Wednesday, March 01, 2006

More "Fun" With Abortion

Over at Oliver Willis' site (whom I read pretty regularly, but disagree with about 50% of the time), he's posted more information on South Dakota's push to ban abortion.

Should any doctor assist in any way to help a woman terminate a pregnancy, they would recieve 5 years imprisonment. Even John McCain believes that exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the mother should be permitted.

Pro-life advocates often complain that activist judges have taken away their ability to have a say in the abortion debate. They aren't wrong in their complaints, but these actions are the same activism, in reverse. The people didn't vote on these measures, polling indicates that they don't believe in the utter-severity of these measures, and having a Governor decide what's best for women's health/rights/life is just as unacceptable as having a Supreme Court Justice decide it.


At 12:45 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Brother man. Good to see your back and kickin' it as usual. Since I agree with most of the post, let me tackle the one part I do not agree with.

"and having a Governor decide what's best for women's health/rights/life is just as unacceptable as having a Supreme Court Justice decide it."

Actually, no it isn't. And for several reasons.
1) Here, it was not only the Governor, but the elected legislature that decided to employ this measure;
2) While we may rightly think that we don't want anyone telling us what to do, it is the objective (and a stated one at that) of the legislature to, well, legislate;
3) It is decidedly not the province of the judiciary to legislate;
4) While this provision may be disfavored by a majority (and reasonably so), the whole purpose of a representative democracy is that the people don't legislate by polling, the people pick a limited group of people to legislate for them. As anyone familiar with the government in California, governing by referendum is more often than not, a very big mistake;
5) Unlike the legislature, the "Supreme Court," is removed from public opinion entirely. Not only are the Supreme Court's opinions virtually inviolable (absent a Constitutional Amendment, and we all know how easy those are to pass), but they are separated from the people by entire level of representative democracy (i.e., people choose the President (and Senate), and they choose the people to put on the Court);
6) If the people of South Dakota do not like this bill (as it appears), they can vote out the people who put it in and change the law. It's not immediate, but it's certainly more immediate than effecting a change in the make-up of the Supreme Court.

In short, I dislike the law (and who doesn't?), but it is not just as unacceptable for the Governor decide as it is for the Supreme Court to decide.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Oh yeah, and in addition:
7) Supreme Court Justices are less answerable to the people because they are given lifetime tenure; and
8) The whole purpose of federalism is to allow for local communities to decide for themselves how they want to be governed. While not the best answer, federalism's best response is that the people get to, in the end, vote with their feet. They can leave. Why anyone would be in South Dakota in the first place is beyond me, and maybe this is just the chance that many of its residence needed to get out of the frozen tundra.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

color me schooled.

I still think it's ridiculous.


At 4:30 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

And better to see YOU back and kickin' it. You've been sorely missed.*

*Said with an unblemished and staunch record of heterosexuality.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

I will come back at every available opportunity. You have been missed too, in that non-sexual way.

[Note: You should call our mutual friend. Many developments to report.]

Meanwhile, I agree on the impetus of your post. It's always frustrating when someone tells you (or others) what to do. Particularly in light of the fact that the extreme nature of this bill suggests that its sponsors are not bound by (such a silly concern as) moral complexity. However, inviolable and inflexible rigidity in dealing with such nuanced matters such as life and death is something we might (unfortunately enough) expect from the South Dakota legislature. [Note: Some of these people choose to live in South Dakota.] We do not expect that from the Supreme Court, although they may (however unlikely) rule that South Dakota's ban is Constitutional (if imprudent).

At 10:18 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

I've called our mutual friend twice now, with no response. I'd assumed that he was just busy, and unable to call me back, which is how things usually are between us.

I'm assuming these are amazing, fun, wonderful developments, and not, say, sudden marriage proposals.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Well, let's just say that you are less far off than you would imagine...


Post a Comment

<< Home