Yes, abortion is infanticide

Infanticide has always been a serious component of the ugly side of human nature.  Archaeologists have done a lot of digging in Ashkelon, an ancient town in what is typically known as the Holy Land.  They found the town's sewer, and, in a bend in the channel, they found a pile of infant skeletons.  Forensic analysis could not find any congenital defects in the remains.  It has thus been assumed that the local residents were disposing of their unwanted children.

Fast-forward to our modern world.  We have a judicial edict that no state can outlaw pregnancy termination.  Hence, for the last half-century, every time a Supreme Court Justice sneezes...the Roe v. Wade partisans, on both sides, line up in full battle regalia.

It used to be that the several states would individually license and thus regulate medical practice.  Then, suddenly, a particularly controversial practice was mandated, regardless of local opinion.

Should Roe be overturned, then the states would be free to adopt their own policies.  Should Nevadans be denied access to pregnancy termination, then various facilities in California would likely be able to deal with them.  The beauty of our federal system — the composite structure of jurisdictions — allows for a politically expedient lack of uniformity.

Lurking beneath this persistent controversy is the profound innocence of infants.  They have no voice to defend themselves.  So others adopt the cause.  And yet, definitions are constantly being challenged.

(This is as far as I wrote before learning of the leak of the SCOTUS draft opinion on the latest challenge to Roe.)  The political histrionics attached to abortion underscore the defect in deciding the issue by fiat, rather than the sausage-making of the political process.  Roe is certainly not the only example of judges legislating from the bench; it is just the most controversial.  Meanwhile, other important issues wind up being pushed aside while abortion sucks up all the oxygen instead of letting the political process run its course.

At the time Roe was first handed down, various states were already working toward accommodating the nascent demand for clinically safe pregnancy termination, New York being one of the most prominent by merely requiring a woman to be psychologically at risk.  What Roe did was forbid states from restricting access within the first trimester.  Recently, however, some states have abolished any time limit, thus igniting the latest firestorm.  

Pro-choice misinformation encourages the militant assumption that, should Roe be overturned, abortion would thus be forbidden across the land.  The reality is that the authority to make rules governing access to the procedure would be returned to the states.  Some states may go too far, and SCOTUS would, again, become involved.  But the temperature of the dispute would be seriously dialed down.

Image: Kerald.

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