Abortion bans and religious freedom…a new wrinkle.

Simply put, if a religion approves (or requires it to save the life or health of the mother) abortion in some or all circumstances, does a state that bans virtually all abortions violate the First Amendment for those adherents? I posted the PEW link because it lists religions by abortion views. There are plenty of sites that debate this issue also. What about atheists and agnostics? Do they have any rights under the First Amendment, or is it just for organized religions?

135 thoughts on “Abortion bans and religious freedom…a new wrinkle.

  1. The only way to approach the question seriously is with a theory of natural rights. For example, if a person has a natural right to commit murder, is it a violation of his natural rights for murder to be illegal?

    My theory of natural rights holds that there is no natural right to do wrong. Laws that prohibit, deter or punish wrongdoing are inherently just, even when they contradict religious beliefs and practices.

    Put another way, the First Amendment doesn’t confer rights on anyone under any circumstances. The question as asked is moot.

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    1. “There is no natural right to do wrong.”
      That sounds reasonable but it says almost nothing about this issue.

      Define “wrong.” Ah, there’s the rub. As the data Len provided illustrates, there are many different views about the “wrongness” of abortion.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “Define ‘wrong.'”

        I gave an example: murder.

        A religion that condones murder can be rejected on its face, with or without the First Amendment.

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          1. I didn’t. I said murder is a violation of natural rights.

            But if it helps any, I’d say abortion is a violation of natural rights in many, if not most, circumstances.

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        1. “I gave an example: murder.”

          Do you really not understand that this “answer” begs the question?

          “Murder” is wrongful killing. We still do not have a definition of “wrong.”

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          1. RE: “this ‘answer’ begs the question?”

            Only semantically. Murder and abortion can be “wrong” for different reasons.

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          2. “Only semantically.”

            What does THAT mean?

            And even if “murder and abortion are wrong for different reasons” you are still tap dancing around the meaning of “wrong.”

            We are not a Theocracy, so a meaning based on the ‘druthers of some Being in the Sky whom some people dare to speak for is NOT an acceptable standard of meaning.

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          3. You are looking for an absolute, universal, objective definition of terms. I am telling you that right and wrong are opposites. Accordingly, a wrong is the opposite of a right.

            You will need to work out the implications of this framework on your own. One of them I have already suggested to you: The nature of any particular wrong will be a reflection of the unique right that it violates. This is why homicide, for example, is sometimes wrong and sometimes not wrong.

            This is also why it is a mistake to make the absolute, universal, objective definitions of words a prerequisite for this discussion.

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          4. “This is why homicide, for example, is sometimes wrong and sometimes not wrong.”

            A cop kills an unarmed black man and it is RIGHT; a woman ends an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy and it is WRONG.

            I see your point.

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          5. “Accordingly, a wrong is the opposite of a right.”

            You are still begging the question.
            Now you want to define “wrong” in terms of another undefined term – “right.”

            This would not matter EXCEPT that you and others think it is proper for the government to impose pain, suffering, risk of death, and lifelong obligations on women because what they choose to do is “wrong” as YOU see it. Never mind that by equally valid standards those people being oppressed do not see their choice as “wrong.”

            There is no way to reconcile the different views of what is “right” and what is “wrong” when it comes to abortion. That is why Roe v Wade was a decision of Solomonic wisdom. It did not try. It should remain the law of the land. Women should not become second class citizens with ZERO autonomy. And that is doubly true based on the fact that very strong majorities are very satisfied with it.

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          6. RE: “This would not matter EXCEPT that you and others think it is proper for the government to impose pain, suffering, risk of death, and lifelong obligations on women because what they choose to do is “wrong” as YOU see it.”

            You assume too much. I merely said that the only way to approach Mr. Rothman’s question seriously is with a theory of natural rights. You started demanding definitions of terms, which is a distraction from the point I made.

            To be clear: Mr. Rothman’s question makes religion a focus. I recommend that religion be set aside so that natural philosophy can be the focus.

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          7. “I recommend that religion be set aside so that natural philosophy can be the focus.”

            Too bad that reality does not exist in this country. If you look at the anti-CHOICE crowd, they are religious types who want to impose their beliefs on everyone else. ANd they want the laws to reflect that.

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          8. “To be clear: Mr. Rothman’s question makes religion a focus. I recommend that religion be set aside so that natural philosophy can be the focus.”

            You are certainly earning your title as Dr. Semantics on this one.

            Religion IS the focus in this discussion because it is religious zealots who want to use the law to force THEIR religious beliefs on everyone else. They do not refer to “natural philosophy” in their efforts. They refer to the Will of God which they claim to have special knowledge of.

            Besides, what distinction is there between “religion” and “natural philosophy?”
            Answer: There is none.

            You say that applying “natural philosophy” a woman forced to continue a pregnancy is not being oppressed because giving birth is the normal outcome of pregnancy. By the same “logic” death is the normal outcome of cancer, so treating cancer would be a “wrong.” This is obviously a hopeless and entirely subjective muddle.

