Roe, Roe, Roe Your Leaky Boat


Since we are writing legislation that becomes law, we would need to get specific on how this “increasing personhood” concept would actually work given that you intend to codify no restrictions on birthing mothers bodily autonomy as well as no enforcement.

Your digs are noted. I do appreciate how vigorously you work to classify me into a a strawman :wink:


I didn’t include any digs at all — my question was sincere, and I wasn’t describing your emphasis on libertarianism or individual rights in a disparaging way. And I mentioned orange altitude, because that is the altitude where the left and the right can find some degree of overlap (the GOP is mostly amber/orange, and the DNC is mostly orange/green), and therefore the language of orange may be a way to establish some common ground in the midst of the culture war. Which I think is why Ken often defaults to Orange as a locus of negotiation and compromise (which is why he continues to support Roe, as the most reasonable compromise possible for today’s collective center of gravity).


I’m offering my ideas here, which I should be able to do without drafting the legislation myself. You are asking me for my views, so I am providing them.


Feels like you’re trying to backtrack (weird really), but no I don’t have any “moral dilemma” with my libertarianist individual rights encroachment on a birthing persons bodily autonomy to grant protects to the unborn.

Of course you can offer your ideas. And If you want to shift on the fly between definitive and specific (birthing person bodily autonomy) then into conceptual “increasing person-hood” for the fetus, that’s ok too. Just know that it does come across a bit as deflection tactic.

And yes, I do agree that the language of Orange might be a great place to start (that’s why I started it like I did) since that’s what we’ve got. Sounds like even Ken thinks it appropriate in many cases.

Whether with me or on you own, you might want to try and puzzle out what an Orange discussion on “increasing person-hood” might look like in the face of “absolute bodily autonomy” for the birthing person. Might make an interesting interview.


Backtracking on what? I’m saying I did not include any insulting language in my comments/questions, either explicit or implicit.

I am answering every question you ask me, and yet you accuse me of “deflecting”? It feels more like you are trying to interrogate my views until you find something you can reject. I don’t know what the precise legal mechanisms would look like. But I know that my own bodily autonomy ends where your body autonomy begins, so it feels to me that extending incremental bodily autonomy to the fetus may be a reasonable way out of “restricting autonomy” territory altogether.


It really feels like backtracking, deflection and quadrant jujitsu. I have no “moral dilemma” in restricting a birthing persons bodily autonomy to grant protections to a fetus.

Great concept. How would we write down what this looks like?


Personhood countdown begins the moment the doctor says the fetus is viable. The fetus collects .2 person points. Receives .2 person points per month thereafter, until birth when they start the game with one full person point. The doctor gets to decide the exchange rate when factoring the value into their “do no harm” moral equations.

I’m being sarcastic, but I’m really not sure what you are looking for here.

In the current system we already have, which leaves this as a choice between a woman and her doctor, we already have the ratios we are looking for — the vast majority of abortions already take place before viability, and the vast majority of those that don’t are done for medical emergencies. Which means that we are getting the best results with maximum liberty for everyone involved, including post-viable fetuses, without creating shame or suspicion or lawsuits for women who have already been through a very intense and possibly traumatizing experience. If you want to explicitly ban abortions past viability, simply because it makes you feel good, you’re not actually fixing any problems since that is already not happening. All you are doing is restricting liberty and creating suspicion for women who have miscarriages. If we want to improve abortion rates even more, we do so through sex education, family planning, and easy access to contraceptives, which have proven time and time again to be the best prevention.

Now, you can accuse me of deflecting because I’m not actually trying to write a new set of laws, I’ll remind you that you often avoid the questions I ask you. So maybe you can tell me how you would legislate this yourself, instead of only interrogating my views.

If your proposed solution was to become law, how would you:

a) protect women who’ve had miscarriages and had to have the fetus surgically removed, if women can be punished for having abortions? Do they need to appear in court and prove their fetus was naturally aborted, and required medical intervention to remove? What legal mechanisms will your proposal require to prevent that?

b) If being sued for a painful, possibly heartbreaking miscarriage exacerbates or generates trauma for a woman who is being publicly suspected of abortion, what kinds of mental health resources are made available to her? Will this be included with your legislation?

c) Protect children raped by family members, if they require parental consent? What legal mechanisms will prevent children from becoming even more traumatized?

d) Protect doctors who need to make difficult, often life-saving decisions with their patient?

e) Expanding on the previous: what if your doctor told you your 8-month pregnant wife had an 80% chance of dying if she gives birth? Should it be legal to save your wife’s life? What if it was a 50% chance? How about 20%? 5%? Where do you draw the line, and how do you legislate and enforce that line?

f) what impact does your proposal actually have on real-world abortion rates?


Relax buddy. It’s all good.

