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PaulS
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Following the United States Supreme Court overturning a decision of the Court that has stood for 6 months short of 50 years (Roe vs Wade) there's been a fair bit of commentary on social media, as well as all media services.  I'm sure we all have a view on abortion - this is where I stand for what it's worth.  Abortion is a difficult decision, but it should be exactly that, a decision.  SCOTUS, or any court or government, should not be able to take that decision from people.

A Facebook post attributed to one Amie Lynne Jordan of South Carolina:

I'm not pro-murdering babies.
I'm pro-Becky who found out at her 20-week anatomy scan that the infant she had been so excited to bring into this world had developed without life sustaining organs.
I'm pro-Susan who was sexually assaulted on her way home from work, only to come to the horrific realization that her assailant planted his seed in her when she got a positive pregnancy test result a month later.
I'm pro-Theresa who hemorrhaged due to a placental abruption, causing her parents, spouse, and children to have to make the impossible decision on whether to save her or her unborn child.
I'm pro-little Cathy who had her innocence ripped away from her by someone she should have been able to trust and her 11-year-old body isn't mature enough to bear the consequence of that betrayal.
I'm pro-Melissa who's working two jobs just to make ends meet and has to choose between bringing another child into poverty or feeding the children she already has because her spouse walked out on her.
I'm pro-Brittany who realizes that she is in no way financially, emotionally, or physically able to raise a child.
I'm pro-Emily who went through IVF, ending up with SIX viable implanted eggs requiring selective reduction to ensure the safety of her and a SAFE number of fetuses.
I'm pro-Jessica who is FINALLY getting the strength to get away from her physically abusive spouse only to find out that she is carrying the monster's child.
I'm pro-Vanessa who went into her confirmation appointment after YEARS of trying to conceive only to hear silence where there should be a heartbeat.
I'm pro-Lindsay who lost her virginity in her sophomore year with a broken condom and now has to choose whether to be a teenage mom or just a teenager.
I'm pro-Courtney who just found out she's already 13 weeks along, but the egg never made it out of her fallopian tube so either she terminates the pregnancy or risks dying from internal bleeding.
You can argue and say that I'm pro-choice all you want, but the truth is:
I'm pro-life.
Their lives.
Women's lives.
You don't get to pick and choose which scenarios should be accepted. It's not about which stories you don't agree with. It's about fighting for the women in the stories that you do agree with and the CHOICE that was made.
Women's rights are meant to protect ALL women, regardless of their situation!
Overturning Roe does not stop abortions, it stops SAFE abortions! 
Abortion is healthcare.

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Not surprisingly, I broadly agree with you Paul.

Bringing kids into poverty or where they are not wanted is not a great option. My understanding (and I may be wrong here) is that SCOTUS pushed the legal decision back down to the State level. Whereas, they should have pushed the decision/choice all the way down to the individual concerned. 

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Well the decision/choice was with the individual until the court interfered with this 50 year old decision.  Unfortunately a lot of Christians are biased about abortion and from what I see are happy to hide behind "state's right's" to support the removal of this Federal support.  I wonder what the same people would have to say if SCOTUS said freedom of religion should not be supported by Federal laws and should only be a state matter.  

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The US legal and political systems are fully entwined. Here in Canada and I suppose in Oz if it is based on the British system, the judiciary and politicians are at arms length, with minimal influence by those in power; not none but minimal. The US has got it completely wrong here.

Having said that, the US judiciary, here I mean those that get elected to senior positions and not the local hacks who get elected based on their politics (I kid you  not), I think make an honest attempt to be impartial, but their biases show through, as would mine if I were judicially inclined. So punting the issue back to the State level may well be the logically correct decision based on the laws of the land. I gather the US Constitution is silent on the abortion issue so it may well not be a Federal issue.

Regarding freedom of religion, the Constitution is not silent on this issue so it falls under Federal legislation. 

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3 hours ago, romansh said:

The US legal and political systems are fully entwined. Here in Canada and I suppose in Oz if it is based on the British system, the judiciary and politicians are at arms length, with minimal influence by those in power; not none but minimal. The US has got it completely wrong here.

Having said that, the US judiciary, here I mean those that get elected to senior positions and not the local hacks who get elected based on their politics (I kid you  not), I think make an honest attempt to be impartial, but their biases show through, as would mine if I were judicially inclined. So punting the issue back to the State level may well be the logically correct decision based on the laws of the land. I gather the US Constitution is silent on the abortion issue so it may well not be a Federal issue.