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          9. “Either Roe conformed with the Constitution or it didn’t, and as I have been saying for over a decade, it did not.”

            Oh, you have been saying that for over a decade? Well then, it must be true!

            Or not.

            Because, actually, the Constitution does not address abortion in any way. It does address citizenship and who is entitled to the protections of the Constitution. Says something about being “born” I think. So, pretty clearly the “unborn” are not citizens protected by the Constitution. And that is how they are treated in law in almost every arena. Funny thing, almost every pregnant woman has been born.

            Your over a decade old opinion seems to ignore the most important aspect of the Constitution. It established the principle that fundamental individual rights cannot be abrogated by government. You obviously believe that women must serve other “persons” whether they want to or not. Not fully human. More like chattel. Be kind to them but don’t let them get uppity ideas about making their own decisions.

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    1. Fail to see. . .

      Well, there is that awkward Freedom of Religion thing

      And then there is the Establishment clause. Favoring the views of one religion over the views of others on a question of morality is a violation of that principle.

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          1. Requiring a child to bear a child created in violence would be evil in my view. Or requiring a woman to carry to term a child that will not survive and suffer for days, weeks, months or a short lifetime is evil.

            True, most abortions today are early and for family planning reasons. So is birth control in its most effective forms. However, abortion bans remove the decision for the medically necessary terminations. Roe protected that by the viability bar, which is still around 23+ weeks. And viability does not mean survivability without extraordinary interventions and a bit of luck.

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          2. RE: “Requiring a child to bear a child created in violence would be evil in my view…”

            Then why do you make an issue of religious freedom? You have already decided that your own morality is superior to at least some hypothetical religious moralities.

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          3. “Then why do you make an issue of religious freedom? ”

            Len is not proposing to use the force of law to compel other people to follow HIS religion.

            Religious freedom means that you are free to practice the religion of your choice and to follow its precepts. Freedom of religion does NOT mean that you can force other people to conform to YOUR religion’s practices and precepts. That would be religious oppression.

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          4. RE: “Len is not proposing to use the force of law to compel other people to follow HIS religion.”

            No, he isn’t. He has proposed that anti-abortion laws hypothetically conflict with the religious freedoms the First Amendment guarantees. Why should he care when he already rejects religious morality? He is, in effect, arguing in favor of religious oppression or in favor of abandoning the First Amendment. What is the point of doing so?

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          5. “He is, in effect, arguing in favor of religious oppression”

            Sorry, that makes no sense.
            You seem to think that not being allowed to force others to follow your religious beliefs is a form of religious oppression. It isn’t.

            Who is being religiously oppressed when a woman CHOOSES to terminate an unwanted pregnancy in the first trimester?
            Answer: No One.

            Who is being religiously oppressed when a woman cannot CHOOSE to terminate an unwanted pregnancy in the first trimester?
            Answer: She is.

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          6. “Why should he care when he already rejects religious morality? ”

            Whose religious morality is he rejecting? Yours?

            All he did was point out that some religions view the choice on abortion differently than others. Those who view it as a crime, regardless of circumstance, are the ones (mostly) proposing laws to ban the practice in its entirety. By doing so they are violating the 1st Amendment rights of those who don’t believe the same thing.

            If states ban abortions, they are codifying the beliefs of one group over others. That would be a state sponsorship of religion, which the 1st Amendment says NO to.

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          7. RE: “Who is being religiously oppressed when a woman cannot CHOOSE to terminate an unwanted pregnancy in the first trimester?
            Answer: She is.”

            a) I don’t see religion as a relevant factor. The question can be stated without referring to it.

            b) I don’t see how the woman is oppressed when, in the natural order of things, giving birth is the normal outcome of pregnancy.

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          1. They are laws nonetheless.

            A point of interest:

            “ Meeting in St. Louis in 1971, the messengers (delegates) to the Southern Baptist Convention, hardly a redoubt of liberalism, passed a resolution calling for the legalization of abortion, a position they reaffirmed in 1974 — a year after Roe — and again in 1976.”

            “Whether the performance of an induced abortion is sinful we are not agreed,” the statement read, “but about the necessity of it and permissibility for it under certain circumstances we are in accord.”

            https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/05/10/abortion-history-right-white-evangelical-1970s-00031480

            Abortion was not a big issue until it became politically expedient to make it so.

            “Morality” is often on a very shaky pedestal, in my opinion.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. “Baptists are wrong about a lot of things.”

            Wow. You can disagree with the religion, but to say they are “wrong” is dangerous territory. Ask the young Southern Baptist from my first ship who almost got tossed overboard by me for telling me MY religion was “wrong”.

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        1. Right. But the religious right driving these decisions is pushing for the entire country to adhere to their beliefs. They want their beliefs codified into law, and the “heathens” criminalized for their beliefs.

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          1. Not all opponents to abortion, especially late term. are motivated by religion. I don’t need a preacher to tell me murdering babies is wrong.

