OK, now what?

Once again, let’s try to put partisan politics aside and see if even this group can find a consensus on what abortion law should be.

Even were Roe a good framework at the time, things have changed a lot. 

Birth control is readily available and cheap. Pregnancy testing is also reliable and cheap, and private. So, if a sexually active woman becomes unintentionally pregnant, in almost all cases, she failed to take responsible precautions. Further, she has no excuse for not taking action early if she does not want to continue the pregnancy. 

So, as a starting point, I would propose the following

  • Prior to personhood, the state has no interest in the matter. The consensus across the country seems to be 15 weeks, and that is what is proposed in VA, though I support 18 weeks. 
  • Once a person exists, that baby has a right to live under the Rule of Law that must be balanced against the mother’s right to self-defense. Ending a pregnancy after 15-18 weeks under the self-defense argument should be allowed only if there is a threat to the mother that would justify using deadly force against a born person, danger to life or physical health. Claims of mental health issues would not suffice after 15-18 weeks.
  • Ending a pregnancy when a lethal or extraordinary congenital defect is discovered should be permitted after review by a panel of disinterested doctors.
  • Rape and incest are not factors. We don’t execute children for the crimes of their fathers and it should not take 15-18 weeks for a woman to determine she is pregnant as the result of a rape.

So, is that reasonable in the context of modern medical care. or what changes would you propose, and why? Remember that we must find  a consensus, ‘my way or the highway’ does not work in legislatures.


186 thoughts on “OK, now what?

  1. I do not agree with your stipulated facts. There is no consensus that personhood begins at 15 weeks of gestation. The consensus is that personhood begins at the point where the developing child can survive on its own – viability. That is about two months later.

    You want to frame the issue as a matter of self-defense. But do not accept the implications of what that means. If another person was in a position to force YOU to suffer intense pain, maim your body, risk your death you would not hesitate to pull out your little friend and protect yourself. Self-defense does not work. It justifies every abortion.

    Your entire framework is based on the assumption that the woman involved is a fully informed and rational actor with ready access to medical care. That is not always the case. A very large proportion of abortions are sought by teenagers who are ignorant, irrational, embarrassed, fearful, and in denial. They do not deal with the reality of their condition immediately. And often do not have easy access to medical care. All this is especially true of victims of rape and incest. That hesitancy to face reality is the main reason that trying to shorten the period of choice is a bad idea.

    Bottom line, all your suggestions are fine. Most states already have them. The problem is rushing the age of “personhood” when your proposed restrictions kick in. If women are going to be forced to sacrifice their health and risk death for another person, it needs to be crystal clear that another person is involved and that she has had the full opportunity to make an informed choice.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You don’t get to dictate the consensus.

      That is what we must find in open and respectful debate, to find the point a majority will accept.

      And that consensus may change over time.

      Early detection of pregnancy and greater access to birth control have already changed it since Roe was wrongfully(not necessarily wrongly) decided.


      1. “You don’t get to dictate the consensus.”

        Me? You are the fellow who falsely stated that it is at 15 weeks. No. Not true.

        Roe v Wade reflects the actual consensus – viability. Approximately 75% of the population wanted Roe to remain in place. Roe uses the viability standard. You can do the math from there.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No. I wrote that MY threshold is 18 weeks and that many states are looking at 15 weeks because that’s when a pain response appears.

          But neither my opinion or yours is consensus. That is to be determined in the marketplace of ideas and in the legislatures.

          Neither you nor I are king.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Rational debate is not possible with someone who does not stand by, remember, or understand what they have said.

            You stated as a FACT that “The consensus across the country seems to be 15 weeks”

            That is FALSE. It is not me trying to dictate a consensus. It is me setting the record straight.

            You wanted to use this stipulated fact as a starting point. I objected immediately because the statement is not true. The consensus now and for the past 50 years has been viability. Your criteria for what a “consensus” is was the level that a majority would accept. Much more than a majority accept viability. So, what is really left to negotiate? With whom? A small rabid minority who will never give up their religious convictions?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Courts can never dictate consensus.”

            Of course not. The Hobbs decision is ample evidence of that.

            But a court decision can reflect the existing consensus of opinion. And that is what Roe did. And that is why it was an entirely satisfactory ruling until the “culture warriors” chose to politicize it many years later.

            You are obviously hung up on the wrong idea that a consensus is the product of negotiation in a legislature. It is what people think. It is not what they are told to think by a court or a political agreement. Maybe you are thinking of a “compromise.”

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Nope.

            Court decisions should be totally uninfluenced by popular opinion. That is the legislature’s job.

            The court should be solely influenced by the law as it exists. If it needs changing, write to your Congressman.


          4. I’ll have to find it, but you can Google about Roberts style being overridden in these recent cases. Robert’s was of the mindset that the Court should be aware of impact on its citizens. He wanted to produce a very narrow ruling to avoid the chaos of sudden reversals on major issues.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. “Court decisions should be totally uninfluenced by popular opinion.”

            If there is clearly applicable law. Sure.

            But “personhood” is not addressed in the Constitution. It does, however, address the limited role of religion and it did seek to maximize individual Liberty. Roe struck a Solomonic balance between the rights of women and the rights of a developing child. It left the details to state legislatures within a very broad framework, and it reflected the consensus of opinion of the people. It has been accepted by the majority for fifty years.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Nope, they only have the power to clarify the laws of the legislature, they have no legislative or executive power of their own. A king has all three.


          7. They are acting like monarchs in overturning 50 years of precedent and calling into question the ability of previous courts to interpret the law.

            And tell Elizabeth the II or Charles in waiting that they have the power you describe. I am sure they would be amazed.


