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Don’t Settle for Roe

It’s time for Supreme Court nominee hearings, and that means it’s time, once again, for politicians to wring their hands about Roe v. Wade. A 2003 email from Judge Kavanaugh, then working in the executive branch, has surfaced in which he was asked if lawyers should regard Roe as “settled law.” “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level,” he wrote.

As an historian I am not sure what, exactly, the term “settled law” means since history seems to demonstrate that no precedent is beyond challenge. Rather than asking if Roe v. Wade is, somehow, “settled,” we should ask if it is good law. As a constitutional matter, that it very much open for debate. We can do better. We should not settle for Roe.

To understand the problem with Roe we have to consider it from a different perspective than the usual one. The question is not “should abortion be legal,” or even, perhaps “under what conditions should it be legal.” The question is who should decide such questions. If we believe that we are “created equal,” then abortion is, in America in 2018 at least, an issue on which “we the people” ought to be able to legislate.

Just about everyone agrees that abortion involves conflicting rights claims—between a woman and a gestating baby. Supporters of legal abortion like to simplify their argument as a defense of “a woman’s right to control her body.” Yet except for a few fanatics, such as Professor Peter Singer of Princeton, who goes so far as to assert that one may even kill a child after it has been born with no moral qualms, everyone recognizes that there are two persons involved. Almost everyone concedes that, barring serious health concerns, abortion ought not to be legal late in a pregnancy.

Most Americans believe abortion should be, as a general rule, prohibited after three months. That would be a common international standard. In France, for example, it is legal at will only for twelve weeks, after that it is legal only is two doctors agree that bringing the baby to term would have serious health consequences. In the U.S., by contrast, late term abortion is, in law, much easier to obtain.

Brain waves begin at roughly day forty. That might square with the idea of a “person” being present once there is a functioning brain that has the potential for consciousness. Basic biology suggests that a baby is an embryo for eight weeks and a fetus for the remaining seven months of pregnancy. That would seem to be a plausible line. The “pro-life” view is that life begins at conception (a unique life with human DNA exists at conception. To kill it is to take a human life.) Many Americans disagree. Many who consider themselves “pro-choice” would suggest that when the baby is viable outside the womb it should enjoy legal protection.

In short, the question, as everyone who is not an intellectual or a fanatic concedes, is about competing rights claims of gestating baby and the woman who is carrying that baby. Alternatively, we might say the debate is about at what point in development a baby rightfully deserves legal protection. The question is, therefore, precisely the kind of question that, in a democratic republic, belongs to “we the people.” When the issue is how one person should life his or her own life, or how they ought to associate with others, our republican premises suggest we should, as a rule, trust individuals. But when we’re talking about the life and death of another person, there is obviously, a case where the law might be involved.

To understand why this issue belongs to “we the people,” acting in our legislative capacity, it might help to ponder the question of human equality. As little reflection shows that if we take seriously the proposition that we are created equal, then this issue is one that belongs in the political arena.

In what sense are we equal? The founders wrestled with that question. It is certainly not in talent, in aptitude, or in other such things. John Adams, who never used one example when fifteen would do, put the question this way, “But what are we to understand here by equality? Are the citizens to be all of the same age, sex, size, strength, stature, activity, courage, hardiness, industry, patience, ingenuity, wealth, knowledge, fame, wit, temperance, constancy, and wisdom? Was there, or will there ever be, a nation, whose individuals were all equal, in natural and acquired qualities, in virtues, talents, and riches? The answer of all mankind must be in the negative.”

How, then are we equal? We are equal in the right to make moral judgments or “to pursue happiness,” as the Declaration puts it. That’s why Adams wrote in the Spring of 1776, “the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue.” And Washington reminded us in his first Inaugural Address, “there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.” We cannot be happy, we cannot pursue virtue, unless we are free to manage our own affairs.

Equal citizens cannot abdicate the responsibility to think seriously about the great questions of right and wrong. But we humans are not isolated individuals. We tend to live in communities and those communities have laws. When it comes to making laws with regard to, say, the engineering standards for bridges, we are not equal. Most of us would be unable to do the math. But when deciding how to negotiate competing rights claims of two people, things are different. To deny that the average citizen can be trusted to participate in discussions about difficult moral questions, and to deny that such questions ought to be in the political arena, and have legislative consequences, is to point back to the world of aristocracy—where the “better sort,” academics, judges, or some other distinct class, have the right, even the duty, to tell the rest of us how to behave.

