November 14, 2016

How Donald Trump used and deflected questions about same-sex marriage and the abortion precedents.

Let's study the "60 Minutes" transcript. Lesley Stahl brought up the diverse set of individuals that she labeled "the LGBTQ group" — it's "One of the groups that’s expressing fear." Trump reminded her that he "mentioned them at the Republican National Convention," and: "Everybody said, 'That was so great.' I have been, you know, I’ve been a supporter."

So Stahl switched to an issue that is important to many of people, individuals both in and, like me, outside of the group: "Do you support marriage equality?" Trump said:
It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done.
Stahl tried to jump in with "So even if you appoint a judge that," and Trump just kept going, mentioning the Supreme Court, but only as an institution that has already done something. It's already decided:
It’s done. It-- you have-- these cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And, I’m fine with that.
This is different — but not that different — from how he'd spoken a moment earlier about abortion and the Supreme Court. I say "not that different," because the question was framed differently for abortion:
Lesley Stahl: During the campaign, you said that you would appoint justices who were against abortion rights. Will you appoint-- are you looking to appoint a justice who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?
That's different from the demand for his opinion on same-sex marriage, "Do you support marriage equality?" Note that Trump did not answer the question asked. He only said it didn't matter, then pointed to the Court's past decision, which he said he was "fine with." I'd infer that he supports same-sex marriage or at least opposes upsetting the expectations that fell in place when the Court decided.

With abortion, the question was about whom he'd pick for the Court and whether that person was not just someone who personally opposes abortion but someone who "wants to overturn Roe v. Wade." That's a different question, and it was also a question he didn't answer:
Donald Trump: So look, here’s what’s going to happen-- I’m going to-- I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life. They’ll be very—
Note that he first switched to his personal opinion — "I’m pro-life" — and then he addressed the nominees' — he pluralized it — opinion: They'll be very pro-life. Stahl then prodded him about whether they'd actually be for overturning the precedent (because one can be personally pro-life but still believe in keeping the precedent in place). Trump deflected the question again:
Well, there are a couple of things. They’ll be pro-life, they’ll be-- in terms of the whole gun situation, we know the Second Amendment and everybody’s talking about the Second Amendment and they’re trying to dice it up and change it, they’re going to be very pro-Second Amendment. But having to do with abortion if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states. So it would go back to the states and--
You might think he finally danced back to the question, but he did not. He only started explaining what would happen if Roe v. Wade were overturned, not whether he'd appoint a justice who "wants to overturn Roe v. Wade." This time, he succeeded in knocking Stahl off the question. We got this back-and-forth:
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but then some women won’t be able to get an abortion?

Donald Trump: No, it’ll go back to the states.

Lesley Stahl: By state—no some --

Donald Trump: Yeah.

Donald Trump: Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.

Lesley Stahl: And that’s OK?
Donald Trump: Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.
That's only about how people would deal with the loss of the constitutional right to have an abortion. Trump doesn't even concede that it would be "OK" to put women in the position of needing to travel farther to obtain an abortion. He gently puts the question away with the familiar colloquial phrase "we’ll see what happens." He pats the question to sleep with "long... long, long." I read that to mean what I already thought: He doesn't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned, and even as he wants pro-lifers to know he cares, he'd like pro-choicers not to worry too much.

100 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I would frame Trump's support of Same-Sex marriage as a business man who wants clarity and consistency for the topic.

OTOH, abortion doesn't have much impact on businesses.

Lyssa said...

Welp, this is the guy we elected.

rhhardin said...

Rejecting the question is a good thing with the MSM.

They don't want a debate; they want a hot button sound bite for the soap opera crowd, which is filled with hot buttons.

dreams said...

I know a woman who has had 7 abortions and for her first abortion she went to New York.

dreams said...

"Welp, this is the guy we elected."

What is your problem?

rhhardin said...

I have to be very careful what I say because I'm talking to a woman and they're always landmines.

AprilApple said...

In the end, the left only care about roe v wade.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

That's only about how people would deal with the loss of the constitutional right to have an abortion.

There is not, and has never been, a constitutional right to have an abortion. There is a Supreme Court right to an abortion. Pulling the "right" out of their own asses was itself an unconstitutional power grab that violated people's actual constitutional right to federalism that is the basis of the entire constitution, and specifically called out in the tenth amendment.

wendybar said...

I am Pro life, but if you decide you want an abortion..fine...get one and PAY for it yourself...

rhhardin said...

One popular romcom hero is a guy who can replay time, trying to get the right thing to say or do to win his woman.

It's not the man being superficial. He's serious. He wants to take on obligations. The woman is the problem.

Owen said...

Trump's answer is pretty sensible IMHO. He floats around the interrogator and slips the punches. He will give nobody anything important to work with. And the media will run with ambiguity, make a very satisfying meal out of that nothingburger.

He ran a TV show. He may have a clue about how to handle stuff like this.

traditionalguy said...

The Roe precedent is based on the dicing up of babies being a sole female's right to chose with no due process afforded the father or the baby victim.