          8. I didn’t say Plessy should have stood, I just pointed out that bad precedents can be reexamined.

            But from another point of view, Roe TOOK the right to life from what many people honestly see as a person.

            YOu need to be able to see other’s views even if you disagree.


          9. I see others pov’s. I just disagree with some of them. AS they disagree with mine. But when laws and court decisions are based on one religion’s view without regard for others, there is an issue there that should be overcome by the 1A. But based on the latest decisions related to the separation of church and state, I don’t see this court doing anything but taking us to a theocracy based on Christianity.

            Roe gave women the right to control their bodies. Dobbs has taken that away. There is no person until the person carrying it decides so. This is NOT a call for late term abortions; it is the reality and in no way should anyone else’s view but the mother’s concerning personhood should be decided by the state. – IMO.

            Women’s liberty has been taken away from them.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. And the answer should be coming from the WOMAN. Not you, me, Paul or a legislature consisting of a majority of white men who have never been burdened with carrying a fetus.

            If men could get pregnant, this would never be an issue.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. “what many people honestly see as a person.”

            I was raised a Catholic. I know how many people see this question. That does not mean I have to cheerfully accept their using the government to make me comply with how they “honestly see” things. I believe in the Constitution and one of its core principles is embodied in the Establishment Clause. When the metaphysical beliefs of one religion but not of others are enforced by the government the violation is clear and unacceptable.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. Murder is sinful according to Catholics.

            Do we need to purge our laws against murder because Catholics see it as sinful?

            Things can be both sinful according to religion and ethically wrong according to reason.


          13. “Things can be both sinful according to religion and ethically wrong according to reason”

            Certainly, that is true. Murder is an example of that. Early abortion is not any more than is contraception, gay marriage, sodomy, or miscegenation. Funny, Justice Thomas’s opinion says we should revisit the Constitutional decisions on contraception, gay marriage, and sodomy. But he does not mention interracial marriage. Go figure.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. That is indeed the crux of the debate. and I purposely avoided trying to dictate that in the original post.

      It is not a matter science can decide, though it can give us guidance.

      Currently, many people choose 15 weeks because that is the threshold at which a pain response appears.

      My threshold of 18 weeks is based on rudimentary self-awareness, “Cogito Ergo Sum. ”

      Others base it in religious belief or secular absolutism, at both ends of the pregnancy. You can argue that it is human life from the beginning, 46 chromosomes that will be the same for life. Others say it isn’t until the lungs have air in them.

      There is no factual answer. It is a matter of how we define a person.

      For me, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ seems right, but I’m not king so we need to find a consensus.


  2. Historically, men have always been entitled to sex. Marriage established a right that the wife cannot deny. Single men who had a long string of relationships were rarely scorned or persecuted to any extent that women were. “Man about town”, “stud” as opposed to “trash” and “slut”.

    Alito keeps going to history and tradition as being the final arbiter of what is right and wrong, ignoring that abortion was generally legal up until the mid 1800’s.

    With that in mind, this ruling sets up a debate as to whether law should reflect the realities of modern life or the limitations and fantasies of history. And it does so without regard to the health, safety, economics or stability of the woman, which are all much more known and complex than centuries back.

    Viability, real and not rare exceptions, is after 23 weeks, and that is only at great emotional and economic cost. Not just to the mother and family, but for the born child who may suffer greatly for life in many cases totally dependent upon access to state of the art medicine.

    Blanket prohibitions on abortion ignore the elective abortions due to later determined complications. And I disagree that rape or incest should be off limits because the egg had no choice and should not be “punished”. What about the girl or woman? Her life is upended, damaged possibly for life.

    So where can we reach a consensus? Maybe compromise is really the word. In my view, a woman in the modern world is not a second class citizen anymore. Forcing life’s unpredictable happenings on a woman who may have become pregnant through no fault other than failed birth control, or lack of education, or any one of a myriad of reasons that do not require justification by men, is second class citizenship. No longer are we relegating half the population to nursing, social work or teaching. They are leaders, scientists, economists, soldiers, athletes…equal and in many instances, superior to men. Except if we force childbearing against their will.

    Can we accept that role for women? Until we address that, consensus is difficult.


    PS: Looking for consensus might be similar to discussing capital punishment. Not whether it is moral or fair, but which method of execution is the best. But we can try, that is for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Men are entitled to sex? I wish someone had told me when I was younger, I always thought that was totally under women’s control.

      A person on a ventilator is not “viable” for the same reason a fetus isn’t, inadequate lung function, but we don’t kill them.

      That’s why I draw the line at self-awareness.

      But again, the question is whether I can assemble a majority consensus for 18 weeks or you can assemble one for 23, but either way we have ruled out conception and birth as extremes that will not support a consensus, so we have made more progress in a morning than the nation had for 49 years of Roe.


      1. Men entitled to sex is history, not my opinion. Wives who withheld sex were not favorably looked upon, or treated.

        The ventilator question is a wrinkle at the other end of life. Technically we can keep a body from decomposing even if brain dead. Doesn’t mean we should. Court cases, sad ones, have dealt with that in various fashions.

        Until we accept the concept that not all life is truly “life”, both abortion and assisted suicide are on the spectrum of what we refuse to deal with rationally.

        I am fully in the DNR side for me personally.

        He is an angle to consider. If a person selects assisted suicide because life is unbearable or prognosis is terrible, for whatever reason, we should not interfere in any way except to make it painless and dignified.

