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Gov. Abbott Signs Texas Heartbeat Bill, Banning Most Abortions After Six Weeks

Gov. Abbott Signs Texas Heartbeat Bill, Banning Most Abortions After Six Weeks

Abbott said: “Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Texas Heartbeat Bill into law on Wednesday morning. The bill bans most abortions after six weeks.

Parents usually hear the baby’s heartbeat at the six-week checkup via ultrasound.

Abbott tweeted, “In Texas, we will always lead the way to protect the unborn.” He finished it with #ProLife.

Abbott signed the law on Facebook Live.

“Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” said Abbott. “In Texas, we work to save those lives, and that’s exactly what the Texas Legislature did this session. They worked together on a bipartisan basis to pass this bill I’m about to sign that ensures that the life of every unborn child who has a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion.”

The Bill

The state legislature passed the bill on May 13.

The legislation states basic biology: “pregnancy begins with fertilization” and “occurs when the woman is carrying the developing human offspring.” The authors said pregnancy is also determined by the date of a female’s last period.

Also from the bill:

Sec. 171.202. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds, according to contemporary medical research, that:
(1) fetal heartbeat has become a key medical predictor that an unborn child will reach live birth;
(2) cardiac activity begins at a biologically identifiable moment in time, normally when the fetal heart is formed in the gestational sac;

The gestational sac is the “structure compromising the extraembryonic membranes that envelop the unborn child and that is typically visible by ultrasound after the fourth week of pregnancy.” It is not the placenta.

The law forbids a physician from knowingly performing or inducing “an abortion or a pregnant woman.”

The physician can perform or induce an abortion if “the physician has determined, in accordance with this section, whether the woman’s unborn child has a detectable fetal heartbeat.”

So the abortion can only happen in a medical emergency. Rape and incest do not count. The person who impregnated the woman “through rape or incest could not sue.”

The Texas Heartbeat Act allows private citizens to “bring a civil action against any person who”:

(1) performs or induces an abortion in violation of this chapter;
(2) knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induced in violation of this chapter, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of this chapter.

The person cannot “have a connection to an abortion provider or a person seeking an abortion.”

Will It Hold Up?

No.

We could have a pro-life SCOTUS and they wouldn’t overturn Roe v. Wade. They’re cowards who use “precedence” as an excuse.

SCOTUS agreed to hear the Mississippi case, which bans abortions after 15 weeks. That ruling will give us some insight, but it likely won’t happen until 2022.

Either way, expect this bill to get shot down in all the courts and eventually SCOTUS. I hate to be such a Debbie Downer, but I have no faith in SCOTUS.

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Comments

Legal challenge will be filed within hours.

The Supreme Court has already taken up a case that seeks to redefine the point at which the fetus is viable. Viability outside the womb is the key threshold. Medical advancements in the last 50 years have altered the point of viability significantly. First heartbeat is possibly aggressive but could be a reference point. For example, its feasible that the law could read … “no abortion can be performed as of one week after first heartbeat is detected.”

    rhhardin in reply to Ben Kent. | May 19, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    They’d be better off with the point that a fetus can be made to appear cute, just from the point of view of getting majority agreement from the two sides. Viability has only a dogmatic justification.

      George_Kaplan in reply to rhhardin. | May 19, 2021 at 6:39 pm

      Viability can be sold easily as life. Just show a shot of kids age 12 down to 15 weeks in the womb, then ask what the cut-off for killing them is.

    Milhouse in reply to Ben Kent. | May 20, 2021 at 3:41 am

    Legal challenge will be filed within hours.

    See my comment below; legal challenges to this law will be difficult. It’s cleverly designed to avoid them.

    SteChatte in reply to Ben Kent. | May 20, 2021 at 6:45 am

    Legislation deliberately falls short of declaring the fetus to be a human being with full natural rights. That is the only language that can force SCOTUS into taking a stand. Otherwise, these silly “viability” laws are just lawyer fodder. That is deliberate, which means the RINO Party has always been pro-abortion. And why not? Nearly all abortions are of would-be democrat voters. Pragmatic little sociopaths!

      Milhouse in reply to SteChatte. | May 20, 2021 at 9:08 am

      BS. First of all, it is not the business of legislation to make declarations. Legislation is supposed to say what people must or must not do, and what should happen when they don’t comply. Second, as you yourself admitted it’s drafted that way so as to protect it from litigation, which is a good thing and a pro-life thing; a pro-abortion party would make sure it landed right in federal court where it could be summarily aborted by injunction.

