Friday, May 20, 2022

On Roe v Wade and the media frenzy

On May 2, someone leaked the first draft of a US Supreme Court decision proposing that the historic ruling in the case Roe v Wade be reversed. Justice Samuel Alito’s draft decision, if adopted, would mean American women no longer had a constitutional right to abortion.

The reaction was immediate and frenzied. The overwhelmingly left-liberal (i.e. pro-abortion) media, not just in America but throughout the English-speaking world, erupted with fury at the prospect that a long-entrenched feminist article of faith – namely, that a woman’s right to abort a baby takes precedence over the unborn child’s right to survive – might be overturned. As Kerry Wakefield (a woman, in case you’re wondering) pungently put it in The Spectator Australia: “The feminist offence machine ratcheted up to full, wild-eyed stridency, with Democrat congresswoman Elizabeth Warren doing everything short of howling at the moon.”

The revisiting of Roe v Wade is a rare setback for a political class that has become accustomed to calling the shots. The tone of their outrage was perfectly captured by the whiny headline on a video published on the Guardian’s website: “It feels like such a betrayal”. Another Guardian headline pronounced that the Alito draft, if adopted, would be a "global catastrophe for women". Such restraint ...

Well, better suck it up, folks. The anti-abortion lobby knows all too well what it’s like to be on the losing side. Now the boot appears to be on the other foot and the champions of abortion rights are not taking it at all well.

But here's the thing. In the weeks since the leak I’ve listened to hours of discussion, analysis and speculation on the BBC and America’s left-leaning National Public Radio. Not once did I hear a pro-life voice. (Correction: the BBC’s Stephen Sackur included a question about the Alito draft at the very tail end of an interview with Victoria Sparz, a pro-life Congresswoman, but left no time for her to expand on her answer.)

Not surprisingly, Roe v Wade has aroused less interest in the New Zealand media. Why should it, when the New Zealand abortion rights lobby has achieved its aim of making abortion as simple, at least in legal terms, as a tooth extraction (and treats it as if it’s no more morally complicated)?

But there has been a certain amount of venting in solidarity with the American sisterhood. On TV Three’s dependably woke The Project, I saw an over-excited Kate Roger shrieking with incoherent rage while her fellow panellists nodded and murmured in agreement. No surprises there.

Media coverage of the Alito draft, in other words, has been overwhelmingly and egregiously one-sided – a perfect illustration of where the media sit in the culture wars. Even people who believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion would struggle to argue that the controversy has been reported in a fair and balanced way.

As with climate change, a stifling and oppressive media groupthink prevails. And what’s particularly striking about the tone of media commentary is the obvious assumption that everyone shares the media elite’s anger, as if no half-intelligent or reasonable person could possibly be opposed to unrestricted abortion rights.

These are the new bigots – people who are not only intolerant of dissenting views but so convinced of their own rightness that they don’t even acknowledge the existence of counter-arguments.

None of this should come as a surprise to anyone. One thing that did surprise me, however, was to learn that the supposedly neutral and “fiercely independent” Wellington-based online news site Scoop declined to publish two news releases on Roe v Wade from the anti-abortion group Right to Life – this after running a pro-choice column by Scoop's leftist in-house commentator Gordon Campbell and two statements from abortion rights groups attacking the Alito draft.

I’ve admired Scoop in the past, naively believing it was willing to publish all shades of news and opinion, but its credibility now is shot – a shame, because if it had the guts and integrity to live up to its own hype, it could serve as a valuable platform for groups unable to gain traction in the mainstream media.

As for Alito’s draft decision, some pertinent facts appear to have been overlooked amid the backlash. The first and most important is that if the Supreme Court goes ahead and overturns Roe v Wade, abortion rights will become a matter for each state to decide. In other words, decisions on abortion law will be handed back to the elected representatives of the people – which, in a properly functioning democracy, is surely where they belonged in the first place. The 1973 decision overrode states' rights to determine their own laws and now they may get them back. But far from applauding this judicial nod to people power, the pro-abortion camp is aghast. Leftist ideologues tend to be distrustful of democracy because they can never be sure that people will vote the correct way.

