Uncommon Sense

May 16, 2022

How to Resolve the Abortion Issue

Filed under: Politics,Reason,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 2:16 pm
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It appears that the SCOTUS is going to return the power to make laws about abortion to the states. In this, they will not have gone far enough. They need to return that power to the people.

Since the nation’s citizens are so widely divided on the topic, no federal or state can say that it is representing its people with any particular legislation. In other words, the states have no compelling interest in the topic, certainly not any interest that imposes any particular viewpoint upon millions of people.

So, whether to abort a fetus or not is a decision to be made by a woman, in consultation with others of her choosing (husband, doctors, friends. clergy, relatives, etc.). The only role for government is to ensure that safe practices be followed in any such procedures.

In the Bill of Rights it says “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” (Amendment IX) which indicates that the people do have powers in our system of government.

My recommendation is based upon “government of the People, by the People, and for the People.” Who better to adjudicate an abortion question than the only people who it affects, the pregnant woman and her advisors. No one else should have any say in the issue because they have no stake in the game. Anyone who claims to support “freedom” should support this, otherwise they claim to support freedom, except when they use the government to take away the freedoms of others. Those exercises of governmental power don’t count.

As to those who claim the fetus has a stake in the game, that may be true, but all current laws support total bodily autonomy of the mother in such matters. The government cannot force someone to donate part of their body, even blood, even in extreme cases. It can only ask or beg. Government cannot demand a kidney for transplantation into another person, or any other organ either. So, the government cannot demand that a women’s uterus be used to their ends, either.

Power to the People, baby!

Addendum
. . . the full scope of the liberty guaranteed by the Due Process Clause cannot be found in or limited by the precise terms of the specific guarantees elsewhere provided in the Constitution. This ‘liberty’ is not a series of isolated points pricked out in terms of the taking of property; the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms in the United States; the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; and so on. It is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints. (Emphasis mine.)
—Justice John Marshall Harlan writing in Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 543 (1961)

Oh, but this SCOTUS is no longer interested in stare decisis.

December 5, 2021

Decisions Have Consequences

Filed under: Politics,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 8:45 am
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It now looks like the current majority on the Supreme Court of the U.S. has its wish, a case that will allow it to set aside almost forty year old precedent and eliminate the guideline of Roe v. Wade. The basis for this decision will more than likely not be made clear, as the Roe decision simply limited the ability of the states to restrict abortion to prior to a certain time in a pregnancy. It is not about abortion per se, but is about limiting the ability of state to declare medical procedures as legal, illegal, etc.

If they return this power to the states, what happens to the Federal requirement to provide “equal protection” under the law.

States will then be allowed to declare this or that medical procedure as restricted or even illegal, while in a neighboring state it could be perfectly legal, as surely will happen if they return control over medical procedures to the states.

The objections to abortion are almost solely vested in religious organizations and beliefs. What happens to freedom of religion and from religion is a dominant religion in a state gets laws passed that support their religious position and not the others. Do, we just let the religious wars begin?

And why are conservatives so hell-bent to restrict the personal freedom of couples making serious medical decisions in consultation with their doctors? Apparently they want the “freedom” not to wear masks and social distance themselves in a deadly pandemic, but don’t want people to have the freedom of choosing a safe medical procedure for family planning.

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