I would keep that secret too, like the SS kept its death camps. Not that there is anything wrong with that... unless there is a God.

paminwi said...

Go to your local Planned Parenthood office, who tells us, they do waaaay more than abortions, to find out WHERE you can go get an abortion if your state has said no to abortions. Then have have Planned Parenthood provide these women with travel vouchers to the nearest abortion provider. I hear they are raking in all kids of new money after the election of Trump so this shouldn't be a problem for them.
Voila, problem solved. States get their rights back, Planned Patenthood can still kill babies and not report rapes of underage girls.
IMO Roe vs Wade will never be overturned.

Meade said...

"specifically called out in the tenth amendment"

The 10th amendment doesn't contain the word "right(s)." It's only about limiting the federal government's powers.

Michael said...

Well, well, well. The press leaps into action and has discovered the awesome power of the follow up question. Next there will be reporting of the huge surge in homelessness.

Meade said...

" I hear they are raking in all kids of new money after the election of Trump so this shouldn't be a problem for them."

Typos that tell.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Meade said...

The 10th amendment doesn't contain the word "right(s)." It's only about limiting the federal government's powers.

True, just as the first amendment does not mention a right to freedom of speech, or the press, or religion. It's only about limiting the federal government's powers in those areas.

Mike Sylwester said...

It's all in the emanations and penumbras.

William said...

What with abortifficient drugs, the argument is not about banning abortions, but rather about banning late term abortions which require surgical intervention. To my mind, a viable foetus is another way of saying baby, and I think babies deserve some constitutional rights.....One notes that Hillary and other Dems are never asked probing follow up questions about the snipping of spinal columns in the delivery room or what part their attitudes played in permitting atrocities like the Gosnell clinic.

Meade said...

"True, just as the first amendment does not mention a right to freedom of speech, or the press, or religion. It's only about limiting the federal government's powers in those areas."

Sorry, but I can't give you full credit for that exam question.

...the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I suppose I might give you extra credit if can explain how "free exercise" is or is not tantamount to "right."

Matthew Sablan said...

Donald Trump interviews way better post election than pre.

Someone has been training him. Good on them.

JHapp said...

I (if I was President Elect) would have asked her if she has ever driven a vehicle over the speed limit or knows of anyone else who had. After she said yes I would ask her how that was even remotely possible since it was against the law. After she changed the subject I would then ask her if she meet a poor woman on the street who wanted an abortion but couldn't afford it if she would pay for it. After she changed the subject again I would gently tell her that there are no good reasons why the democrats just spent a billion dollars trying to get republicans to pay for abortions they do not want any part of.

JAORE said...

"... a viable foetus is another way of saying baby..."

Among the ways the "party of science" is facing heat on this topic are that:
- Ultrasounds showing there is much more a baby than a "clump of cells" in the womb.
- Premature births being saved at earlier and earlier development.
- Report of, albeit rare, instances of babies surviving the procedure only to be left to die.

If videos of late term abortions were shown there would be nearly universal revulsion.

But, so long as only one aspect, "a woman's right", is allowed to be discussed, all is well in the world. Right?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm with Wendybar. If you want an abortion...pay for it yourself or have a charity fund the murder of your child. Leave me and the rest of the tax payers out of it.

Abortion, should be a State's Rights issue. A State Right in the sense that the States have the right to determine what the rule/law should be in their individual States when it comes to items that are NOT directly addressed in the Constitution. Abortion is not a Constitutional right so States can be diverse. The right to bear arms IS and cannot be infringed or abridged across the States.

The electoral college which is now being attacked by a sour grapes Hillary, is also partly a Federal/Constitutional issue and a States Rights issue. The founding fathers established the Electoral College in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

However, the apportionment of the Electoral College votes is decided at the State level, with some like Maine, apportioning on a district by district level and others like California where it is winner take all.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Meade said...

Sorry, but I can't give you full credit for that exam question.

Why would I be looking for you to give me credit? I'm doing you the favor here by attempting to relieve you of some of your ignorance. Apparently I'm not doing a very good job.

Note that I didn't mention the right to peaceably assemble, because calling out such a right does not does not result in the word right being used in reference to speech, press, or religion. But we commonly refer to them as rights. Why would we treat the rights protected by the tenth amendment any differently?

Michael K said...

He ran a TV show. He may have a clue about how to handle stuff like this.

YEs and we are going to see skills similar to Reagan's as this continues.

I am pro-choice but not after 20 weeks and the "life of the mother" exception is bullshit.

California had legal abortions before Roe v Wade. Three years before.

damikesc said...

I notice she has no problem with people having to jump thru hoops to use an ACTUAL Constitutional rights. Do any CA legislators get asked about why they want to restrict 2nd Amendment rights in their state? Any sob stories about people attacked by feral gangs? Women raped with no possibility of defending themselves (as the old sayibg goes "God made man and woman. Guns made them equal")

Matthew Sablan said...

"However, the apportionment of the Electoral College votes is decided at the State level, with some like Maine, apportioning on a district by district level and others like California where it is winner take all."

