Eminent Domain And the Big Lie

In a recent post, I suggested that if the pro-life movement lies about holding the fetus having an equal right to life as an adult, so does the left about their motives for protecting abortion. My suggestion was that the fire of the pro-abortion/pro-choice movement was hiding their real motive. Commenter jpe writes (defending the fire):

An analogy: property rights folks go nuts-o if an EPA bureaucrat tells them what they can do with their property, and doubly so if the proximate cause is the protection of some endangered species or other. The same intuition underlies the force of both. They only differ in the location of the objection, be it the body or one’s real property.

But we don’t go nuts when the government takes property, or even life with due process in general. The question is why is due process so far out of bounds and beyond the pale regarding abortion? Again, why the fire? The objections above are case specific, they are not tied to the right of the government to judge these things in principle, just that they did wrongly in specific cases. The same would be in the abortion adjudicated by jurist. There may be objections in specific cases, but why the general objection in principle?

Frequent commenter Jewish Atheist writes:

Your the crowd that inveighs against slippery slope arguments. Tell me, what problem do you specifically have against my view on correct political solution to the abortion question, court approval is required. Why is that so odious?

Really? So some bible-thumping judge in Georgia will have the power to refuse abortions as he sees fit? That scares the hell out of me.

Again, this is largely a smoke screen. See above, we object to the particular judgements of jurists in particular cases, like perhaps the above suggestion regarding EPA or seizure, we object to individual cases but however we don’t object to the right of the state to do so in principle.

Presumably there is not just “one” judge in Georgia. And besides, in my past postings on abortion and due process I never suggested the jurist had the right to outright refuse the abortion, just that he could assign barriers, such as community service, cash, or other such objects so that the state might be reassured that the person requesting the abortion is not doing this lightly. Granted this is not the normal thing that abortion opponents seek, but I fail to see the principled objection to that idea.

On the other hand there is a shortage of children compared to the supply of those willing or seeking children for adoption.

There is also a possibility that the abortion supporters hold their position so fervently because they are trying to deny and re-write via law that there are differences between the sexes. Women bear children. How unfair, although to which side this is unfair is less clear to me than it seems the left.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 comments

  1. Imagine a relatively poor woman living in, say, Rapid City, South Dakota. She desperately wants an abortion, but has neither a car nor paid sick leave. nor money for a hotel. She already has to travel 350 miles each way to get to the only abortion provider in the state due to most SD doctors being too intimidated to perform abortions, even if they have no personal objection to them.

    What kind of “barriers” might this SD judge add to her misery? Are you going to have exceptions for people living X miles from an abortion provider?

    Take a woman living anywhere with an abusive husband. If she goes to court to get a judge’s permission for an abortion, presumably it will become a matter of public record. She could be in danger. Even if the records are sealed, it’s just one more thing she has to hide from her husband.

    Finally, let’s look at the emotional toll your proposal would take on a woman. She’s likely already quite upset about the prospect of an abortion and now she’s going to feel like the state is punishing her and meddling where they really don’t belong. She already has to have freakin’ surgery, and you’re saying that community service is required to make sure she thinks about what she’s doing.

  2. Damn. Sorry about the run-on link. Maybe you should fix preview. 😉

  3. Mark says:

    JA,
    You’re answering by raising particular objections, not principle.

    Imagine a relatively poor woman living in, say, Rapid City, South Dakota. She can barely make rent, but has neither a car nor paid sick leave. nor money for a hotel. And now the state wants to take her home for community project, interstate, or community center.

    How unfair! What sort of protections does she have? Well, she lives in a democracy. Judges and those taking the process are accountable to the electorate. Just as in the abortion case.

    I’m not saying community service is required I said such is up to the discretion of the jurist in order to insure that the person is not taking the decision lightly.

    Regarding the abusive husband, you raise an interesting point. Community service and fines it seems to me just as well might be shared by the father. And the fact that she must relate in court that she fears for her life/safety from the husband might give her the impetus to actually seek shelter and release from said husband (and call him to the attention of the law on that regard as well).

  4. Mark says:

    JA,
    Actually, on one regard, you very well might have the emotional toll backwards. Going to court, being assigned service or so what, may likely be regarded by her as expiation and release (societal approval) from the emotional burden she is bearing on her own. That is, the emotional toll may actually be less by sharing the burden of her decision with society at large.

  5. You’re answering by raising particular objections, not principle.

    I think the principle is wrong, too, but particular objections are even stronger because they aren’t as much a matter of opinion as of fact. All the principles in the world aren’t going to help that poor woman in SD.

    How unfair! What sort of protections does she have? Well, she lives in a democracy. Judges and those taking the process are accountable to the electorate. Just as in the abortion case.

    I don’t understand your point, here. We’re discussing whether your proposal is a good idea, not whether it would be constitutional.

    I’m not saying community service is required I said such is up to the discretion of the jurist in order to insure that the person is not taking the decision lightly.

    And no doubt some jurists would be awfully stringent with their community service requirements and any other barriers they can come up with.