Regarding freedom of religion, the Constitution is not silent on this issue so it falls under Federal legislation. 

Technically in Australia it is at arm's length, but still the people who make the decisions about who to appoint as a Judge are appointed by political parties, so the system has the ability to 'favor' political choices, but favoritism as a political end result just doesn't seem to be an occurrence here.  I guess like the US, it's not a perfect system, it's just the best we've come up with up until this point.  Maybe the US process started out with the best of intentions too, but later the process became a political football.

I think clearly biases show through, as demonstrated with this latest decision.  I mean 50 years ago the vote was 7-2 in favor of the Constitution recognizing abortion (basically), but today the vote is 5-3 in it not.  Nothing at law has changed in those 50 years, just who sits on the bench and who is prepared to find for or against, has.

Pretty much the rest of the world just looks on and thinks what is this madness (abortion, Trump, guns) that the US exists in, and are we seeing the beginning of the end of an empire.

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18 hours ago, PaulS said:

50 years ago the vote was 7-2 in favor of the Constitution recognizing abortion (basically), but today the vote is 5-3 in it not.  Nothing at law has changed in those 50 years, just who sits on the bench and who is prepared to find for or against, has.

Agree, so based on the laws of the land which is the correct decision? We both share which we would prefer. But for me going through the small print of the US constitution, precedent, statutes etc is too much like hard work for me. I find the whole thing stinks. If such a large portion of the US people were not indoctrinated into their archaic Christian principles then abortion would not be an issue either at a State level or a Federal level.

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On 6/30/2022 at 1:31 AM, romansh said:

Agree, so based on the laws of the land which is the correct decision? We both share which we would prefer. But for me going through the small print of the US constitution, precedent, statutes etc is too much like hard work for me. I find the whole thing stinks. If such a large portion of the US people were not indoctrinated into their archaic Christian principles then abortion would not be an issue either at a State level or a Federal level.

I'd say that BOTH decisions were correct based on the laws of the land, in that the law provides for SCOTUS to 'interpret' matters.  That they did - it's just that there were different people in the seats today than there was 50 years ago.  Undoubtedly, personal bias through religion and 'moral' viewpoints impact how one thinks.  SCOTUS aren't above that.  I think the fact that Roe v Wade hadn't been overturned for 50 years until SCOTUS got to a position of a conservatively stacked panel, speaks volumes as to the 'rightness' of any decision it makes.  

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17 hours ago, PaulS said:

I'd say that BOTH decisions were correct based on the laws of the land, in that the law provides for SCOTUS to 'interpret' matters. 

For that to be 'true', the axioms must have shifted. Having said that the supreme court worked overtime in starting to roll the States back to the dark ages.

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11 hours ago, romansh said:

For that to be 'true', the axioms must have shifted.

No, I think it's the interpretation of the axiom.  Whilst the 7 to 2 Justices 50 years ago were happy to say that Roe v Wade warranted a constitutional right to abortion, the 5 to 4 Justices recently said it didn't.  I think 'technically' both decisions can claim to have followed the law (i.e. interpretation of the application of the Constitution), but their individual personal interpretation (undoubtedly influenced in both cases by personal beliefs) is what has resulted in differing views.

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8 hours ago, romansh said:

Fortuitously a blog I follow Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne the author discusses Peter Singer's take on Wade vs Roe. And basically it sort of points to what I thought happened.

Well worth a read I think

Peter Singer’s contrarian view on the Dobbs decision – Why Evolution Is True

I think his last point is what sums this decision up for me: "But remember that courts are political, and the Supreme Court in particular can willy-nilly rule on rights when the court itself isn’t accountable to the voters."  

So in this case we have a lot of supporters who are in favour of the Dobbs outcome crowing that it's the right legal decision to overturn Roe v Wade, but not recognizing that whilst 5 Justices felt this way, 4 didn't!  So do they think the other 4 Justices can't properly understand law?  If it had been 5 to 4 the other way, does that make the decision any more 'right or wrong'?

The original Roe v Wade was a little different in that 7 Justices supported the legal decision, and 2 didn't.  But again, were the dissenting 2 ignorant to the law?