        So, with that in mind, a fetus is an integral part of a woman at the very least until viability. You can’t separate them. Woman dies, so does the fetus. If she eats poorly, drinks too much, it affects the fetus as well as the woman. It should be the choice of the woman as the guardian to decide when and if that fetus should be brought to term. She is the decision maker for both. The circumstance of economics of the family and health of both mother and fetus are considerations as critical and real as end of life decisions.

        The state should stay out of such decisions unless there is a compelling reason to override a mother’s choice just like staying out of my decision to request assisted suicide.

        At some point, we may have to deal with artificial wombs and true test tube babies, as in “BRAVE NEW WORLD”. Then what? Fertility clinics are in the firing line now since embryos are fertilized eggs on standby.

        Bottom line for me is that until a child is born and is surviving, that is where all our resources as a society should focus to give him /her a decent shot at a healthy, productive life. We don’t.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Again, is there any reason a woman cannot know prior to 15-18 weeks that she is pregnant as the result of rape? That would seem to me that she has had ample time to take action, and after that point she is committed to that person inside her, regardless.


      1. Yes, there are plenty of cases where teen incest victims hide or deny pregnancy. Some women who were raped are so traumatized that denial can set in until pregnancy is obvious.

        BTW I understand the concept of the fetus and the “sins of the father”. But does that permit the possible life altering trauma of forcing pregnancy on a woman or girl? Which life takes precedence?

        Liked by 2 people

          1. You tell me. I haven’t had to bear a child at all.

            Perhaps a pregnant teen who committed suicide might solve both problems since we are reverting to extremes.

            Universally available and affordable birth control and solid sex education would be better choices. Texas GOP platform wants to eliminate all sex ed.

            There is the rub.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. It’s a plank in the Texas GOP platform. No it hasn’t passed, but it should perk up some moderates and independents about returning us to puritanical times when sex ed was often in the schoolyard among the students themselves. Not all parents are telling children about sex as early as they hear info from friends.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. Having served on a platform committee, I can tell you they are not staffed by the rank and file. Platforms tend to be absolutist compared to policy/


  3. I disagree that mental health is not a reason for abortion. We have a history of dismissing mental problems as not real or not that serious. A moral failing even.

    Ironically, that is in the gun debate too. But we know better now as the dead pile up.

    A child needs a stable family and a woman who suffer mental trauma as a result of a forced birth is not a good choice.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You are assuming the calm, rational thinking of a mature and educated woman with easy access to medical care. Your assumed woman does not match a very large proportion of girls who get pregnant through rape, incest, or ignorance.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There is no large proportion of girls getting abortions due to rape. less than 1% of all abortions and of those after 20 weeks it is statistically insignificant.

          Rape is raised as though it was the whole thing, but it is not.

          But in any case, all a girl has to do is go to the ER and she will be informed thoroughly of her options.


          1. I referenced “rape, incest, or ignorance.” Not just rape. We are talking about teenagers here. Many do not fit the mold you are assuming.

            Just go to the ER? Minors? Really?

            There used to be a far more effective option – Planned Parenthood but you people have done your best to kill it.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Yes really. a girl can walk into any ER and say she has been raped and she will get the help she needs. Depending on age, her parents may be called, but that is as it should be.


          3. You keep coming back to “rape.”
            The subject is girls who are pregnant through “rape, incest, or ignorance.”

            You have a very cheerful idea about what happens to people with no money at the ER.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. @paul:

            “You have a very cheerful idea about what happens to people with no money at the ER.”

            Perhaps because he is a doctor?

            I assume you are familiar with the Hippocratic Oath?


          5. I’ve worked in hospitals since I was in high school and until I graduated dental school. Even back then if a woman or girl came in and said she had been raped, she got care, no exceptions, money or not.

            And some of those hospitals were run by nuns. Didn’t matter,


          6. “I assume you are familiar with the Hippocratic Oath?”

            Yes, I think so. It is essentially “Do no harm.” I don’t think it says anything to the hospital bureaucrats who demand money, credit cards, or proof of insurance before you even see a doctor. The law requires that people in need of immediate medical care must be served. I doubt that applies to a girl who thinks she is pregnant.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. The traditional Hippocratic Oath, which is rarely used today, specifically prohibits abortion.

            But hospitals and doctors have always provided some pro bono care, and emergency treatment for rape has never, to my knowledge, been denied.


          8. ER’s today are not what worked in decades ago. They are often separate corporate entities that hire and run them. People are getting astronomical bills just for registration at the desk, called facility fees.

            Liked by 2 people

          9. Some things don’t change.

            Could you imagine a corporation accepting the publicity that would result from denying a rape victim treatment?

            Or a doctor who would work for them?


          10. From the original

            “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner, I will not give to a woman an abortive pessary.”


          11. However, the modern oath, as Paul stated does not state anything about abbortion. It DOES contain this sttaement.

            “I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. ”

            A woman making the decision concerning a fetus falls under this category. There is no public service in whether a woman terminates a pregnancy or not.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. Jim, just a little perspective on your comment.

            Last year my son had injured his back and was in so much pain he could not get off of the floor. I got him to the ER at a local hospital. He was, at that time, on Medicaid because of losing his job due to the injury. He was given an x-ray, which did NOT show the extent of the injury. (HE needed an MRI for full determination of the extent). They sent him home with some pain relievers and muscle relaxers.

            He was lucky enough o have a friend who works in an orthopedic surgeon’s office who was able to get him in, with his insurance as it was, and finally, after several months, the issue was rectified.

            SO people with no money who go to ER’s are not treated with the kind of compassion or treatment you seem to believe they are.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. The modern oath has no mention of abortion.