-- I like Maine's system over winner takes all, but I imagine that will make popular vote lovers even angrier.

JPS said...

The fear among the LGBTQ is something I both get and don't get.

Yes, VP-designate Pence seems to be no ally of the gay rights movement. (He also folded under pressure.) But Trump has been pro-gay-rights since before it was cool - since before Barack Obama admitted he was!

Matthew Sablan said...

"But Trump has been pro-gay-rights since before it was cool - since before Barack Obama admitted he was!"

-- And just like Dick Cheney, he'll get no credit for it. He can appoint an openly gay man to his transition team, and get no credit for it.

Seeing Red said...

Just make the abortion argument he's bringing us in line with Europe and most of the world.

What lefty could argue that, since they want to turn us into Europe?

Jupiter said...

As I recall, the right to kill your own baby, like the right to fuck other guys in the ass, was discovered languishing in the shadows of the right to privacy. Like, no one is saying it's a good thing, but it's none of our business. That's where they discovered it, but now they want us to pay for other people's abortions, and you will be fined the cost of a house if you refuse to bake a wedding cake for two guys.

Seeing Red said...

I've always wondered how many women went to fetus showers or ask if they could touch the fetus bump.

buwaya puti said...

After a year of having to interview Trump on a regular basis - and he is going to give a ridiculously large number of interviews I think, unlike Obama - the press, or rather the public, is going to zone out on anything specific he says. There will simply be too much ambiguous stuff there.

Its going to be difficult to continue to take him literally, which has been the dodge so far.

khesanh0802 said...

Trump's attitude is that of any practical business man - or politician for that matter.. He is essentially saying that on his list of priorities the abortion issues is close to the bottom. There are no abortion issues that would overturn Roe v Wade anywhere near the Supreme Court, and not likely to be, so why expend energy on that issue. One could argue that appointing a justice who is opposed to Roe v Wade is just appointing a justice who believes he/she shouldn't legislate from the bench. I have no problem with that and I wouldn't think that Ann would either. I find it amusing that Trump has a better handle on the states' powers and is more wiling to abide by them than most "reporters".

Once written, twice... said...

Trump -- being a builder at heart -- is going to focus most of his political capital on a massive public infrastructure building program. He is not your dad's Republican. He is not even a Republican.

coupe said...
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coupe said...

The 14th Amendment was a doozy.

The question then, is: which Americans don't deserve equal protection? Don't deserve due process?

If you can answer that any other way then "all Americans deserve it" then you need to get back on the boat and go back to wherever your family originated.

Abortion, like sodomy, and punk hair coloring, eating meat, and mini-skirts, are none of the business of legislatures. Roe v. Wade is redundant.

A nation ruled by church doctrine cannot be free. Cannot have equal protection. Cannot have due process. The canard "protecting the potentiality of human life" is made from whole cloth.

Should we protect the potentiality of the second coming of Christ? Potentiality, as a restriction on freedom, and rights, is covered by the due process clause.

End of story. Next question Lesley...

We need to stop spending federal billions on fighting the Constitution, and finding ways of blessing all Americans with freedom and liberty. Anything short of an Amendment is redundant.

Mick said...

Of course Trump is correct. The Federal government has no Constitutional role in the determination of who may marry or who may have an abortion. Those determinations are left to the Individual States.

readering said...

It will be interesting to see how the Scalia replacement is vetted. Traditionally there are no questions in interviews about how the prospective justice would rule on specific issues. No litmus test. Both Trump and Clinton upended that with campaign promises. But I suspect the pros who conduct interviews will stay away from litmus tests and hope they can differentiate the Alitos and Souters without specifics. Not always easy. Souter was attacked by liberal groups when nominated.

tim maguire said...

I've never come across a constitutional scholar who thought Roe v. Wade was rightly decided. It was a sloppy results-oriented decision by five judges who thought they had not just the right, but the duty to act as legislators. My professors (Fordham Law School) took the position that Roe v. Wade already had been reversed, but that the justices didn't want to admit what they were doing.

All Trump has to say is he will appoint judges who follow the constitution. The constitution clearly assigns this question to the states.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

tim maguire said...

My professors (Fordham Law School) took the position that Roe v. Wade already had been reversed, but that the justices didn't want to admit what they were doing.

I read some liberal arguing the Roe v. Wade was already overturned, in Casey. Bullshit. Casey tinkered with what restrictions are permissible. Roe is what gave federal courts any say in state abortion laws.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that my biggest problem with the abortion debate is how anti-democratic it has been in this country. Back at the time of Roe v. Wade, the states were on the road toward legalization. As Dr. K pointed out above, it had been legal in CA for 3 years or so at that time. I believe here in CO too. All of a sudden, abortion was legal nation wide, despite it being morally repugnant to a larger portion of the citizenry. As pointed out above, the Supreme Court pulled it out of their collective derrieres, basing it, ultimately, on a string of cases that were based on figments of their imaginations, in the form of penumbras and emanations. And, now the case law has been pushed beyond Roe to cover much of the third trimester, when fetuses are clearly babies who are, at a minimum, a c-section away from full citizenship.

