Ron Paul on abortion: an imperfect solution which we should endorse. by Random Outlier
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Damn me for a Philistine, but I sometimes weary of the pro-life, pro-choice political debate.
The onset of my abortion ennui actually came long ago during the Johnson and Nixon years. The primary cause celebre in those days was Vietnam, very engrossing -- and top-notch teevee fare with 60 seconds from Khe Sanh, 60 from Berkley, exciting violence everywhere in living color, brought directly to your parlor.
But even that palled as the months and years passed. Teevee news viewership fell, and Walter Cronkite decided it was his duty to elevate the American consciousness in wider fields.
So he found some folks willing to camera-rave about a woman's bodily sovereignty and others demanding secular authority, for religious reasons, over every zygote enwombed.
It was interesting enough, if too noisy, and on Jan. 22, 1973 the body-sovereigns won, Roe V. Wade, leading some to believe that the debate (to debase an honorable word) would quiet down, just a little.
Backwards ran that thinking. Roe spawned what could be, after slavery/secession, the greatest wedge issue in American history. It created the direct-mailers who glommed power and riches by identifying Roe as the demon that would open fundamentalist wallets everywhere.
It also created their opposite, the Emily's List and its emulators in that lane of the one-issue freeway. Blinders required.
Bad enough, but worse followed. A chorus of experts, millions of voices, appeared, each one shouting the ultimate truth as deduced from a Cosmo article or as revealed in sacred scrolls.
The ratio of self-proclaimed experts to arguers quickly approached 1:1 and hasn't varied much since.
Citizens who concede lack of knowledge and thus reserve judgment on, say, hard versus fiat money are easy enough to find, but bring up abortion and everyone is an authority.
"Life begins at the instant of conception and terminating that little ball of cells is murder. " Could be, as far as I know. Could also be that life begins with exo-womb viability, or at some other point such as, perhaps, the beginning of personality, or proto-personality if there is such a thing. Define "life" and maybe we can be more specific.
What seems certain to me is the harm we do our society with a political compulsion to milk the abortion issue for every dollar and every vote the traffic will bear.
Not to mention the dangerous idiocy of millions of votes cast solely on speculation that this candidate or that will or won't appoint Supreme Court justices who will or won't vote to overturn Roe.
The issue is important. There is some sincerity on all sides. But as a national compulsion it is Kool-Aid lunacy when our horizon reveals Iraq, the 97-pound weakling we call a dollar, the question of eating our grain or burning it up in our Yukons.
On substance, it's reasonable to conclude that abortion is a wretched birth-control device and to personally find it cruel, to oppose it. On a personal level I do. On a political level I take refuge in wishy-washy agnosticism.
So here I am, heartily supporting Ron Paul who is convinced that life occurs the instant an ambitious sperm penetrates a consenting egg. How come?
It isn't that as a medical expert in reproductive matters he knows more about it than I do, though he certainly does. It is that he's very reluctant to insist that 300 million Americans agree with him.
And so he embraces replacing the Roe decision with 50 decisions in 50 states whose sovereignty in such matters seems to be a sound Constitutional conclusion.
Here I find myself wishing that Mr. Pinckney had asked Mr. Madison for one more edit. "Jim, put in a little something about not passing any laws we can't enforce."
Which takes us to a couple of young ladies experiencing periodic anxiety, to the moonlighting barber who needs a little extra cash to satisfy his also-anxious bookie, and to the coat hanger, intricately bent with infinite hope that the internet instructions were correct.
The most serious flaw in anti-abortion zealotry is the illusion that a pro-life Constitutional amendment means no more abortions, or at least hardly any.
Illegal abortions in great number existed pre-Roe. Negate Roe via the pro-life amendment and they will continue in great number.
Young women who find themselves in distress due to copulatory error can conveniently be divided into two classes. One has money. The other shops at Family Dollar; she's never owned a bank balance containing a comma.
The luckier troubled lass will discover a plausible reason for an immediate Swiss skiiing vacation. She will return to Lake Forest rosy and unburdened. Her sister under the skin will Google coat hangers or ask around for the barber. This unlucky Judy O'Grady may never return at all.
A sneer is to be expected here, disbelief that things ever occurred -- or were merely great rarities -- before 1973. I refer such illusionaries to a pool of retired guys who happened, before 1973, to be beat cops and cop-shop reporters.
They'll assure you that the girls were found in the allies, and not all that infrequently. They'll advise that it is wrong to believe that police reporters never vomit and cops never cry.
