Roe v Wade
I've talked a lot about Roe v Wade in the past, so there is not much to add here. But I can summarize.
There are two, separate things to discuss that almost everyone conflates: the law and abortion, itself.
As RBG said, it was a bad law. IMO in a rational, structured world, Roe v Wade would never have passed and, once passed, was inevitably going to be overturned.
But, it passed, and that resulted in the creation of attitudes and institutions and expectations.
Kind of like Dred Scott. It may be a long-time precedent and a lot of people may have supported it, but it ultimately had to fall under its own weight.
So, here we are. Abortion is now up to the states. But all of those attitudes and institutions and expectations erected around Roe v Wade will not go quietly.
And, the overturn intersects with an otherwise incredibly divided country, so we are upping the ante on discord, once again.
On abortion, I think it is a fundamentally unsolvable problem in an American context. So, we will disagree. Strongly. Loudly.
I don't have the right answer.
I came down, after excruciating deliberation, on legalizing abortion in the first trimester and with exceptions after that. I am not happy with my decision, but it is the best I can do.
The, this is my body, thing doesn't resonate with me. Partially because I am male, I guess. Partially because your body is regulated in many ways. And the irony of the significant overlap between abortion supporters and those who mandate vaccines is unavoidable.
I think, most people support it, is, while being a simplistic statement, more important. But you have to be careful. Not so long ago, essentially everybody opposed interracial marriage and homosexual marriage. And supported free speech, for that matter.
My view is that abortion is legalized killing.
But, we can decide that legalized killing is ok under certain circumstances: self defense, war, euthanasia, capital punishment (another case of irony) come to mind.
And, we can argue about when life begins.
People kill babies. That's what they do and what they have done for millennia. But they have also raped and killed other people for millennia. The issue is for a culture to decide how much of what is acceptable.
Some problems are easy problems for our culture that are more acceptable in other cultures - rape comes to mind, as does pedophilia.
Other problems are hard problems, but not as significant, like, to what degree should which drugs be outlawed?
Abortion is the ultimate hard problem.
Abortion at one level is after-the-fact birth control.
At another, it is to remedy the bad effects of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.
At another, it is to relieve economic pressure on the poor and the single mother.
Then you get into birth defects.
And probably the most significant reason for abortion and infanticide, historically, is the gender of the child, ie, girls bad.
There will not be a line that everyone agrees should not be crossed.
So, a poorly-constructed law is gone.
Without a god to deem, we will argue interminably about where to draw a more-or-less arbitrary line.
And, there we are.
The fundamental, underlying issue is that our system is broken. Our legislatures do not legislate, so we force the courts to do that. There will be significant implications of that fact. The point of democracy is to let everyone have their say, so that if they lose, they lose "fair and square." We are not doing that.
In our system, it is up to legislatures, to our literal representatives, to do the hard job of negotiating to get to the point of reflecting the "will of the people."
Or, at least, it used to be.