General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Do you think laws regarding abortion invade the privacy of a woman?

Asked by crazyguy (1084points) 1 week ago

Roe vs Wade relies on a statute in the Constitution guaranteeing a person’s right to privacy, “which it (the Court) found to be implicit in the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (“…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”).

Whether you are a pro-Lifer or a pro-Choice person, what do you think of using a woman’s privacy as the basis for the ruling?

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66 Answers

lastexit's avatar

The law that guarantees a woman’s right to choose is most definitely applicable to a woman’s liberty. So yes, this right should be protected under the fourteenth amendment.

kritiper's avatar

Privacy is a grand issue, but the right to choose, a woman’s freedom of choice, is omnipotent.

elbanditoroso's avatar

What could be more private than a woman’s autonomy over her own body?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Absolutely it’s a privacy issue. Just as any other medical issue is.

crazyguy's avatar

@lastexit @kritiper Thanks for your answers. I find it a stretch to fit this mandate under the 14th amendment. But I am not an attorney. I think, if the country feels up to it, the way to do this would be through a new constitutional amendment.

Caravanfan's avatar

I don’t call myself “pro-choice”. I call myself “anti-government mandated forced birth”

crazyguy's avatar

@Caravanfan Excuse me. However, do you have a strong feeling about the legal language in Roe v Wade?

LostInParadise's avatar

There is no way of side-stepping the question of whether an embryo is a human being. I don’t personally believe that to be true, but if you do then it becomes a trade-off between mother and child.

crazyguy's avatar

@LostInParadise I am trying to keep this discussion about the legal language in the Roe v Wade SCOTUS decision, not the pros and cons of abortion.

kritiper's avatar

@LostInParadise “There is no way of side-stepping the question of whether an embryo is a human being.” Should a cancer be given the same consideration??

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper Ladies and Gentlemen, please!

zenvelo's avatar

It is a slippery slope to say the state can invade a person’s autonomy without due process, and that is exactly what an anti-abortion law does.

This is settled law.

LostInParadise's avatar

@crazyguy , If you think that abortion is murder then that overrides any privacy issue. By not talking about it, the court made the implicit assumption that abortion, at least in the first 3 months of pregnancy, is not murder. There really is no way around this.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There is no other way of viewing it. To say that it is the role of the state to COMPEL a woman to bear a child is beyond the mere “invasion of privacy.”

Nomore_lockout's avatar

I think it’s wrong. And while I don’t like or agree with abortions, no one has the right to tell a woman what her to do with her own body.

JLeslie's avatar

Since it comes under a medical decision then I think it is a privacy issue. Since it is not the business of the government to know whether a woman is pregnant or not it is also a privacy issue. It goes to autonomy, freedom, and privacy.

I think no matter what gender a person is, they have a right over deciding what happens their body.

The court uses viability of the fetus as the time when the fetus has what I would say is equal rights as a human being. Until then the fetus is physically dependent on the mother. It is not a self sustaining being.

No one should be compelled by the government to give their own life systems to another. Men are not forced to do it and neither should a woman be forced to do so.

kritiper's avatar

What makes a human life human? It is the ability to reason that places man above the animals. So at what point can a fetus reason?

Pandora's avatar

@kritiper Interesting point. GA

crazyguy's avatar

@Pandora @kritiper Can a full-term baby reason? Like I said I do no wish to get into the guts of the argument that the Senators will have next week. I am just asking if the right to an abortion is granted because it is a privacy issue.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Good answer. By treating it as “medical treatment” you can justify privacy for the woman. However, note that the decision protects the woman only in the first trimester. Does her right to privacy vanish in the second and third trimesters?

crazyguy's avatar

@Nomore_lockout I am not sure how I feel about abortion per se. However, my argument right now is with the convoluted way in which SCOTUS reached its decision.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly Like I have said many times on this thread, I do not wish to discuss the rights and wrongs of abortion. I am trying to limit this discussion to the somewhat convoluted reading of the constitution to reach the decision.

crazyguy's avatar

@LostInParadise The court basically said that a woman has rights to privacy during the first trimester; and none thereafter.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy The way I remember it the court ruled states could not prohibit first trimester abortions, but could put some restrictions (restrictions is the wrong word) on second trimester and third trimester was ok when there was a threat to the mother’s life. Something like that.

