Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Forced abortion, or consensual abortion, whats the diff.?

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Judge Samuel Alito's Nomination to the Supreme Court:
COBURN:
If I'm driving a car today and I hit a pregnant woman who has a 36-, 37-week fetus, and the woman survives and the fetus dies, I can be held accountable for the death of that fetus. And by law we value that as a life -- unborn but a life.

If I say -- I'm the pregnant woman -- I want to terminate that fetus at 37 weeks, there's nothing in this country today that keeps me from doing that, even though on one side of the law we say it's a life.

How did we get there to where it's not life or it is a life? Tell me. Can somebody logically explain that to the American people that how, if I kill it, it was a life, but if I choose to take it voluntarily, it's not a life?


If I go into a woman's house today and force her to have sex with me for 36-, 37- minutes, and the woman survives, I can be held accountable for having sex with that woman. And by law we value that chastity of the woman.

If I say -- I'm the woman -- I want to have sex with a man in my house for 37 minutes, there's nothing in this country today that keeps me from doing that, even though on one side of the law we say it's a rape.

How did we get there to where it's not rape or it is not a rape? Tell me. Can somebody logically explain that to the American people that how, if I fuck someone without permission, it was a rape, but if I choose to take it voluntarily, it's not a rape?

...and what does Alito say?
[T]ort [law] can be created that applies in the situation of the auto accident you mentioned, or a legislature may choose to structure the tort law differently.

But that's been a decision that's been left for the state legislatures to decide[...]

The second, of course, is the issue of Roe and the cases that follow after it. And those are based on an interpretation of the Fifth Amendment and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, and they are not the result of legislative decisions made at the state level or at the federal level.

Alito's answer is "good" only in the sense that it maximizes his chances of being appointed to the Court. Otherwise, he misses several obvious distinctions. I am sure tens of thousands of people are willing to educate Coburn and The American People why punishing a person who kills a fetus without the consent of the mother is different than punishing a woman who decides not to continue to allow a fetus to grow inside her, but I doubt he would want to listen.

On a related matter, I don't like the "life" vs. "choice" word battle. I think instead of choice the Senators could talk about a women's control over her own body, and frame the anti-abortion crowd as people who not only want to take away choice, but want to have control over women's bodies. Conservative anti-abortion policies could be tied into the Conservatives' desire to control end of life decisions by not letting people choose to refuse medical care; Conservatives' desire to control what medicine people can take by outlawing medical marijuana; Conservatives' desire to control with whom and how you can have sex by outlawing consensual sex between homosexuals or even sodomy or oral sex between a married couple of a man and a woman; Conservatives' desire to control you family planning by eliminating access to birth control. Its more than a woman's choice, it is control over our bodies.

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