To put it another way, a reversal of Roe v Wade would be only a partial unspooling of the law. It’s not as if the court is likely to rule that abortion will become illegal everywhere and in any circumstances (although some abortion rights activists, desperate to stir up opposition even if it means telling porkies, are suggesting that’s exactly what will happen).  

On that note, it’s amusing – in an ironic way – to hear activists wailing that a bunch of mostly male judges in Washington DC have made what they condemn as an “ideological” decision. Isn’t that pretty much what happened in 1973 when the court (which was then entirely male) ruled in favour of women’s right to terminate a pregnancy? The only thing different is that the dominant ideology on the court bench has been reversed. The current is now running in the other direction and the feminists, having had things their way for 50 years, don’t like it.

As my friend and former colleague Bob Edlin observed, “the ruling effectively demonstrates that one bunch of judges can determine something one day, based on what they argue the US constitution allows or disallows. Another bunch of judges with different ideological leanings can rule to the contrary several years [or in this case decades] later.”  

As Bob points out, the US constitution hasn’t changed; only the composition of the court has. This highlights a fundamental flaw in a system that places enormous power in the hands of judges appointed on the basis of their political and ideological leanings in the expectation that they will interpret the constitution accordingly.

The court is expected to release its final decision next month or in July. In the meantime we can expect to be bombarded with canards such as “abortion is a health issue”. (Not for the unborn baby it’s not. And in any case, since when were pregnancy and childbirth classified as illnesses?)

Placards waved by Roe v Wade demonstrators also assert that “abortion is a human right”. Since when? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1948, which was the distillation of centuries of thinking and writing about the subject, makes no mention of abortion. It does, however, unequivocally assert the right to life. The fiction that abortion is a human right is an invention of late 20th century feminism, but the slogan has an undeniably catchy appeal to people incapable of thinking above bumper-sticker level.  

28 comments:

Madame Blavatsky said...

The awesome irony is, of course, that many of the same people who chant "My Body, My Choice" with regard to abortion will be, by and large, the same cohort who demanded acquiescence to vaccine mandates. The principal difference lies in the fact that the effects of vaccination or non-vaccination pertain only to the recipient, or non-recipient as the case may be (despite the ludicrous argument that one's vaccination status effects anyone else), while abortion primarily concerns the baby's body.

Characterising the unborn baby as merely a disposable clump of cells analogous to a tumour or an inflamed appendix obfuscates the fact that a viable fetus is a distinct biological entity, albeit dependent on the mother. Having said this, a child is dependent on its parents for nearly all of its needs until it reaches its teenage years. By the abortionist's argument, they should also be fine with killing an 11 year old child as well. Once the fetus is viable inside the womb, the argument as to the right and wrong of killing it seems to essentially turn on its physical location (i.e. within the uterus or without), which seems to be an arbitrary distinction.

Mick said...

Our kind and caring government may be smugly silent thinking they've got through the gate on this 'issue'.
Think again wokesters! No matter how many exhortations to kindness you blather, the blood of tens of thousands witnesses before God, against you.
The spectacle of noisy termagants and harpies clamouring for the right to kill children is a vile one. That we discuss this so-called 'right' in pleasant measured terms is even more so.

What if God said 'You don't mind killing your offspring? Then let your offspring be killed - not at 20 weeks, how about 20 years? Here, have a war....

The generation that kills it's kids, it's kids will kill them. Oh wait, the end of life bill has safeguards. Things can't be eroded there can they.....

David said...

The awesome irony is, of course, that many of the same people who chant "My Body, My Choice" with regard to abortion will be, by and large, the same cohort who demanded acquiescence to vaccine mandates.

The irony of this was not lost on me during the many times I walked though the protesters to and from my workplace (which is next to Parliament); and saw many a woman there holding placards or wearing teeshirts emblazoned with "My Body My Choice."

