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AngelRho
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12 Jul 2022, 6:59 am

https://www.foxnews.com/us/judge-temporarily-blocks-arizona-personhood-law

This is the first time I’ve heard of a state actually going for legal code to establish personhood. A similar ballot measure failed in Mississippi back on 2011 iirc. The judge struck down Arizona’s personhood provision on the basis that it was unconstitutionally vague. I’ve heard a lot about laws losing in appeals court cases from being unconstitutionally vague, which just tells me that “unconstitutionally vague” is code for “we don’t like it and can’t find a good justification for our decision.”

However, I do agree with one point the judge made: Exactly how does Arizona intend to enforce this law?

If personhood begins at fertilization, what happens when a fertilized egg dies and a woman seems to have her period as normal? Is a woman guilty of manslaughter?

If personhood begins at fertilization and the pregnancy puts the woman’s life in danger, is the baby (like all persons) held responsible for their actions and abortion considered an act of self-defense?

I would think the courts would accumulate an impressive backlog if a personhood law were to actually go through.

I’m anti-abortion and make no apologies for it. But I also see myself as someone who wants to be reasonable. I think Arizona means well. But Arizona isn’t handling this logically. Arizona isn’t considering the consequences. I don’t see personhood laws as inherently harmful. But any time a law such as this one requires a top-down reordering of law and day to day life, it might be worth revising into something that is less disruptive.

I do agree that a new person begins at fertilization. But for legal, practical purposes, a person should only count as a person when an embryo has implanted in the womb.



shlaifu
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13 Jul 2022, 8:55 pm

This law allows for a godawful legal insecurity - a woman could at any time be subject to a criminal case against her for some rather common event, like you described.

At least with well-defined laws, no matter how draconian, you have some planning stability and base your decisions on that. But shifting interpretations mean the only way to stay out of trouble means to stay away from the whole ossue at a safe distance.


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AngelRho
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13 Jul 2022, 9:36 pm

Absolutely right.

If you study up on American history, something that should always stand out are the consequences of sudden reversals. OK, we'll all agree that slavery is illegal, right? But is it necessary to sacrifice over a million soldiers to end it? No. And so I think the transition to ending slavery radically changed the lives not just of slave owners having to adapt to a new economy, but also the slaves who had no practical provisions for how they'd be assimilated into a new normal. Over a million people had to die to end slavery. Then blacks were left to fend for themselves. Then the government had to step in and protect freed slaves, and finally, the government had to step in and undo segregation--all of which put a strain on life in the former confederacy and reinforced bitterness and anger towards northern states and blacks themselves. A gradual shift leading to acceptance of former black slaves into society sidestepping war would have been preferred, though perhaps it would have been a slow process.

Fast forward to overturning Roe and Casey. The problem was that Roe was sudden and drastic, the result of court action rather than congressional action. So there was anger, bitterness, and resentment from the start and continuing on. It was most assuredly the wrong decision for the court to make. But over time, 50 years, more Americans according to polls want abortion. The court has catalyzed yet another sudden, drastic change to bounce the issue of abortion back to the states where it belongs. And now we're back where we started back in the 1970's. I strongly support an abortion ban. But at the same time, I recognize the need for the American people to universally agree to it. Some states will allow it, others won't. And if it turns out that abortion does indeed work out in the best interest of all Americans and that Americans agree it's wrong, then our representatives will all vote and agree that abortion should be legal. Some Americans will continue to oppose it, but it certainly won't be the controversial issue as we perceive it now.

What Arizona is attempting is, I believe, too much too soon. I also think that the idea of personhood, while logically appropriate, will be difficult to implement as law.

One of my teachers told me this regarding the classroom: Have few rules, enforce ALL, and never make a rule you can't break. I want to see abortion banned. I just think this is the wrong hill to die on.



Sweetleaf
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14 Jul 2022, 2:08 pm

if an inplanted egg, embryo or fetus is granted personhood that means it should be treated the same as a person.

People cannot use someone elses body to survive, without that person's permission. If an embryo is granted that right, that would mean it has more rights than all other people which isn't really fair is it?

So sure implanted egg/embro is a person, which should mean it is not entitled to someone else's body unless that person wants it there.


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The_Walrus
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14 Jul 2022, 6:02 pm

AngelRho wrote:
OK, we'll all agree that slavery is illegal, right? But is it necessary to sacrifice over a million soldiers to end it? No.

You're massively overestimating the number of Union soldiers killed in the Civil War. It was a little over 100,000.

The only way you can get to a million deaths is by including Confederate troops and their slaves, those dying from disease, those dying accidentally, those dying in prisons, and civilians. I suppose it makes sense to count the ~30,000 Union soldiers who died in Confederate prisons, but it certainly doesn't make sense to count the Confederates, who died to keep slavery, not to end it.

Of course it would have been better if the Confederate states had done the right thing without needing to be forced into it, but it's bizarre to lay all the war dead at the feet of the Union.

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A gradual shift leading to acceptance of former black slaves into society sidestepping war would have been preferred, though perhaps it would have been a slow process.

Perhaps preferred for white slaveowners in Mississippi. Not for good people.

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Fast forward to overturning Roe and Casey. The problem was that Roe was sudden and drastic, the result of court action rather than congressional action. So there was anger, bitterness, and resentment from the start and continuing on. It was most assuredly the wrong decision for the court to make.

Again, this is nonsense. Most legal scholars believe Roe was the correct decision, regardless of whether you personally like it. It has taken the Republican Party decades of promoting partisan judges to overturn the constitutional right.

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And if it turns out that abortion does indeed work out in the best interest of all Americans and that Americans agree it's wrong, then our representatives will all vote and agree that abortion should be legal. Some Americans will continue to oppose it, but it certainly won't be the controversial issue as we perceive it now.