I think that Dr. K is a good indication of where most of the country has gone with abortion - they accept that it should be legal through the first, and into the second trimester, and then, if the prospective mother hasn't acted by then, the rights of the baby-to-be become paramount, after, essentially, it becomes viable (roughly his 20 weeks), and able to live outside the womb (even if it takes a bit of help at first). This is the majority position, poll after poll. But, the courts are still stuck out there forcing the allowance of ninth month abortions, which constitute, essentially, babycide for a large majority in this country. It is a position that is based, almost entirely in my estimation, on a complete lack of morality. The courts are, essentially, requiring that we accept the violation of one of the most fundamental of the Ten Commandments, for the convenience of the mother.

The problem with the Supreme Court leading here is that it has done so against the will of the country. Those opposing abortion never got their say. Their chance to vote. Instead, it was imposed from on high, by an unelected group of Ivy League educated, elitist, Justices. When the general public grew to accept first term abortions, the courts pushed the limits out to allowing ninth month abortions, well passed the point of viability. Compounding this, it involves a significant moral issue, in what was, for much of its history, a distinctly religiously Christian country. The furor has never died down, for this reason.

Back to Trump here - the legal debate is, and continues to be, third term abortions. When the conservatives had a majority on the Supreme Court, and 2/3 practicing Roman Catholics. Yet, they never took the opportunity to cut back on abortion, despite the teachings of their Church. Why? Because for conservative Justices, stability and stare decisis, were more important than their personal feelings on the subject. A couple more conservative Justices aren't going to change this. Which is why the debate is a waste of good air.

Real American said...

abortion isn't a right protected in the constitution. Read it. It ain't there. No one would be losing a constitutional right if Roe v. Wade were overturned. The Supreme Court misinterpreted the constitution based on their feelings, not the law. If the question ever comes up again in the Supreme Court, that terrible case should be overturned.

But Trump is right. The Constitution does not outlaw abortion either. States would be free to make abortion legal if RvW is ever overturned.

coupe said...

99% of all abortions are committed by loose women because it's cheap.

The way for the government to limit abortions, is to tax it. The same way they limit every other freedom.

You have the right to an abortion, the government has the right to tax it. I would charge 20% of the doctors fee in federal taxes.

Require a tax stamp on all aborted feti.

coupe said...

Real American said...abortion isn't a right protected in the constitution.

This is incorrect. The 14th Amendment and the due process clause: a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government.

The restriction on abortion, like sodomy, is arbitrary. It was church doctrine applied to atheists.

YoungHegelian said...

@Tim M,

My professors (Fordham Law School) took the position that Roe v. Wade already had been reversed, but that the justices didn't want to admit what they were doing.

I subscribed to The New Republic for 21 years. Although they were staunchly pro-choice, one of their favorite hobby horses was how Roe v Wade was an abominable piece of legal reasoning. They never tired of pointing its flaws in minute detail.

n.n said...

It's a Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice world. We don't have "marriage equality", but rather selective exclusion ("=") celebrated under the rainbow flag. We don't even have diversity, but rather class diversity including institutional racism, sexism, etc. Women are not getting an "abortion", they are choosing the left's traditional "final solution" to terminate life unworthy of life, human life... wholly innocent human life that is inconvenient to the pursuit of wealth, pleasure, leisure, and narcissistic indulgence. The liberals, progressives, and Libertarians's interest is to keep a stable environment, women serviceable, taxable, and exploited for Democratic leverage.

Well, the Chinese communists had their one-child that reflected a minority psychopathy. The American progressives, liberals, and Libertarians have their selective-child that reflects a majority psychopathy. It is all a final solution, class diversity, selective exclusion, etc. under a State-established Church, Pro-Choice in America.

n.n said...

The first step is to close the abortion chambers and end clinical cannibalism in Planned Parenthood. The second step is to expose the Pro-Choice Church and overturn the progress of abortion rites through social, cultural, scientific, and religious/moral normalization. Corruption, really. Women, and men, should not believe that the final solution is a tolerable, let alone normal choice. Abortion rites are antithetical to civilized society and incompatible with the prerequisites for liberty including self-moderating, responsible behavior. Debasement of human life is intolerable. Unfortunately, selective-child represents a general psychopathy that cannot be equated with one-child practiced by a minority, and requires a different remedy which begins with shutting down the Pro-Choice Church that has also resurrected institutional class diversity and corrupted the social, cultural, scientific, and religious/moral climate.

n.n said...

secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

Abortion rites were legally resumed after liberal judges excised Posterity from the Constitution, and was normalized after Twilighters, Democrats, female chauvinists, class diversitists, and scientific mystics, reduced human life to colorful clumps of cells whose value is assessed with selective, opportunistic, variable criteria.

damikesc said...

I've never come across a constitutional scholar who thought Roe v. Wade was rightly decided. It was a sloppy results-oriented decision by five judges who thought they had not just the right, but the duty to act as legislators. My professors (Fordham Law School) took the position that Roe v. Wade already had been reversed, but that the justices didn't want to admit what they were doing.