            And you keep coming back to the availability of emergency care for rape victims but ignore again and again the far more common predicaments arising out of ignorance.

            Liked by 1 person

          14. …”all a girl has to do is go to the ER and she will be informed thoroughly of her options.”

            Unless it is a Catholic hospital. And if that is all that is available for the young woman, what “options” will she be presented with?


          15. I worked in a Catholic hospital. 2 actually, Saint Josephs and Hotel Dieu, and the rape protocol was the same as in the LSU teaching hospital.


          16. Was any kind of ending of the pregnancy, once discovered, offered? Because if a rape vicitm comes in with in a day or two of the assault, the pregnancy willl not yet have revealed itself.


          17. ER’s do not treat rape victims other than immediately after the incident.

            I was an emergency lab tech, not a gynecologist, so I didn’t look over their shoulders, just saw the lab records.

            D & C’s at the patient’s option, were routine as a precaution against STDs. The Nun’s who run hospitals can be very creative.


  4. The proposal sounds reasonable to me and I wouldn’t change it. Some thoughts that come to mind are:

    • As a practical matter the proposal replicates the conditions of Roe v. Wade, with a longer grace period in early pregnancy in which abortion is legally acceptable. I’m OK with this.

    • Philosophically, I think the instance of personhood is problematic. It is meant to mark the moment when the mother or some other adult looses the right to commit feticide. I think that moment is better marked by conscious awareness of the pregnancy (by the mother or some other adult), because only in conginzance do questions of moral agency arise. Moral agency is a necessary precondition for legal reasoning.

    • My own view is that human life begins at conception. I do not think that the law is capable of representing this view. Consequently, whatever laws we pass to regulate abortion will be imperfect.


  5. Back to your original question – Now what?

    The framework established by Roe vs Wade should be codified by the Congress. We are one country. We cannot have fundamental rights and obligations varying by state. We cannot have states restricting the travel of their residents or criminalizing legal conduct in other states.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. The ability of the people to act through is limited by the enumerated powers the Constitution gives to the federal government. Congress has no power to create or recognize rights that the Constitution does not. That’s why the solution you seek must be implemented by the state legislatures, which are not limited by enumeration.


          1. Federalism. which is the opposite of what it sounds like, is one of the wisest items in the Constitution.

            If you try 50 approaches(or 13) you can compare results and learn, but if one size fits all, you never know if there was a better way.


          2. Federalism is an anachronism.
            It may have made sense when the fastest way for goods or information to move was the speed of a horse. And it may have been desirable for those states that wanted to keep slaves. No more.

            There is no good reason to leave fundamental rights up to popular vote in any state. Nor to have differences between states. And most certainly there is no reason to allow states to criminalize acts that are legal in the states where they are done as some of these fanatics intend to do.

            The old saying is to be careful what you wish for. Putting this fundamental right to dominion over ones own body up for grabs will not be impactful in blue states. It is the red states where people are going to feel the jackboots of government on their daughters’s necks. I predict they will not like it.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. Because you say so?

            Federalism has nothing to do with speed of communication. It is about trying different ways of doing things and comparing the results.

            It is arrogant in the extreme to think your idea of what is best cannot be wrong, and thus need not be compared to others. If you get it wrong, and there is no other choice allowed, you will never know if you got it right or wrong.

            There is no fundamental right to murder children. Deciding when there is a child there deserving protection is a legislative task. not one for the courts.


          4. “There is no fundamental right to murder children.”

            Once a child is born, that is true.

            Is there a fundamental right to force pregnancy to term regardless of circumstances?

            PS: Doctors are now concerned about how to treat pregnant women. There are drugs to help complete a natural miscarriage. Why risk it if the state can interfere and require proof of a natural occurrence.

            What about cancer treatments that may kill or interfere with normal fetal development? Doctors are worried about what they can do. Human nature says if it is less complicating to one’s life and livelihood to do nothing, then that is often the choice.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. Again, when that child is present is not up to you or me, that must be defined by the legislature.

            It amazes me how many people think their opinions should have the force of law.

            Certainly there are complexities to work out, but they were there before Roe and will be there after it is gone. They just move from being ethical questions to legal ones.


          6. Sorry, but a child is, by any definition, not in a womb attached to the mother.

            The “unborn child” is a phony phrase. Fetus is correct. Maybe a fetus with potential to be a child If circumstances allow. Circumstance that can be completely natural as is miscarriages, stillborn, no brain, mother dies, etc.

            Pull a Ford off the assembly line before it is complete, it is not a car.

            Liked by 2 people

          7. Every child starts in its’ mother’s womb, but they are always distinct organisms. There is no connection between their circulatory systems.

            But the definitions of fetus and child are, again, the provenance of the legislature, not you or me.


          8. We can call it whatever we want but with any medical definition the fetus is the proper noun so long as it is in the uterus and attached to the mother. And that only cover the latter 2/3 of development. Before that we have embryo.

            If a debate about abortion is going to continue in our country, better to stick with real terms and not euphemisms implying a Gerber jar label.



            Liked by 2 people

          9. “It is arrogant in the extreme to think your idea of what is best cannot be wrong, and thus need not be compared to others.”

            I appears YOU are trying to do what you accuse others of doing.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. The issue has been returned to the states, which you have said all along is the way it should be. Now you deny that the states and the patchwork of laws that will exist is somehow wise?


          11. I am saying that as time passes, the states will compare the relative hardships and behavioral changes and converge on the best balance.

            I don’t expect the patchwork to persist to any extreme degree.

            And I expect women will become more careful in using birth control.