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          2. Murdering babies is wrong. Aborting fetuses is not necessarily. If aborting a fetus to save the life of the mother would still be murder, the question becomes who is the victim? The dead mother or the dead fetus? Who should make that choice?

            The state? The mother or family of the mother?

            No easy answers for codification.

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          3. The central question remains. At what point is a person present. That is a matter to be determined by the consensus of the legislature.

            Once that person is present, the right to self defense by the mother remains, but only when the threat would justify killing a born child.

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          4. “Not all opponents to abortion, “…

            I disagree. I don’t need anyone to tell me that murdering babies is wrong. I also don’t need anyone to tell me that the mother is responsible for her body and what happens to it and IN it.

            Late term abortions are EXTRMEME measures that should only be taken under very dire circumstances. The issue is that MOST of the GOP want to ban all abortions, all of the time.

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          5. The word “compromise” has basically been removed form the modern political lexicon.

            And if you doubt my assessment, prove me wrong. Because all I keep hearing about is GOP governors and legislatures pushing for the extreme measure against the rights of women.

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          6. Extreme measures? Spoken by a supporter of Ralph Northam who suggested babies who survived a late term abortion be sedated while they starved to death?

            I really don’t get you are Paul. You claim widespread support for the framework if Roe v Wade, yet you are sure the legislatures are looking to make ‘the Handmaids Tale’ law.

            Choose one belief or the other, they can’t both be true.

            What I believe is that with Roe gone, real compromise will be possible, while with Roe it is not.

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          7. You should watch FOX News more. They had a panel of 6 later term abortion survivors. One had an arm ripped off but otherwise they were normal people glad to be alive.

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          8. “Extreme measures?”

            By completely criminalizing abortion, as Nebraska is looking to do, or banning abortion after 6 weeks as Mississippi has already passed or the several other states that are contemplating similar laws to Mississippi, or trying to outdo that state by being “the most pro-life (ANTI-CHOICE) state in the country.

            ..” yet you are sure the legislatures are looking to make ‘the Handmaids Tale’ law.”

            When you look into the laws that are being proposed by the many GOP-led legislatures, that is what you are seeing.

            You keep saying they can’t; they are out to prove you very very wrong.

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          9. “Not all opponents to abortion, especially late term.”

            Roe v Wade offers no Constitutional protection for late term abortion. Legislatures have absolute control, and most have criminalized and/or severely limited it.

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          10. “Choose one belief or the other, they can’t both be true.”

            Are you kidding me? We have evolved a political system where money and special interest minorities rule on just about every issue. You seem to understand how well our broken system protects you from majority rule on every issue which is why you oppose any measure that would enhance democracy or reduce the power of special interests.

            And the “Handmaid’s Tale” was the huge success that it was because it captured the essence of the war on women that is motivating these powerful extremists.

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          11. “You should watch FOX News more. They had a panel of 6 later term abortion survivors.”

            You do not survive abortion. You survive an early induced delivery. With no information as to the reasons for those medical decisions to end the pregnancies that way it is impossible to draw a conclusion. Unless you are Fox News.

            By the way, that “survivor with one arm lost it in a botched abortion at two months. The fetus lost its arm but was not destroyed and continued to gestate. That was in Korea.

            One of the other “survivors” was also from an early abortion sought by her 13-year old mother. Her twin fetus was destroyed, but they missed her. She continued to gestate. When her 13-year old mother sought an actual late term abortion she was denied because, you know, they are illegal.

            You should watch Fox News less.

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        2. “Freedom of religion allows you to live by your religion, it does not require me to live by your religion.”

          Uh, that is EXACTLY the point. So, why would you condone and/or accept people imposing their religious views on others using the force and punishments of law?

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          1. I don’t, But I don’t need religion to know the murder of babies is wrong.

            I don’t oppose abortion prior to the emergence of rudimentary self awareness, But once the unborn baby is self-aware it deserves the same protection f the Rule of Law as you and I.

            That’s not a religious viewpoint. Government exists to provide the protection of the Rule of Law.

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          2. What is self awareness? Studies have often attributed the mirror test and babies fail until older. Few mammals ever gain that feature.

            Viability with a reasonable chance of survival would be a compromise in my opinion.

            Before modern medicine, childbirth was very dangerous. Birth defects were fatal or relegated the survivor to a extraordinarily tough, short life.

            Now that we can technically bypass natural filters for reproduction, we don’t need 12 children to have a few survive to adulthood.

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          3. First, abortion is not the only means for limiting family size, nor is it the safest or least expensive.

            Viability is not, in my opinion, the deciding factor on when a human is present. A person temporarily on a ventilator due to COVID is not viable, for example.

            But my opinion is philosophical and thus subject to the consensus of opinion of others through the legislature.