I actually agree with the sentiment. But the shrill media hordes attacking the protesters as "misogynist white supremacists" (overlooking the fact more than half the protesters were woman and well over a quarter were Māori) were also likely overwhelmingly in support of "my body my choice" when it applies to abortion. But not with vaccines, or whatever else they would make compulsory.

The NZ Bill of Rights Act Section 11 says: "Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment." This applies to all medical treatment, whether cancer treatment you will die without or vaccination against measles, tetanus, Covid, whatever.

I am very much in support of vaccines. They work. They have saved countless millions -- probably billions -- of people as their use has grown over the past 230 years. I am fully vaccinated against all the standard risks, as were my children from birth. But if an adult wants not to be vaccinated, for whatever reason, and despite the preventable risks to personal health that entails, then who am I to abuse them for that choice?

Andy Espersen said...

I was waiting for your comment on this issue. Here it is - and I am not disappointed. Thank you, Karl.

However, I believe it is not a "flaw in the system" that Supreme Court judges are appointed on the basis of ideological leanings. Fact is, we all (if we are serene human beings) have "ideological leanings" to some degree. For judges to be slavishly bound to one, and one only, interpretation of legislation must be wrong. We might as well then have robots sitting as judges.

Concepts of societies change over the decades. Nothing must be cast in concrete. Humankind is on a dynamic course.


Doug Longmire said...

It has long puzzled me how the "pro choice" lobby could approve of a woman's "right" to destroy (i.e. kill) the baby in her womb and somehow describe it as being a "woman's choice". Using this logic (woman's choice) it would be quite acceptable to kill the baby, or child, once it is born. Madame Blavatsky has described this very well.

The hysterical reaction that you described above is so so typical of the Left's reaction to any dissenting opinion. Time after time we see examples of the outraged Left attacking any individual that disagrees with them. Always attack the dissenter, never actually debate or discuss the issue. A very typical example of this is the vitriolic condemnation as a "climate [read:- Holocaust] denier" any person who questions, criticizes or simply analyses apocalyptic doom merchants claims of human induced climate Armageddon.

Hilary Taylor said...

Yes, hysteria & frothing before we even have the decision, just a leaked opinion. The matter of the leaker is going to be really interesting and probably almost as histrionic, assuming they pin them down, and it can't be that hard, surely.
While on twitter one night soon after this leak I scrolled into a shocking photo of an aborted near-fullterm baby that some anti-abortion zealot had posted...I'm sure it would have been taken down ...you may've heard of the notorious American abortionist scandal there where advanced-term bodies were found by cleaners and there is an criminal investigation on-going...gruesome and it gave me sleepless nights. I've said it here before...eternally grateful I never faced it. My position as a younger woman was pro-choice in the early weeks of pregnancy but I've become opposed to anything but the morning-after pill now. Ghastly business and it's shameful the things some women say to trumpet their pro-choice cred.

PaulL said...

A few different points.

Firstly, yes it is a flaw that things can be found in the constitution, then unfound at a later date. However, I would argue that the current court composition, largely being constitutional originalists, is much less likely to find things that aren't there, and therefore much less likely to be overturned. That is to say, if the Supreme Court largely returns to reading the words in the constitution and then arguing only about exactly what those words mean (or meant at the time of writing), then there will be a lot less room for disagreement. It should also mean that ideology becomes a lot less important (other than the constitutional originalist bit). In turn, this will force many more things to be decided by elected representatives, rather than magically found via judicial means.

Secondly, I think this is really healthy. The problem with finding rights through a judicial interpretation process is that they tend to be all or nothing. Either all abortion is legal, or no abortion is legal. But when these things are decided through a political process, most countries have settled on abortion being mostly legal first trimester, mostly illegal third trimester, and some grey in the middle depending on the country. This is a durable settlement, whereas the all or nothing is much more fragile.

