Hat-tip to Jessica: a bill’s being introduced in the Georgia State Assembly to ban abortion in all cases. I can’t think of a single bad argument for fetal rights that isn’t included in the bill’s official justification. Shoddy studies, ignorance of how to do good science, ad nauseam claims that “life begins at conception,” statements of fact that are the exact opposite of how things actually are – they’re all there.
The General Assembly therefore makes the following findings of fact:
(1) Justice Blackmun, writing for the majority in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), wrote: ‘when those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer [to the question of when life begins].’ Now, 30 years later, the General Assembly knows the answer to that difficult question, and that answer is life begins at the moment of conception.
The “When life begins” formulation of the abortion question is one of the most tired ones. Life began 3.8 billion years ago. A conceptus is living, but so are sperm and ova and bacteria. The thing that distinguishes humans from bacteria in ethics isn’t about life, but about neural complexity. Bacteria have none; born humans have a great deal; ants, lobsters, sheep, human fetuses, pigs, squid, and chimps are somewhere in the middle.
(4) As a direct result of three decades of legalized abortion on demand, the nation has seen a dramatic rise in the incidence of child abuse and a dramatic weakening of family ties, with the infamous Roe v. Wade decision pitting mothers against their children and women against men.
Here the use of “has seen” is very nonnative. A fluent English speaker would say “has seen” only if the dramatic rise is something that continues into the present: “world population has seen a dramatic rise.” But in fact, child abuse rates went down by a lot in the US in the 1990s, suggesting that the author of the bill is not a native speaker, or else he’d use “saw.”
(5) Studies of the three decades since Roe v. Wade have revealed that women have been deeply wounded psychologically, with one researcher reporting that 81 percent of the women who have had an abortion had a preoccupation with an aborted child, 54 percent had nightmares, 35 percent had perceived visitation with an aborted child, and 96 percent felt their abortion had taken a human life.
I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted before about the use of terms like “studies say” without ever giving a reference. I don’t expect bills to have links, but would it kill people to write, “A study by C. R. Brown and Pat Smith published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology says”?
Actually, that’s a rhetorical question. I’m pretty sure it would politically kill the authors. It’s not as if there aren’t studies that show the exact opposite of what the bill claims; Wikipedia links to a couple dozen.
(9) Abortion results in increased tobacco smoking, and women who have had an abortion are twice as likely to become heavy smokers and suffer the corresponding health problems as women who have never had an abortion.
In related news, lack of piracy results in global warming.
In the US, both smoking and abortion are more prevalent in the lower than in the upper classes. I’m not sure what kind of idiots the people of Georgia elect to their State Assembly; those that went to college, took some natural or social science class, and didn’t have to cheat on their finals, should know the meaning of the term “mediating variable.”
(12) Abortion exploits women, treating them and their children as mere property, and abortion is contrary to feminist values, and the great suffragette Susan B. Anthony referred to abortion as ‘child murder.’
Susan B. Anthony’s newspaper ran an article calling abortion murder; however, Anthony didn’t write it. And at any rate, to compare the state of abortion at a time when it was extremely unsafe to a time when it is safer than childbirth isn’t exceptionally sane.
(13) Thirty years of abortion on demand have resulted in an increase in breast cancer, and a study has shown that women who had an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy before experiencing a full-term pregnancy may be at increased risk for breast cancer.
The keyword in the above clause is “a.” In a panel held a few years ago, the FDA agreed nearly unanimously that there was no link between abortion and breast cancer. The one dissenter got promoted by the Bush administration.
(14) The practice of abortion has had a profound detrimental effect on the health and well-being of the citizens of this state as well as the health of the economy; and
(15) The practice of abortion has caused the citizens of this state an inestimable amount economically including, but not limited to, the costs and tax burden of having to care for individuals and their families for the conditions cited above, as well as a significant reduction of the tax base and of the availability of workers, entrepreneurs, teachers, employees, and employers that would have significantly contributed to the prosperity of this state.
It’s not a coincidence that the US crime rate started plummeting about 18 years after Roe vs. Wade. In most cases, middle- and upper-class women who abort do so only to delay childbirth. The children of lower-class women are more often than not a net burden on the tax/welfare system; this is especially true for unwanted children, who commit crimes at disproportionately high rates.