Gee, that was fast! All the Supreme Court did was agree to look at a part of 1973’s Roe v.Wade that has been rendered anachronistic by subsequent developments in science and medicine, and the pro-abortion lobby freaked out. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization involves the 2018 Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case raises the obviously relevant ethical, moral and legal question of when human life can be and should be subject to law’s protection. Roe, nearly a half century-old now, based its limits regarding when an abortion was a woman’s constitutional right on when an unborn child was “viable,” a word that requires a conclusion about when human life begins as well. It is not only reasonable but necessary for the court to clarify this. Question 1 in the petition for the writ of certiorari is “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” Good question.
So why the freakout? Simple: neither side in the abortion debate has ever been willing to debate the issue fairly, as both ignore the obviously relevant rights and issues of one of the two human beings involved in the abortion equation. As Ethics Alarms has pointed out before and will continue to do until the stars turn cold, this is an ethics conflict, and a difficult one. Two strong ethical principles are opposing each other, both with major societal implications. In ethics conflicts, the ethical process of balancing is required, but neither side is willing to risk balancing regarding abortion. Thus both have conducted their side of the debate by dishonestly denying the existence of the ethical realities opposing the result they want. The anti-abortion advocates refuse to give fair weight to the effect an unwanted pregnancy can have on a woman’s life and future, and women’s legitimate interests in their own autonomy (which still may not be absolute.) Pro-abortion advocates deliberately ignore the fact, and it is a fact, that abortion involves the taking of human life.
This mutual dishonesty is reflected in the euphemisms the sides of the controversy use to obscure the real problem. “Pro Choice” makes it sound like the only issue is a woman’s autonomy ( Life? What life?). “Pro Life” wrongly cuts the interests of the women involved out of the balancing act. This is the reason the abortion debate has made no progress in a hundred years. The two sides are talking about two different things, and have neither the integrity nor the honesty to deal with the balancing problem.
Roe was a badly reasoned and irresponsibly issued ruling, authored by a serial SCOTUS mediocrity, Justice Harry Blackmun. Somehow, the opinion bootstrapped abortion into being a right under the “unenumerated” Constitutional right of privacy by analogizing it to birth control. But the case in which the Court rightly found that the State had no business telling couples that they could not engage in birth control didn’t involve killing anyone. I’d call that a material distinction.
Roe was one of the most breath-taking leaps of law and logic in the history of the Court, and a throbbing example of judicial activism run amuck. Nonetheless, it has been the law of the land long enough to be regarded as stare decisus; for good and practical reasons, over-ruling the entire case would be bad judicial policy. Addressing aspects of the opinion that were based on scientific assumptions no longer valid, however, is common sense, as well as sound legal policy.
Two of the most unprofessional, cognitively challenged and ethically inert of the progressive mainstream media’s talking heads responded to the Supreme Court’s acceptance of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization challenge by avoiding all of the legitimate issues and resorting to accusations of sexism and racism. We can expect that this will be the approach of the entire pro abortion lobby, because science is not in their favor. They also have always had the more difficult side of the ethical debate, since they have to justify killing human beings “for the greater good.”
CNN’s Chris Cuomo, once again making Fredo Corleone seem like Stephen Hawking, descended into emotional, self contradictory gibberish in his on-air tantrum:
“You would think that we would have impaneled experts on a special commission by now to see what the science says, right, but we don’t seem to have the intellectual curiosity about this issue. Because it’s not really about science — it has become a culture war. It’s a political lever to use as a distraction from policy and solving problems, to allow people to get up in their religion and their righteousness as a distraction from policy and solving problems. It’s not about science or consensus about dividing lines, legislating to the far-right white-fright vote, flooding the zone with 536 bills that abridge a woman’s right to control her own body, in 46 states. It’s just like voting rights in one way.”
Then he added that modern “medical capabilities may be moving the point of viability well short of what it was assumed to be in 1973 with Roe v. Wade.” Yes, Chris, that’s exactly why that aspect of Roe should be revisited.
What an idiot.
Who is”we”? You don’t settle a question like when an unborn child is viable with a “commission.” The vast majority of scientists believe that life begins at conception: pro abortion advocates don’t want to hear that; their arguments require pretzel-like logic denying that “meaningful” life exists as long as possible, even after birth in some schemes. All decisions about right and wrong are part of the culture, and to the extent that such societal decisions affect lives, they are fought over. That’s how culture works. Saying that abortion is a “culture war” is just misdirection, assuming Cuomo knows what he’s trying to say, which I doubt.
Dealing with abortion is a distraction from solving problems? There are about 750,000 abortions a year right now. That’s 750,000 human beings who are prevented from having a chance at life. I’d call that a problem. For the aborted Americans, I’d call it the biggest problem imaginable. Chris is upset that deciding how many of those 750,000 should be protected by law and allowed to live interferes with debates over the minimum wage, is he? Fascinating.
Why is a man this stupid allowed to “analyze” the news, when he could be a perfectly competent plumber?
Being concerned about killing the unborn is just a matter of religion? Abortion violates the moral strictures of many faiths, but one doesn’t need religion to find abortion wrongful. Kant’s Categorical Imperative holds that it is always unethical to use a human being to advance another human being’s interests. Doesn’t Chris think killing a human being violates that ethical principle? Oh, right: “Human being? What human being?”
And “far-right white-fright”? Refining Roe is racist? That makes sense in only one possible way: anything progressives oppose will be called racist, especially when they have no real arguments…or, as in Cuomo’s case, when they are too dim to devise any.
Just as the younger Cuomo is the bottom of the CNN barrel—yes, a layer lower than even Don Lemon—the rottenest of MSNBC’s many rotten apples is Joy Reid. Here is her rant:
Spring of 2022 will be a seminal moment in America for women’s reproductive rights because it looks like the Supreme Court is primed to diminish the protections afforded under Roe v. Wade. Today the Supreme Court agreed to hear Mississippi’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling that struck down a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It’s a terrifying prospect eerily reminiscent of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” where far-right wing religious extremists took up arms against their own country, one where women and their bodies were under the complete control of almost extravagantly corrupt and hypocritical men of god, quote, unquote. What’s so scary and frankly traumatizing about that show and the book that inspired it is that it starts off in the very place that we live in right now where women have the right to choose what they do with their bodies until they don’t. And then in what seems like a blink of an eye, those rights were just gone. Naturally abortion opponents are thrilled given the new conservative makeup of the court, especially after the arrival of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, under his eye…I reference the ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ a lot because one of the things that happens is this sort of group violently takes over and secedes essentially from the United States and forms their own government. But they are–the hard right desire to control women because I’m sorry, I don’t think this is about children because these same people are not in favor of universal preschool or health care for kids, they don’t care if kids are locked in cages. It’s about women, it’s about controlling women.And so I wonder if Democratic women have not been focused enough on the fact that these people are serious about controlling women’s lives and bodies, and whether people like Susan Collins just got duped by people like Brett Kavanaugh or whether no one is taking it seriously enough!
What does any of that have to do with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization? What does Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization have to do with a science fiction novel about a society where women are forced to become pregnant? Notice that in all of that hysterical word wave, there is no mention of the individuals who are aborted, and when it is fair, rational, human and scientifically sound to consider their rights. Nobody listening to Reid would learn anything about the real issues in the case.
That is because the real issues in the case require balance and facts to competently examine. It’s so much easier to resort to name-calling and hysteria: it keeps the public ignorant and irrational.
You know, like Chris and Joy