          12. Uh, there are many rights established for you by Congress which are not mentioned in the Constitution. One obvious example is your right to a Social Security check every month. Then there is your right to have a passport without which you cannot leave the country. Not mentioned in the Constitution but established by Congress. etc. etc.

            The founders MAY have been wise, but they were not prescient and had not concept remotely close to our modern world.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. “Because you say so?”

            No, because there was a civil war to settle the issue.

            Before the Civil War the correct grammar was. . .
            “The United States are prepared to stop aggression”

            Sounds odd, right? Because After the Civil War the correct grammar became. . .
            “The United States is prepared to stop aggression”

            We are one country and the idea that fundamental rights are dependent on which part of our country you happen to reside in is an indefensible anachronism.

            The entirely predictable result of this travesty of a decision is that red states are facing a plague of deaths and disfigurements of their poorest people seeking back-alley abortions. Women and girls from families with some money will simply travel to a state where women are not chattel to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

            Liked by 1 person

          14. If there is a disparity in outcomes in different states, they are perfectly capable of learning from each other.

            Further, if the people of a state make the choice that they will accept some loses to unauthorized abortions over the certainty of the murder of what they believe to be children, who are you to tell them different?

            Totalitarians oppose Federalism not because it fails but because it works.


          15. …”they are perfectly capable of learning from each other.”

            Let’s taek a close look at your hypothetical and apply some reality to it.

            Let us say that Mississippi passes a certain number of restrictions on abortion. The rate of KNOWN abortions lowers, yet the incident of sever medical issues starts to crop up in woman who are unable to travel or afford abortifacients. Illinois passes laws that protect the women, allow them to choose how to manage their lives and health care, and the number of abortions ALSO goes down, but there is no marked increase in issues revolving around “back alley” procedures.

            Will the MS legislature see that and change course? If you believe that will be the case there are a certain number of waterfront properties in Arizona that I have interest in and would be willing to sell them to you.

            Liked by 1 person

          16. So, you presume the people in Mississippi are not as smart or compassionate as those in Illinois?

            Or that women in MS will not adapt to a lesser availability of abortion by taking more care in using birth control?


          17. It’s not the people; it’s their representatives.

            And what happens when someone is some states sues to overturn Griswold. Thomas has already stated in his concurrence that it should be revisited. Then the birth control option is tossed because the Christians on the court don’t PERSONALLY believe in it, nor that it should be available to others.

            Reality sucks, Don. But if you don’t see it as PROBABLE, I can’t convince you otherwise.


          18. I trust people more, I guess.

            Even among Roman Catholics, contraception is accepted pretty much everywhere but in the Vatican,

            People have moved on from homophobia in all but a few dark corners so I don’t see those protections lost either.

            Change toward freedom can’t be rushed, but it can’t be stopped either.


          19. “I trust people more”…

            I do trust people more than you give me credit for. However, there are certain individuals I do NOT trust and one of them is a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Thomas stated very clearly in his concurrence that rights concerning same-sex marriage, sodomy and birth control, none of which appear in the Constitution, (the basis for Alito’s opinion) so therefore should be revisited.

            Thomas ain’t the people and the people can’t vote him out of his seata.

            Liked by 1 person

          20. Thomas speculated that states might be able to regulate those issues differently in light of the decision but he did not say they should or that he expected them to.


          21. Just the idea that he put the revisiting of those issues in his concurrence is concern enough. How many law suits have been brought against the government based on issues raised in a dissent, let alone a concurrence?

            Liked by 1 person

          22. “Totalitarians”

            Calling me names, you dipshit, does not change the fact that YOU are the one defending the totalitarian position that the state has right to dictate what women may do with their bodies. I am the one defending the Constitutional principle that fundamental rights – such as controlling your own body and deciding on reproductive decisions without interference – are not subject to politics. You are the one who wants to give the government the power to enforce religious doctrines on others. But you call me “totalitarian?”

            Liked by 1 person

          23. If the shoe fits…

            The pattern I see here is that the conservatives trust the people decide but the liberals, in spite of their certainty that everyone agrees with them, insist that the people submit to their dictates.


          24. It fits you.

            You want to empower the government to tell people how to run their lives. You side with those who think that freedom of religion means that those in power are free to have the government impose their religious views, doctrines, and practices on everybody else. And punish those who disobey.

            On a personal note, my wife and I decided to try for a fourth child when she was nearing forty. Because of her age and the elevated risk of genetic defects we made the personal moral choice to go for very early genetic testing and we made the decision that the pregnancy would be terminated if there were serious genetic issues. As it happens there weren’t any. The government has no legitimate place in such personal moral decisions. None. I don’t care how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, it was nobody’s business but ours. Fundamental personal rights are not up for a vote.

            Liked by 1 person

          25. You have it backwards, I want the people to tell the government what it may, and must, do in their names.

            You see only the adult’s side, but provide no protection for the child. Defining whether a child is there at a given time is up to the people.

            I am glad your last child was well. My last two grandchildren were born though IVF and I well know sweating out those results.

            But again, I recommend that such contingencies be allowed for and have faith the people will agree.


          26. “You have it backwards, I want the people to tell the government what it may, and must, do in their names.”

            TO OTHER PEOPLE.

            The question of when a fertilized egg becomes a child is a metaphysical question and the only answer comes from metaphysical beliefs, i.e., religion. The government enforcing one set of religious beliefs over others is yet another way that these “Christians” are ignoring fundament Constitutional principles.

            There are certain towns in Michigan where there are Muslim majorities. Do you think it would be Constitutional for a town ordinance requiring that women not be seen in public without a wearing a burqa? There is no Constitutional right to dress as you please, so this would be okay, right? Just the people telling the government what it may and must do in their names.

