Voting on the Start of Life

Just in time for Mother’s Day, a rather long article on just when motherhood begins: Toward a Democratic Consensus on the Start of Life. If you care at all about the abortion question, read it. It’s big, but important. You will learn:

  1. Why the Court was correct to demand more than mere legislation to outlaw abortion.
  2. How we can meet this demand and legally do something about the casual disposal of humans.

It’s over 2000 words, a rather large time investment, but if you care about Life, it is required reading.

A few tidbits:

Suppose we were to outlaw abortion based on a mere majority vote. And suppose half the population was strongly pro-life and nearly half strongly pro-choice. Would such a law be enforceable?

Not if we had randomly selected juries! It takes a unanimous jury to convict an abortionist. If roughly half the available jurors are pro-choice, then the odds of getting a unanimous pro-life jury is 0.512=0.024%. Hardly worth the effort.

Only by non-random juries and/or intimidating juries to vote against their conscience could convictions practically be obtained for laws for which only half the voters support. Where the general population is interested and divided, a stronger consensus is required. On this the Supreme Court was correct.

In many states we probably have such a strong consensus. And that is the subject of my rather extensive article: how to measure the level of consensus to provide hard data to the courts. And yes, given my close reading of Roe v. Wade, such measurements could sway the courts given the correct arguments to go along with the data.

Read more and come back here to comment.


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1 Comment

  1. When life begins and when it can be protected are two separate questions. Life begins at gastrulation, when the genes of both parents are fully involved in development. Before then, only maternal genes control. You are not you until your father is as influential as your mother in your development. As for penalties, they must meet the equal protection test. Once you recognize a child as a legal person, there is no right of privacy and the death of a child that age, including from miscarriage, must be investigated. Anyone who orders the death or carries it out must be treated as anyone else in a first degree murder situation. These are questions based on principals of law. You cannot put them up for a vote. Congress, under the 14th Amendment, enforces the provisions of the Amendment. Only they can decide this issue, not voters and not state politicians.

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