Third, I don't think the slippery slope argument to killing 11 year olds works. When a baby is in the womb, there are competing rights. The mother's right to her bodily autonomy, the baby's right to life. Often when pro-choice and pro-life people are arguing, they're arguing past each other. Pro-choice activists are arguing that women have a right to do what they want with their body - you can't force them to carry a baby. Pro-life activists are arguing that it's not OK to kill babies because they're inconvenient. And both are right. Once the baby is born this conflict goes away - you are actually fine decide you don't want your baby any more - the government will take them off your hands (without your consent sometimes), they can be fostered or adopted. It's not a conflict between two competing rights anymore. I see some on here failing to recognise this conflict - and any argument that ignores one of these two conflicting rights is destined to fail.

David George said...

Yes Paul, agree with most of that.
The founding principle; the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" contains a potential conflict. Assuming it is written in order of priority the right to life takes precedent over the right to liberty. I think that's reasonable but we've just compromised over the question arising from that by pretending that the unborn is somehow not a human life at all. Well "what the hell is it then" is the obvious question.

Glenn said...

Well and good but the one thing neither abortion activists nor commentators bring up, is the remedy to abortion. This is called contraception - many different methods, with condoms being possibly the least reliable. When I was young I had 2 babies 11 months apart - but when I went onto contraceptive pills, I had none till I got 'clucky' and went off them. The young women who get pregnant rely on condoms or else luck, with predictable consequences.
Really young (and younger)women need to deliberately decide to go onto contraceptives BEFORE they become sexually active. I know it's not romantic to do so, but it is a responsible grown up action. And if taken as per directions, no pregnancy, no abortion, no regrets down the line.

Odysseus said...

Wellington Scoop are very much on the Left when it comes to accepting comments on their site. Occasionally I am gratified by slipping one past the keeper but generally they refuse to publish anything that challenges their Leftist orthodoxy on a wide range of subjects from city planning to the "climate crisis". Most annoyingly they sometimes publish your comments after they have heavily edited them to the point of meaninglessness, or even so that your comments appear to support their point of view. New Zealand "journalism" today.

On the substantive issue I think it is a good thing the Supreme Court appears to be poised to send abortion back to the States where it belongs. Finding abortion as a "right" in the Constitution is as mythical a claim as finding "partnership" in the Treaty.

Andy Espersen said...

I note we all somehow think “Left” is pro abortion – while “Right” is against. I believe that in our democratic countries we should stop using those quite inadequate adjectives in politics. Social welfare policies and economic issues (the original, true left/right issues) are now actually accepted by everybody – though perhaps only to a greater or lesser degree. It would not surprise me if National joins permanently with Labour within the next decade – leaving ACT New Zealand as our only conservative political party.

But today's really big problems : abortion, climate change, Covid, gender policies, racial policies, etc., are not left versus right questions. These are conservative versus liberal questions – or better still (I think) fall into the categories Thomas Sowell, in his seminal book, “A Conflict of Visions (Ideological Origins of Political Struggles)”, discusses as constrained and unconstrained visions.

Gary Peters said...

Hi Andy. I agree with much of what you say but .... National will never join labour.

You only need to look at the calibre of the candidates in both parties as exhibited in the current Parliament.

This old quote sums it up for me.

"At the start of the seventies, Kim Beazley Senior told an ALP conference “When I joined the Labor Party, it contained the cream of the working class. But as I look about me now, all I see are the dregs of the middle class.”

Russell Parkinson said...

When in these discussion I always ask those who believe in the right for women to kill unborn children (abortion is such polite term for this) whether they also believe in euthanasia another polite word that means killing sick and old people.

Invariably they do so I go for the trifecta and ask how they feel about capital punishment.

The usual reply is of course not as killing people is wrong and the courts sometimes are wrong and you could kill an innocent person.

I don't recall anyone having the awareness to understand what they have just said.

Hugh Jorgan said...