With state policies on abortion in control, as Dr. Paul suggests, the monied lady can still visit permissive and scenic foreign locales while Judy discovers choices other than risking all on butchery. If she lives in a no-abortion Kansas, well, the sanitary clinics with real doctors and nurses in Nevada aren't that far away, certainly more accessible to her than Zurich.
I suspect Dr. Paul gave this matter considerable thought at moral, professional, and political levels. His solution, however imperfect some may find it, harmonizes with a great ideal of liberty. At the same time it offers some comfort to both sides.
Beyond that we should be making the larger case. When moral issues with political implications are insoluable by national consensus, the reasonable choice is to make the decisions as near to the citizen as possible.
It's probable that the founders discussed this and concluded that some citizens would be vexed at the laws of their states and therefore created the Tenth Amendment. One can move, and it's easier to change states that change nations.
The Tenth nicely accommodates our stated notions of federalism and local control which a pro-life Constitutional amendment would not do.
More practically, it gives poor Judy a fighting chance to live on and conceive again, to give herself and the world a child who, from zygote to beaming graduate, is wanted and loved.
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"Copulatory error" - love your choice of terminology! Brilliant and well-written article, aligns perfectly with my own thinking. I support Dr. Paul despite his pro-life position, and don't have a problem with it being determined by each State (at which point I will argue against it in my own State).
To answer the question as to when life begins: Understand that life exists on a continuum. Every cell in your body is alive (or was alive, like hair cells). Sperm is alive as is an egg. These contain the ultimate product of genetic material handed down since the beginning of life itself on this planet. When a sperm and an egg unite, the zygote is the fusion of these two life forms and will contain genetic material from both to create a new individual.Â
I say, new individual, not new life. And I mean having the potential of becoming an individual, because while it exists in the womb in an early state, it is more akin to a dependent parasite than an individual.
Since the source of rights depends on free will, then, the rights of the non-individual can not supercede the rights of the individual. So, no law should be passed to impinge on a woman's right, the host, to have the freedom of choice to do as she wishes with her own body, particularly since having a child involves not only a personal risk, but an awesome responsibility of making sure the potential individual is raised in a caring environment.
She should not be forced against her will to carry the embryo to term.Â
Without confusing the issue with mysticism and bogus arguments about souls and when life begins, I feel that this position represents the soundest libertarian argument against pro-life statist imposition.
Posted By: Michael DiSalvo
Date: 2008-03-02 01:25:26
Give me liberty, and give it death?
Yet again in the name of liberty, irresponsibility is being flaunted to slaughter innocent life in a real-life power struggle.
I grow tired of libertarians talking about injustice and being dominated by "statists" when they are all too willing to throw a baby into a blender or soak it in napalm so they can get on with their "responsible" lives. Their "copulatory errors" should not have taken place if they weren't open to having the children God wanted them to have. Their atheism goes hand in hand with the Judeo-Masonic plan to control the world's governments and folks need to wake up to the fact that Planned Parenthood, the queen of all population extermination facilities, was founded to ensure eugenics would live long and prosper, pushing us closer to having a much whiter, smarter world. No (true) Catholicism and libertarianism shall never meet, since the typical libertarian is quite satisfied being a pawn of Big Brother, killing his own children in the name of "population control" and "environmental responsibility". But God gave us another plan.Â
Abortion, like every other political issue in this country often becomes bogged down in meaning... what does "life" mean, what does "murder" mean, what does "viable" mean, what does "person" mean?
But isn't the same argument about war? About capital punishment, about any excuse we use to kill other human beings... er... should I say "krauts, japs, gooks, commies, coons, camel jockeys", etc? Dehumanize, and then destroy. That's the way, uh huh,uh huh, we like it.
Abortion is a little different because this "dehumanized thing" is INSIDE another person and completely dependent upon that person for EVERYTHING. Would we forbid a pregnant woman from driving a gasoline powered 2 ton piece of metal down aÂ crowded street, or forbid her to eat or drink certain things... like McDonald's, or Coca Cola? Would we forbid a woman from staying awake more than 16 hours a day or from taking allergy or pain medications because of risk to the fetus?
This is the woman's, who is bearing the child, and no one else's choice. NOT EVEN the father has the same responsibility in making this decision. Certainly not the government. Certainly not a doctor. Certainly not someone spouting religious dogma.
As far the "sex" morality argument goes and pregnancy as a punishment... grow up. Everyone has sex. Almost everyone has sex outside of marriage at some time. About 3 - 5 % of unprotected copulations result in pregnancy; no matter who, how why.Â Pregnancy is simply a possible result or copulation, neither good nor bad, moral or immoral. It is not a miracle, it is not a mystery.