            Liked by 1 person

          27. So, you think that if their religious beliefs play a part in the political opinions of some voters, they can’t advocate for their point of view?


          28. …” they can’t advocate for their point of view?”

            They can. It is covered by the First Amendment. However, when their point of view is that the ENTIRE country has to capitulate to their belief, then they are now pushing for legislatures to pass laws counter to the 1A.

            Liked by 1 person

          29. …”whether a child is there at a given time is up to the people.”

            Then let the WOMEN decide individually based on medical advice, religious belief, and, if available, consultation with her partner/sperm donor. Isn’t that what Libertarians believe. Individual choice.


          30. Do we let women decide whether to let a little girl live when they wanted a little boy?

            Again, you look at it as though there is only the woman to consider, but there is also that unborn child who’s rights are to be considered.


          31. RE: “There is no good reason to leave fundamental rights up to popular vote in any state. Nor to have differences between states. And most certainly there is no reason to allow states to criminalize acts that are legal in the states where they are done as some of these fanatics intend to do.”

            You may think so, but so what? Your philosophical wishes cannot be implemented under the Constitution as it currently stands.


          32. RE: “I am the one defending the Constitutional principle that fundamental rights – such as controlling your own body and deciding on reproductive decisions without interference – are not subject to politics.”

            There is no such Constitutional principle. The enumerated rights that the Constitution recognizes and protects might be called fundamental rights, but there are fundamental rights that the Constitution does not recognize or protect. The right to control one’s own body and make reproductive decisions are in the latter category.


          33. So what?

            Well, that gets us back to the basic fact that this decision is the result of politics and not of Constitutional analysis. If there was ever a place where Stare Decisis applies, this was it. But these Theocrats on the right and on SCOTUS don’t care. One of them was there by virtue of McConnell’s dirty tricks. Two of them committed perjury when they lied to the Senate their views on Roe as settled law.

            So what?
            The Democrats and the many others who do not believe that women are chattel only have one response – politics – we don’t believe in violence – and the people who are responsible for this travesty are going to be held to account politically. This issue is not going away. It will be hotter than ever.

            Liked by 1 person

          34. How late and who gets them? Late term abortions are almost always a wrenching decision for the mother who more than likely wanted a child but medical conditions deteriorated.

            “ Carrying a pregnancy to term is 33 times riskier than having an abortion, with 0.6 maternal deaths per 100,000 abortions compared to 20.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the Centers for Disease Control.”


            Liked by 2 people

          35. RE: “Well, that gets us back to the basic fact that this decision is the result of politics and not of Constitutional analysis.”

            False. Dobbs is the result of sound Constitutional analysis, particularly the fact that the Constitution neither recognizes nor protects the right to commit feticide.


          36. “So, you think that if their religious beliefs play a part in the political opinions of some voters, they can’t advocate for their point of view?”

            They can practice their religion, they can try to sell it to others, they can ostracize those who do not conform but they cannot use the government to compel compliance with their religious beliefs and practices. The secular nature of our Constitutional government is a feature, not a bug.

            You seem to understand that Muslims cannot use the law to force others to conform to their beliefs and practices. Why is it so hard to understand that Christians cannot do that either?

            Liked by 1 person

          37. How so?

            Do I have to list how many of your ideas could be attacked in the way you attacked me when you wrote…

            “It is arrogant in the extreme to think your idea of what is best cannot be wrong, and thus need not be compared to others.”

            Just as I am sure that fundamental rights are a Constitutional question, you are sure that they are up for a vote. Which one of us is “arrogant in the extreme?”

            Liked by 1 person

          38. Because what we’re talking about is not fundamental rights but how a state defines a person.

            No one questions that a woman can do what she pleases with her own body (other than rent it for sex) and no one questions that a person has a right to not be murdered.

            But when a person is present must be defined legislatively.


          39. “But when a person is present must be defined legislatively.”
            Congress is a Legislature.

            Becoming a mother involves pain, discomfort, disfigurement, risk of permanent injury, and in our sorry medical system, a significant risk of death on behalf of another “person.” You are a man. You have bodily autonomy even though that is not spelled out in the Constitution. You cannot be compelled to suffer pain, discomfort, disfigurement, permanent injury, or risk death for another person. You can choose to if you want. But you cannot be forced to.

            The definition of personhood is a red herring. The issue is who owns a woman’s body. Is it her or is it the state?

            Liked by 1 person

          40. I am less certain that it is Constitutionally a state issue than I am that it was not a judicial issue.

            But I remain convinced that it is BETTER as a state issue.

            My threshold is 18 weeks, VA may well pass 15 weeks. Only experience can tell us if there is a material difference.

            Only by comparing the results in different states with different schemes can we find the best balance.

            If states with a 6 week threshold find a great deal of hardship for little real gain compared to 15 week states, do you think they are too stupid to make a change?

            If states with abortion on demand till birth find that women in states with more restrictive limits learn to use birth control, reducing costs and risks from abortions, might they not see that asking women to behave responsibly isn’t so bad an idea?

            Federalism will help us find the best balance. One size fits all and you’ll never know.


          41. “the best balance.”

            I see you are applying your marketplace always finds the best solution idea again. The currency is dead women. Things will find the best balance when the price reaches some magic point. Unless the people of the state are ghouls, we already know what that point is – where we are now where early abortions are allowed and late abortions are not.

            How many dead women to reach that “best balance?”
            How many hopelessly deformed infants is too many?

            How many saved zygotes justify even one woman’s death?