I'm somewhat of a 'fence-sitter' on this debate, I can see the pros and cons of both sides of the argument and I don't have strong feelings either way. Having said that, of all the comments above it was the points raised by PaulL that impressed me the most.

But there is one other consideration, the 'elephant in the room' if you will, that nobody (including Karl) seems to have given much thought. I suggest you all read, if you haven't already, Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

The two 'Steves' argue, supported with empirical evidence, that the precipitous decline in the US' crime rate in the 1990s was a direct result of Row v. Wade, in that legalised abortion meant there were fewer children being born into households that were capable of giving them a decent upbringing. Prior to Roe v. Wade a significant proportion of those kids went on to lead lives of crime and incarceration.

The majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, written by Justice Harry Blackmun, acknowledged the would-be mother's predicament: "The detriment that the State would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice altogether is apparent...Maternity, or additional offspring, may force upon the woman a distressful life and future. Psychological harm may be imminent. Mental and physical health may be taxed by child care. There is also the distress, for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it."

Ask yourselves what the societal impact might be if legalised abortion is overturned.

Karl du Fresne said...

Hugh Jorgan

Your jokey pseudonym makes it hard to take your comment seriously, but since you raise the point ...
It seems to me your argument comes perilously close to justifying abortion as a coldly pragmatic matter of administrative convenience - i.e. to spare the state the trouble of having to deal with a possible "problem". Isn't that what the Nazis did when they ordered the extermination of people with mental and physical disabilities?

Hugh Jorgan said...

Karl

I'm pleased you can see the humour in my nom de plume, although I'm not sure why it would give you cause to not take the point raised seriously.

With all due respect Karl, you have come perilously close to putting words in my mouth and, from a casual observer's perspective, you seem to be very heavily emotionally invested in this topic, to the point where even valid *objective* considerations seem to raise your ire.

I enjoy reading your blog and it's fair to say our respective worldviews are pretty closely aligned. Note that I prefaced my comment with a disclosure that I'm a fence-sitter on this issue; I'm neither advocating for, nor against the legalised abortion debate. But I felt it was a worthwhile point for your readers to consider.

Eamon Sloan said...

To Hugh Jorgan. I am on the same page as Karl on all facets of this subject.

Your assertion that USA crime rates have reduced may be well off the mark if we consider USA gun deaths where gun homicides have doubled over the last 20 years. Try this Wikipedia reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

The graph indicates that over a 20 year span gun homicides total out to maybe 1 Million plus. The per annum total is up from 10,300 in 1999 to over 20,000 in 2020. It confounds me how you can say USA crime rates have decreased.

As to the matter of your pseudonym, which I regard as a straight out vulgarity, well you are insulting only yourself.

Karl du Fresne said...

Huge (may I call you that?)
Three points:
1. If by suggesting I’m “very heavily emotionally invested in this topic” you’re saying I have an opinion on abortion – well, yes. You don’t need to be a genius to work that out. But you also seem to be implying that my judgment is therefore suspect, and that as an acknowledged fence-sitter, your opinion is more “objective” and therefore more valid. How does that work?
2. You didn’t arouse my ire and I wasn’t putting words in your mouth. I was simply trying to point out the implications of following the Freakonomics authors’ theory to its logical conclusion.
3. You’re obviously not new to this blog so you should be familiar with the house rules, which are that if commenters want to have a whack at me they shouldn’t shelter behind pseudonyms.

Unknown said...

An important read, thanks Karl.

I recently called a well-known radio announcer 'MAD', meaning 'Media 'A'word Dodger'. Not very clever, I admit, but it now seems to me that everyone seems to be dodging the other 'A' word, meaning, 'Adoption'.
As I understand it, there are so many couples wanting to adopt but can't cut through the red tape.
Surely, if adoption were made easier, these babies theatened with abortion (and their families 'threatened' with a life of crime) could be SAVED.

Catriona Kynoch

Anonymous said...

