Not Perfect, but I’ll Take It.
The best law would be a total ban on all abortions except to save the life of the mother.
Total abolition purist cynics will say that this law makes abortion legal before 6 weeks. Realistically, though, this will be a near total ban on clinical abortions since most women don’t realize they’re pregnant before this stage.
It’s kind of amusing to be honest that the law expressly bans abortion after a heartbeat which now all of a sudden all the abortion advocates are like “but it has a heart beat before we realize it’s pregnant”. It’s like yeah. We’ve been telling you that forever.
But I digress. I’ll admit that this law still allows for the use of the morning after pill and abortifacient birth control. I don’t have a problem with the birth control because it can be used for legitimate reasons, but the morning after pill is indeed a problem. All I can say is there’s nothing in this law that prevents the morning after pill from being banned later.
So we still have work to do, but this is an excellent start. Aside from the fact that the penalties for breaking the law are rather weak (more on that later), we’re still looking at an effective ban on almost all clinical abortions. I’m sure we’ll see some increase in the use of the morning after pill, but I’m hopeful that we’ll see a significant drop in baby murder. Time will tell.
Life of the Mother Exception
It does have an exception for the life of the mother, which I favor because of situations like ectopic pregnancy. I think this is good. I know abolition purists who deny the need for such exceptions but they are quite simply wrong.
Sometimes mom and baby are both definitely going to die and if you end the baby now you can save mom. Realistically your choice is between two dead or one dead with that one being one of the original two. It’s the easiest trolley problem ever and I think it would be evil to ban saving a life in that situation.
In other good news, it does not contain an exception for rape and incest which really don’t make any sense as justifications for abortion.
Legal Fight Still On
SCOTUS did decline to block the law, but that was only a temporary block that would have kept it from being enforced while they hash out the legal challenges.
The block was specifically requested because the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had to cancel a hearing to discuss the bill before it went into effect. Realizing that this would allow the bill to go into effect the abortion advocates appealed to SCOTUS.
SCOTUS declined to block the law, but they have not ruled on the case that sits before the Fifth Circuit. So the Fifth Circuit could still strike down the law on constitutional grounds. And if they don’t, the abortion rights advocates will most certain appeal to SCOTUS again where a full hearing will be had.
We don’t know how this is going to play out. With a majority conservative court there may be cause for hope, but I’m not sure what the Fifth Circuit looks like so I don’t know how that will go. If it does reach SCOTUS, you can bet the whole world will be watching. Will we see the Dems rush to pack the court by then? Stay tuned.
Very Interesting Law From AnCap Perspective
You might be thinking that because I’m an anarchist I should hate the government for passing a law that takes away women’s rights. But if that’s the case you’re sorely mistaken.
I’m not an anarchist because I believe in the idea of unrestrained freedom. I believe in property rights. (Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are all implied by the right to property which necessarily qualifies what those terms mean).
I’m an anarchist because State governments are the biggest expropriater of property in the universe. I hate laws when they violate property rights. Everyone owns themselves and the things they have created or traded for. Taxation, business relations, and individual mandates, and war all violate property rights.
Just because I don’t believe State governments should exist doesn’t mean I believe there should never be laws nor that there should never be anyone to enforce laws. The laws that exist should be to uphold property rights, and the agencies that enforce them should do so in a way that does not violate property rights.
Hence I’m an AnCap a la Rothbard and Hoppe.
When it comes to this issue, “women’s rights” is entirely the wrong way to frame this. Abortion advocates will talk about the mother’s body all day long, but the mother’s body is not the one that is under threat of serious harm here. Except in certain situations, bearing a child is a perfectly natural and healthy thing to happen that produces all sorts of positive benefits to the mother. I’ve already explained that those exceptions should be allowed. So the issue here is not about the woman’s property rights over her body. It’s about the baby’s property rights over his or her body.
Despite being still in the womb and not fully developed, unborn children are living human beings. They are distinct persons from their mothers even while they live inside their mothers’ body. They have the same rights of self ownership as anyone else, but they are far more weak and vulnerable than anyone else.
I can’t think of a greater evil than taking away the life of these, the most vulnerable people in our society. The fact that they are in the womb and therefore unviable is perversely used by abortion advocates to ironically justify their murder which is insane. The fact that they can’t live on their own outside the womb is the very reason they deserve the most protection.
So yeah as a consistent libertarian I’m against abortion because it’s the worst kind of murder. At least if you stab a dude while stealing his wallet he has a chance of defending himself. These babies, however, depend on their mother for their very lives and when those mother’s turn on them there is no one to defend them.
And since as a consistent libertarian I want the government to ban murder, I support abortion bans.
So yeah. Having a law like this enforced by the State is less than ideal, but that’s because the State is a problem. It’s not because the law is a problem. A law banning abortion is exactly the kind of law I’d want the police force I subscribe to in AnCapistan to enforce.
And what’s really interesting in this law is that it’s already kind of AnCap in it’s enforcement. There’s not going to be any police agency going around and charging anyone with criminal charges.
Instead anyone who suspects someone of breaking the law can file a civil law suit against them, and if they win, they will be awarded $10,000. I’m unclear as to what the requirements are for when someone can have standing to file such a suit. Are they going to require that you show that you were somehow harmed by the abortion, or does that matter? Like can the grandparents or father of the abortion victim fine a suit because they are family but Joe Schmo can’t do it against don’t rando. I don’t know.
But it is very interesting that this is primarily down to private enforcement. I’m on the edge of my seat for how this is going to work out. One thing I can say for now is that if these cases are indeed going to be civil suits instead of criminal trials, the standard of proof is lower. In a criminal trial, the prosecution has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, but in a civil case, the plaintiff simply has to show a preponderance of evidence that it’s more likely that the defendant did indeed do what they are accused of. (This is the reason OJ was acquitted in criminal court but ultimately held civilly liable). With that being the case, it should be a lot easier to get convictions on this than most other laws. There’s a reason the baby murderers are running scared.
My only criticism is the weak penalty. $10,000 is far too weak a penalty for murder. The defendant deserves the death penalty. Hopefully this is just a start and they will eventually ratchet it up, I don’t know.
Reading between the lines here, this law is very weird with the subliminal messaging. Given that there are no criminal penalties, that the civil penalty is very weak, and that abortion is still legal befor 6 weeks, this is far from the ideal law. Ideally we would want the agency that enforces laws against murder to define murder in such a way as to include the killing of babies in the womb for any reason other than to save the life of the mother. This law does not to that, and that’s a shame.
However, $10,000 isn’t a slap on the wrist. It’s not exactly a hefty fine, but I figure most private citizens can’t just absorb that without thinking twice, and it should make abortions bad business for clinics. So while the messaging may not be ideal and there is imperfection in the law, I’m hopeful that this will save lives in Texas.
At least until SCOTUS strikes it down.