, rather than treating the Consitution/Charter as a living tree.
If the Constitution can be interpreted to mean anything at all, then it's not worth much. The US has a separation of powers for a reason, and the Supreme Court was never intended to act as a kind of oligarchic super-legislature with the ability to write laws that couldn't otherwise survive the democratic legislative process. As Alito points out, the trimester framework established in Roe reads much more like legislation than like a straightforward interpretation of the law.
You can legally finagle your way into any interpretation of shit that broad if you really want to.
This sounds very much like a conservative judicial philosophy, and it's precisely the argument that Alito levied against Roe and Casey.
The US really loves to elevate the opinions of some random dudes two hundred years ago to the level of religious sacrosanctity.
Keeping Roe does exactly that (substitute 50 years for 200).
Kylljoy said:
Nah, that's the whole point of textualists vs. contextualists. Half of the court recognize that things change and the intention is what matters, the other half refuse to do anything than literally read what is written down.
In this case, it's apparent that neither the text nor the intention of the text support abortion as a universal right. Abortion is obviously not mentioned explicitly, and protection of abortion cannot have been the intention since the law at the time universally regarded abortion as unlawful. The controversy in the SCOTUS isn't textualism vs. contextualism: it's either of those vs. judicial activism / legislating from the bench.
Scoggles said:
Also said contentious issue involved oppressing a minority. Also, a lot of these same states were involved.
Women are not a minority, but more to the point, this controversy involves the competing rights of two groups. If your only guiding principle is "avoid oppression", it doesn't answer the question: which oppression should we prioritize: women or unborn children? The moral issue is much more complex than you acknowledge. (If we're doing competitive marginalization, I'd argue that fetuses are a more vulnerable group than women, given that they can't vote or speak, but I digress.)
Scoggles said:
Reversing Roe is worth another civil war, honestly.
I can only say that I'm glad this degree of ideological extremism is not more common (at least not yet).
By the by, where's all the debate about mandatory organ donorship?
This has come up many times on this forum (there's nothing new under the sun). Prohibiting an intervention that unnaturally destroys a life is not morally equivalent to mandating an intervention that unnaturally preserves a life. I'm not guilty of a crime if I don't roam the streets looking for people who've had a heart attack so I can help them to the hospital. But if I roam the streets looking for people to shoot in the heart, I'm a murderer. On another level, I think not being an organ donor at death is immoral, and I probably wouldn't be opposed to mandating it.
That is the majority of Republicans and I'm not going to argue against someones niche beliefs as if that's the majority of the opposition.
I'll take it as a compliment that you have to argue with people who aren't here because my stance is apparently unassailable in its consistency. 😛
Abortion is sometimes required to take the DEAD baby out.
Can you cite any cases where abortion laws have prevented the extraction of a dead fetus? (Maybe there are cases, but I'm not currently aware of any.) If that has happened, I'll join you in fervently opposing such provisions. I am only opposed to elective abortion: destroying a healthy child without medical cause.
This isn't about murdering babies, and we have far too much medical research showing that for you to be ignoring it.
I'm curious what medical research you're referring to.
I could not possibly care less about the proper way to change the law. Why would I trust that people who couldn't even agree slavery was wrong made a good rulemaking process? Part of that rulemaking process as originally written was that people like me would not be allowed to have any input on it, nor would the vast majority of the country. Why would I ever in a million years feel bound to abide by that system?
Because the alternative is no rule of law, which is also a bad situation. Maybe someday the US will decide it wants to use a pure legislative system rather than a constitutional/common law system. If that's the case, we could pass a amendment revoking or rewriting the Constitution.
  
If your only guiding principle is "avoid oppression", it doesn't answer the question: which oppression should we prioritize: women or unborn children?
Women. Full stop. This isn't remotely up for debate.
  
Why are you even here, Scoggles? 😂 Honestly, what do you think you're accomplishing with that kind of conduct on a debate forum?
  
There are a lot of things that are up for debate. This is not one of them. "The unborn" are an extremely convenient "group" to advocate on behalf of for the same reasons you claim they are "oppressed." They can't speak up and do not possess any morality of their own. They don't have to contend with being imperfect or having made poor choices because they've made no choices. Meanwhile, women, or anyone who can become pregnant, really, already exist in moral space, already have established rights. It may be more difficult to advocate for the pregnant, as they occasionally don't have that characteristic of perfect moral purity or whatever, but the point is that none of that matters. At all. In the least. If someone doesn't want to be pregnant, they don't have to be. Doesn't matter how they got that way. Doesn't matter how far along they are.
  
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