Abortion and Texas

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The new anti-abortion law in Texas is evil. Period. End of sentence. There’s just no other way of putting it.

Admittedly, one of the reasons that I think that the law is evil is because it goes against my preferred policy position.

On the one hand, I believe that abortion should be safe, legal, and available.

On the other hand, I believe that it’s worth doing the work to reduce the number of abortions. I don’t believe that because I believe that life begins at conception, but because seems like an unpleasant procedure for everyone involved. And I also know that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to provide robust sex education, ensure that contraception is widely available, and provide high-quality pre-natal and post-natal care.

I know that there are Christians who believe that the scriptures and the Christian tradition are unequivocally against abortion. I don’t read it that way. I find that scripture does not address abortion in a consistent manner; that Jews and Christians have held a variety of positions on the matter; and that even if scripture and tradition did provide a clear command, there are plenty of other topics on which we modify clear commands to make it possible to live in the world.

And that’s important. People who are considering abortions are going through a decision that I hope I will never have to make or be involved in making. I am not qualified to make that decision for them; and no lawmaker is qualified to make it, either. So I say that we leave it to them and those from whom they seek counsel and support.

The other reason that I think that this law is evil is the nature of the law itself.

This law is blatantly unconstitutional under the controlling precedent, and it uses a farcical enforcement mechanism precisely to avoid the kind of judicial review that it should be subject to. That enforcement mechanism, of course, turns neighbor against neighbor, encourages suspicion, and creates fear. And that would be evil enough.

But this law—and that desire to avoid review—also makes a mockery of the legal system. This is a law written by people who treat the law as a game: a game where it does not matter who suffers as long as they get to declare that abortion is now functionally illegal. They will not look to see who dies because of a botched abortion; they will bother to ask how many children end up in poverty because their parents cannot support an additional child; they will not care if the overall number of abortions goes up because people seek them out-of-state; and they won’t even care if people are driven into bankruptcy by lawsuits that would otherwise be frivolous. They will simply declare victory and leave the mess for someone else to clean up.

Look, I understand that abortion is a controversial issue. I would even say that it should be a controversial issue. The questions about when life begins, what society owes to potential parents and potential children, and other topics that surround abortion should be the subjects of robust public debate. But this law and evil law. And, honestly, even people who disagree with me about abortion—who believe that abortion should be illegal—should see that this law uses that end to justify unacceptable means.

Period. End of post.

The new anti-abortion law in Texas is evil. Period. End of sentence. There’s just no other way of putting it. Click To Tweet
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