Is Abortion Murder : A string of worrying instances directly related to legal issues concerning the unborn made attention over the past few days, before the unprecedented publication of an unpublished Draft Supreme Court opinion made this rights’ future seem more bleak: Five abortion-related fetuses were discovered within the D.C. home of an anti-abortion activist , who was said to be planning to provide them with proper burials, Kentucky lawmakers introduced a law that requires interment or the cremation the remains of a fetus and an Texas woman was arrested for murder in connection with an abortion she self-induced.
On their own these incidents could be considered to be isolated. However, when taken in conjunction they may provide a glimpse of an anti-abortion movement that has its eyes set on the future above Roe and beyond the mere act of returning abortion to the states and towards acknowledging that the right of the pregnant woman is protected, and the right to abortion as murder.
The reality drew an inch closer to reality on Wednesday when Republican lawmakers from the Louisiana House of Representatives – encouraged due to the Supreme Court draft opinion that shocked the nation – pushed the bill in committee to classify abortion as homicide, which would allow patients to be prosecuted criminally by prosecutor.
“We cannot wait on the Supreme Court to confirm that innocent babies have the right to life in Louisiana,” state Rep. Danny McCormick said in a hearing of the committee on Wednesday. “The act of abortion ends the life of a human being.”
This is the latest instance of a wave of statehouses dominated by Republicans in recent months, which have adopted or passed laws at record rates that restrict abortion rights ahead of the Supreme Court decision expected out of Mississippi this summer. The decision could rewrite the nearly 50 years-old precedent set by Roe in v. Wade. The draft opinion shows the court’s high court doing exactly what it was supposed to do, but the justices afterward urged that the vote aren’t yet completed.
Yet, looking enthused by a conservative majority of 6-3 of the Supreme Court lawmakers from the beginning to the end of Roe’s term have been pushing for more severe and innovative restrictions, such as appointing individuals as enforcers of the recent, prominent Texas abortion law, or revoking the most commonly-used exceptions to abortion laws, like incest or sexual assault. However, perhaps more subtlely they’re also changing the discussion away from one that focuses on the woman’s health to one that advocates for the fetus, regardless of cost. While doing this they’re advancing a long-running effort to make fetuses appear as being human.
Is Abortion Murder : Making the Fetus a Person
The question of whether fetuses are human beings is a matter that lies at the heart of abortion arguments. This is evident in the various representations of pregnancies in the early stages by certain people to be “babies” versus “clumps of cells” and everything else in between. But the concept that “fetal personhood” is a concept that has broader legal implications.
Opponents of abortion have been trying to recognize fetuses’ status as individuals legally as of Roe V. Wade, according to Rachel Rebouche, the interim dean of Temple University’s law faculty and an expert in the field of reproductive health law. She says there was no political desire to acknowledge the human fetus as an being was not present prior to.
“But now I think what’s interesting is you see kind of a renewed enthusiasm because no one really knows what the Supreme Court is going to say,” Rebouche declared before the draft opinion came out. “Most people believe that there is going to be an ruling that overturns or eliminates Roe. If it is based on eliminating the viability line for states to legislate , or not do so, why not push the limits and give fetuses a degree of personal identity.”
In Roe, the justices determined that, up to the time of fetal viability, which is the point at which a fetus can be able to survive outside of the womb alone states don’t have a legitimate interest in the embryo. Instead of getting involved in the complexities of philosophical questions about when life begins in the first place, the court chose to determine the right to have an abortion on the basis of whether the fetus can survive on its own of its mother, thus establishing the viability test.
“Roe is very clear that the court was not defining the question of when life began and instead just decided the issue of when is there constitutional liberty to end the pregnancy as a choice,” Rebouche states. “And this is the reason why there is a viability line. It’s because it’s at this point where the court ruled that there’s a legitimate interest for the state when the fetus has been born without the womb. Personhood is connected to the idea of the time when life starts which is the question the courts ruled that courts should not be able to.”