The Republican War On Women, State By State

Following up on my last post, here is a depressing chart from Remapping Debate (follow the link and read the short text) on abortion restrictions in the United States. Notice Missouri and all the states that border us here in the southwest corner:

abortion restrictions by state



  1. I waiver on this question. I tend to believe it is the duty of the state to minimize abortions, because I can’t convince myself I know when life begins and I think it’s well before birth.

    That said, I think that the main means to do so should be to subsidize heavily social services for young pregnant woman, including of course adoption. Conservatives point out that bans on guns will be widely violated, and maybe so. But how can you oppose gun control because it can’t be enforced without great infringement on liberty, and then heartily endorse a ban on abortion and not expect the same??

    For social conservative to insistent on no abortion, and reduced service at the same time is nothing but blue nosed cruelty of the worst kind.


    • Bruce,

      You have made a couple of points that bear repeating.

      I agree with you that the state, reflecting most people’s discomfort with abortion, should do all it can to minimize it, particularly along the lines you mention. I remind all that it was abortion opponent and father of modern conservatism Bill Buckley who wrote in 1988 about RU 486:

      …if abortions are to be permitted, their mission accomplished through a pill taken up to 49 days after fertilization would appear to be a genuine form of medical progress.

      Can you imagine such a relatively enlightened response today from a conservative with Buckley’s credentials?

      And I agree with your point about the conservative hypocrisy vis-à-vis guns and abortion. I don’t support the pro-choice position because I think women would largely violate any law restricting their reproductive rights. I support choice because I don’t know when it is proper to regard a developing human being as a person with constitutional rights. And I don’t know anyone, especially anyone with a penis, who does.




  2. By the way, I read your coments on Ron Paul attempting to frankly straddle the issue to a large degree. He doesn’t explictely do so, but I had the feeling he wanted to say: “I’d oppose abortion including a federal a declaration to that effect, but enforcement is up to the states. (wink-wink: many of them likely won’t.)

    The symbolism of this issue I think outweighs it practical impact.


  3. With apologies for repetition, I’m moved to offer this opinion on this difficult issue:

    I submit that the question of when human life begins is an improper one because, although lawyers and priests feel compelled to ask and answer it, it is unanswerable in the form asked. By science at least, and both Duane and Bruce seem to acknowledge this. A new person begins as a blastula and develops from there in a genetically-programmed process that is a continuum.

    It is known from testing that people retain no specific memories prior the the age of 3 or 4, so I submit that people are incomplete before that stage. My feeling is that while abortion should be considered inadvisable if done after the first trimester of gestation, because by then the baby has distinct human form and organ functionality, I would make exceptions for rape, unrepairable genetic defect or significant threat to the life of the mother.

    Why should the life of the mother trump that of the baby? I would argue it’s because the mother has achieved complete self-awareness and memory whereas the fetus has neither at this stage. It’s simply a case of putting myself in her position: Cogito, ergo sum.

    The worm in this legal apple, in my opinion, is established religion having the hubris to dictate rules without sensible basis simply because they can.


    • King Beauregard

       /  February 13, 2013

      The hubris goes even further: these guys are making like it’s been their belief all along when in fact it’s a newer invention than the Happy Meal.


      • Your link is a good addition to the conversation, King – thanks. One of the comments on the Slackivist post bears a relevant fact worth mentioning here, I think, i.e., that approximately half of all fertilized eggs in our species spontaneously abort due to some gestational genetic flaw or other! Is Heaven full of little wiggling embryos, or is there a special compartmented part of Heaven just for them? Or, does God re-cycle souls for additional tries? Seems kind of messy.


        • Because of spontaneous abortion, I have argued with (mostly evangelical) anti-choicers by claiming that God, who they believe is in charge of nature, is the Cosmic Abortionist.


      • Good find King B.

        Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis, has written and talked about his family’s role in creating the climate that we know today as the “pro-life” movement, which has worked some folks up enough to kill. I was at one time a great admirer of Francis Schaeffer (I still have many of his books), back in my evangelical days.

        If you are not familiar with what the reformed Frank Schaeffer has to say, this is a good place to start.



    • Jim,

      You illustrate perfectly why it is that in most cases we have no right to substitute our judgment for that of the pregnant woman, even though I believe there is an increasing state interest in protecting developing life late in pregnancy, an interest recognized by the Supreme Court. Thus, we should make it easier, not harder, for women seeking abortions early, since as Bill Buckley recognized, that is more “humane.”



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