The brute fact underlying the argument here is a politically incorrect one. The same “Creator” who “endowed” us with our rights, created a human species that, to state the obvious, does not lay eggs. An embryo and then a fetus gestates inside an adult human being. As just about everyone agrees, at some point in time that fact becomes legally relevant. The question is who decides when that is the case.

In a famous passage, Thomas Jefferson quipped, “State a moral case to a ploughman & a professor. The former will decide it as well, & often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.” Elsewhere, he noted that each of us has a “moral sense,” the ability to distinguish right from wrong. Of all peoples a republican one is the last kind which may assert that any class or group has a monopoly on virtue or the ability to make moral judgments. Aptitude for moral judgment, we presume, is distributed equally, or equally randomly across classes and professions. To deny that proposition is to assert that we the people are unfit for both liberty and for self-government. It points us back to the Old Word where, as Jefferson put it, “every man here must be either the hammer or the anvil.”  Adams put it this way. Men are not to be “ridden like horses, fleeced like sheep.”

It is usually a bad idea simply trust one person with the choice regarding the life and death of another. As Madison noted in Federalist 10, “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause; because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.” And women are no less (presumably no more) liable to take the easy way out, or to act in a self-interested manner than are men. We have checks and balances in our system because, as Madison noted in Federalist 51, we humans are not angels. We have a tendency to be self-interested, to take moral short-cuts, to trample on the rights of others if given the chance—as history documents so well.

John Adams put it this way: “It is weakness rather than wickedness, which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power.” We are, he noted, prone to deceive ourselves, to mistake the convenient for the just and/or reasonable. Adams was quite willing to admit he might be the one who was deceiving himself when he emphasized the need for checks and balances: “I may be deceived as much as any of them, when I Say, that Power must never be trusted without a Check.” That is why the public has the right to regulate when and under what conditions abortion may be legal. It is the job of we the people, acting in our legislative capacity, to find answers to questions where rights claims come into conflict.

Because of the abomination that was Jim Crow, and some of the legal means that were, in the event, necessary to bring it to an end, we Americans have become all too comfortable with the proposition that moral issues are, ultimately, for the Supreme Court to decide. To take that case as the norm, rather than the exception, is to abdicate our rights and responsibilities as citizens. But few issues are Jim Crow. Abortion certainly is not. In 1973, the Supreme Court made the mistake of treating abortion as if it were such a case. The result has been the culture war.

A restoration of legislative rights to the people, might restore a measure of moderation to our politics. Only by having such discussions, often heated and even contentious, can we have the ability truly to get to know and understand our fellow citizens, and to recognize them as fellow citizens. Only then can we follow Lincoln’s advice that we act “With malice toward none” and “with charity for all.” By taking moral issues out of the political arena our Courts have allowed us no options other than shouting and community organizing. We don’t truly have to listen to the other side when the legislative power is null, for neither sides words have any practical impact.. The result is growing ugly. It is making us a nation of tribes.

Allowing us, forcing us, to work to pass legislation can open things up. The laws that result, perhaps, at least at first, fifty different sets of compromises, will satisfy few entirely, but only by restoring our legislative rights can we hope to be forced truly to listen to each other’s arguments and forge the compromises that can steer us away from Civil War. Once we begin to resurrect our legislative rights, then we can begin to focus on what answers to the moral debates of our times are themselves most congruent with the proposition that all men are created equal.

Reader Discussion

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on September 14, 2018 at 12:34:56 pm

With all due respect, to state that “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...is to state the obvious, that from the moment of our creation, when we are brought into being in both Time and Space, every human person, has been created in The Image of God, equal in Dignity, while being complementary as a beloved son or daughter. Our Founding Fathers recognized our unalienable Right to Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness, which exists for all human persons in every point of Time and Space in God’s Universe, is not endowed to us from “We The People”.
Our Founding Fathers recognized that God, The Most Holy and Undivided Blessed Trinity (Treaty of Paris to end The Revolutionary War), The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage (In The
Beginning, Genesis...) Has endowed us with our unalienable Right to Life, to Liberty, and to the Pursuit of Happiness from the moment of our creation, which is the moment of our conception, not the moment we come forth from our Mother’s womb.

