Saturday, May 18, 2019


Carliss Chatman, a law professor, believes our new abortion laws have ramifications in areas outside reporoduction:
We ought to take our laws seriously. Under the laws, people have all sorts of rights and protections. When a state grants full personhood to a fetus, should they not apply equally?

For example, should child support start at conception? Every state permits the custodial parent — who has primary physical custody of the child and is primarily responsible for his or her day-to-day care — to receive child support from the noncustodial parent. Since a fetus resides in its mother, and receives all nutrition and care from its mother’s body, the mother should be eligible for child support as soon as the fetus is declared a person — at conception in Alabama, at six weeks in states that declare personhood at a fetal heartbeat, at eight weeks in Missouri, which was on the way to passing its law on Friday, but at birth in states that have not banned abortion.

And what about deportation? Can a pregnant immigrant who conceived her child in the United States be expelled? Because doing so would require deporting a U.S. citizen....

Once the life is established, can a mother insure a six-week fetus and collect if she miscarries? Will the tax code be adjusted in these states to allow parents to claim their unborn children as dependents at conception? If so, can a woman who suffers more than one miscarriage in a fiscal year claim all of her children?

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution requires a census every 10 years to count all persons residing within the United States. If a fetus is granted personhood, it should be included in the count.... There is the potential to unfairly skew census data and disproportionately apportion representatives and resources to those states.

These questions highlight the unintended and potentially absurd consequences of sweeping abortion bans.
I think young people should demand their full rights under these laws. If a state declares that life begins at conception, then the young should fill out voter registration forms at seventeen years and three months. Sue the bastards if they turn you down.

Your state says life begins at conception and you have to wait until you're sixteen to get a driver's license? Nope. You deserve a license at fifteen years and three months. Again, lawsuits are in order if this logic is rejected -- it's "natural law," isn't it?

And at twenty years and three months, the bar and the liquor store should take your ID. Sue them, too.

How will this will work out in the courts? I suspect we'll have Schrödinger's personhood, with, as Chatman predicts, personhood states getting credit for fetuses on the census (the Roberts court will certainly approve that) while the same states deny that life begins at conception for the purposes of child support, deportation, insurance, drinking, and driving. (Most people in these states will be conservative, so the folks who run these states might change the voting laws.)

Remember the doublethink the Bush administration demanded when it sent prisoners to Guantanamo (because it was U.S. territory) while claiming that they couldn't be held to U.S. law (because it's not really part of the U.S.)? We'll have something like that with personhood. Eventually, we'll be expected to accept that it all makes sense.

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