            Liked by 1 person

    1. The framework established by Roe cannot be codified by Congress because that framework has already been found to be unconsitutional. Specifically, there is no Constitutionally protected right to commit feticide.

      State legislatures could codify the framework established by Roe under the principle that powers not given by the Consitution to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people. But at the state level, only that part of Roe’s framework that doesn’t depend on the pretense of a right to commit feticide would stand up under judicial review.

      Dr. Tabor’s proposal meets the state-level requirements for codifying Roe’s framework by substituting the principle of personhood for the right to commit feticide.


      1. “The framework established by Roe cannot be codified by Congress because that framework has already been found to be unconstitutional.”

        What framework are you describing?

        I believe the Court merely said that the law was not properly codified by legislation, but rather an interpretation of the constitutional right to privacy.

        So the framework was not bad, the method of getting there was according to Alito’s pretzel twisting opinion.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. RE: “What framework are you describing?”

          As stated: Specifically, there is no Constitutionally protected right to commit feticide.

          RE: “So the framework was not bad, the method of getting there was according to Alito’s pretzel twisting opinion.”

          Wrong. The framework was bad because it rested on a non-existent foundation. To see why, try to explain how an inalienable right that the Constitution doesn’t recognize suddenly emerges at any given point in the course of a pregnancy.


          1. “Specifically, there is no Constitutionally protected right to commit feticide.”

            There is no Constitutionally protected right to swat flies, either. And yet you do it without compunction. Others find it sinful. Should they be allowed to make it illegal to swat flies based on their religious beliefs?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. There is no Constitutional right to kill anyone other than in self-defense. The issue at what point a person is there, and if there are grounds for killing it in self-defense.


          3. RE: “Should they be allowed to make it illegal to swat flies based on their religious beliefs?”

            They are welcome to try, but in the absence of a Constitutionally protected right to swat flies, they will have to make their attempt in the state legislature. Your analogy is absurd, but in principle I have no objection to a state law that bans the swatting of flies. Environmentalist whackos are pretty successful at getting such laws passed.


          4. “grounds for killing”

            Self-defense justifies every abortion. You would pull out your gun if another person tried to do to your body what this “person” does to a woman’s body. Women can and do choose not to exercise their right of self-defense but they should be able to choose. Not the government.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Except in very rare circumstances, the woman had a part in putting the child there. You can’t cause the conflict and then claim self defense without trying every peaceful measure.


          6. “Except in very rare circumstances, the woman had a part in putting the child there. You can’t cause the conflict and then claim self defense without trying every peaceful measure.”

            So, if you accidentally fail to lock your door and someone comes in intent on harming you, you no longer have a right of self-defense because you had a part in putting that villain in your house?

            Implicit in your answer is the very “conservative” idea that pregnancy is a just punishment for women engaging in sex.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. I don’t advocate for anything that discourages women from enjoying their sexuality. I am a hedonist compared to pretty much everyone here.

            But just as I advocate the responsible use of firearms, I advocate responsibility on sexual freedom. Birth control ain’t that hard to get.

            Adult freedoms come with adult responsibilities.


          8. “Birth control ain’t that hard to get.”

            At the moment.

            And sometimes it fails.

            And once again you simply ignore the REALITY that there are very large numbers of young girls (not actually adults) who have been deliberately kept ignorant of all things sexual, don’t have doctors, and who get pregnant without intending to and without knowing what to do.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. “It doesn’t fail anywhere near enough to account for the rate of abortion.”

            That is certainly true.

            But, so what?
            What does it matter whether an unwanted pregnancy happened through accident, drunkenness, crime, or ignorance?

            Personally, I think the “pro-life” bullshit about using abortion as a primary means of birth control is something that very few women actually do.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. Then why so many abortions?

            And of course it matters. If abstinence were the only alternative for a woman, there would be no question of responsibility. But she has multiple free or cheap choices to be sexually active and still not get pregnant.

            So, she is responsible for inviting that stowaway on board, and thus a responsibility for either ending the pregnancy before a person is present, as defined by the law in her state, or carry it to term.

            The baby is the innocent party here.


          11. Define legal?

            I was referring to the fact that under Roe abortions when there is actually a baby involved are not legal.

            Calling a fertilized egg, a zygote, an embryo, or a fetus a “baby” is bullshit.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. “If abstinence were the only alternative for a woman, there would be no question of responsibility”

            Which appears to be the goal of Clarence Thomas.


          13. ” But she has multiple free or cheap choices to be sexually active and still not get pregnant.”

            Yet many red states want to do away with Planned Parenthood which provides that kind of care. They only see the abortion care provided, but not the medical and pre-natal care that organization proides.

            …”for inviting that stowaway on board”

            Stowaways are not normally “invited onboard”. SO once again, I call your stowaway analogy horse hockey!


      2. …”because that framework has already been found to be unconsitutional.”

        You got it wrong. The Alito decision made it very clear that the COURT deciding was wrong and that the legislature is the responsible entity for codifying the law. (That is also Don’s basis for overturning the precedent set by Roe and confirmed in Casey.) There is no reason to return it to the states if the CONGRESS codifies the law nationally.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t see anything in Article I section 8 that authorizes the Federal govt to determine when personhood begins, thus it defaults to the states per the 10th Amendment


          1. The language of the Constitution connects personhood with birth. Not with conception.
            The Tenth Amendment is about “powers.” It is not about definitions. The word “person” is used 49x in the Constitution. In none of those instances does it refer to a fetus.

            The idea that fetuses are “persons” in Missouri but not in Connecticut is preposterous on its face.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “But you have no problem with firearms laws being different from state to state or even city to city.”