To deny this self-evident truth from the start, is to deny that every son or daughter of a human person can only be, in essence, a human person, and will always result in an error in substantive and thus procedural due process law.

An error in precedent will always beget an error in precedent, in this, there is no debate. To deny the essence of personhood, is to deny The Common Good. In fact, ever time we have denied the essence of being a beloved son or daughter, we have suffered greatly both individually and as a Nation.

'No Man is an Island'
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Olde English Version
No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man
is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;
if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe
is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as
well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine
owne were; any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

MEDITATION XVII
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
John Donne

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Nancy
on September 14, 2018 at 13:28:18 pm

No matter what happens, rich women will still be able to get abortions. Let's hope that birth control is not affected, since Kavanaugh seems to show he has some confusion between birth control and abortion.

But of course women shouldn't have rights--after all, they're not 'men'. And once the child is born, it's clearly only the woman's responsibility and the safety net should continue to be cut for some reason or other.

This is what some conservatives actually think.

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excessivelyperky
on September 14, 2018 at 14:21:23 pm

"This is what some conservatives actually think."

So now little perky one is a mind-reader; then again, perhaps it is nothing more than delusions brought on by toxic fumes that perky sniffs!!!!

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gargamel rules smurfs
on September 14, 2018 at 16:06:00 pm

Some conservatives actually think that a child's life has intrinsic value independent of the existence of a boyfriend or government safety net.

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Donkey Joto
on September 14, 2018 at 16:08:13 pm

Hey, I'm not settling for Roe. I want Chevron and Kelo too.

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Bubba Bowie
on September 14, 2018 at 19:00:05 pm

... and we can discuss: the destructive effects of elective abortion on women ... and the racial genocide we are allowing abortion clinics to perpetrate on black communities ... and the pain it inflicts on babies in the womb.

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DougG
on September 14, 2018 at 20:05:36 pm

I suspect that the Democrats keep pushing the "settle law" argument because they are aware of how poorly reasoned the "Roe vs Wade" decision actually was from a legal standpoint. The decision was not just illogical and incoherent, but the Court made only a feeble attempt to connect it to the Constitution. As a practical matter, ruling that the people through their various legislators had no right to address this issue, the decision created the ongoing controversy that we live with today.

I can't think of another Supreme Court decision that needs to be sent to the dustbin more than "Roe vs Wade".

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Archimedes
on September 15, 2018 at 12:16:09 pm

Absotively - Very well said.

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gabe
on September 15, 2018 at 12:39:58 pm

I can; Wickard v. Filburn.

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EK
on September 15, 2018 at 18:04:18 pm

Hmmm! Roger THAT!!!!

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gabe
on September 16, 2018 at 10:06:35 am

“If we believe that we are “created equal,” then abortion is, in America in 2018 at least, an issue on which “we the people” ought to be able to legislate.“

If we believe that being in essence, a son or daughter of a human person, is a State Right Issue, or something that is to be legislated through commerce, as if a son or daughter of a human person can be, in essnce, a commodity, or perhaps the Legislative, Executive, or even Judiciary Branch of Government, we have already erred in our judgement regarding personhood. There has never been a moment in Time or Space that a human person has conceived a son or daughter, who was not, from the moment of their conception, a human person.

Abortion, like slavery, or reordering persons according to sexual desire/inclination, all objectify the human person, and deny the essence of the human person as a beloved son or daughter, which first and foremost, by denying the inherent Dignity of the human person, as a beloved son or daughter, denies our inherent, unalienable Right to Life, to Liberty, and to the Pursuit of Happiness, which is unconstitutional.

The Mystery of Life Clause, because it renders onto Caesar or oneself what belongs to God, by stating that “liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”, is consistent with atheistic materialism. Denying that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage, necessarily denies our unalienable Right to Life, to Liberty, and to The Pursuit of Happiness, which can only be endowed to us from The True God, the purpose of which can only be, what God intended.

One cannot be serving The Common Good, while denying The Ordered Communion Of Perfect Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, for only The Truth of Love can set us free, and lead us to Salvation.