In the 90’s there was a Supreme Court case that uses viability as a barometer rather than trimesters, so viability is what we abide by now.

That’s the way I remember it anyway.

I would argue an 8th month “abortion” is a delivery. It’s a termination of the pregnancy, but the baby is viable and self supporting, and we should not allow the baby to be killed and we don’t. The ruling by the highest court was viability. A woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy, but that is not necessarily synonymous with killing the baby.

It’s so very rare a woman doesn’t know she is pregnant by the 5th month.

Cases where the fetus has significant defects or the mother’s life is at risk should have exceptions.

In Judaism if the pregnancy is harming the mother, the religion requires the baby be removed. It is a self defense issue. The mother’s life is of utmost importance. This seems to be in direct contradiction with Christian thinking, I don’t know what the Bible actually says about it.

Remember 5,000 years ago infant mortality was huge. Any baby born had a high chance of not making it to age 5. The mother could get pregnant again, she might have other children already that she was caring for, and she had made it through childhood diseases.

I think we could argue religious beliefs are also a private matter, although that could be taken apart I guess, because law trumps religion in America.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I think you have gone beyond what I was asking. That is fine, but I think we’ll be watching smarter, more legally attuned minds discussing those issues the next few days. My concern right now is just the privacy issue and why it does not apply any more once a fetus reaches viability.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

Since you only want an extremely narrow discussion on the legalese of Roe v Wade, then perhaps you’d be better served asking this question on a legal forum. When you want to fish, go to the lake, not the swimming pool.

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy “My concern right now is just the privacy issue and why it does not apply any more once a fetus reaches viability.”

It’s about the legal/philosophical concept of personhood. When does someone become a legal person in the eyes of the law? Things can be alive and not a person, humans can be alive but lose the ability to make legally binding decisions.

There are similar examples that also follow from this point involving end-of-life issues. If a human is being kept alive on lifesupport, but has no higher brain functions, it’s arguable that they are no longer a person (in the legal sense). That doesn’t mean they don’t have value or any rights at all, but that they are in a different category when they do-not-and-will-never-have the brain functioning that makes us different from a slug.

What follows is that it’s perfectly consistent logically for a being to be alive, human and also not-a-person in the legal sense. Furthermore, it may be the case for a being to be alive, human, unborn and have reached a developmental stage where the law would consider them a person in a legal sense.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws That is an awesome answer. I was truly enjoying reading it. But then it ended without a conclusion. I guess your implied conclusion is that the baby becomes a person whenever it is a viable organism independent of the mother, and therefore, its right to live overrules the privacy rights of the mother.

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy “I guess your implied conclusion is that the baby becomes a person whenever it is a viable organism independent of the mother, and therefore, its right to live overrules the privacy rights of the mother.”

I think that’s right. I’m not sure if that’s what I believe personally, as the standard might make more sense if it’s based on neurological development than viability from a philosophical standpoint, but I can appreciate practical reasons why viability is an easier line to draw in the sand from a legal standpoint.

I’m not a lawyer, but that is my understanding of how the law sees that situation. Note that just because a fetus has personhood, doesn’t necessarily mean you couldn’t make a legal justification for abortion late-term in certain situations. For example, it’s perfectly legal to kill another person to save yourself or another person.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws You, Sir, are a scholar and a gentleman. You know enough to realize that you don’t know it all, and you admit it freely.

kritiper's avatar

It’s a privacy issue because it’s a personal issue.

