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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Abortion Debate....

The big news for abortion debaters these days is that the South Dakota legislature has passed a law outlawing abortions in the state except where the life of the mother is in jeopardy. HB1215.

This will go all the way to the Supreme Court to test the Roe and Casey abortion precedents. And I am sure that this is what is desired even if it gets defeated at SCOTUS.

Some background, as I read, South Dakota is one of the most restrictive states in the nation on abortions currently and only 800 were performed last year at its single clinic is in Sioux Falls. So, although it is a change, it isn't as drastic as one would imagine in the state. However, this is not really a relevant issue to the debate since the new legislation disallows abortions and this is a drastic change.

I have always had a problem with arguments on both sides of the abortion debate. Abortion rights advocates that take the brittle position that its a woman's body and its her right decide just doesn't make intellectual sense to me. So, under that argument, they should be allowed to abort at anytime before birth. This is obviously a preposterous statement on my part, aborting a healthy baby from a healthy mother would only be successful if the fetus is killed since after 25 weeks, fetuses have a good chance of survival outside of the womb.

So, if the woman has the right to abort, then at what point, morally or objectively can this be allowed by a thinking society? I am sorry, but I just don't know. But a fertilized egg has its own unique DNA, has a heartbeat after only 3 weeks and has a good natural chance to develop into a healthy, laughing and wonderful child. For me, this is a fantastic blessing.

But idea that women have this "right" is something that I am just not convinced about. Le Shawn Barber has written about bogus rights, here. In the Declaration of Independence, we can find this phrase....
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.
The concept of the "right" to abortion circulates around the idea of the right of privacy and subsequently, in the Casey case, the concept of undue burden. However, if one believes that conception is the beginning of life, then the right of the mother, to privacy or undue burden denies the unborn the "unalienable" right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It tried to read some material by philosopher John Locke on natural rights but I have always had trouble deciphering sometimes dense philosophical writing. Natural rights are universal rights derived from natural law.
John Locke, for example, argued that these rights are integrated with the very definition of what it means to be human. Many philosophers and statesmen have designed lists of what they believe to be natural rights; almost all include the right to life and liberty, as these are considered to be the two highest priorities. R. M. Hare has argued that if there are any rights at all, there must be the right to liberty, for all the others would depend upon this.
On the pro-life side, I just don't think that by making abortion illegal, that it won't risk driving the medical procedure underground. I read a book by Jean-Paul Sartre, "The Age of Reason" that said it all to me. The character got his girlfriend pregnant and naturally expected her to get an abortion. However, as he thought through this prospect and discovered the awfulness of the back-alley abortion clinics, he figured that he was now old enough, age 26 if my memory serves me right, to take the big step towards parental and societal responsibility.

Its just not reasonable to expect people to behave completely rationally and I do not believe that by outlawing abortion, that one will legislate it away. That is just a dream.

Lots of people argue that the South Dakota legislation does not do enough to protect the health of the mother but if abortion is allowed in unusual cases where the life of the mother is threatened, then what other health circumstances should allow abortion? And furthermore, there are arguments that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. I don't know about these since I really haven't thought deeply about this kind of situation. These issues seem to be fairly limited in scope since I guess that the number of these kinds of situations is a very small percentage of all the abortions performed now. But from a human standpoint, the young life in the womb should not also be a victim of the crime of rape and incest. What kind of balance should be given to the young life over that of the victim of the crime of rape or incest? Le Shawn Barber says this well....
There was a discussion in this thread about a woman’s “right to choose” in cases of rape and incest. Killing babies conceived during rape or incest is supposedly a “tough” issue for Christians, the commenter says. Since the day I realized I was a Christian, I was never torn about this issue. The life of the unborn is precious and worthy of protection no matter how that life is conceived. It really isn’t more clear than that. What’s unclear is whether Christians are willing to live as the world does or as God requires.
And has much to say on the abortion debate, here.

I am sorry, but I just don't know. But I figure that the issue is up for debate once again. And I welcome it.


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