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N.D.
on September 16, 2018 at 11:43:27 am

Thus we can know through both Faith and reason, that what overturned Dred Scott was both The Spirit of The law, and the spirit of our Constitution:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...

For our Founding Fathers, did not state, unanimously, that all naturalized citizens of The United States are Created equal, but all men, and there does not exist a son or daughter of a human person, who is not also a member of mankind, thus every son or daughter of a human being, from the moment of their creation, when they exist in Time and Space, is endowed with their unalienable Right to Life, to Liberty, and to The Pursuit of Happiness, the purpose of which, can only be, what God intended.

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N.D.
on September 16, 2018 at 13:50:03 pm

That should read:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...” - The Declaration Of Independence.

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N.D.
on September 16, 2018 at 15:12:05 pm

My own tradition is that the first and perhaps the only natural liberty or right is liberty of conscience. Accordingly, we hold that fundamental unit of religion is the individual. We also hold that the fundamental unit of civil society is a pair bonded in marriage, which we think of as a civil contract.

We do go further and hold that when two religiously harmonious individuals marry their chief duty is to form the first church of the family and assiduously catechize their children on their experience with life, love and religion and then let them accept or reject what they have been taught when they are emancipated.

We have no strong objections to non-heterosexual pair bonds and heterosexual pair bonds that assiduously practice birth control and resort to abortion, that is a civil matter; but we do think that as far as civil society is concerned such marriages are essentially sterile. While they certainly benefit the pair bond, and no one should have to live alone, on their own they will have little or no ability to transmit our culture and life experiences on to future generations of the community.

Our problem is that the Supreme Court seems intent on stamping out our local communities, associations and traditions and substituting something that is sterile and grounded in nothing more substantial than the ids of the people involved and obscure citations to the Supreme Court Reporter in its place.

We think this is tyranny, no matter how sweet, sirupy and dripping with natural rights rhetoric the language may be.

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EK
on September 17, 2018 at 05:52:31 am

[…] Styling Family-Friendly Tech for the Digital Age – Rachel Lanz, National Catholic Register Don’t Settle for Roe – Richard Samuelson Ph.D., Law and Liberty Monks of Tibhirine to be Beatified in Algeria in […]

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MONDAY MORNING EDITION – Big Pulpit
on September 17, 2018 at 10:55:31 am

A word on practicalities:

"No matter what happens, rich women will still be able to get abortions. Let’s hope that birth control is not affected, since Kavanaugh seems to show he has some confusion between birth control and abortion."

I've read that a person can induce an abortion by taking an overdose of birth control pills. In that case, I don't know whether I would say that Kavanaugh exhibits confusion on this point.

But it raises a larger point: Would opponents of abortion seek to ban birth control pills? And even if they did try to do so, how effective could they be?

I know of no jurisdiction that has succeeded in banning abortions; indeed, historically abortions were most prevalent in Latin American countries where they were completely outlawed. In a world in which medicines arrive by mail, and where telemedicine permits patients to interact with doctors in other jurisdiction (including other countries), how practical is it to ban abortion?

I sense the practicalities may not matter to partisans in this fight, as the issue has become symbolic. Even as abortion rates have now fallen below the levels experienced before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, people continue to object to the Roe decision as if it had some relationship to the rate of abortion. I suspect the relationship between abortion's legality and abortion's prevalence has never been lower.

As a practical matter, if we want to reduce the abortion rate, we'll need to crank up the police state to 11. But consider how long we've been trying to stamp out illegal drugs. If we add abortion-inducing drugs to the list of banned substances, do we really think that that ban will be any more effective?

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nobody.really
on September 17, 2018 at 11:01:51 am

ENOUGH WITH NO MAN ALREADY.

I've been nobody.really for years. So when do *I* get to be an island, huh? Huh? Where is the justice in that?

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nobody.really
on September 17, 2018 at 13:47:07 pm

Really? Check again, data man!

Also please note that there were approx 45 MILLION abortions. Take your silly ass statistics and re-manipulate them again, so that you can advance your spurious assertions better than the last attempt.

Between 1970 and 2014, CDC reports nearly 44.5 million legal induced abortions.