Honestly, Obergefell wasn't decided any better.

You have the right to an abortion, the government has the right to tax it. I would charge 20% of the doctors fee in federal taxes.


Solid idea. If states can jack up taxes on ammo and guns, an abortion tax seems like a no-brainer.

hombre said...

You would think that abortions, mostly elective and approaching 60 million, would call into question something other than how far women might have to drive to kill their babies.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

hombre said...

You would think that abortions, mostly elective and approaching 60 million, would call into question something other than how far women might have to drive to kill their babies.

Such as the 19th amendment?

coupe said...

n.n said...Abortion rites are antithetical to civilized society and incompatible with the prerequisites for liberty including self-moderating, responsible behavior.

So you would put women wearing mini-skirts in prison (remove their liberty), because they are not self-moderating.

Especially when they bend over, and I can see all the way to their tonsils.

Legislating moderation is hate-speech.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Maybe he's just smart enough to know that Scalia's replacement won't be able to repeal Roe v. Wade. So the long, long way to go may just be in reference to getting a second appointment to replace one or two liberal Justices.

hombre said...

Coupe wrote: 1. "Abortion ... (is) none of the business of legislatures. Roe v. Wade is redundant". 2. "A nation ruled by church doctrine cannot be free. Cannot have equal protection. Cannot have due process. The canard "protecting the potentiality of human life" is made from whole cloth." 3. "The restriction on abortion, like sodomy, is arbitrary. It was church doctrine applied to atheists."

1. In a civilized society, even a relatively amoral one like ours, homocide is the business of the legislature.

2. Moral opposition to abortion need not be based on church doctrine. Human embryology suffices nicely. The 'canard "protecting the potentiality of human life" was indeed fabricated from whole cloth - by pro-aborts. A fetus is human life.

3. In addition to being baseless this statement is logically defective. The prohibitions against abortion were legislative proscriptions against homocide and applied to everyone.

David Boucher said...

Trump has also said that it's stupid to tell your adversaries in advance what you are going to do.

Qwinn said...

I'm agnostic, and I think abortion is an unqualified evil.

There is no scientific basis for denying a developing human full human rights. It is a value judgment on their part, nothing more. The pro-choicers simply deem the fetus to not have value. ANY value whatsoever.

A fetus is human. A fetus is alive. A fetus therefore has human rights. Period. No God is necessary to see that. Anyone claiming that religion is required to oppose abortion is full of it.

Qwinn said...

In fact, if anything, I'd say the position that a fetus is *not* a human being requires some sort of religious motivation, because there's certainly no science or logic behind it. Just feelings. Genocidal, homicidal feelings.

n.n said...

coupe:

Legislating moderation is hate-speech.

Rejecting abortion rites and tolerating diversity are not equivalent.

As for abortion, most people recognize the scientific fact that human life evolves -- a chaotic process -- from conception, and logically and rationally reach the conclusion that they should not terminate another human life for casual, elective causes.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"I want to ask you about ..."

Brings to mind an exchange reputed to Paul Dirac {cr. Wikipedia):

After he presented a lecture at a conference, one colleague raised his hand and said "I don't understand the equation on the top-right-hand corner of the blackboard". After a long silence, the moderator asked Dirac if he wanted to answer the question, to which Dirac replied "That was not a question, it was a comment."

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"Many people fear that ..."

Can you be more specific, please. Who specifically fears that ...."

n.n said...

Qwinn:

Anyone claiming that religion is required to oppose abortion is full of it.

That's right. However, religious/moral philosophy only captures one of the logical domains where this issue is considered. I will suggest one change: Anyone claiming that faith is required to oppose abortion is full of it.

Agnostics who are honest with themselves will operate in the scientific domain where evolution of human life (i.e. a chaotic process) is observable and reproducible from conception. That's step one. The second step is application of a religious/moral philosophy that recognizes individual dignity and intrinsic value, and reconciles the dignity and value of each party involved by choice, not force.

The unique nature of human reproduction complicates, but does not change the facts of the case. We should at the very least expect to discuss the problem in real terms, not the fantasy of spontaneous conception (a.k.a. "viability"), the avoidance of Pro-Choice, the amorality of disinterested parties, or the ulterior motives of other classes. We should at the very least expect a civilized society to oppose tolerance, and certainly normalization, of casual, elective termination of another human life. A civilized, advanced civilization should be capable of adopting an orientation and offering a choice that can be reconciled with its enlightened perception and ability.

Owen said...

"...government has the right to tax [abortion]..."

Excellent idea. The ultimate example of an excise tax.

JAORE said...

You have the right to an abortion, the government has the right to tax it. I would charge 20% of the doctors fee in federal taxes.


Solid idea. If states can jack up taxes on ammo and guns, an abortion tax seems like a no-brainer.

Beat me to it. And I shall repeat it whenever the ammo tax is brought up.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Can you be more specific, please. Who specifically fears that ....

He should have asked for names and addresses of people who feared being deported...

Fabi said...

