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View Diary: Georgia becomes the seventh state to cut off abortions at 20 weeks. No exceptions for rape or incest (105 comments)

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  •  I understood it perfectly (1+ / 0-)
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    william shipley

    as it undermines the claim that it's a person as hollow.  You criticized the viability sliding scale above, but it's, I think, the only way to apply the existing 14th amendment legal framework to the abortion question, the balancing of public and private interests.  It's easy to say there's never a public interest, but then what if the legislature decides otherwise?  But either way, at some point, the fetus isn't a person to the extent it's not viable (which begins, not ends the discussion about when abortion is permitted).

    Saying rape and incest exceptions can exist are really a concession that the whole abortion debate is a question of "who decides."  Does the state get to substitute its judgment for the woman's?  And taking those away does pretty much the same thing -- it could be that it's a flat rejection of the Casey framework a la life begins at conception, or it could just be that rape and incest just aren't good enough reasons.  I tend to think it's the latter.  The only way to such certainty about these questions is to deny that it's a tough issue, which is to deny that women's autonomy concerns even matter.  Otherwise, why not accept Roe and Casey as what they are -- a fair compromise.  They're notably silent about any questions of practical access to abortion, so it's hard to see it as recognizing a positive right.  Framing the issue as one of negative liberty makes legal and precedential sense but it doesn't get to full equality.

    The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

    by Loge on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:19:44 AM PDT

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    •  Ok, I did understand the reasons (0+ / 0-)

      but as you say, they reveal the underlying theory of pregnancy as a 'punishment' which you must endure unless you are not at fault.  This is, of course, repugnant.

      My criticism of Roe v. Wade is probably more of an acknowledgment that there will not be a clear answer to this debate.

      I will say that I find the "Woman's autonomy" argument suspect.  The state has long established it's right to control what we can do with our bodies, from restrictions on drugs and prostitution to requirements for seat belts, helmets on motor cycles etc.  None of us really have autonomy over our bodies.

      •  the fact that there isn't a clean cut (0+ / 0-)

        resolution possible is, I think, a point in Roe's favor.  

        The bodily autonomy argument is necessary but not sufficient.  The examples that you gave are restrictions that don't infringe on anything as personal as abortion.  So, that can either be characterized as meaning that more than autonomy is required or that the examples you gave don't infringe autonomy to quite the degree.  In fact, a way to think of abortion laws as unconstitutional is that they disadvantage women in a way they don't do men, without a compelling interest in doing so, so it's less that autonomy is threatened but that it's threatened unequally.

        The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

        by Loge on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:52:27 AM PDT

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      •  "not clear answer">s/b medical matter, not law (0+ / 0-)

        The "no clear answer" aspect is an indication to me that abortion should be a medical matter, not something polticians use in their War on Women (& the poor).

        Early in the pregnancy, there's no ethical problem: the woman should be able to choose whether or not to (attempt to) GIVE life, without leagal or social pressure.

        Any "problem" with late abortion I've ever heard described could be better handled as they do in Canada -- no law, but medical standards.

        Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

        by julifolo on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:44:12 AM PDT

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