Unfortunately the American political system is broken. The majority of Americans support abortion rights, but the political system doesn't reflect that due to gerrymandering, voter suppression, the Republican skew of the Senate, and the electoral college.

And of course, it is unthinkable to any lover of freedom that millions of Americans have been stripped of their God-given, constitutionally guaranteed right to abortion. In this case, that right was stripped by unelected judges, but it would be equally abhorrent if it was stripped through democracy. Rights remain moral rights regardless of the whims of judges or voters. It is wrong to deny abortion just as it is wrong to steal or murder.

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What Arizona is attempting is, I believe, too much too soon. I also think that the idea of personhood, while logically appropriate, will be difficult to implement as law.

It's also a complete perversion of the concept of personhood. Foetuses aren't people and have no moral standing compared to actual people. Personhood bills should protect the rights of persons, thinking, feeling, moral agents with a desire to continue existing. Non-persons might still deserve some legal protections, but they don't have human rights, because they're not persons.



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14 Jul 2022, 8:03 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
if an inplanted egg, embryo or fetus is granted personhood that means it should be treated the same as a person.

People cannot use someone elses body to survive, without that person's permission. If an embryo is granted that right, that would mean it has more rights than all other people which isn't really fair is it?

So sure implanted egg/embro is a person, which should mean it is not entitled to someone else's body unless that person wants it there.


Ooh. Trespassing. You're allowed to kill trespassers in the US, no?


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AngelRho
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14 Jul 2022, 8:36 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
if an inplanted egg, embryo or fetus is granted personhood that means it should be treated the same as a person.

People cannot use someone elses body to survive, without that person's permission. If an embryo is granted that right, that would mean it has more rights than all other people which isn't really fair is it?

So sure implanted egg/embro is a person, which should mean it is not entitled to someone else's body unless that person wants it there.

Ok, but I think that's a different debate. Worth having, yes, but not really where I was going. As an example, you could say that consensual sex implies consent to conceive assuming all responsibilities that go with it. You could also argue that conception and gestation are the ONLY exception to bodily autonomy--it is already well-established in law that all individuals possess complete autonomy UNTIL one’s actions kill another person. Babies aren't ordinarily a threat. So the bodily autonomy argument isn't strong or relevant.

It's when you get into IVF, or when a woman’s body rejects the embryo naturally, or something is wrong and the embryo stops developing. See, I think that becomes recondite and unreasonable. Are there exceptions in place to prevent putting unusual pressures on women?



IsabellaLinton
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14 Jul 2022, 8:37 pm

So just to confirm, boys, men, and embryos have personhood but girls and women don't, on the basis that they might someday be required to use their body to sustain pregnancy against their will.

Got it.



AngelRho
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14 Jul 2022, 8:46 pm

shlaifu wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
if an inplanted egg, embryo or fetus is granted personhood that means it should be treated the same as a person.

People cannot use someone elses body to survive, without that person's permission. If an embryo is granted that right, that would mean it has more rights than all other people which isn't really fair is it?

So sure implanted egg/embro is a person, which should mean it is not entitled to someone else's body unless that person wants it there.


Ooh. Trespassing. You're allowed to kill trespassers in the US, no?

Trespassing has to do with real property, though. Even with trespassing, you cannot be charged with trespassing if it is necessary to cross over someone’s land to get to your own home or somewhere else where you have business. If we apply the same doctrine to gestation, then you could say the baby’s intention is to live on the outside, not the inside, and the womb happens to be in the way. It's trespassing if the intruder “camps out” or has an alternative means to get there. If there is a road that has access to a home or business, then you are to take that road even if it's longer or takes more time or inconvenient. Cutting across land might be easier. But since it isn’t necessary, it is illegal. Having a baby hardly fits the trespassing analogy.



AngelRho
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14 Jul 2022, 8:46 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
So just to confirm, boys, men, and embryos have personhood but girls and women don't, on the basis that they might someday be required to use their body to sustain pregnancy against their will.

Got it.

Who says it’s against their will?



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14 Jul 2022, 9:26 pm

AngelRho wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
So just to confirm, boys, men, and embryos have personhood but girls and women don't, on the basis that they might someday be required to use their body to sustain pregnancy against their will.

Got it.

Who says it’s against their will?


In some situations it's against women's will, or they wouldn't need / want abortions.



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14 Jul 2022, 10:53 pm

AngelRho wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
So just to confirm, boys, men, and embryos have personhood but girls and women don't, on the basis that they might someday be required to use their body to sustain pregnancy against their will.

Got it.

Who says it’s against their will?


Women who don't want to be pregnant or have babies, and live in states who won't allow them to get an abortion.


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The_Walrus
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15 Jul 2022, 4:39 pm

AngelRho wrote:
If we apply the same doctrine to gestation, then you could say the baby’s intention is to live on the outside, not the inside, and the womb happens to be in the way. It's trespassing if the intruder “camps out” or has an alternative means to get there.

Right, so the zef isn’t allowed to camp out inside the mother’s property without her permission. The mother is well within her rights to evict the freeloading parasite whenever she pleases.



IsabellaLinton
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15 Jul 2022, 4:50 pm

I thought that in many states, homeowners can shoot and kill any trespasser who comes on their property, because that person isn't welcome and might cause harm to their life, their financial security, or their family.



AngelRho
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16 Jul 2022, 2:31 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
So just to confirm, boys, men, and embryos have personhood but girls and women don't, on the basis that they might someday be required to use their body to sustain pregnancy against their will.

Got it.

Who says it’s against their will?


In some situations it's against women's will, or they wouldn't need / want abortions.

"in some situations."



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16 Jul 2022, 7:15 am

^ Ah, only some women. Gotcha. :roll:


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