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Abortion is a contentious issue in American society. Some regard it as an immoral abomination while others regard it as fundamental to reproductive liberty and privacy. Contraception is starting to be treated in a similar manner. Is there a fundamental right to abortion? Is there a right to privacy that protects contraception and use of contraceptives?


Read Article: Abortion Rights & Privacy Rights: Political, Religious, and Ethical Debates

October 7, 2007 at 9:07 pm
(1) Eric says:

I guess you do address the fetus person or not issue after all.

I do have a technical bone to pick with part of this. In your section on pregnant women who abuse drugs, you make it sound like it would be absurd to punish women who abused drugs/alcohol and gave birth to healthy children. In the context of modern understandings of criminal law, there’s nothing all that out of the ordinary about punishing someone for an action that may not necessarily result in harm.

For example, we punish people for driving drunk even when they don’t actually get into an accident. Even if they didn’t harm anyone, they increased the background risk to other drivers that an accident would occur. Likewise, while consuming alcohol or drugs may not guarantee debilitating birth defects, such behaviors do increase the background risk and are thus worth deterring, at least in theory, with the threat of sanctions. Criminal punishment isn’t just about preventing harm, it’s also about preventing risk.

To me, a better reason for not punishing women for abusing drugs or alcohol while pregnant would be the fact that the threat of such sanctions might deter women from seeking medical care during their pregnancies which could lead to even more disastrous outcomes. Aside from preventing the sociological problems that lead pregnant women to abuse drugs in the first place, to me it seems like it would make more sense to prohibit bars from serving pregnant women or to prohibit vendors from selling them cigarettes. If a woman can’t be without cigarettes, she can just get an abortion.

October 16, 2007 at 2:08 pm
(2) John Hanks says:

The surest way to work against unwanted children is abortion. But, the real issue is one of values in a culture that is constantly promoting fertility cults, like the Catholic, Muslim and Mormon faiths. They are like robots producing more robots. People should learn the unpleasant facts about having children…what is given up. It isn’t just rewards.

March 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm
(3) tracieh says:

>The surest way to work against unwanted children is abortion.

Ironically, the surest way to avoid abortion is a good dose of fact-based sex education and encouraged use of prophylactics; but do pro-life groups, in general, support either?

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