            At 4.5 months, fetuses suck their thumbs for comfort. In experiments done in the 60s on recently aborted, but still living fetuses, a 3 month fetus will flinch if touched on the eye with a probe. but a 4.5 month fetus will push the probe away with its hand, The flinch could be just a reflex, but defending itself with a coordinated response is self awareness. Primitive, no doubt, but as aware as I am before I’ve had my doffee.

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          4. …”abortion is not the only means for limiting family size, nor is it the safest or least expensive.”

            I don’t think that is inaccurate. However, the limiting of other safer and less expensive means for family planning are not always available to all. And sometimes they fail. So if a couple are engaged in normal sexual activities and the agreed to use of protection against pregnancy (and STI’s) fails, the woman becomes pregnant, according to you, she has no other recourse except to carry the baby to term and live with those consequences.

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          5. OK, the Mississippi law in question allows 15 weeks. That’s 3 missed periods for the woman to determine she is pregnant and take action.

            So yes, if she ignores that warning and waits until there is a self aware baby inside, she is committed to carrying the baby until it can be safely handed off to someone who wants it.

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          6. “I don’t, But I don’t need religion to know the murder of babies is wrong.”

            You write as if you have no idea what Roe v Wade did. Quick summary: It divides gestation into three trimesters. In the first trimester, the woman has unlimited right to choose. In the second, abortion can be severely restricted. In the third it can be prohibited.

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          7. “That’s 3 missed periods for the woman to determine she is pregnant and take action.”

            That is an over simplification. Normal period between menses ranges from 21 to 35 days. And younger women tend to have irregular and longer periods. Assuming conception 14 days after the last menstruation and a regular 35-day cycle that third missed period would come at 13 weeks gestational age.

            Maybe you are not aware, but even getting an OB-Gyn appointment is difficult and subject to delays. Especially if you have never had one. It leaves a very narrow window. And, since we are frequently talking about scared, ignorant and inexperienced girls racked with shame, the quick and decisive action of your imagined world is often not realistic.

            Bottom line, there is no valid reason for that arbitrary 15 week cut-off more than two months before any possible hint of sentience.

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  2. Where does the first amendment play a roll in your question? Roe was based on the Due Process clause of the 14th amendment right to privacy which seems specious to me in the first place. So whatever you do in privacy is ok as long as it is private? Is “private” murder ok then? Banning abortion doesn’t affect any 1st amendment right. You still have free speech, free to report news and freedom to exercise any religion you want.

    Personally, I think at some point, maybe in the second trimester, a fetus should be afforded the right to life as a person. Time is up.

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    1. “Personally, I think at some point, maybe in the second trimester, a fetus should be afforded the right to life as a person. Time is up.”

      And THAT is exactly what was decided in Roe vs Wade. It is only in the first trimester of fetal gestation that a woman’s rights are absolute. Since it agrees with your thinking, why do you want it thrown out?

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      1. Um, the second trimester is open to abortion too. Under Roe v Wade, the second trimester can be regulated by the state but not outlawed. In only the third trimester could a state ban it. Liberals, like Schumer just a few days ago, have been trying since Roe to make abortion legal up to actual birth claiming a baby isn’t a person until then.
        https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/content/news/cornyn-schumer%E2%80%99s-radical-abortion-demand-bill-still-has-bipartisan-opposition

        I don’t want to see abortion outlawed but it is clearly not in the constitution so Roe is invalid. I think it should be codified in state law when a fetus has rights, preferably somewhere in the middle of gestation. That way neither side wins or loses and the baby has rights too.

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        1. “Um, the second trimester is open to abortion too”

          Yes, but only with respect to serious threats to life and health of the mother.

          I definitely agree that the ideal would be a legislated cut-off at the mid-point of a pregnancy – about 20 weeks. If a woman has waited that long, she should have to continue. The problem is that many states are not willing to accept that common-sense compromise. And, so far, the Congress has failed to enact that as a national standard. So the issue changes to one of a Constitutional nature – do women own their own bodies or does the state?

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        2. Very late term abortions are rarely if ever decisions made without some serious medical problems. That is the gist of leaving that open to being legal should an emergency arise. I find it very hard to believe a woman waiting until 7 or 8 months to decide unless there is a difficult medical necessity.

          I think viability at 23 or so weeks is a good compromise.

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        3. “I don’t want to see abortion outlawed”…

          Too bad there are a whole bunch of folks who feel differently that you.

          The old “legal, safe and RARE” is a fair assessment of how the subject should be treated.

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  3. Abortion is NOT murder. Period. Those who think it is are misinformed and dangerous. And mostly men who do not have to make a heart wrenching decisions about what is best for them and their families.

    I do not advocate for late term abortion as a form a birth control. But when the mother’s life is endangered by the pregnancy, or the pregnancy would deliver an unsustainable being, who are we to decide?

    Stay out of people’s lives. Isn’t that what Libertarians preach?

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    1. The problem is that later decisions (Casey?) expanded ‘the health of the mother’ to include mental health to the extent that a woman only had to tell her doctor that she would be depressed if the baby was born and that was enough to allow that late term abortion.

