May 10, 2019

Georgia Signs ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban Into Law

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

“Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday signed into law one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws, a measure that bans the procedure once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks.” AP News

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From the Left

The left opposes the law, which it sees as directly conflicting with the right to abortion guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.

‘Heartbeat’ is a bit is a bit of a misnomer, since the cardiac activity that is first detected in an embryo is not a heartbeat by any stretch of the imagination; what is first observed is the pulsing of cells that are specializing and will eventually become a heart. At this point in the pregnancy, the fetus has no brain and no face.”
Moira Donegan, The Guardian

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) “attempted to justify the law’s scientifically questionable reliance on the detectable heartbeat standard based on the notion that dead people no longer have a pulse... [but] under Georgia law and the 1981 Uniform Determination of Death Act, the determination of whether a person is alive is not, in fact, dependent on whether they have a pulse but whether they have sustained ‘irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.’”
Josh Israel, ThinkProgress

It is not clear whether the bill’s drafters contemplated the more dramatic consequences of granting legal personhood to fetuses. For instance, as Georgia appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman has pointed out, the moment this bill takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the state will be illegally holding thousands of citizens in jail without bond. That’s because, under HB 481, pregnant inmates’ fetuses have independent rights—including the right to due process. Can a juvenile attorney represent an inmate’s fetus and demand its release? If not, why? It is an egregious due process violation to punish one human for the crimes of another. If an inmate’s fetus is a human, how can Georgia lawfully detain it for a crime it did not commit?”
Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

“Some medical experts worry that Georgia’s law could cause harm to women who have nonviable pregnancies that aren’t identified by the six-week mark. They cite the example of an ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo is developing outside the uterus and will never develop into a viable fetus. An ectopic pregnancy may not be detectable at six weeks, and as it progresses, it can cause severe bleeding in the woman. Some reproductive health experts… are concerned that the law would force a doctor to allow a nonviable pregnancy to proceed until it is actually causing dire harm to a woman’s health.”
Pam Belluck, New York Times

“Many abortion-rights opponents believe all fetal life deserves absolute protection. But that view is not shared by everyone. About 1 in 4 American women have had or will have an abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The rational option when there are such stark differences of opinion is to let individuals make their own decisions. For the government to force women to have babies they don’t want is no more legitimate than it would be to force expectant mothers to have abortions they don’t want. To use the power of government to deprive women of control over such a profound and intimate matter should give anyone pause. But those pushing these prohibitions would do it in a heartbeat.”
Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right supports the law, and hopes it will result in the Supreme Court revisiting Roe v. Wade.

From the Right

The right supports the law, and hopes it will result in the Supreme Court revisiting Roe v. Wade.

“Though it is unlikely that courts will uphold this type of legislation in the near future… heartbeat bills are still a valuable tool in a broader pro-life legislative strategy… Heartbeat bills force us to consider the reality of abortion rather than the meaningless jargon concocted to disguise it… What ‘clump of cells’ has its own heartbeat? Because of bills like the one signed today in Georgia, more people are considering the scientific reality of fetal heartbeats and the biological reality that every fetus is a distinct, living human being.”
Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

“Such bills are, indeed, unconstitutional given the Court’sRoe ukase that abortion cannot be restricted before a fetus is viable outside the womb — which means, presumably, before the fetus is a child. But why should ‘viability’ be the dispositive criterion? Viable means capable of surviving outside the womb, which no infant can do without constant help that others must give… No infants are ‘viable’ in that all are helpless, and the law requires that help be given by those responsible for the infant.”
George Will, Washington Post

Dated but Relevant: “For a long time, the pro-life movement has been committed to incrementalism because incrementalism was all it had. There were no prospects of Roe’s reversal, and the only way to respond politically to abortion-on-demand was to chip away at the right rather than to swing with a sledgehammer… But there’s a change in the cultural winds. We’re on the cusp of a cultural moment

“Heartbeat bills are different in kind from the abortion restrictions that have thus far dominated red-state lawmaking. Rather than merely regulate the practice, they would ‘make it all but impossible for nearly all women to get the procedure.’ The only way to uphold a heartbeat bill is to overturn Roe and Casey. And that’s entirely the point…

“If a movement is truly pro-life, and a majority of the state’s voters want to protect and foster a culture of life, then it’s time — it’s time to throw down the gauntlet, declare to the world (and to the Court) that the era of incrementalism is over, and show that the people are ready to embrace life. It’s time for more GOP legislatures to pass heartbeat bills, bring them to the Supreme Court, look the justices in the eye, and ask them to correct one of the Court’s most dreadful and consequential mistakes.”
David French, National Review

“Only 13% of independents and 18% of Democrats support legalizing third-trimester abortion, and the majority of Democrats still oppose legalizing second-trimester abortion. While the country is split 48-48 between being pro-life and pro-choice, the majority of the country opposes both the morality of and the legality of first-trimester abortion for no reason other than the woman's preference. This implies a few opinions among pro-choice Americans. Some probably view life as beginning at some post-conception stage of fetal development, such as sentience or the beginning of a heartbeat. Some may view fetuses as lives, but not morally equivalent to someone already born. Others may view abortion as a mere necessary evil and a societal trade-off.”
Tiana Lowe, Washington Examiner

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

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