Saturday, April 2, 2016

Abortion and the Law


For John, BLUFScott Adams.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This argument is off in lala land.  The chances that we will have a consensus to ban abortion after a point, to explicitly ban it after 22 weeks, for example, are nil.  But, Chris Matthews lives in a magical land where all things non-progressive are possible (if we don't elect Ms Hillary Clinton).  Thus we are still, on the 1st of April (Madison Time) discussing this issue.

From Law Professor Ann Althouse we have:

2 views on the connection between believing abortion is murder and wanting to punish the woman who gets one.

Donald Trump got caught in the act of being confused, and I'd like to plunk him down at this fork in Abortion-Is-Murder Road. The signpost on the left fork reads Jill Filipovic Way:

If anti-abortion advocates sincerely believe abortion is murder, they should also say that women have to be punished for it. If a fetus is the same as a 5-year-old, then a woman who ends a pregnancy should be just as guilty of murder as a woman who pays a hit man to kill her kindergartener. Claiming ignorance that murder was murder wouldn’t work.

It’s an ugly thought, and it’s electorally and socially unpopular, and that’s why some of them don’t say it out loud; others realize that while they may find abortion morally wrong, they don’t in their heart of hearts believe removing an embryo from a woman’s body is the same as slaughtering a 5-year-old. But start making those kinds of distinctions and the whole case against abortion falls apart.

Yeah, down that road you'd have to punish the woman, but the whole point is, political disaster lies down that road, and what Jill Filipovic wants is for you to run all the way back down Abortion-Is-Murder Road and go somewhere else entirely — where you see that this whole territory lies inside the body of another person and she gets full control over what happens inside there.

But hang out in this fork a tad longer. There's another way to go: It's Scott Adams Way:

Do we really need penalties for every law?... [W]e all might be better off if our government always took the side of maximizing human life while leaving room for private citizens to make tough choices as needed. A law without penalties does that..... Governments should always favor human life, even in the gray areas. But human beings often need the freedom to make hard choices about life. If the government makes abortion and doctor-assisted dying illegal, it sends a message about the priorities of government to protect life. But by being silent on penalties for those things, government would also allow citizens and their doctors to make the hard decisions.
Adams wants to make abortion illegal, but then provide no enforcement mechanism. This is similar to having a law that's just not enforced, except the commitment to do no enforcing is locked down in the text of the statute. It's just an expressive law, the people saying "we care," but we're not going to do anything about it, because private citizens need room to govern their own private lives.

Can travelers on Abortion-Is-Murder Road take the Scott Adams fork?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

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