      But again, the problem with Roe v Wade is not the terms of the decision but that it should never have been decided by the court as it is a matter that should be properly decided by the legislatures. The courts should decide matters of law, but defining the beginning of life for legal purposes is the provenance of the legislative branch.

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      1. “But again, the problem with Roe v Wade is not the terms of the decision but that it should never have been decided by the court as it is a matter that should be properly decided by the legislatures.”

        So you keep saying. You are dead wrong. For at least two reasons.

        1. Fundamental rights should not be subject to the whims of politics. The ownership and control of one’s own body is a fundamental right. You cannot be compelled to sacrifice your body to help another “person.” You are a man. A woman should have the same protection. These Theocrat legislatures are saying that a woman’s body is the property of the state. That is not acceptable.

        2. Separation of Church and State is a core principle of our Constitution. Government should not be enforcing religious beliefs and practices. No matter how popular. And in this case, those beliefs and practices to be enforced by the government are the opposite of popular.

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        1. Please tell me how my ‘rudimentary self awareness” is a religious belief?

          4.5 months is certainly long enough for a woman to make her choice before her choice becomes the taking of a life.

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          1. Please tell me how my ‘rudimentary self awareness” is a religious belief?

            Who said it was? I agree with your proposed standard. It is a standard based on science and not metaphysical mumbo jumbo. It is a standard that is more generous than what women must live with now in many states. It is a standard that 3/4ths of the citizenry are comfortable with.

            But you seem to not be able to grasp that many states will not accept such a reasonable and rational standard and will force their religious doctrines on the status of a fertilized egg on everyone else.

            Is a woman’s body the property of the state? Yes or No. If it is No, then she should have the right to choose during those first 4.5 months. If it is Yes, then women are second class citizens. YOUR body is not the property of the state. You are a man.

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          2. The claim that people want to control a woman’s body is a lie. No one cares what she does with her body.

            The issue is the life of that child, whenever we decide that life begins.

            I’m glad you find my threshold reasonable. But I am not king either. When it comes to the legislature, I will advocate for that standard, but in the end, the people of Virginia, through their legislature, make that call.

            Some states will draw the line elsewhere, both the delivery, and we will then be able to compare and determine just how much of a burden a given standard imposes.

            But if we impose a single standard across the country, we have no way to compare.

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          3. “The claim that people want to control a woman’s body is a lie. ”

            A lie?
            Bullshit.

            It is not just their bodies they want to control. They want to control women period. The same people who are forcing these extremist restrictions on abortion are the ones who oppose contraception, oppose the violence against women act, oppose the Equal Pay Act, fight the ERA, oppose gun restrictions on spousal abusers, don’t want women in the workplace, and on and on and on. Don’t you know ANY Evangelicals?

            Behind all your wandering blather on the right to choose has to be pure misogyny. You do not accept the fact that forced pregnancies are violations of a very fundamental right because you think women have no such fundamental right. Their lives and bodies belong to the state. That is the only explanation for wanting to leave such a fundamental right up to the whims of legislatures.

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          4. Pretty elaborate straw man you have built there.

            Are there religious extremists who want to control women? Probably, but no where near enough to affect the consensus.

            I doubt you could find a consensus like that in the heart of the bible belt, much less Virginia.

            But you don’t want to debate and find consensus, you want to rule.

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          5. …”you don’t want to debate and find consensus, you want to rule.”

            You just described the general GOP principle. Just ask the Governor or Nebraska who said rape victims should have to carry their pregnancies’, caused by a CRIME against the woman, to term. Because they are babies too. HIs stated BELEIF is that life begins at conception. By that statement alone he proves that RELIGION is the basis for his stance.

            If he wants women to carry evidence of the crime against them, he can adopt every single one in the state of Nebraska going forward. And also pay for the prenatal care for the mother.

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          6. The Governor of Nebraska is not the legislature any more than a judge is.

            What he thinks is irrelevant unless he can persuade the legislature.

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          7. “What he thinks is irrelevant unless he can persuade the legislature.”

            His vow to become the “most pro-life” state in the country has already shown that he can convince the legislature to ban abortions. They appear to be ready and willing accomplices.

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          8. If Republicans campaign on personhood from the moment of fertilization, then that is what voters will probably decide on.

            If that is a new legal definition for fetus, then a whole new can of worms has been opened. Not the least of which is the investigation potential for every miscarriage. This is not a fantasy because there have been cases by overzealous prosecutors.

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          9. So, what you fear Nebraska voters might do is reason for panic?

            Don’t forget that Roe v Wade has radicalized the debate.

            Abortion proponents felt safe so they went for extremes. and opponents felt there was no point in compromise because the courts would undo anything they agreed to.

            But with Roe gone, the extremes will have to persuade the middle and that will force compromise that does not exost now.

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          10. If life is a right, the why execute criminals.
            Is there a clause that says “life is a right except…”? (Especially when the justice system is so flawed, BTW.)

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          11. King Murphy speaks again.

