Re: PHIL: ABORTION, was:Re: point of view

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 01 Mar 1999 18:10:28 -0500 wrote:

> In a message dated 3/1/99 5:42:41 PM, Brian wrote:
> <<
> Again a good idea, the problem is that resolution in not always
> possible. In the example you gave (abortion), I don't believe the
> state ever has rights in the matter until after birth, when a new
> citizen has been created. I believe the rights of the mother (to
> chose) are inviolable till then.
> Brian
> Member, Extropy Institute>>
> Thanks Brian for some good thinking, though I don't agree with your final
> point. You really think its OK to kill an 8 month old fetus? I might agree
> around 3 or 4 months, but not 8. However, I'm not as interested in moral
> answers as I am in moral process.

My own argument is thus:
(some of this argument may be thought to be off topic for the list, if so, feel free to dump it or to respond privately)

Human rights apply to human beings that are citizens of one or more nations on earth, which belong to the UN, and are part of an inter-related web of diplomatic relations treaties. A foreigner visiting our country is treated as an honorary citizen of this country under the Bill of Rights because we want our citizens to be treated similarly elsewhere, AND FOR NO OTHER REASON.

A human being becomes a citizen of a nation at the time of birth. Where you are born counts as much for your citizenship rights as much as or more than the nationality of your parents. Absolutely no nation on earth recognises the point of conception as the point that establishes a person's citizenship. If they did we would have an immigrations nightmare.

Because of this, the unborn are not citizens of any nation, and hence are not protected by the declarations of rights of any of those nations, or of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. They have no rights. Among these, they have no explicit right to life.

A living woman does in fact have a right to life, and a right to privacy (recognised here in the US under the 9th Amendment). The principle of doctor/patient confidentiality, as part of a persons Right of Privacy, is supposed to be inviolate. The state cannot force a citizen to undergo or to not undergo any medical treatment whatsoever if they have never harmed another citizen. "The Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." are the central concepts of freedom of the free citizen. A fetus is obviously not at liberty from its mother until freed from the umbilical cord at the time of birth. Even if you grant a minimal right to the fetus, the preexisting claim to life of the mother trumps the unrealized and merely potential autonomous life of the fetus.

All this being said, I do think that abortion is killing living beings. It is not murder at this point in time, and thus may be classified as justified killing due to the higher order Rights of the mother. I liked Gov. Ventura's comments to the unwed mother who tried to box him in on the state capital steps. "Why should the state pay for your mistakes?" I see no reason why there should be government support for either the welfare or the abortions of unwed mothers. It does have a contractual duty to track down and enforce the collection of child support payments, but that is the extent of it. While there are a lot of deadbeat dads out there, from what I have seen, many are deadbeats because they refuse to cooperate with a system that they feel did them injustice. But that is off topic, and anyone who wants to fry me on it please post privately.

The only two possible avenues that anti-abortionists have under the Constitution is thus:
a) pass state laws limiting abortion (as is permitted under the 10th Amendment, the citizens of a state can elect to delegate more of the power they reserve to themselves under the 9th Amendment to the State if they so choose. Ideally this should be in the form of a State Constitutional Amendment). b) change the point of attaining citizenship to the point of conception. Seeing as how the framers of the Constitution set it at Birth, they would then be violating the concept of 'framers intent' that the conservatives tend to hold dear.