Clearer to me than anything, is that these decisions are political, and not made on some firm and inarguable legal basis.  At the end of the day, it is an INTERPRETATION of how to apply the Constitution.  Today the anti-abortion interpretation, won.

Another thing that occurs to me is that many Americans seem to cling to the Constitution like they do the bible.  Both are ancient texts (albeit the Constitution is only about 230 years old and the youngest writings that made it to the bible are some 1800yrs old), but it's crazy to think that both are inerrant and that somehow they capture all possible future scenarios for our developing standards around human rights.

But I do agree it is up to lawmakers to make law on behalf of its community, so how long it now takes for laws to be established to support women in need of abortion, remains to be seen.  

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18 hours ago, PaulS said:

I think his last point is what sums this decision up for me: "But remember that courts are political, and the Supreme Court in particular can willy-nilly rule on rights when the court itself isn’t accountable to the voters." 

Firstly, this is Coyne's point and not Singer's. Not that it matters. Now an elected judge to me seems like an anathema, at least for me. I had occasion to cross into the States recently. There were election signs up, for coroners, assessors and judges. For me this was bizarre. Did not see any for sheriffs.  First that they have to be elected and secondly that each of them had a little "R", on their advertising. R being Republican of course. It's very conservative just south of me. So how do we get unpoliticized and elected judges at the same time. So US judges are in a sense elected. The Supremes of course go through a political circus to be elected to office. In Canada (and I suspect UK and Oz) the process is much less political, though likely not without criticism. 

Singer's point was that the courts don't write the law, they apply it. Sadly it is up to the electorate to install politicians who can govern wisely. Of course the constitution in the States is "unfair" where the representation is far from proportional. Nevertheless, people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert (never mind Trump) get elected. And I have come across really nice people vote for Trump (even our very own Joseph), seemingly oblivious to the unsuitability of the candidates for high office.

The trick is to unelect the undesirable lawmakers. 

I agree 100% on your observation of the Bible and the Constitution. But that is for another discussion.

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8 hours ago, romansh said:

Singer's point was that the courts don't write the law, they apply it.

I think that point is too simple though - they apply a legal process in interpreting the law, but it's still 'interpretation' and interpretation can't really be executed without personal bias, intentional or not.

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OK ... I'll try explaining my point another way.

Two axioms or propositions:

1) All dogs have four legs.
2) Freddie is a dog

therefore: Freddie has four legs.

Is the logic correct?

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On 7/8/2022 at 12:16 AM, romansh said:

OK ... I'll try explaining my point another way.

Two axioms or propositions:

1) All dogs have four legs.
2) Freddie is a dog

therefore: Freddie has four legs.

Is the logic correct?

The logic is correct, but it would also be reasonable for one to take into account that poor Freddie may have suffered a mischief and might have departed from the norm through no fault of his own.  One's personal bias of how to interpret that logic comes into play.

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19 hours ago, PaulS said:

The logic is correct, but it would also be reasonable for one to take into account that poor Freddie may have suffered a mischief and might have departed from the norm through no fault of his own.

Good ... Paul you have interpreted this correctly: the logic is correct but the premises are debatable if not flat out wrong, especially the first.

20 hours ago, PaulS said:

One's personal bias of how to interpret that logic comes into play.

There is no interpretation of the logic, it is either correct or not. We may not have skill to interpret the logic and say "don't know", but I don't think we should be reduced to a "thormas like" it's your opinion. 

It's not a question of interpreting the logic, but more a case of the premises (statutes, precedent, constitution in this case) what do they say? Having said that in the case of the four-legged dog, it's not up to the supreme court judges to debate whether dogs do in actual fact have four legs or not. It is not their bailiwick. 

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30 minutes ago, romansh said:

Good ... Paul you have interpreted this correctly: the logic is correct but the premises are debatable if not flat out wrong, especially the first.

There is no interpretation of the logic, it is either correct or not. We may not have skill to interpret the logic and say "don't know", but I don't think we should be reduced to a "thormas like" it's your opinion. 

It's not a question of interpreting the logic, but more a case of the premises (statutes, precedent, constitution in this case) what do they say? Having said that in the case of the four-legged dog, it's not up to the supreme court judges to debate whether dogs do in actual fact have four legs or not. It is not their bailiwick. 

Interpret is probably not the right word - rather 'apply'.  How the Supreme Court Justices apply their logic of how the Constitution answers the Roe v Wade question, is clearly open to interpretation affected by personal bias.

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