            A zygote is an unformed mass of cells. An embryo has form but not organs. A fetus has formed organ systems. At some point, a fetus becomes a baby, which is what needs to be determined by the legislature.

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          12. “King Murphy speaks again.”

            Huh?
            I said that “Zygotes are not people”
            Am I wrong?
            According to you, a zygote is an unformed mass of cells that is three steps away from becoming a baby. But still the silly insult?

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          13. And no one is trying to take that away from a living breathing human being. Except thos that are trying to take the choice of life away from women.

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          14. “Are there religious extremists who want to control women? Probably, but nowhere near enough to affect the consensus.”

            So it wasn’t a “lie” after all.

            And once again, your a priori world does not match reality. Here in the real world the “consensus” on this subject has very little to do with the legislation that gets passed. Highly motivated extremists are disproportionately represented and are calling the shots. That is the simple fact of the matter.

            As for the personal attack that I want to “rule,” this is where you always end up when defending indefensible ideas. In this case that the indefensible idea that fundamental rights of women are subject to the will of the extremist minority that controls many state legislatures.

            So, take your insults and shove ’em. You argue for what you want. I argue for what I want. I want the majority to rule. You want a minority to rule. I am a democrat. You are an anti-democrat.

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          15. No, you don’t want the majority to rule. You want you to rule. Otherwise, you would not fear a consensus.

            There is some truth to the idea that the debate has occurred at the extremes, in both camps, but that is because of the distortion of Roe v Wade on the process.

            Neither side has seen any reason to appeal to the middle because as long as Roe v Wade was in place, no compromise was possible, so both sides might as well swing for the fence.

            The end of Roe gives us the opportunity to find a consensus all but the extremists can live with.

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          16. …”you don’t want the majority to rule”…

            When the MAJORITY of legislators are elected by a MIONRIOTY of the voters, there is no real majority; just a shadow one gerrymandered into existance.

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          17. “Otherwise, you would not fear a consensus.”

            Do you really understand so little of how our political system works as to believe that a reasonable consensus has a chance against the politics of extremism that dominate the Republican Party? Do you think these new anti-abortion laws reflect any sort of consensus?

            Besides, the bigger point is that fundamental rights are not subject to cancellation even if there is a consensus that they should be.

            You keep dodging. Is a woman’s body her own or is it the chattel of the state?

            Liked by 1 person

          18. One more time, no one cares what the woman does with her own body, it’s the body of the child being protected.

            The extremism is because of Roe.

            Up until now there has been no point in finding consensus because no matter how good a compromise you found the courts were going to strike it down and the abortion extremists saw no need to negotiate because they couldn’t lose.

            Like

          19. “it’s the body of the child being protected.”
            That very obviously begs the question. A fertilized egg is not a “child.”

            Blaming Roe (which reflects what approximately 75% of the public believe is reasonable) for extremism is a dog that will not hunt.

            You keep failing to answer.
            Is it acceptable to cancel the fundamental rights of women to have dominion over their own body?

            Do YOU have dominion over YOUR body? You have two kidneys. Would it be acceptable for the state to harvest one of them against your will to save the life of another person? How about a pint of blood? Can the state compel you to donate blood if you CHOOSE not to?

            Liked by 1 person

          20. OK, what is a fertilized egg then? That’s a road you may not want to go down.

            A fertilized egg is a life separate from its mother, though dependent on her. Its chromosomes and mitochondria contain the DNA that makes it unique among every other life on Earth. It is human and it is life. but is it a person for legal purposes? I don’t think so, but I am not king, nor are you.

            Science cannot tell us at what point it becomes a person for legal purposes though it can give us guidance.

            But personhood is whatever the consensus of the people says it is. There is no other legitimate basis for law.

            Less than 1% of abortions are the consequence of rape or incest. Similarly, gross deformity is even less prevalent.

            So, the woman to some extent has invited or allowed that life aboard. Once that life is a legal person, she does have a duty to it, much as the captain of a ship has a duty to passengers and even stowaways.

            You can’t just toss a stowaway, or unruly passenger, overboard mid ocean, you have to drop them at the next safe port.

            That duty can be overcome by the right to self defense, but only if that self defense is justified against any other person.

            So, yes, if a woman has allowed that life to mature to the point of personhood, she does have an obligation to protect it until it can be put ashore safely.

            Like

          21. “OK, what is a fertilized egg then? ”
            Science tells us that it is a living blueprint that given time and resources can develop greater and greater complexity until it becomes a human being. It is not child – or a person – any more than a fertilized hen’s egg is a chick.

            “Science cannot tell us at what point it becomes a person for legal purposes though it can give us guidance”

            That does not mean we should allow religion to do so instead. And doubly so since various religions have different ideas.

            “There is no other legitimate basis for law.”
            Uh, yes there is. The standard in Roe v Wade – viability – is a very legitimate basis for law. And it already represents the consensus view. The extremist changes being pushed are against the consensus view. You seem to think that the consensus view will magically become law without the protections of Roe. It won’t and these new extremist laws prove that it won’t.