Simply have a doctor “sign off” that it was a miscarriage requiring intervention.
If it is shown that a doctor or clinic such as Planned Parenthood is “overwhelming” statistics, then investigate and prosecute as necessary.

See a)

Prosecute rape cases regardless if the birthing person has an abortion or not.

See a)

Great example of a gray zone. Assume we would have a medical board determine the probability levels for various conditions. Giving birth even with no known issues in and of itself is life threatening. Good question.

I think you’ve just said it would have no effect.
I would “take the money out of the industry”. I misspoke in one post. Currently it’s illegal to traffic in human tissues, so they have a work around where it’s on a donation basis. Regardless, taking the money out of the equation might clean up several quadrants worth of shadows.

Hoping this helps!


Honestly, you guys are going about it all backwards.

Just pass one law.
Every man is financially responsible for any genetic offspring until that genome has reached 18 years after date of birth. If he wants to donate his sperm he needs to make a contract to ensure he is compensated adequately by the person who wants his sperm, but this does not end his liability to provide financial support to his genetic offspring.


This is how it is in many countries in Europe and surprise surprise the abortion laws tend to actually make sense.


Wikipedia has a concise listing of women’s voting rights here.
Looks like NZ was first in 1896 with what we might consider leading edge from 1900s to 1930s. US was at 1920.
A vast number of countries adopted immediately following WW2.’s_suffrage#Timeline


Glad you could appreciate what truly is a tiny capsule of the history. The women’s suffrage movement was attended by other women’s activist movements: for birth control, to be property owners, for sexual freedom, among them. While the U.S. has a couple of “leading edge” trophies, they aren’t totally shiny, those trophies, and overall, I would have to say, from the history, the U.S. has been a bit of a “laggard” when it comes to women’s voting rights. Hey, can’t be first and great in everything, huh? Much of this history comes from Wikipedia (and while you’ve already checked out that source, maybe this will be useful to others here.)

Europe was largely ahead of the US, and some of the countries viewed today as most progressive (and high on happiness scales) were also some of the earliest to grant women the right to vote. Sweden allowed women to vote as early as 1718, but by 1772, had reverted to male only voting. This is not an uncommon occurrence, plus some voting was conditional: women might be able to vote in a school or local election, but not federal; or they had to be unmarried property owners to vote; or they had to be white. In the U.S. some territories granted women the right to vote, then rescinded it when they became states. Some states in the US allowed women to be office holders before they were legally allowed to vote. So it’s sort of all over the place.

The first woman to vote anywhere in the US that we know of (excluding natives; more on that later) was in colonial America in 1756, in the state of Massachusetts when it was under British rule. She voted 3 times in a local township council of some kind. The first US state to enfranchise women was New Jersey, allowing female voting from 1776-1807, then rescinded. The Kingdom of Hawaii instituted universal suffrage (men, women, all races, property owner or not) in 1840, then rescinded it in 1852, and added the restriction on males that they had to be property owners to vote (Hawaii was annexed by the US in 1898). Other than those examples, the US is indeed a bit of a laggard or minimally, low-average, in the grand scheme of things.

In 1869 and for the first few years after, a number of provinces in the British and Russian empires gave women voting rights; some of those provinces became sovereign nations: Finland, New Zealand, Australia. In 1906, women in Russia’s Finland were the first in the world to gain racially-equal suffrage, and could also hold office.

Besides Sweden, other countries with early enfranchisement of women were the Corsica Republic (1755), the Pitcairn Islands (1838), the Isle of Man (1881).

Closer to home, the list goes like this:
Norway 1913
Canada 1917
Britain and Germany 1918
Austria, Netherlands, US 1920 (although blacks in the US had no legal voting protection in the southern states until 1965)
France 1944
Greece 1952
Switzerland 1959 at the local level, 1991 federal
And a couple of European jurisdictions in 1984 and 1990

While the women’s suffrage movement had an earlier start in Europe than the US, there were women’s groups in the UK that fought against women’s right to vote, the argument usually being either they had no military experience, or, that they were more than half the population.

Since a 1979 convention, female right-to-vote has been deemed a basic right by the UN.

As for indigenous nations, we know from writings by missionaries in 1654 that the Iroquois provided for women to vote in councils, and Iroquoian women were also delegated as peace ambassadors. They could also question and depose tribal chiefs. This was a matrilineal kinship system, with property and descent passed through the female line. You probably know this, but the US Constitution and form of governance was influenced by the Iroquois Confederacy’s (six different tribes) “Great Law of Peace.” Numerous people have commented over the years that what the US left out was the role of women…


@FermentedAgave If you haven’t already, you might want to also check out the birth control movement at Wikipedia. Interestingly, a war, WW1, also played a role in contraception becoming socially accepted, approved. Many US servicemen had a venereal disease, so the US govt. launched a public health campaign, moving the question from a moral issue to a health one. While abstinence was the primary recommendation, the use of condoms and other contraception was encouraged.