Note that there is a large decrease in reported abortions between 1997 and 1998. This is because CDC's reporting areas were reduced from 52 in 1997 to 47 in 1998. The actual decline from 1997 to 1998 in those 47 reporting areas was only 2%.

Note: Not all states reported for each year. See citation for list of states not reporting.[2]
Year Number of abortions
reported to CDC Induced abortions
ratio per 1,000
live births CDC Abortion
Surveillance Report

Year total Rate / 1000
1970 193,491 52 [2]
1971 485,816 137 [2]
1972 586,760 180 [2]
1973 615,831 196 [2]
1974 763,476 242 [2]
1975 854,853 272 [2]
1976 988,267 312 [2]
1977 950,675 325 [2]
1978 1,157,776 347 [2]
1979 1,251,921 358 [3]
1980 1,297,606 359 [4]
1981 1,300,760 358 [5]
1982 1,303,980 354 [2]
1983 1,268,987 349 [2]
1984 1,333,521 364 [6]
1985 1,328,570 354 [7]
1986 1,328,112 354 [8]
1987 1,353,671 356 [9]
1988 1,371,285 352 [10]
1989 1,396,658 346 [11]
1990 1,429,247 345 [12]
1991 1,388,937 339 [13]
1992 1,359,145 335 [14]
1993 1,330,414 321 [15]
1994 1,267,415 334 [16]
1995 1,210,883 311 [17]
1996 1,221,585 314 [18]
1997 1,186,039 274 [19]
1998 884,273 264 [20]
1999 861,789 256 [21]
2000 857,475 246 [22]
2001 853,485 246 [23]
2002 854,122 246 [24]
2003 848,163 241 [25]
2004 839,226 238 [26]
2005 820,151 233 [27]
2006 852,385 236 [28]
2007 827,609 231 [29]
2008 825,564 234 [30]
2009 789,217 227 [31]
2010 765,651 228 [32]
2011 730,322 219 [33]
2012 699,202 210 [34]
2013 664,435 200 [35]
2014 652,639 186 [36]
Total 45,151,389

Ah, just a minor detail, I suppose. It is much ado about nothing according to nobody really.

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gabe
on September 17, 2018 at 15:16:04 pm

”Even as abortion rates have now fallen below the levels experienced before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, people continue to object to the Roe decision as if it had some relationship to the rate of abortion. I suspect the relationship between abortion’s legality and abortion’s prevalence has never been lower.”

"Really? Check again, data man!"

1. Please feel free to skip the formalities and call me by my first name.

2. And gabe—you cited … facts! I’m overwhelmed. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now, let’s look at those facts. See the line for 1973: What was the reported abortion rate per 1000 live births? 196.

Now look at the last year for which you provide data, 2014: What was the reported abortion rate for 1000 live births? 186. And it’s my understanding that this declining trend has continued.

In short, it appears that nation-wide legalization of abortion is NOT what drives the abortion rate. The abortion rate is now lower than it was in 1973. We can speculate about why, but I remain skeptical that repeal of nation-wide legalization would trigger much of a decline in abortion. And the CDC’s statistics only bolster my view.

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nobody.really
on September 17, 2018 at 17:38:56 pm

It is all ABOUT speculation. Base population is LARGER; usaully as that number grows, the rate of any action is reduced.

Could also be that so many of those Baby Boomer lefties that were proud to support (and have an) abortion on now blessed with "matronly butts" and hardly candidates for the procedure.
Haven't you argued that US population is getting older; consequence would be fewer women of child bearing age.

Just some examples. To show the complexity of statistics and I reaffirm my statements that oftentimes what is most important in statistical analyses is what is left out, n'est-ce pas?

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gabe
on September 17, 2018 at 18:09:08 pm

We have no strong objections to non-heterosexual pair bonds and heterosexual pair bonds that assiduously practice birth control and resort to abortion, that is a civil matter; but we do think that as far as civil society is concerned such marriages are essentially sterile. While they certainly benefit the pair bond, and no one should have to live alone, on their own they will have little or no ability to transmit our culture and life experiences on to future generations of the community.

What interest does government have in ANY form of marriage? Let me suggest three interests.