I have to travel to another state when I want to gamble in a casino or if I wanted to legally smoke pot -- what's the big deal?

coupe said...
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n.n said...

Government has the right to tax human life? Not as a direct tax in civilized societies. We also don't tax the sale of capital crimes including elective abortion and it legalistic variant "premeditated murder". We may, however, if the Profits of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming are accepted, be taxed for the air we breath and exhale.

You have a natural right to commit premeditated murder/abortion in the street, in chambers, and clinics, too. It doesn't follow that other people should tolerate, let alone normalize, that behavior. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. In fact, we are on record opposing this "final solution".

Pro-life is a class of people (i.e. class diversity) that deny scientific mysticism, recognize human rights (i.e. religious/moral principles), and reject the ulterior motives and corruption of Twilighters in the Pro-Choice Church that aggressively bind to principles that are internally, externally, and mutually inconsistent.

n.n said...

coupe:

We are discussing the elective abortion of human life. The scientific classification of human life. The moral treatment of human life. The reconciliation of rights and responsibilities afforded to each human life, throughout its evolution. Your diversion to other topics is disingenuous.

Lydia said...

New Trump: "I'm fine with that".

Old Trump:

'During the Republican presidential primaries, he said the gay marriage issue should have been left to the states and that he would consider appointing judges to overrule the Supreme Court’s marriage decisions.

“I would strongly consider that, yes,” he said in a January Fox News interview.'

Saint Croix said...

It's aggravating to me how the media is determined to never use the words "pro-life."

This is the name pro-lifers have adopted. Everybody knows what a pro-lifer is. The media is determined to deny this name. You cannot name yourself! We will name you!

When the media talks this way and acts this way, every pro-lifer knows they are partisan and one-sided and unfair. Trump, who has been a pro-lifer for like a year or something, knows this intuitively. I think he senses that this reporter will not say the words "pro-life" and so he is fighting with her about the language that will be used. I think Trump can and should be more explicit and ask the reporters a simple question: "Why do you never use the words pro-life? Is it because you are pro-choice and are trying to stop the pro-life movement?" As far as the media is concerned, the battle continues. Wage it right back at them! It's a battle of words, yes, but these words are how you win hearts and minds. The American people must see and understand that the media has hidden the truth from us for 40 years. Hidden the violence for 40 years, censored the photographs for 40 years, and denied the very existence of the pro-life movement for 40 years.

Saint Croix said...

Another point to consider is that Republicans have been using code words to talk about abortion. "We will nominate strict constructionists" or "we will nominate judges who use original intent." The Republicans have been very respectful of the Supreme Court and have been using process-arguments.

Trump is not very respectful of the Supreme Court. Good! Trump is not a lawyer and he naturally uses a result-oriented argument. "I will nominate a pro-lifer to the Supreme Court." Nobody has ever said that before! Nobody has ever made that promise. That is a partisan promise that one of his nominees will be pro-life. Implicitly, he will ask them, "Are you pro-life?"

Many judges try to duck this question. They should not! They should answer it, and put the pro-life movement squarely into the equal protection clause. It's mandated by the equal protection clause. "No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The Supreme Court said the unborn baby was not a person, and had no right to life. The pro-life movement insists the unborn baby is a person, a human being with a right to life.

Nobody on the Supreme Court has ever been pro-life in their jurisprudence. President Trump has given a pro-lifer the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about how the Constitution protects all human beings.

My belief is that the Supreme Court has to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn child. They have to say, "the unborn baby is a person with a right to life." They have to declare that the equal protection clause will apply to them. This does not mean that life begins at conception. The life-or-death point is a matter of state law. But it means when you reverse Roe v. Wade and send it back to the states, you should not simply let states start killing newborns or whatever vicious thing a state wants to do. A baby is a person with a right to life!

What this means is that states in good faith have to determine that the abortions they allow are not homicides. And you do that by writing a death statute that defines when a human being dies. Thinking about the death of a baby is emotionally difficult. But it's how we resolve this. We answer the life-or-death question, and we use state law (death statutes) to do it.

Of course a state can change its death statute. But whatever rule a state adopts, that rule has to apply to all people, including unborn people. That's the genius of equal protection! We make our rules fair when they apply to all of us.

Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...

Or to put it in a simpler way:

the Constitution does not forbid abortion

the Constitution forbids defining human beings as non-persons and killing them

the tricky part is how we answer the kill question.

and I think the answer has to be, state law

Paul Snively said...

FWIW, I'm a Missouri Synod Lutheran, adopted, and roughly as anti-abortion as it's possible to be, and all I want is exactly what President-elect Trump says: for the issue to go back to the states, just like capital punishment. In other words, I'm with that horrible right-wing loon, Louis Brandeis: "a state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country."

If that means some of us would feel compelled to vote with our feet more: good!

Saint Croix said...

for the issue to go back to the states, just like capital punishment

That's a very strong argument, Paul!

What you are saying, I think, is that states can kill some people in strictly defined ways. For instance, we can kill somebody who has committed murder. And you are arguing that abortion is analogous to that. It's a killing, but it's up to the state to determine if that killing is allowed.