There isn’t a heart at six weeks.

You’d get little support for a law that gives only one missed period to suspect you’re pregnant, on top of that.

Look for half the conservatives to vote democrat if this is what conservative government gives you.

Left up to the states is a good idea; but then they’re supposed to use comon sense.

    Milhouse in reply to rhhardin. | May 19, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    There isn’t a heart at six weeks.

    Then what’s beating?

      mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 2:46 am

      It’s an electrical signal, I’m not sure it’s even a sound from the forming heart. Rhhardin is correct the heart at this stage isn’t any way near fully formed.

        Milhouse in reply to mark311. | May 20, 2021 at 3:40 am

        Nobody claimed the heart is fully formed at six weeks. That doesn’t happen till the 10th week. But by six weeks there is definitely a heart, and it beats.

        Even Planned Parenthood says so, at least for now; I expect them to redact that page as soon as they realize it harms their cause.

          mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 11:12 am

          That is a simplification, technically speaking the the ‘heartbeat’ as detected at 6 weeks is describes as being “electrically-induced flickering of a portion of the fetal tissue that will become the heart as the embryo develops” by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

          Planned parenthood etc have simplified the language. They are trying to communicate processes.

          I’m still not clear how this harms the cause as you put it. It literally has nothing to do with viability or personhood. Its a red herring and doesn’t further the pro life argument at all

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 11:47 am

          “electrically-induced flickering”

          What do you think a heartbeat is?

          the fetal tissue that will become the heart

          It is already a heart. Since when does it have to be fully formed before it can be called that? Do you say the same of an arm or a leg?! “Until it’s fully formed it’s not an arm, it’s just the tissue that will become the arm”? The PP page calls it a heart because it is one; that harms the cause now that it has become the Party line to claim that it isn’t one, so I expect PP will soon revise its page to bring it into compliance with the new Pravda.

          mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 2:00 pm

          @ Milhouse

          It’s not a real heart beat because the heart hasn’t got all the components of a heart. There is a significant difference between a literal heartbeat and an electrical signal

          As I’ve said it’s not a fully formed heart. You yourself agreed with that statement in a previous comment .

          Again how does having a heart beat or heart beat signal at six weeks actually change the argument. It doesn’t affect viability, doesn’t affect personhood, doesn’t affect a damn thing. What’s your point?

          What a callous comment, @mark311. An unborn baby’s heartbeat is just an “electrical signal” from a clump of cells, right? Kind of like a cancerous tumor somehow manifesting some “electrical signal” that has nothing to do with life.

          And I’m guessing that applies only to those women who seek to terminate their pregnancy, or do you share this little nugget of wisdom with expectant mothers, eager to have their child, who suffer a miscarriage? No worries! It wasn’t an actual baby, you idiot, just a clump of cells with an electrical signal. Buck up! Stop your moping!

          And do you take your cold disregard for human life and your lack of empathy or compassion to the next level, @mark311? That whole personhood thing is tricky, after all. Do you tell that expectant mother (and yes, she was an expectant mother, even if she miscarried): So what if you already felt your baby move, already named him or her? That was foolish since until it’s at least two years old, it’s not even a PERSON, and killing it is not infanticide, but “post-birth abortion.”

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 5:35 pm

          No, Mark, it’s a real heart. It’s not fully formed; so what? Whoever said a heart must be fully formed before it can be one? A newborn’s brain is not fully formed; does that mean it doesn’t have one?!

          There is a significant difference between a literal heartbeat and an electrical signal

          No, it is not just an electrical signal. As you yourself put it earlier, it’s an “electrically-induced flickering of the tissue” that is the partially-formed heart. What do you think a “literal heartbeat” is, if not that?

          It matters because we’re discussing rhhardin’s claim that “There isn’t a heart at six weeks”. And the whole point of that claim is to discredit this law by pretending it’s based on something that’s impossible.

          It’s relevant because a lot of people think it’s reasonable to associate life with heartbeat. It used to be common to define the end of life as the permanent cessation of heartbeat. Nowadays it’s more common to use the permanent cessation of brain activity, but a lot of people don’t agree with that. But whichever measure is used at the end of life, it’s reasonable to use the same measure at the beginning.

          mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 21, 2021 at 11:20 am

          @Milhouse

          “No, Mark, it’s a real heart. It’s not fully formed; so what? Whoever said a heart must be fully formed before it can be one? A newborn’s brain is not fully formed; does that mean it doesn’t have one?!”