The woke left are really tying themselves up in knots on this one. You state in your blog "... it’s amusing – in an ironic way – to hear activists wailing that a bunch of mostly male judges in Washington DC have made what they condemn as an “ideological” decision."
As the Babylon Bee (beloved web site of Elon Musk) pointed out, now that men can get pregnant they absolutely have a right to have an opinion on abortion...https://babylonbee.com/news/update-men-allowed-to-have-opinions-on-abortion-now-that-progressives-say-men-can-get-pregnant

Leo said...

I notice, Karl, that you and one or two of your Commenters have used the term "pro-choice" to mean pro-abortion or pro-death. Pray tell what is the choice that they are pro ? Is it the choice whether to kill an innocent child or to not kill an innocent child. What kind of civilisation would consider that an acceptable choice ?
There is no problem nor difficulty for which an acceptable solution is the deliberate killing of an innocent person. I had even a Greenpeace activist agree with that.
"Pro-choice" is political language, as alluded to by Orwell. It is deployed to make pro-abortionists seem lovely people who just seek to protect freedom. Use of that term only advances the approval of abortion.
As for the perils of politically-appointed court judges, I fancy that such process has its benefit. It would seem that our courts are another institution, like our tertiary education and our news media, that have been overwhelmed by left-wing ideology, perhaps feminism. And we, the general public, have no control over that.
If our Supreme Court judges were politically appointed, our general election votes would be of some influence.

Hugh Jorgan said...

Karl

You are more than welcome to call me Huge. I was going to let the thread go but you have asked me a couple of direct questions, so I will do you the courtesy of replying. I also enjoy good healthy debate; I trust you do too. I'll address your points as raised:

1. It goes without saying you are more than entitled to your opinions. This is, after all, your blog and, as noted above, I enjoy reading them. My comment that you seem to be very heavily emotionally invested in this particular subject stemmed from my surprise at the combativeness of your initial response, given that I wasn't actually disagreeing with you. I wasn't suggesting there's anything wrong with being emotionally passionate about a subject, as long as you understand that emotions can cloud judgement. As a fence-sitter, I can remain dispassionately objective but that doesn't mean you should dismiss anything I have to say out-of-hand. If you look back, you'll see I haven't actually expressed an opinion on the subject, I merely referred your readers (and you) to some interesting analysis that points to a possibly significant unintended consequence of overturning Roe v. Wade that nobody seems to have considered. And, no, I'm not a genius.

2. Linking the 'two Steves' findings to the Nazis' extermination of people with mental and physical disabilities is drawing a very long bow indeed. This is "perilously close" to the sort of hysterical hyperbole you frequently (and quite rightly) accuse the 'screeching left' of, and served to exacerbate the hawkishness of your, as noted above. Like me, the two Steves weren't suggesting that legalised abortion was the answer to getting the crime rate down, they were merely making observations on the data they'd analysed.

3. I am well aware of the 'house rules.' I've neither resorted to an ad hominem attack, nor had 'a whack' at you. Surely you don't deem healthy debate as having a whack at you? And I'm not "sheltering" behind a pseudonym (the obvious implication being that I'm a coward). I have chosen to post under a nom de plume as I work in a highly political environment, and my employer may not be overly happy that I read your blog. I hope that you can understand this.

I wasn't going to reply to Eamon Sloan either, but now that I've gone to the trouble of typing all this...

Eamon - Putting aside the fact that I wasn't making an "assertion," but rather was referring readers to third parties who had made some interesting observations for further consideration in the legalised abortion / Roe v. Wade debate, allow me to point out the logical failings in your argument.

For a start, you have conflated gun homicides in the US with its crime rate. Without wanting to state the obvious, the scope of criminal activities is much wider than just gun homicides. Secondly, you have honed in on the number of deaths, rather than the number of incidents. This may sound like semantics, but in the context of this debate it's an important point. The issue here is the increased incidence of mass shootings, which have been in a clear uptrend since 2000, meaning that, whilst the number of people killed in gun homicides has risen dramatically, the number of people pulling the trigger hasn't increased at the same rate. A secondary consideration to this same point is the type of people inclined to commit a mass shooting. To my mind, and without wanting to waste a whole lot of time on Google/Wikipedia (as I'm sure you will) they seem to be mainly disaffected youths from predominantly middle-class backgrounds.