I don't want to put words in your mouth. Have I stated your argument correctly?

Saint Croix said...

I think just about every pro-lifer would be happy with a judge who is determined to overrule Roe v. Wade.

We might call this judge anti-Roe or anti-abortion.

But there is an opportunity here to nominate a judge who is pro-life, which is to say, sees the baby as a person with a right to life. Such a judge can talk about why we want to overrule Roe v. Wade. Because a baby's humanity has been denied, and we object to that.

It might be a bad idea to have this conversation at the confirmation hearing. But my (strong!) opinion is that overruling such a big case like Roe requires a justification. And the pro-life movement supplies that justification.

mockturtle said...

Saint Croix, I see your objection. Though I am firmly against abortion, I believe states have the constitutional autonomy to decide this issue, rather than to allow the federal government's heavy-handed approach to override the conscience of an individual state. This would apply to same-sex marriage, as well, and some of these petty 'bathroom' laws.

Step One should be to return more power to the states. It is to be hoped that all states would, as a result of public pressure, begin to see abortion for what it is: The killing of an innocent human life.

Saint Croix said...

To think of this another way...

The Roe dissenters have been saying for 40 years that abortion is not in the Constitution, that this is undemocratic. 2 people said it in Roe v. Wade itself. 4 people said it in Casey. The dissenters have made the same argument over and over.

The pro-life movement is something different. The pro-life movement says that the baby is a person who has a right to life.

Nobody has said that on the Supreme Court. This is an argument that tens of millions of Americans believe.

Scalia mentions the pro-life movement in his Casey dissent. But what he does not do is accept the argument. He does not say, and has never said, that the baby is a person with a right to life.

Pro-lifers say this all the time. It's what we believe. So when Mr. Trump said he was putting a pro-lifer on the Supreme Court, it might mean that he is putting a person on the Court who believes in his heart that the unborn child has a right to life.

In other words, what has been unspoken at the highest levels of government can now be said.

Saint Croix said...

Step One should be to return more power to the states.

It may be that as one or more pro-lifers arrive on the Supreme Court, the other Justices start to panic that the baby's humanity will be recognized, and all abortions forbidden. That might hasten the process of overruling Roe.

In any event, we have never had a single Justice say, "the unborn baby is a person with a right to life." I would like somebody to say it! It's bizarre to me, how this obvious argument that tens of millions of people believe has never been made.

Saint Croix said...

To give you another example of how applying the equal protection clause would work...

A state might want to say that "life begins when the baby's heart starts to beat, and life ends her heart stops beating."

That would put the beginning of life at 4 weeks (I think, doing it from memory). Because our hearts start beating before we have any brain activity.

It would also mean that doctors are committing a homicide when they do a heart transplant. Because when you do a heart transplant, you are taking out a beating heart.

I do not think doctors are committing a homicide when they take out a beating heart. Because the standard for life-or-death, in all 50 states, is brain activity. It's unanimous!

But there were legal cases about this, because doctors started doing heart transplants even while death was defined as heart stopping. The practice of medicine leaped forward before the practice of law, and the practice of law had to catch up.

In the case of abortion, the practice of law leaped forward before the practice of medicine. They dictated arbitrary rules, without regard to anything. The only people doing abortions were non-doctors and other sketchy people. For the first two years after Roe, states could not require that doctors had a medical license. The first abortion case after Roe had to resolve this stupidity, Connecticut v. Menillo.

The lawyer class and the ruling class want to hide all the evil shit they have done. But the low class people who make up the pro-life movement? They are in the right.

n.n said...
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Saint Croix said...

Menillio is a cover your ass opinion. The two things of note in that opinion are

footnote 2, where Blackmun has to admit that two states are reading his opinion to say that non-doctors have a constitutional right to do abortions.

and Mr. Justice White concurs in the result

White (a dissenter in Roe, refuses to join the Court's opinion. Why? Probably because of his disgust that the judicial opinion was so bad, non-doctors were performing abortions on women in at least two states, probably more. And nobody could stop them.

Note also that states could not protect the health and safety of women until Planned Parenthood v. Casey. It took the Court 19 years (and one woman on the Court!) to fix that screw up.

We need an actual pro-lifer on the Supreme Court, to push and fight for the baby's right to life. Otherwise these lawyers will keep allowing the atrocities to happen.

n.n said...

They have to declare that the equal protection clause will apply to them. This does not mean that life begins at conception.

Evolution of human life from conception is a truly inconvenient, scientific truth. Still, baby steps. One day, our Posterity will again receive equal protection. Until then, off with their heads.

Saint Croix said...

Actually it's three state supreme courts who read Roe v. Wade to allow non-doctors a constitutional right to do abortions. (I forgot Connecticut!)

Roughly 2.6 million abortions happened between Roe v. Wade and Connecticut v. Menillio.


Saint Croix said...

Evolution of human life from conception is a truly inconvenient, scientific truth.