            You are trying to bring in self-defense. Well, if another person was clearly intending to do to you what a growing fetus and childbirth does to a woman you would defend yourself.

            Finally, your last argument that a woman allowing a fetus to mature to personhood is pot committed is AGAIN the same rationale in the law now. If a fertilized egg is a “person” the rationale makes no sense.

            Liked by 1 person

          22. And again, Whether you or I believe a person is present at conception or at birth isn’t the deciding factor for legal purposes.

            That is the provenace of the people through their legislatures.

            You really do seem to want to be king.

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          23. “From where I stand, the extremists are Democrats”

            You are unbelievably full of shit. With respect to abortion (or anything else) there is nothing extreme about the Democrat position. We almost universally support Roe v Wade as it stands. That is NOT extreme. That is the view of approximately 3/4th of the body politic. How is a strong majority view to be fairly characterized as “extreme?”

            The cherry on top of the bullshit sundae is that Roe v Wade is virtually identical to the standards that you SAY you support. So, there you are – accusing the Democrats of extremism for fighting for the views that you say are yours. If I wanted to accuse you of blind unreasoning hyper partisanship this bullshit would be good evidence.

            Liked by 1 person

          24. I have written for years that had the framework of Roe v Wade been adopted by the legislatures I could accept it.

            But it was always contrary to our Constitution for the court to impose it.

            If you are really confident that 3/4 of the electorate supports that view, why are you worried about the legislatures?

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          25. …”why are you worried about the legislatures”

            Could it be because those legislatures have already shown their true colors. They aren’t going to compromise with anyone if they don’t have to. And they have proven repeatedly they don’t have to.

            Liked by 1 person

          26. Mississippi. Texas, Nebraska.

            And don’t forget about King DeSantis of the Sunshine Kingdom. He has the entire GOP-led legislature on a leash and they go wherever he tells them.

            Liked by 1 person

          27. “This is not a fantasy because there have been cases by overzealous prosecutors.”

            The ugly truth is that the criminalization of abortion is going to cost women their lives. Not just because there will be a return to the days of illegal abortions by unqualified practitioners but also because women will fear to seek medical help as a miscarriage develops. A miscarriage can be a life-ending event if medical attention is missing or delayed.

            Liked by 1 person

          28. “It is also an ugly truth that late term abortions kill thousands of babies.”

            Cite that one. And also prove that those late term procedures were not performed except to protect the life of the mother.

            Like

          29. According to the CDC. “In 2015, the CDC reported that 1.3 percent of abortions were committed at 21 weeks’ gestation and later. While 1.3 percent sounds very small, this equates to nearly 8,300 preborn children killed late-term every single year.”

            There are almost no cases in which aborting a third trimester baby is safer for the mother than induced labor and delivery.

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          30. Late term meaning after 24 weeks?

            How many of those were for lethal abnormalities? For life or health of the mother?

            Women don’t wait until they are over 6 months pregnant because they felt like waiting. By making all abortion illegal, the medical necessity door closes also. Ireland had very strict laws. So strict that a woman who was 7 months, but developed serious issues and could not get a doctor, or doctors, to risk arrest by aborting the fetus. They dithered, she died. Then Ireland legalized abortion.

            The right tries to give the impression that all abortions are “partial birth”. And, sadly, that all women seeking abortions are selfish whores. Yes, I exaggerated a bit, but my point still stands.

            Liked by 2 people

          31. 1.3% of abortions which are after 21 weeks is still over 8000 a year. Picture 160 fully loaded school buses going over a cliff every year.

            I am unable to find credible statistics on third trimester abortion reasons, do you have a cite not by an advocacy group on one side or the other?

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          32. So you have nothing to base what you said on except your own personal belief that all late term abortions are for family planning only.

            Like

          33. “Don’t forget that Roe v Wade has radicalized the debate.”

            One has to admire the chutzpah that it takes to combine a condescending admonishment and a laughable falsehood into a single statement.

            Liked by 1 person

          34. “That is the provenace of the people through their legislatures.
            You really do seem to want to be king.”

            Because I disagree with your view that women are second class citizens whose most fundamental rights are subject to a vote in the legislature?

            The Constitution is about protecting the rights of people from mob rule and government overreach.
            Here is something you seem to not know – Women are people too. Their fundamental rights are just as important as yours.

            Liked by 1 person

          35. “It is also an ugly truth that late term abortions kill thousands of babies.”

            That is a myth at best. Instead of spouting propaganda you should read this…

            https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/abortions-later-in-pregnancy/

            Under Roe vs Wade every state has the full ability to criminalize abortions after viability. Abortion of a baby after viability is legally defensible in only the most extreme circumstances of fatal abnormality or failing maternal health. So, if you have evidence of people killing healthy babies in utero for trivial reasons you should share it with the police.

            Liked by 2 people

          36. “If you are really confident that 3/4 of the electorate supports that view, why are you worried about the legislatures?”

