General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

According to the new Alabama and Georgia abortion laws, a fetus is considered a person after 6 weeks. Would it follow that the fetus could not be deported by ICE if it was being carried by a migrant?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28020points) May 13th, 2019

I’m trying to reconcile how the various laws work. Can you explain?

1) Alabama and Georgia are assigning personhood to the 6-week old fetus.

2) Let’s say that the fetus is being carried by an undocumented alien. The fetus, however, is in the US and therefore considered an American citizen (like any any other baby born in America).

3) ICE may want to deport the undocumented person because ICE is ICE and they do stuff like that.

4) But ICE cannot deport an American citizen – that’s the law.

So is it a good strategy for undocumented women to become pregnant, thereby giving themselves immunity from prosecution and deportation?

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23 Answers

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

I don’t like either law, but I don’t think there’s anything to reconcile here. Legal personhood and legal citizenship are two different things. And since legal citizenship is granted upon birth regardless of when legal personhood is granted, there’s nothing in the law that gets in the way of deporting an undocumented person while they are pregnant.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield _ I disagree. Both states have defined the fetus as a person (wrongly, but that is a different debate). As a person, the fetus is a citizen of the US – that’s 200-year US law.

So ICE may feel that they can deport the mother. But they have NO legal right to deport the fetus. It is a citizen according the state of Georgia.

ragingloli's avatar

Next thing you know, they will force women to have an abortion, so they can deport her.

Pandora's avatar

No sweat. They would be okay with this. They will let her give birth and then steal her baby and deport her back.

janbb's avatar

What’s this “woman” or “mother”? I hear tell it’s the “host body”. It seems these legislators care about fetuses until they are born and become school children to be shot at. ~

ragingloli's avatar

I am sure the NRA and its cohorts WANT school shootings.
Because after every school shooting, there is new discussion about gun regulation, which results in “they gunna getyer gunz!!!”, which causes a rush in gun sales.
Dead children translate directly to more money in the pockets of death merchants.

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m with @JeSuisRickSpringfield. There’s no logical inconsistency. Citizenship is conferred upon birth, not upon personhood.

@elbanditoroso “As a person, the fetus is a citizen of the US – that’s 200-year US law.”

Nope, it’s the act of being born in the US that confers citizenship, not conception, developing a heartbeat, nervous system, reaching the age of viability, or any other developmental benchmark that I’m aware of.

Oh, and the law is bullshit. We pull the plug on braindead people all of the time that still have heartbeats.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@gorillapaws – no, your thinking is out of date. Georgia and Alabama have redefined personhood (with all sorts of rights) to be six weeks from conception, at the time of the first fetal heartbeat. From those state’s points of view, this is a citizen do all the protections of the state.

Or are you arguing that the fetus has some rights in Georgia and Alabama, but no rights nationally? That doesn’t seem rational.

flutherother's avatar

What we used to have was pregnant women who would give birth and miraculously become a mother and child. Now we have the fetus which ceases to be a person from the moment it is born and the mother who is not a person either but is a drug smuggler, gang member or a terrorist.
But the mother is still a mother and the baby is still a baby and it is us who have become a little less than human.

gorillapaws's avatar

@elbanditoroso One can be a person (with rights) without being a citizen.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

@elbanditoroso A fetus is not a citizen under Georgia law. Like @gorillapaws said, not all persons are citizens. The US has long recognized a distinction between rights that one gains in virtue of being a person and rights one gains in virtue of being a citizen. That’s why the Bill of Rights was written as a set of constraints on governmental power (i.e., a list of things that the government cannot do to anyone) rather than as a set of permissions to the people (i.e., a list of things that the government would allow people to do). It’s also why you can’t shoot tourists.

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso as odd as it seems, it could be both. After all, many states have pro-abortion laws assuming the attitude that the unborn child is not a human being. Yet if a pregnant woman is attacked and her unborn baby is killed, it is considered a murder. Why? It’s how our laws work. It would be entirely possible to pass a law that says a baby with a heartbeat is a human yet not grant that unborn child legal status.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 “Human being” and personhood are different concepts. I would argue that being human and being a person are different in important ways. Consider someone who is completely brain dead and has no higher brain functions or personal identity, but is still a human being. Furthermore there is a difference between being a person and being a citizen as discussed earlier.

ragingloli's avatar

If you are going to say that personhood begins at “conception”, but you only become a citizen at birth, then you are inevitably forced to redefine what makes “birth” so special, that citizenship can not be bestowed before that point.

ragingloli's avatar

And consider this: The state already does grant/deny rights based on age. Before reaching a certain age, you do not have the right to drink, drive, have sex, vote, run for political office, enter contracts, despite being both human and a person. And there are different age requirements for different things.
Therefore, simply being a person may not automatically confer rights to a fetus. Such as the right to life.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws your differentiation between human being and personhood is interesting, but it doesn’t hold true for an unborn child. With a person that is brain dead, you have a human being that you know has no chance of ever being a person that can live on his own. With an unborn child, that decision isn’t made yet. It might be that the child dies in birth or has some dreadful deformity that won’t allow it to live outside the womb. On the other hand, it might be a perfectly normal child that will live for many, many years after it is born.
And let’s be honest…those that truly believe that abortion for any reason at all don’t want to think of their unborn babies as anything human. They want to believe they are just a bunch of cells. It’s easier to justify stopping the growth.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Just to point out that this columnist in the Washington Post agrees with my premise:


I wonder if she is on Fluther.

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso all that means is that you are a liberal since most of the opinion pieces (if not all) on WaPo lean pretty well to the left.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 “most of the opinion pieces (if not all) on WaPo lean pretty well to the left.”

You’re referring to the paper that ran 16 negative stories about Bernie Sanders in 16 hours? The one owned by the richest man in the world? Give me a fucking break.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws Oh, you mean when they were trying to skew things for Hillary? Yeah…that proves how straight up they are.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 ”...that proves how straight up they are.”

You originally said they were left-biased, and I pointed an example of how they were center-right biased (which they are). I never claimed they were “straight.” The WaPo has a severe pro-corporate, pro-establishment, pro-war, pro-establishment, anti-left bias. There’s nothing “straight” about that.

seawulf575's avatar

Oh please! The fact that you can even attempt to say WaPo is center right only shows how far left you really are.

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