Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Abortometrics, or what is the real pro-life goal?

 Is getting abortions as close to zero as possible the pro-life goal, or is it something else?

From the point of what I would call abortometrics, the idea of trying to figure out what policies will produce the most nonabortions, it is not clear to me that the Republicans are any better than the Democrats. Democrats supported the idea that employers don't have the right to fire employees for getting pregnant, allowed for unpaid medical leave in the Family and Medical Leave Act, and try to make sure that everyone, including pregnant women, get health care. They support paid medical leave, and that would give women a reason not to get an abortion. All Republicans try to do to produce nonabortions is to prevent access by reversing Roe and allowing states to ban abortion. In other words, they think the only way to get rid of abortion if to use force to prevent women from having access to abortion. But because we are a nation governed by the people, this would only be possible in a few red states. In other words, the attack the supply side of abortion. On the other hand, they seem contemptuous of any policies that would decrease the number of abortions by decreasing the need for them. Many pro-choice people in the Democratic party strongly dislike abortion (Biden certainly, though I am not so sure about Harris). Historically, abortion rates don't go down any faster under Republicans than under Democrats. The old slogan for Democrats was safe, legal, and rare, although there has been some, to my mind disturbing backing away from this perspective. But, in practical terms, a safe legal and rare strategy might in fact produce fewer abortions that a strict pro-life position, given the impracticality of getting anything close to an across-the-board prohibition of abortion. So, if the goal is to get the abortometrics as close to zero as possible, (a goal shared by pro-lifers and anti-abortion pro-choicers and no, that's NOT an oxymoron.) Now, maybe pro-lifers think that the abortometric approach is the wrong way to approach abortion. I suppose they think that pro-life laws and the supply strategy are more deontologically adequate even if they are infeasible and less effective abortometrically than the demand strategy. But if the goal is to get as close to zero on abortions as is feasible, then it is less that clear which party is really more pro-life.

Controversial claim?

Either God exists or God does not exists. If God exists, then the people who say that God exists are right, and the people that say that God does not exist are wrong. On the other hand, if God does not exist, then the people who say that God does not exist are right, and the people that say that God does exist are wrong. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Originalism and Judicial Activism

The Constitution says I have the right to bear arms. Does that mean a) a musket (which is what the Founders surely had in mind, 2) a handgun, 3) a machine gun, 4) an assault weapon like an AR-15, or 5) a hand-held nuclear device? We are supposed to look at the original meaning of the words and just go by that. But the founders had no idea what types of weapons would be in existence 200 + years after they wrote. So, no matter what we decide aren't we stuck with some damn activist judge, liberal or conservative, deciding what is in the spirit of the Second Amendment? Originalism offers no answer that I can see.