            Two reasons.

            1. It is a matter of principle. Fundamental rights should not be put to a vote. You would immediately understand that point if it were allowed for the legislature to ban guns. I say that the right to dominion over your own body is just as fundamental as the right to carry a gun. Maybe even more fundamental.

            2. One of our two political parties is in the hands of extremists who have already demonstrated that they have both the desire and the ability to legislate away fundamental rights.

            Liked by 1 person

          37. “And so are the rights of unborn children”

            I am pretty sure you know very well that you are CONSTANTLY begging the question with such comments so one has to wonder why you would keep it up? Simple dishonesty? Enjoy troll-like posting? Who knows?

            Here is just one example of how nonsensical you are choosing to be. Actual living persons cannot be legally frozen solid, stored for years in deep freezers, and then destroyed when no longer wanted. And yet there are about 620,000 such frozen “children” in this country alone – millions more world-wide. Are they really “children?” Are the fertility doctors freezing them monsters? Are lab techs disposing of them mass murderers?

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          38. “But what does that have to do with 3rd trimester abortions.”

            I think you must be just plain dumb.

            Over and over again it has been made clear that 3rd trimester abortions can be restricted or banned under the framework established by Roe. The non-political KFF material suppled to you stated that the scenario of killing viable babies in utero or during birth is ILLEGAL everywhere and that it DOES NOT HAPPEN. And yet you keep talking about the “rights of children” when the rest of us are discussing the looming total bans on abortion after 0, 6, or 15 weeks.

            Here is some advice from “King Murphy: “Grow up. And be thankful these extremist religious shitheads did not get their way when your grandchildren were being created. You can thank ROE for that.

            Liked by 1 person

          39. And you don’t seem to get that the court cannot concern itself with consequences.

            Outcome is not a basis for their decisions. Either Roe was properly decided or not per the Constitution.

            Even Ginsberg said it wasn’t.

            Like

          40. “Either Roe was properly decided or not per the Constitution.”

            Ginsberg opined merely that there was a BETTER argument for the Roe ruling than the one that was chosen. That does not mean it was a wrong decision. Whether it should be based on the right to Privacy or on the Equal Protection clause, the “consequence” SHOULD have been the same – women’s fundamental rights cannot be abrogated in this country.

            Liked by 1 person

          41. If one were to abort a 20-24 week fetus how old is the “murdered child” for estate and legal purposes that will have to be answered should personhood be enacted.

            Minus .25 years old?

            Is not eating properly during a pregnancy grounds for child abuse?

            Can fetuses be counted as “live births” for census and subsequent legislative districts?

            The point is that millennia of legal definitions and demographics must now be based on point of fertilization.

            And murder is one of those conundrums when applied to a minus .25 year old. Or a minus .5, .75, .90, .99.

            Better to let the mother decide when a pregnancy results in a live birth. At that point society should do everything possible to ensure a safe, healthy, nurturing environment for the baby. Particularly if the child is not wanted, on life support, or in dire economic circumstances.

            Liked by 1 person

          42. Courts cannot concern themselves with the complexity of outcomes. Either Roe conformed with the Constitution or it didn’t, and as I have been saying for over a decade, it did not.

            Those issues must be sorted out by the legislatures.

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          43. I know you have been beating that drum regularly.

            My reply was to refute the other drumbeat of “murder” no matter who or what passes and enforces upcoming legislation.

            Liked by 1 person

          44. @Tabor
            “1.3% of abortions which are after 21 weeks is still over 8000 a year. ”

            The Kaiser Family Foundation summary (“KFF”) linked to earlier stated that almost all of those (and in 2019 it was 5,200) come shortly after that 21-week cut-off. The only study they could cite about later terminations found that only about 0.02% occur after 26 weeks. If that ratio holds true today (and it is probably too high, they say) that would be more like 320-600 cases per year. Not 8,000.

            There had to be very compelling reasons for ANY of those later abortions because they are illegal if they are not. According to KFF. In their words…

            “intense public discussions have been sparked after several policymakers have theorized about abortions occurring “moments before birth” or even “after birth.” In reality, these scenarios do not occur, nor are they legal, in the U.S.”

            Read that again. “In reality, these scenarios do not occur, nor are they legal, in the U.S.”

            Liked by 1 person

      2. It is best to keep terms straight.

        A third trimester abortion is properly called “a late term abortion.”

        You are referring to hypothetical abuse of the protection of the mother’s health exemption in the second trimester. That would be a mid-term abortion and it would have to be BEFORE viability.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nonetheless, Casey changed the rules for what was considered a woman’s health.

          If a woman decided having to care for a born child was a depressing burden, we would not allow her to kill it.

          Once a person is present in the womb, there is no difference.

          When a person is present is a matter for the people to decide thriugh their legislatures.

          Like

          1. Again, the mental health standard should be the same as for a born child once threshold for life as determined by the legislature has been crossed.

            Like

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