I think conception is amazing! It's a miracle of creation. DNA is a blueprint for a human being. We ought to have way more respect for the creation of a human being than we do. Way more amazing than the creation of a building or a work of art or anything else we create. Creating a baby is something truly wonderful!

And the really cool thing is that we all can do it, no matter how poor or down we are. Just about anybody can have sex and make a baby. God, if you believe in God, has allowed us to participate in a miraculous and wonderful thing: the creation of a human child.

When we ignore this, when we lose respect for it, we have lost something. It's really bad to treat sex like it is sport and to forget the amazing, miraculous creation that goes along with sex.

This National Geographic movie should be a part of sex education throughout our land. We should rediscover the amazing and miraculous event that is the creation of a baby.

Saint Croix said...

And do not forget to purchase through the Althouse portal!

Saint Croix said...

The only people doing abortions were non-doctors and other sketchy people.

This is an exaggeration. Abortion was legal in several states prior to Roe.

Also I think a lot of abortion doctors were motivated by an urge to help women. Their motives were good.

coupe said...
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coupe said...

The fetus is always female to about the 6th week of pregnancy. Then the testosterone kicks in for male babies.

So most early abortions are attacks on women.

You ever notice that fat men have breasts?

That's because chronically obese men produce estrogen hormones. All men are born with mammary glands, but testosterone prevents development. Not only that, with all the estrogen swimming around, the penis begins shrinking.

I learned this in Psychology 101, in the last century, so I'm not quoting anyone :-)

Saint Croix said...

Always a good idea to think about Dr. Bernard Nathanson.

Great obituary in the NYT. Thank you for that.

Saint Croix said...
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n.n said...

Saint Croix:

You're right. Just when I thought they were intellectually honest, they frame human rights with a negative perspective. It's not pro-life, but rather anti-abortion.

“For the first time, we could really see the human fetus, measure it, observe it, watch it, and indeed bond with it and love it,”

#CeciliaTheBaby could make all the difference in securing human rights. Pro-Choice has many motives, but in the general population it is caused by a dissociative disorder.

n.n said...

a lot of abortion doctors were motivated by an urge to help women. Their motives were good

But irreconcilable. It was a choice made in the heat of the moment. In any case, while elective abortion is a natural right, it seems quite insane to normalize it, then to compound the error with false and misleading testimony.

The popularity of the Pro-Choice quasi-religion is evidence that modern civilization is less prepared to cope with reality than its predecessors. This based on the observation that the quasi-religion's principles are internally, externally, and mutually inconsistent. Thus we have B. N. Nathanson, R.I.P., Norma McCorvey (a.k.a. Jane Roe), and others that, eventually, came to terms with the euphemistically named "choice".

Selective-child has implications and consequences for the individual and society that outpace similarly fashioned "one-child" doctrines. Perhaps well-meaning proponents believe that dissociation through "privacy", reduction, and misdirection will contain the contamination. It's quite an experiment.

n.n said...

A human life is a chaotic process. Throughout our lives there are unpredictable, recurring moments where we become less viable or inviable.

A related question... The defining question is: When and by whose choice does a human life acquire and retain value?

Paul Snively said...

Saint Croix: What you are saying, I think, is that states can kill some people in strictly defined ways. For instance, we can kill somebody who has committed murder. And you are arguing that abortion is analogous to that. It's a killing, but it's up to the state to determine if that killing is allowed.

Yes. It's a federalist argument. IMO, if we had a robustly federalist system, it would be commonplace for citizens of state A to consider citizens of state B to be irredeemable cave-dwellers because of issue C, but there would be so many such states and issues A, B, and C that the conflict would be reduced to a lot of eye-rolling (cf. any coastal state v. Texas). And people really would vote with their feet: if you believe abortion is murder, then chances are you're not going to willingly live in California, for example, but would move to one of the states that is already on the record as having anti-abortion legislation pending Roe v. Wade's overturning.

Really, the long and short of it is that I think a genuinely federalist United States would more closely resemble the EU in some key respects, while benefiting from a cultural homogeneity that would prevent the single-currency issue that afflicts the EU from afflicting us (although I should add that I believe it would be even better if the Fed were abolished, but the Fed being abolished is several orders of magnitude less likely than Roe v. Wade being overturned—but you never know; the US has lacked both a central bank and legal abortion on demand before, and there are sound arguments in favor of both).

Bad Lieutenant said...

In any event, we have never had a single Justice say, "the unborn baby is a person with a right to life." I would like somebody to say it! It's bizarre to me, how this obvious argument that tens of millions of people believe has never been made.


St C,

The justices are all part of the State.

The State never likes to give up power. Especially not power of life and death.

They may let the babies live, but they can kill 'em if they want to and don't forget it!

To them life isn't a right, it's a privilege.

I have no idea why liberals don't see that courts would gladly let the executive either forbid OR MANDATE abortions as suited notions of "public policy." Likewise I'm sure they'd love a reason to off old nonproducing people, if it wouldn't make them look bad.

Hey, it's logical. Skynet wouldn't hesitate a moment.

Glad you awoke and voted Trump.