seawulf575's avatar

The whole problem with the abortion issue is that no one has ever decided (legally) when life has started. Some say at conception, some say when the child could reasonably be expected to survive outside the womb, some say at the moment of birth. The courts never decided. Even in Roe v. Wade they skirted this issue. And that is why there is so much angst and animosity surrounding this issue.
Does it invade the privacy of women? I guess that comes back to when life starts. If it were determined that life started at fertilization, for instance, then abortion could easily be viewed as the taking of a life. When a life is taken, someone has to be responsible…by definition. So at that point, privacy is moot. We don’t let criminals off and drop investigations because we might invade their privacy. If, on the other hand, life is determined to start when a baby is born alive, then the embryo can be determined to be an extension of the woman. With that idea, abortion could be viewed as an elective surgery akin to having a mole removed or a wart frozen off.
The science of Embryology says that fertilization is the start of the Continuum of Human Life. When fertilization occurs, that is the point that all development begins and requires no further input from the mother or the father (other than providing the environment for it to occur). That oocyte that is fertilized begins the process that can be plotted through development to zygote and then to embryo, baby, child, adolescent, adult and on to death.
My personal feeling is that that point of fertilization is not necessarily the exact point since as it develops to zygote, it could split and become twins. So the fertilization has not shown if it is one or two children.
That is my long-winded and sometimes winding answer: this question cannot be answered until the question of when life starts is answered.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The question of life is irrelevant. Clearly a zygote is life. Bacteria are life. The food I had for dinner was life. The animals put down every day in shelters are life. The president’s COVID treatment was life.

No, I’d say life doesn’t much matter. The relevant question is personhood. At what point does that life become a person?

crazyguy's avatar

@seawulf575 That is an outstanding answer. Reading it leaves me in awe!

To paraphrase your answer slightly, am I right in saying that your belief is that until life is deemed to have begun, the woman has the right of privacy because an abortion is like an elective surgery?

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper If I were to go around killing babies, would you consider that a personal issue?

zenvelo's avatar

Quoting Pete Buttigieg:

“I think the dialogue has gotten so caught up on when you draw the line that we’ve gotten away from the fundamental question of who gets to draw the line,” the presidential candidate responded in Claremont, New Hampshire. “And I trust women to draw the line.”

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo When it comes to protecting a human life from somebody, no other person can be allowed to draw the line.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What I find interesting is that it’s mainly Christians who fight the abortion debate…yet they conveniently overlook the fact that “God” is responsible for more abortions than abortion clinics.

zenvelo's avatar

@crazyguy Now you’re making stuff up. And you give a fetus a protection you won’t give the woman.

crazyguy's avatar

@Dutchess_III “God” or, what I call him “Mr Random” has created a system where very possible outcome of the genetic lottery can and does happen. If some of those outcomes result in a fetus dying, so be it. But please do not mix religion with the abortion debate. Especially when we are talking about the legal aspects.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What? Oh. God doesn’t have to follow our laws. He can create rape and murder and mayhem or whatever his heart desires.

crazyguy's avatar

@Dutchess_III I am an atheist. However, all things in nature point to a random system where the laws of nature, once they were mysteriously created, rule everything. There does not seem to be any need for a superpower calling the shots.

seawulf575's avatar

@crazyguy Yes, that is what I am saying. And the fact that we have not legally established when life starts means that people create their own views on it. So someone that views fertilization as the point of life starting sees abortion as murder. Someone that says it isn’t until birth sees the fetus as nothing but an extension of the mother so abortion is something a person would do for their health or possibly because they want to. The two views are completely incompatible.

Response moderated (Spam)
Dutchess_III's avatar

There is no woman in the womb. There is a zygote.

crazyguy's avatar

@seawulf575 Coming back to my question, the basic rationale for Roe v Wade seems to be privacy of health records; until such time as the “elective surgery decision” is tantamount to murder.

crazyguy's avatar

@Dutchess_III At some point during the pregnancy, the zygote becomes a person, hopefully.

zenvelo's avatar

^ @crazyguy That is called “birth”.