While the movement to legalize birth control began in 1914, contraception had long been used, and is said to have contributed to a 50% drop in fertility rates in the US between 1800-1900. The earliest survey that we know of on contraception habits in the US was done in 1892–1912, largely with upper class women who used it and also reported viewing sex as “a pleasurable act to be undertaken without the goal of procreation.”

The first birth control clinic in the world was in Netherlands in 1882. England had birth control clinics in 1921. Margaret Sanger opened one in the US in 1916; it was immediately closed down by police and she was sentenced to a month in jail. By 1923, she had opened another one and had no problems. Planned Parenthood opened clinics in 1942, by which time the medical associations were advocating, since 1937, for birth control as an aspect of medical training. Sanger and others advocated for birth control out of concern with the hardship of children and the medical problems/issues associated with self-induced abortion.


We were likely viewing the Wikipedia page at the same time. LOL. US might not have been the very first, but does seem to have been on the front side of the wave. We can ruminate on why the founding fathers didn’t make it happen in 1776 or why 2000 years ago or Buddha 2500 years ago, or appreciate that it’s been in place for decades, or both.

Whenever I get out my forefathers stickball sticks I wonder what could have been and what would it have been like to live 400 or a 1000 years ago. Would I have been a warrior or chief or shaman or just another member of the tribe. Would my wives be strong and smart and beautiful and hard working. Would I have led successful raids on neighboring tribes to steal food and women, or would I have been captured and enslaved until I died of exposure. Or would I have been good to my slaves or cruel? How many of my wives and children would be lost to raiding tribes or harsh winters or dysentery or an abscessed tooth? Would I have lived to the ripe old age of 50?


If you’re suggesting I have a romantic view of native people or am oblivious to the historical violence and cruelty of tribes or whatever, be assured, I am not. None of that history however cancels what I was saying about the Iroquois and that Confederacy 400 years ago.

At one time in recent history, it was fashionable to indeed romanticize Indians, to emphasize the “noble” part of that ubiquitous phrase ‘noble savages.’ Now, it seems it’s popular to emphasize the “savage” part. Both/and is usually closer to a truth than is either/or.


I believe this is a typical of history that a huge swath of it is ignored or “didn’t happen” because it was not written down. Except in a code.

For most of history men had absolutely no idea about contraception or that abortions were done much less how. Therefore it was not recorded in histories written by males - therefore “did not happen”.


I have to. Cant resist. …



I didn’t mention it previously. It’s strange that you lay out all the information and come up with a completely inaccurate conclusion that the US is a laggard or at best low-average adopter of women’s rights.

  • The British Commonwealth nations and Scandinavians deserve their Innovator credit, but by any measure US is in the Early Adopter grouping by the very most conservative estimates. 1900 to 1920 was on the very front edge of codifying women’s rights, specifically the right to vote.
  • The Majority Adopters would span from 1940’s to 1960’s.
  • Laggards would be our African and Middle Eastern countries that well within our lifetimes have decided to let women vote, drive and own property.


This is a topic that is very easy to be selective about in what we want to see. For example, I did a search for sexual harassment legislation and found that yes, the United States was way ahead. Maternity leave, on the other hand - way behind.
So through for the past 60 years women in the USA can work with legal protection from getting fondled but if their husbands got them pregnant they’d probably have to quit.
Sick leave is another thing - in the USA there is not protection for “sick but not sick” thing some women do month after month while where I worked in Europe you could go 3 sick days before needing a doctors note.
But then on the other hand, in Europe I don’t know how many times I was asked “So Bill Clinton - why is this big deal. He is powerful man. It’s natural.” It was so common I pretended to be British most the time to avoid discussing American politics. So I guess up until recently if a woman in Europe got pregnant at work, at least she couldn’t be fired and gets 6 months maternity leave.

Anyway, it’s a difficult thing to measure who is “ahead” at a given time because there are so many variables.


There are many metrics where America ranks poorly compared to other modern nations. For example, and probably most relevant to this thread, we absolutely suck when it comes to infant mortality rates.

At 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, the United States ranks No. 33 out of 36 OECD countries

Interestingly, blue states generally seem to have the lowest rates of infant mortality (Massachusetts has the lowest rate at 3.8 per 1000) while red states lag behind (Mississippi has the worst, at 8.6 deaths per 1000 births). It seems absurd to me that the states that are most anti-abortion tend to also have the worst rates of infant mortality.


Then the question follows - who tends to be most at fault in the higher number of cases? Doctors, parents, other unknown like SIDS, or is it just due to the fact that it’s a four hour drive to the hospital (a problem to which there isn’t really a solution except to live in a city).