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A Constitutional Crisis Over Abortion

I have to agree with Dave Kopel here, on the position of several GOP hopefuls that the 14th Amendment could be used to ban abortion:

Moreover, the next President is going to have to address a fiscal crisis that will devastate the United States economy soon if it is not solved. Dealing with the fiscal crisis is going to be quite difficult politically, in part because there are many millions of people who benefit from the current, and unsustainable, levels of federal spending. The tax consumers may be very highly resistant to any reduction in the amount of money that flows to them. So there will be no shortage of national division and acrimony. Thus, 2013 would be an especially bad time to precipitate a constitutional crisis over a social issue.

Aside from that, social conservatives ought to realize that the financial crisis, and coming fiscal crisis (if we do not get spending under control) is a greater threat to families and family values than any social issue we currently face.

What you’re seeing now, early in the primary season, is that the GOP hopefuls are wary of firing up the SoCon base against them, so they are pandering to it. Depending on libertarians to save you in a primary is not generally a winning formula, because libertarians eschew organization.

9 Responses to “A Constitutional Crisis Over Abortion”

  1. Brandoch Daha says:

    Social conservatives depress me. They are the exact analog of the union thugs who would rather drive employers out of business than give up a single crumb of their unearned privileges. They would love nothing better than to throw this election to Obama by turning it from a referendum on the economy to a referendum on abortion. This will, of course, do their own causes more harm than a sane strategy would have done, but their vanity and their short-term emotional satisfaction always comes first.

  2. mobo says:

    This reminds me of a union meeting I attended years ago, where we were there to elect a treasurer. One of the members actually stood up and asked a candidate what his position was on abortion. For a fucking treasurer’s position – I shit you not.

    Seriously, though… I can’t fathom why anybody would care about abortion. Who gives a shit about abortion?

  3. Fiftycal says:

    A better question would be to ask the anti-abortion “small government” types HOW they equate the two opposite positions. Becuz as sure as “god” made little green apples, if an “anti-abortion” law is passed, then we are going to get the “China Solution”. See, if passing a law actually worked, we wouldn’t need cops. It’s against the law to rob banks, but people still do it. So to “make sure” every precious little life is “saved”, women are going to have to PROVE their pregnancy status on a monthly basis. Yah, that’s right. Every female, from the time they are capable of re-producing until the day a “government approved health care worker” certifies they can NO LONGER GET PREGNANT, will have to show up at the equivalent of the drivers license bureau and drop trou or take a test to PROVE whether they are knocked up or not.

    And once the female is pregnant, they will be assigned the equivalent of a probation officer to “monitor” their activites to ensure the safety and “proper development” of the “potential” life.

    And with the looming fiscal troubles we are facing, it’s also possible for the other “China Solution” to be put in place where females are NOT ALLOWED but one child.

    Any government with the POWER to do the first could just as easily do the second.

    And WHY they feel it is any of their BUSINESS what someone else does with their life.

  4. hillbilly says:

    Abortion is a basic issue.

    How can libertarians be for abortion, is the question I’ve always wondered?

    The right to exist has to be one of the fundamental, basic positions of a philosophy allegedly dedicated to human rights and freedom.

    Talk about initiating violence indeed. Killing somebody who already exists before they’re born. Sounds like initiating violence to me.

    Of course, people will bring up the “medical necessity” examples, which are statistically small compared to the other reasons why the vast majority of US abortions are done.

    The overwhelming majority of abortions performed in the US are done because the pregnancy is “inconvenient” or “at the wrong time.” It’s infanticide as birth control.

    But it has always mystified me how so-called “libertarians” who are all so concerned about their own individual rights can so cavalierly dismiss abortion, which is killing a person off before he or she can be born.

    Maybe the mothers of the the abortion-dismissing libertarians should have exercised their own personal choice to abortion, too?

    Abortion is violence initiated against another person, without that person’s consent, and violence initiated for reasons that, twenty years later, often turn out to be not that important in the first place.

    And to answer another set of critiques thrown out there, yes, a human fetus is human. Women pregnant with fetuses don’t give birth to dogs or cats, at least not that I’ve heard or seen.

    If it ain’t a baby, you ain’t pregnant.

  5. “I can’t fathom why anybody would care about abortion. Who gives a shit about abortion?”

    People used to wonder why those religious fanatics cared about slavery.

    An anarchist might well not care, but if the function of government to protect life, liberty, and property, then protecting someone’s life from being arbitrarily ended seems like a proper governmental function. We can debate at what point it constitutes human life, but I will ask you this: if infanticide is a problem, why is it not a problem to kill a baby two minutes before birth? Most people recognize that this is troubling. What is the dividing line?

  6. “And WHY they feel it is any of their BUSINESS what someone else does with their life.”

    Because it isn’t their concern what the mother does with her life, but with the life of someone else.

  7. In answer to the question, “Who cares about abortion?” A pretty large fraction of Americans care. The last poll I saw found that 51% of Americans called themselves pro-life, and even a large fraction of those who called themselves pro-choice supported restrictions on abortion. Only 23% want abortion legal under all circumstances.

  8. “See, if passing a law actually worked, we wouldn’t need cops. It’s against the law to rob banks, but people still do it.”

    Are you arguing that we can therefore repeal the law against robbing banks, because it doesn’t do anything?

    Laws affect human behavior, otherwise we couldn’t care about restrictive gun control laws. Sometimes laws can produce perverse, unintended consequences, but I can point to multiple ways in which laws change behavior.

    Any time you make something illegal, it ends advertising of that good or service. This greatly reduces price competition, and makes that good or service harder to obtain. That alone reduces consumption of that good or service. Exactly how much of a reduction it causes is going to be dependent on the elasticity of demand for that good or service. Highly addictive drugs: demand won’t drop much. Luxury items that are in the want not need category: it is likely to be substantial.

    If you want to argue that abortion should be legal because there’s nothing wrong with it, make that argument. But asserting that a law accomplishes nothing until you implement a full Romanian-style womb police state (with annual checks for IUDs and other evidence of contraception) is silly.

  9. “This reminds me of a union meeting I attended years ago, where we were there to elect a treasurer. One of the members actually stood up and asked a candidate what his position was on abortion. ”

    For the same reason that some people care about whether the guy running for local office supports gun control: you want to stop people from rising up through the system who disagree with you while it is still easy to do so.

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