          Not in the sense that the Texan law is trying to illustrate. The claim is that the science shows that the fetus has a heart and that somehow this gives it legal status. The issue here is that the science doesn’t support that assertion. Indeed so what as I’ve stated multiple times it doesn’t even really impact on the argument. ITs still not a justification for preventing abortion.

          “It’s relevant because a lot of people think it’s reasonable to associate life with heartbeat. It used to be common to define the end of life as the permanent cessation of heartbeat. Nowadays it’s more common to use the permanent cessation of brain activity, but a lot of people don’t agree with that. But whichever measure is used at the end of life, it’s reasonable to use the same measure at the beginning.”

          I’ve never heard anyone use the heartbeat as a reasonable marker for the beginning of personhood. In terms of the beginning of life that’s a separate question. Life in and of itself doesnt give it legal status nor should it otherwise you are saying that sperm or the egg is life and thats clearly problematic.

          @Fuzzy slippers

          “What a callous comment, @mark311. An unborn baby’s heartbeat is just an “electrical signal” from a clump of cells, right? Kind of like a cancerous tumor somehow manifesting some “electrical signal” that has nothing to do with life.”

          Cluster of cells would be an accurate statement. No a cancerous tumour is not a normal part of the development of a person that that would be entirely separate as a category.

          “And I’m guessing that applies only to those women who seek to terminate their pregnancy, or do you share this little nugget of wisdom with expectant mothers, eager to have their child, who suffer a miscarriage? No worries! It wasn’t an actual baby, you idiot, just a clump of cells with an electrical signal. Buck up! Stop your moping!”

          Ironic since the main thrust of my argument has been bodily autonomy and therefore the women’s choice. The women involved are making a decision based on what they think is best for both them and the fetus. You make it sound like a trivial choice its really not. Its well documented that in countries with restrictive abortion laws all that happens is that those women who feel they need an abortion either travel or go underground to get it done. That’s just the reality. Having a reasonable justification for a law on abortion mitigates against this.

          The personhood argument is irrelevant if the women wants the baby so far from being callous im respecting the women’s choice.

          You may wish to paint me in negative light but the reality is your position as pro Texan law means that a rape victim has no other choice than to look after the progeny for 18 years. That’s a pretty bitter pill to swallow. Additionally id point out that given its the women’s choice under the system id propose (at least before 24 weeks) it would be none of anyone’s business other than the women’s. I don’t see how miscarriage would be a concern regarding a pro choice abortion argument. That seems a blatant attempt at emotional blackmail.

“They’re cowards who use “precedence” as an excuse.”

Nailed it, Mary.

    gonzotx in reply to Paddy M. | May 19, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Science, funny thing when it doesn’t fit the agenda..

      mark311 in reply to gonzotx. | May 20, 2021 at 4:24 am

      @gonzotx

      Science doesn’t support 6 weeks at all, how does detecting an electrical signal from a cluster of heart cells answer the viability question, or any other question related to abortion for that matter?

    mark311 in reply to Paddy M. | May 20, 2021 at 2:46 am

    Or maybe they have reasoning that disagrees.

A human life is viable until Nature or an abortionist denies her right to life for the good of Gaia (green, or rather Green), or social (e.g. keep women appointed, available, and taxable) or medical #CecileTheCannibal progress.

That said, reproductive rites have been normalized under the Pro-Choice religion. Still, this is positive progress. Baby… or, alternatively, fetus steps.

First, slavery and diversity. Now, conservation of human and civil (excluding the Twilight Amendment) rights.

overturn Roe v. Wade. They’re cowards who use “precedence” as an excuse.

We had a civil war and a violent stand against the Democrat-affiliated Some, Select KKK Lives Matter the last time people took affirmative action to mitigate social progress. Now, reproductive rites are a religious imperative for Progressives and Liberals alike, and not a few Libertarians, who bitterly cling to their “burden”-free blanket.

“We could have a pro-life SCOTUS and they wouldn’t overturn Roe v. Wade. They’re cowards who use “precedence” as an excuse.”

Uhhh no. The fatal defect for the pro-life movement arguements are at least three fold.