seawulf575's avatar

@crazyguy I think that a woman’s privacy should be just as solid as a man’s until that point. But that is sort of a slippery statement. I’ll give you an anecdotal piece. I had a vasectomy years ago. When I went to the doctor, one of the first things I had to do was take a form home and have my wife sign it saying she is okay with that decision. It was supposedly required by state law that a married guy had to do this. If my wife did not agree with my decision, the doctor would not/could not proceed. Roe v Wade was well in force at this point. Such a form would be considered against RvW if it was for a woman.
The problem with the privacy issue is sort of the same thing. The reason for the form was that they did not want to be part of an action that would jeopardize my marriage. No decision is made in a vacuum when it comes to consequences.

stanleybmanly's avatar

At the point it is determined that the fetus is a person, the woman should be deemed eligible to transfer all responsibility for its welfare and nurturing to the state. It might be argued that the state has the obligation to bring the child to term. It cannot be argued that the woman must be complicit in the attempt. She should then be allowed to surrender the fetus to the state the instant she decides she wants no part in its development.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 If that law about you needing permission was brought before the Supreme Court, RBG would have been on the side of striking down that law.

Edit: Oh wait. I became really curious so I googled and multiple sources say there is no law for men to get spousal consent for a vasectomy. That makes more sense to me.

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo You are wrong. “Birth” is when the fully-formed person enters the world. At some point between conception and birth the zygote becomes a person capable of surviving outside the womb.

crazyguy's avatar

@seawulf575 @stanleybmanly @JLeslie Exactly what I was afraid of when I asked the question. Emotional feelings about Roe v Wade are so hard to avoid when talking about abortion. Please, let us try and stick to the bounds of the question.

@JLeslie Requiring spousal consent for abortion is unconstitutional, while spousal consent for vasectomy can be required by doctors unwilling to risk a lawsuit.

zenvelo's avatar

@crazyguy I am not wrong. A fetus is not a person until born. The State does not issue viability certificates, it issues birth certificates. Even a viable fetus is not a person until it is no longer in utero.

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo So, let me get your thoughts clarified. Do you think an abortion should be perfectly legal at any time until birth?

hmmmmmm's avatar

@crazyguy: “So, let me get your thoughts clarified. Do you think an abortion should be perfectly legal at any time until birth?”

Of course it should. Are we really discussing the details of abortion in 2020? For the love of Pete, abortion is healthcare. There is nothing to discuss here – other than complete support for a woman’s right to choose.

zenvelo's avatar

@crazyguy It isn’t a matter of legal or not. It is the mother’s decision and call. And that is why I have no problem with “partial birth abortions”.

Bans on abortion are not about the child, it is never about the child. It is a way of continuing to keep people in poverty. The typical anti choice Republican will always have access to abortion for tehri girlfriends and sexually active teenage daughters. It is the poor that face barriers to healthcare, contraceptives, and abortions.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Is forcing a 9 month pregnancy on a woman an invasion of her privacy? The question requires no depth of analysis. There is no way to force the issue barring the woman’s participation. Of course it IS beyond an invasion of privacy. It is about forced coercion at the hands of the state.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@crazyguy not until the 2nd trimester.

kritiper's avatar

@crazyguy No. I would consider it an act of logic since there are too many people on the planet now. They shoot horses, don’t they?

seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper Then why are we taking any precautions for Covid? After all, there are too many people on the planet now. Having a few million die would only help us, right?

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper Justifying an abortion by saying “there are too many people on the planet now” is so silly that it does not even deserve a response. However, since I’ll give you one point to consider:

Don’t you think it may be better to trim our population at the other end of life?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, you men just need to quit demanding that we have sex with you. Or at least take some responsibility for birth control.
As I said in another thread, not one time, not ONCE did any man ask if I was using some form of birth control before we had sex the first time.
You males just need to stop talking about it because I’d bet you are just as guilty of having unprotected sex when the opportunity arose (ha ha.)

crazyguy's avatar

@Dutchess_III I agree with you 100%. Men should bear as much responsibility as women for unwanted pregnancies.

However, the fact remains that a woman is stuck with the result of unprotected sex, far longer than the man. Therefore, she should be the one to say yes or no. But the man should definitely ask.

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