Procreation: The US government may or may not care that people procreate. (Currently the US can expand its labor supply almost indefinitely simply by letting in more immigrants.) But government presumably DOES care that residents who choose to procreate do so well; after all, kids born in the US will continue to impact that US for a long time—long beyond the point where government can hold the parents responsible. In short, procreation is a form of EXTERNALITY. Thus, government may want to motivate people to do things that promote the long-term health of any child who will be with us for the long term—such as discouraging maternal drinking and smoking; encouraging pre-natal health care, etc.

Child rearing: Government relies on having people able to contribute labor and capital. Moreover, government must bear the cost of anti-social behavior that people engage in. Thus, government has an incentive to get kids educated and socialized in ways that promote, and do not detract, from government’s interests.

Mutual aid pacts: Government provides a social safety net for people who have difficulty providing for themselves and who lack other forms of support. Mutual aid pacts—blood relatives, marriage partners, friends, churches, unions, insurance policies, etc.—can reduce the burdens that government would otherwise bear. Thus, government creates some policies promoting such pacts.

Aspects of these three interests can get bound up in a hodge-podge of policies we lump together under the title "civil marriage." Male/female couples trigger all three interests. Same-sex couples trigger the second and third interests. I see no reason why the child-rearing and mutual aid policies we have in place for male/female couples should not also apply to same-sex couples. But those policies exist because the couple's conduct has consequences extending beyond the couple--consequences government has an interest in influencing. Thus, I dispute the idea that government recognition of same-sex marriage only effect the people in the marriage, and do not influence future generations.

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nobody.really
on September 17, 2018 at 18:42:55 pm

Haven’t you argued that US population is getting older; consequence would be fewer women of child bearing age.

Nice scrutinizing of the data! How can we explain the trends?

In this case, the data is reported as abortions per 1000 live births. It's not clear how people who are not "of child bearing age" could influence the statistic. But, of course, the boundary between being "of child bearing age" or not is not clear-cut. So how 'bout this:

Some percentage of women who find themselves pregnant will have abortions. But this may be especially common among younger women who can anticipate having more opportunities to have kids in the future. Older women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant may be less inclined to abort the pregnancy, knowing that they may not have another opportunity. And as older women grow as a share of the population, maybe we should expect to find this dynamic resulting in a decreasing abortion rate.

Not bad, huh?

That said, I don't know if this explains the dynamics we observe in 2014. We have two big demographic bulges: Baby Boomers and the Millennials. Baby Boomers are now in their 50s--really beyond the point of influencing birth or abortion statistics. Among potential breeders, Millenials clearly outnumber Baby Boomers; the 20-somethings took over the maternity wards as of 2009.

In any event, none of this really bears on the fact that LEGALIZATION has not been the driving force in changing abortion rates--at least, not for decades.

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nobody.really
on September 17, 2018 at 19:37:20 pm

BTW:

Have you seen the studies, well, actually surveys, that purport to show that Millennials are less disposed to abortion than were previous generations. Also, it could be that the large influx of Central Americans who still have a strong religious affiliation may play a role - but who knows?
I also suspect that the availability and use of contraception has increased thus forestalling the need for the procedure.

I concur - there is much more to be examined for the trend that you cite.
As for me, I am content that the rate appears to be declining.

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gabe
on September 24, 2018 at 08:16:38 am

Pregnancy is, for human persons, the begetting of a human person (s), a son or daughter(s).
Regardless of jurisdiction, a right to privacy does not release the mother or father of a son or daughter from the responsibility of bearing that child, and thus their responsibility of providing that son or daughter with the adequate nutrition and shelter that is necessary to sustain that son or daughter’s life.
One cannot be “promoting the general welfare of a nation and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”, while destroying the life of a beloved son or daughter, simultaneously.

Don’t settle for Roe, because Roe denies both The Spirit Of The Law, and the spirit of our Constitution.

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Nancy
on September 27, 2019 at 15:41:12 pm

[…] Don’t Settle for Roe, by RICHARD SAMUELSON, Law and Liberty, SEPTEMBER 14, 2018 […]

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Image of Could Your Conflict Over Abortion Lead to the Crisis/Climax in the Story of the United States? – The Drama of America
Could Your Conflict Over Abortion Lead to the Crisis/Climax in the Story of the United States? – The Drama of America

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