Thinking Citizen Blog — Abortion — A Case of Raw Nerves

Thinking Citizen Blog — Saturday is the Justice Freedom, Law, and Values Day — the Nine Greatest Supreme Court Justices

Today’s Topic: Abortion — A Case of Raw Nerves

It’s tough not to get emotional about abortion. I have seen it. I have felt it. It’s a life and death thing. You don’t get more primal. Is there a right more basic than control of your own body? Is there a right more basic than the right to life? When, if ever, is your body only your own? When if ever is it a shared home for two souls? What’s the math and neurology of personhood? Is the devil in the details or are the details irrelevant? Today, a list of related questions organized into three categories. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate. Elucidate.

WHEN IF EVER IS THE FETUS A PERSON?

1. In Europe, abortion is legal in 95% of countries but is only available in limited cases after the first trimester. Does this first trimester rule make sense?

2. If not, does a second trimester rule make much more sense?

3. if not, what exactly are the mathematical, neurological, and ethical premises behind your position?

NB: Have you thought through alternative premises? Do you recognize their potential legitimacy? Have you walked a mile in the moccasins of the other side? Should this walking be part of the mandatory core curriculum of elementary schools? Middle schools? Should it be part of an integrated moral, mathematical, biological, psychological, historical, sociological, and economic course? My answer: yes.

GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE

1. When if ever should nine Supreme Court justices make a decision that thwarts the will of the people about something so basic?

2. Should not the decision be left to the legislative branch of government? 3. As Lincoln said with respect to the pro-slavery decision in Dred Scott (1857) to the extent that we leave important decisions to the Court, we cease to be rulers of ourselves.

ARE CERTAIN RIGHTS SO BASIC THEY SHOULD BE BEYOND THE REACH OF MAJORITIES?

1. Is the right of the fetus to life one of those?

2. Is the right of the woman to control her body one of those?

3. Is there a time line that makes sense morally, legally, constitutionally?

NB: In West Virginia v Barnette (1943), the Court over-ruled Minersville v Gobitis (1940) decided just three years earlier. The rationale: “The very purpose of the Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.” Does this view apply more to the rights of the woman or the fetus in the case of abortion?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion

Abortion in Europe

Abortion in the United States

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/30/opinion/supreme-court-roe-v-wade-dobbs.html

Opinion | The Case Against Abortion

https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-abortion-crossroads-at-the-supreme-court-dobbs-jackson-mississippi-john-roberts-11638311038

For the last four years of posts organized by theme:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to justice, freedom, the law or basic values. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to justice, freedom, the law, or basic values. Or just some random justice-related fact that blew you away.

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart.

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