Sunday, March 2, 2014

Abortion Rights vs Gay Rights


For John, BLUFHuman rights need to include all humans, but when do we become human?  Nothing to see here; just move along.



I quote longer than normal from a blog post by Law Professor Ann Althouse.  There is more at the link immediately below.
"The gay rights movement has been having some remarkable success lately.  Why do abortion rights keep losing ground?"

Wonders Gail Collins [New York Times OpEd Writer], and one obvious answer springs to mind: Many people genuinely believe that the unborn is a human being.  There's no live-and-let-live accommodation to the rights other people have won in the legal and political process for those who feel morally challenged to save millions of babies from impending murder.  The very demand that they ought to accept defeat gracefully reignites them.

A second answer follows on (in my mind, and I've still not read past Collins's question): Rights in the form of equality appeal to virtually all Americans.  Gay rights have mostly taken the form of equality rights: equal access to marriage, to employment, to restaurants and shops.  Gay rights have also taken the form of privacy rights, that is, the freedom to make your own decisions about what to do with your body, but nobody recently has bothered with trying to stop gay people from having sex with each other.  The idea of criminalizing sodomy seems ridiculous, especially when heterosexuals are deeply involved in the practice, and the notion of banning it only for gay couples brings us back to the equality principle that resonates with virtually all Americans.

Now, I'll read the rest of Collins, who begins by asserting that there are some "easy" answers to her question. She begins with:

Obviously, abortion is an issue that only relates to one gender, at one particular stage in their lives.
Abortion doesn't even relate to men?!  That's perfectly obtuse.  Obviously — I'll use her adverb — a man contributed sperm and has the prospect of becoming a father.  He might participate in the decisionmaking process — even if the law gives the final call to the woman.  Is Collins unable to conceive of a man who cares about his own offspring, who would do what an honorable man should do and promise to love and protect that woman and the unborn person they have caused to come into existence?  The Obvious World of Gail Collins is bereft of moral reasoning. Ironically, the abortion right as defined by the Supreme Court is premised on our capacity as human beings to engage in serious moral reasoning.
There is more, but you should read it over at Professor Althouse's blog.  As a side note, Professor Althouse has noted she has a son who is gay and out of the closet.

Regards  —  Cliff

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