And I make no apologies for your lack of a sense of humour. My nom de plume wasn't meant to 'insult' anybody; I certainly haven't insulted myself.

PaulL said...

@Catriona: abortion isn't difficult because of red tape. It's difficult because very very few babies are available for adoption. The vast majority of adoptions in this country are either in-family adoptions (so an unwanted or unable to be provided for baby is adopted by grandparents, cousins or others), or international adoptions. However, international adoptions are significantly harder than they used to be, and by and large the kids available for adoption are quite severely disabled in one way or another. That's not a reason not to adopt - many do and love their children dearly. But it's not as simple as red tape being in the way.

Eamon Sloan said...

In my previous comment I wrote that the Wiki graph suggested a total of 1 Million USA gun homicides over a 20 year period. I have revisited the graph and wish to correct the 1 Million figure down to about 300,000. Whatever I would still say the gun crime rate has certainly increased over the period. I would not want to be tossed into the “damned liars” bag when it comes to statistics.

Back to the abortion subject. It has always puzzled me as to why so many Americans hold onto their gun rights while at the same time being on the anti-side of the abortion debate. The state of Texas really mixes things up with its gun laws, capital punishment and anti-abortion laws. Assisted Suicide as we now have in NZ is legal in only some USA states. Pro-life ought to mean Pro-life on all fronts.

Texas I think was the first state to institute a heartbeat law making it illegal to perform an abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detectable – usually at six weeks. As usual the legal arguments are grinding on. Over whether it is a real heartbeat, and whether the cell structure at six weeks can be considered to be an actual heart.

Karl du Fresne said...

PaulL,
I think you meant to say adoption (not abortion) isn't difficult because of the red tape.

Andy Espersen said...

Hugh Jorgan initially wrote a sensible, well-documented opinion about the social impact of Roe v. Wade. But he/she never mentioned simple human ethics – that are far more important to real human societies and to really human individuals’ lives. Yes, of course Roe v. Wade might have had some “beneficial” impact on the next generation – but so what?


Do we really just want to live as happy, contented animals - with the only purpose in our minds being to cater for our own selfish, physical well-being?? All the US Supreme Court is now doing is to leave it to each state’s legislators to wrestle with somehow balancing their legislation in the most ethical way.

I welcome that development.

Unknown said...

PaulL..
Precisely my point.
There are fewer babies available to adopt because wome are not advised of this option.
If they want to abort, then, no questions asked.
The same goes for young people wanting to change their gender, no questions asked, rather, immediate affirmation of their decision.
Catriona

Unknown said...

Roe v Wade Blog
Plessy v Fergusson 1896 ruled that segregation in Education was Constitutional so long as States provided facilities that were both separate but equal. It wasn't until 1954 in the Brown v Topeka that Separate but Equal was thrown out by the USA Supreme Court which effectively made ALL states desegregate education in the USA. It happened at the Federal level.
Reading Karl's well written piece on Roe V Wade, it appears that Roe v Wade case sorted out the Abortion issue at the Federal level and very much like Brown v Topeka with the segregation in Education issue. Roe V Wade provided a universal approach to the abortion issue in the USA.
It seems that the USA Supreme Court are now taking a Plessy v Fergusson approach by putting the abortion issue back into the hands of each state?
Should that be the case, then the USA Supreme Court is reverting back to a Plessy v Fergusson approach where there was a lot of separate but not a lot of equal!!! Such a retrograde approach will, in my opinion, further fragment the USA, putting one State against another. State A has abortion, State B does not. Women from State B will go to State A for an abortion. This was very reminiscent in the 1970s where, in New Zealand which did not have pro abortion laws, women flew to Australia to get an abortion.

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