            I do not know where you get that idea from. I would greatly prefer national legislation controlling, restricting, and licensing firearms enforced in all states and cities to the absurd patchwork we have now.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. You say that assuming it would be YOUR version unchallenged across the land, but what if it were MINE?

            Would you then not want some contrary examples to prove me wrong?


          4. I will say again. People are not guinea pigs. We do not need experiments to test gun regulation. The world is full of evidence for those who are willing to accept it and go where it leads. You are neither.


          5. You evade the question.

            You seem to think Federalism is a bad idea for gun laws if they are the laws you support. But is it still a bad idea if we pass the gun laws I support? One law for the nation, bazookas for everyone who wants one.


          6. Your argument for federalism on both guns and abortions is based on a false premise and lousy ethics.

            We have plenty of evidence on both. We do not need experiments in which we know to a certainty that people will die in the process of letting some jurisdictions ignore the evidence until the pain is too great for even them to bear – if there is such a point.


          7. “So, the law should be uniform and exactly as you think it should be, because you say so.”

            I have my opinions. You have yours. This is your standard response when you cannot defend the indefensible. You switch to this sort of bullshit. In this case, you claim we need to run experiments on various levels of gun control and abortion to see how many people die as a result and then maybe we will find some “best balance.”

            I repeat. We have all the evidence we need to make evidence-based decisions. And people are not guinea pigs to be killed to prove to people like you what we already know. Easy access to guns increases gun deaths. Banning abortion increases pregnancy deaths.


          8. We do have all the evidence we need, we see it every day in the news of the body counts of shootings in major cities in states that have exactly the gun laws you favor.

            We see that 98.7% of mass shootings are in “gun free zones”

            But we would not know those things if we did not have different laws to compare.

            If we truly followed the evidence on violence committed with guns, we would not allow Democrats to run cities.


          9. What I see is that “shall issue” VA and FL have the same rate as “elite issue” NY and CA.

            Note LA, if you eliminated Democrat run New Orleans alone, LA would move to the same level.

            The data does not support a one size fits all law for the country.


          10. Cherry-pick away
            But conceal carry laws are a small part of gun control.
            The picture is clear Blue states have less gun violence than Red states.

            There you go again trying to fudge figures by excluding those pesky “urban” people.
            Louisiana would look better if we did not count New Orleans? Probably.

            Well guess what?
            California would look better if we did not count Los Angeles.


          11. ” VA and FL are equal to NY and CA.
            That alone refutes your contention”

            Sorry to put so much weight on the actual evidence but that is just the way I roll.

            You need to look at the data if you are going to say that they are equal. What you see as equal is an artifact of the number of colors used to produce the chart.

            The actual rate of homicides per 100,000 people are as follows.

            FL – 7.8
            VA – 6.4
            CA – 6.1
            NY – 4.7


  6. The proposal falls within my view as a reasonable compromise which is abt halfway through a pregnancy. The “viability” argument doesn’t stand because it is subjective and the baby is way too far developed at that point. My wife started griping abt it a bit so I asked at what point does my body become our body, if ever, just asking an opinion. I never got an answer probably because she needs to think it over rationally. However the extremist noise has only just begun politically. Funny how saving the republic from Trump suddenly doesn’t seem important anymore.


      1. She is a Republican Congresswoman. That is made clear in the linked tweet.

        She is talking about the “problem” of not enough white babies which was raised in the leaked draft of Alito’s opinion where he wrote. . .

        “Nearly 1 million women were seeking to adopt children in 2002 (i.e., they were in demand for a child), whereas the domestic supply of infants relinquished at birth or within the first month of life and available to be adopted had become virtually nonexistent.”

        That observation set the internet on fire because there is not shortage of non-white babies needing adoption.


        Liked by 1 person

          1. Dodge City. If it had been Jen Kiggans that said it, would you have responded the same?

            Candidates HAVE to show loyalty to party. You have made that clear in previous discussions. She is a SITTING representative. For her comments, if the GOP does not support them, then she should be banished from the party.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Party members should not sabotage party strategy, but they are free to have their own opinions and vote their conscience.”

            Do you really believe that when the party strategy is to cover up criminality? Is there some ethical requirement to abandon your party and leave it to the criminals? I don’t think so.


          3. “Declining to give credibility to an unjust process is the only way the minority can respond.”

            Unjust process?

            I suppose you are referring to the work of the January 6th Committee. Unjust how? I have seen nothing but a factual presentation based on the sworn testimony of witnesses appointed to their positions by Donald Trump.

            Personally, I am glad that the Republicans tried to sabotage any investigation of the seditious conspiracy that shook the Capitol on January 6th. In “declining to give credibility” they have INCREASED its credibility. These hearings are unprecedented in their lack of bloviating and grandstanding. Instead, they are laser focused on the facts and the evidence that confirms those facts.


          4. The moment Pelosi refused the GOP representatives in favor of her own “bipartisan” choices, the committee became a sham and the GOP had to walk away.


          5. The GOP representsatives included some of those who either participated in the fraud of attemtoting to overturn the election results or asked for pre-emptive pardons for their criminal acts.

            The GOP did not “walk away” until the EX-Presiet told them to. Now, the same ex-POTUS is saying McCarthy should have ensured there were GOP reps on the panel. But he neglects to acknowledge that there are 2. But those two, while politically differing in views foro me, are showing courage and integrity, along with a devotion to the rule of law. THings that the GOP used to beleive in.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. You can call it a sham until you turn blue. The public is not buying it.

            What is particularly laughable about your nonsense is the support you offered for the endless Benghazi investigations and hearings. And that was AFTER McCarthy told the truth about their purpose.


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