Legal, Restricted Abortion Is Here to Stay

Today, on the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to “the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.” Also today, thousands of pro-life advocates gathered in snowy Washington D.C. to participate in the annual March for Life.…

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Oyez, Oyez

It’s the first Monday in October. Burt Likko offers a preview of the high points of the Supreme Court’s docket, and some other interesting notes.

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Do the Unborn Dream of Jerry Springer? : How the creepiest, most sensational story of 2013 could be a game-changer for Pro-Life advocates

A sensational, bizarre, made-for-tabloids crime forces Tod Kelly to reconsider his own position on abortion – and wonder if it might force others to do the same.

Human life is not too controversial

The rhetorical case for protecting the unborn has succeeded. The debate is over.  It would be, that is, had the Supreme Court not issued – in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s own words – a “difficult to justify,” “heavy-handed judicial intervention” in Roe v. Wade 40 years ago.  Today, nearly two-thirds of Americans support making abortion generally illegal after the first three months of pregnancy.  A staggering four-fifths support bans in the last three months.  So if the pro-choice movement is […]

Gosnell and our inadequate public discourse on abortion

Tim Carney wrote yesterday that when Obama was a state senator, he “repeatedly voted against legislation requiring hospitals to care for babies born during abortions” because “[s]uch laws might somehow be used in the future to infringe on abortion’s legality.”  Carney argues that “Gosnell’s method for aborting babies wasn’t substantially different from a procedure Obama enthusiastically defends.”  Today, the White House has no comment on Gosnell, noting that it concerns on an ongoing legal matter.  A totally valid response—is what […]

Does Opposition to Abortion Demand Certainty That the Fetus Is a Person?

I agree with Ned Resnikoff that the issue of abortion hinges on the question of personhood, but I am not sure the question of personhood as related to nascent human life has to be answered definitively before one may have an ethical basis to avoid (or morally permit) lethal violence against it. We may not,…

Blackmun on Roe, 14 Years Later

Via Digby I see this 1987 interview between Bill Moyers and Harry Blackmun, former Supreme Court Justice and author of Roe v. Wade. One thing to understand about Blackmun is that despite whatever assumptions you might have about his politics, he was actually something much rarer than an activist lefty: a moderate-to-liberal Republican. Appointed by Nixon, no less!…

Tales from the Nightstand: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

“She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into a moral wilderness. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had…

Reproductive Rights and Libertarianism

~by Sam Wilkinson For reasons that I cannot understand, the threat posed by various conservative candidates to women’s reproductive rights rarely seem to warrant mention or concern amongst those who profess themselves to be most concerned with liberty. Perhaps I travel in the wrong circles – with a two kids and a mortgage and a car payment and a…

Searching for Oskar Schindler

by Christopher Carr I considered titling this post a more academic “Rejoinders to a Utilitarian Framework for Evaluating the Morality of Abortion” but thought better when I realized how many lines that would take up. First, I’d like to say thank you again to Erik for agreeing to guest-post my recent offerings on abortion to this excellent blog and…

A Utilitarian Framework for Evaluating the Morality of Abortion

by Christopher Carr Jeremy Stangroom is a British author, philosopher, co-founder of The Philosopher’s Magazine Online – one of the premiere philosophy publications on the Internet – and the director of Philosophy Experiments – where users can participate in a variety of interactive thought experiments.  One of the more popular experiments is called Whose Body Is It Anyway; it is about the taboo…

Abortion and Slavery again

Ta-Nehisi has pushed once again into the abortion and slavery debate, this time following the invocation of that analogy by Rick Santorum and Joe Klein’s subsequent defense of Santorum’s rhetoric. Now, I’ve admitted in the past two things about the fetus-as-slave analogy: first, that it is not a very good analogy – and indeed I…

Virtually crime free

I was discussing Kevin Drum’s post on falling crime rates in America and the old Freakonomics argument came up – that the only possible explanation for this phenomenon is the after-effects of Roe v. Wade. The fewer unwanted pregnancies, so the argument goes, the fewer potential criminals. Interestingly, alongside falling crime rates, we also see…

I’m not Harriet Tubman either

I don’t think the pro-choicers and the pro-lifers are going to agree on this one. But I do think that Ta-Nehisi is either missing what I’m trying to say here, or he – and the commenters at his blog – are incapable of seeing how this analogy might look different if they held different assumptions…

No, I am not Frederick Douglass

[updated] Okay. Perhaps I stirred the pot a bit too vigorously. In any case, let me clarify a few things. Ta-Nehisi Coates – whose work I admire greatly, too!* – has quite a lot more to say about the abortion/slavery analogy. I described it as ‘bulky, awkward, creates more heat than light, etc.’ whilst still…

Abortion, slavery & personhood

So several of Andrew’s readers disagreed with my post on abortion and slavery. And at least one of my readers had some particularly colorful things to say to me in an email after it was posted. Let’s tackle Andrew’s readers first and then move on to Ta-Nehisi Coates (via Sullivan, who is keeping the discussion…

Roger Ebert, Ben Stein, and the culture war

Ever since Will posted about Roger Ebert earlier I’ve been reading Ebert’s blog (which is fantastic) and came across this explanation of why he never formally reviewed the Ben Stein mockumentary (er, documentary) Expelled.  For those of you who don’t know the premise of that film, it’s basically Stein’s extremely dishonest propaganda exposé on Intelligent Design.  Here’s…

The Manhattan Declaration

Well, this is the trajectory of the modern Christian right.  Its leaders have signed this declaration, further entwining religion and politics, and further entrenching the culture wars in the useless “us against them” language that has proved so ineffective for so long. I prefer the Nicene Creed, myself. But we’d have to be naive or…

Ah, Abortion

~by sidereal When I’m asked for my opinion on abortion (or when I give it unprompted) I have to decide how long a conversation I want to have.  If I want it over with, I use the crude political vernacular and say I’m a ‘progressive pro-lifer’.  If I don’t mind exploring the issue a little…

Doubling Down

There seems to be quite the fooferaw over responding to the Tiller murder developing between several bloggers that I respect: Publius and Hilzoy at ObsidianWings, and Megan McArdle.  A quick summary:  Agreeing with an Ezra Klein post in essence calling (correctly) the murder an act of political terrorism, Hilzoy wrote that Congress should respond to the murder…

Justifying Abortion

This fascinating paper on abortion has probably been circulating for some time, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to read it. A brief note about the author’s hypotheticals: I suspect the pro-life response to many of these scenarios would be similar to torture opponents’ rejoinder to the ticking time bomb: “Yes,…

not nearly enough

From hilzoy: “I am strongly pro-choice, but I think it is perfectly possible to be opposed to abortion on principled grounds, and I think that it would be an enormous mistake to conflate all people who are opposed to abortions with either Dr. Tiller’s killer or the likes of Operation Rescue. That said, large elements…