    Regarding the abusive husband, you raise an interesting point. Community service and fines it seems to me just as well might be shared by the father.

    What if the father is opposed to the abortion?

    And the fact that she must relate in court that she fears for her life/safety from the husband might give her the impetus to actually seek shelter and release from said husband (and call him to the attention of the law on that regard as well).

    That sounds like dangerous wishful thinking to me.

    Actually, on one regard, you very well might have the emotional toll backwards. Going to court, being assigned service or so what, may likely be regarded by her as expiation and release (societal approval) from the emotional burden she is bearing on her own. That is, the emotional toll may actually be less by sharing the burden of her decision with society at large.

    It’s possible. It’s also possible (and it strikes me as more likely) that she’ll feel like she’s being treated like some kind of criminal just for having an abortion.

  6. Just to elaborate on the strict jurist: in ultra-conservative districts with elected judges, they will practically be forced to impose the greatest barriers the law allows.

  7. Mark says:

    JA,

    I don’t understand your point, here. We’re discussing whether your proposal is a good idea, not whether it would be constitutional.

    Yes exactly. You don’t argue that the EPA or eminent domain is a bad idea, just that in isolated cases it can lead to bad results. That’s what I’m try to get to here, why you think in general this is so objectionable.

    I think if the father is opposed to the abortion it should indeed be harder to obtain. I’ve always wondered why the abortion is thought only the woman’s decision, it’s not like the baby will impact her life alone or that she acted alone to get pregnant.

    Do you “feel like a criminal” every time you see a court? For traffic judgements? To get fishing licenses? And that’s my point, if she “feels like a criminal” then any barrier will act in an expiatory fashion.

  8. Yes exactly. You don’t argue that the EPA or eminent domain is a bad idea, just that in isolated cases it can lead to bad results. That’s what I’m try to get to here, why you think in general this is so objectionable.

    Because it’s none of the state’s business. The EPA is protecting citizens from each other. Eminent domain is working for the good of more citizens. Penance on women seeking abortions is completely outside the purview of the government.

    I think if the father is opposed to the abortion it should indeed be harder to obtain. I’ve always wondered why the abortion is thought only the woman’s decision, it’s not like the baby will impact her life alone or that she acted alone to get pregnant.

    It’s her body. Should a man need his wife’s permission to get a vasectomy?

    Do you “feel like a criminal” every time you see a court? For traffic judgements? To get fishing licenses? And that’s my point, if she “feels like a criminal” then any barrier will act in an expiatory fashion.

    We’re talking about an already stressful time and an incredibly divisive issue, here.

    Just out of curiosity, do you think people should be required to perform penance before, say, acquiring a firearm?

  9. Mark says:

    JA,
    On the vasectomy … I did (require permission that is). I don’t know if the requirement was state law, federal, or the doctors good sense. But she had to sign off.

    The EPA is protecting people from each other, and this is protecting the fetus from casual destruction.

    I’ve said before, this should be required before actions we as a society carry moral freight such as marriage, divorce, abortion, euthanasia.

  10. On the vasectomy … I did (require permission that is). I don’t know if the requirement was state law, federal, or the doctors good sense. But she had to sign off.

    That must have been the doctor’s decision; it’s certainly not the law anywhere in the U.S. that I’m aware of. Whether it’s good sense or not, I’ll leave as an exercise to the reader.

    The EPA is protecting people from each other, and this is protecting the fetus from casual destruction.

    The fetus is not a citizen, I’m pretty sure, nor a being that has human rights according to U.S. law.

    I’ve said before, this should be required before actions we as a society carry moral freight such as marriage, divorce, abortion, euthanasia.

    Is that a yes or a no?

  11. jpe says:

    But we don’t go nuts when the government takes property, or even life with due process in general.

    If asked, I’m sure I could find multiple blog posts by people noting that the Kelo decision was why the Second Amendment, the not-so-veiled implication of which is that interlopers should be shot dead. Speaking of which, recall the recent case in Texas of the man that called 911, noting that his neighbor’s house was being robbed. So indignant was he that another’s property was being seized that he shot (and killed?) them. And there was no shortage of people that applauded him.

    So yeah, people do go nutso over autonomy and private property. Heck, the founders went nutso enough to start a revolution over it.

  12. jpe says:

    I’ve always wondered why the abortion is thought only the woman’s decision, it’s not like the baby will impact her life alone or that she acted alone to get pregnant.

    Plainly put, it’s a solomonic problem: there’s no way to split the choice in two and give each their say. It’s an either/or, and we give the woman the benefit of the doubt because it’s her body that’s doing the hosting.

  13. Mark says:

    jpe,
    “People” go nutso over autonomy, however those people going nuts over that are typically on the right not left. The left goes nuts specifically over this particular issue regaring autonomy which triggers something which, I’m intimating, is the orgin of the lie. That is they are not being completely honest about their motivations.

    Solomon, as you’ll note, when the other way. That is favoring not killing the child.