1. There is no compelling or important government interest pre-viability.

2. The pro-life movement cannot justify a carve out for the fundamental substantive due process right to privacy in medical decisions for a specific medical condition commonly known as pregnancy.

3. The pro-life movement cannot justify a carve out for the fundamental substantive due process right to privacy in procreation.

    Milhouse in reply to paralegal. | May 19, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    1. There is no compelling or important government interest pre-viability.

    Sure there is. The same government interest there is in protecting any other person from being murdered in their sleep. Including people who are not viable without the machines they’re hooked up to. The idea that viability outside the womb is a key criterion is something made up by Roe, and the court can easily overturn it.

      mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 2:50 am

      As usual you ignore the bodily autonomy argument. There is a significant difference between a machine providing life and a person providing life and requiring that person to support that life. And you brush over personhood , characterising it as murder is not really appropriate for such a complex issue.

        Milhouse in reply to mark311. | May 20, 2021 at 2:57 am

        What “bodily autonomy argument”? What is the difference between a mechanical machine providing life and a biological machine doing the same thing? How does the patient’s status depend on that difference?

        Nor do I “brush over” personhood? What makes the foetus not a person, and how do you know? Your position is completely conclusory and ipse dixit; you insist that a foetus is not a person simply because you say so. You assert criteria for personhood that a foetus fails, but without providing any reason why those should be the criteria.

          mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 11:32 am

          Seriously, You want to know the difference between a machine and a person?! A machine doesn’t have free will, nor is it a person. A person gets to decide whether or not another organism can co-opt its body for a period. In other words machines don’t have rights people do.

          You’ve never attempted to even explain personhood any its relationship with a fetus. Yet again you strawman my position. Ive stated in several threads that personhood is a complex question and my belief is that is starts at consciousness whihc as i understand it is circa 22-24 weeks. You’ll note that i use words like belief thats a reflection on not having a precise answer. Thus my actual position is a gradualist one which basically means that prior to 22-24 weeks i dont consider an abortion to be immoral at all, after this there is a need to identify a medical need taken by a combination of the mother and a dr. This reflects the need to balance the rights, and wellbeing of both the mother and the fetus. I’ll be clear I still don’t equate a fetus after 24 weeks to be a full person, again i take the gradualist view. I don’t consider a fetus to have equal status to a baby which is necessarily independent from a mother in terms of organs / life support (other than feeding/nurturing etc).

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 6:20 pm

          Seriously, You want to know the difference between a machine and a person?! A machine doesn’t have free will, nor is it a person.

          So what? How does that make a difference to the person whose life is being sustained? How is depending on a mechanical machine make him more autonomous than depending on a biological machine? That is the “bodily autonomy argument” you’ve been making isn’t it? That a foetus is not a person because it’s not autonomous, or something?

          If you’ve been arguing about the mother’s autonomy, sorry, you don’t get to kill someone just so you can control your body. The baby isn’t co-opting anything; the baby didn’t put itself there. And the baby isn’t making any decisions, so it has no moral dilemma. It’s the person who is about to murder that baby who is making a decision, and enhancing the mother’s “autonomy” is not nearly enough to justify it.

          You’ve never attempted to even explain personhood any its relationship with a fetus.

          Sure I have. I reject your definition of personhood. Your definition is based on nothing but your own assertion and on convenience.

          personhood is a complex question and my belief is that is starts at consciousness

          So an unconscious person is not a person?! In any case, how is a baby conscious? What is it conscious of? Itself? Others? Is it more aware than an animal? Why should that define whether it’s OK to kill it?

          prior to 22-24 weeks i dont consider an abortion to be immoral at all, after this there is a need to identify a medical need taken by a combination of the mother and a dr.

          Whose medical need? And why does the mother get to decide whether her “medical need” (which is often completely trivial) allows her to kill someone? Why would the hit man she’s hired get a say in the matter?

          I don’t consider a fetus to have equal status to a baby which is necessarily independent from a mother in terms of organs / life support (other than feeding/nurturing etc).

          Why is “feeding/nurturing etc” different? It seems like a rather ad hoc exception.

          mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 21, 2021 at 1:52 am

          @milhouse

          Are you kidding me, being pregnant is not a trivial thing it entails considerable change to the body and has risks. The implication of what your saying is that there isn’t bodily autonomy which has wide ranging implications. Think about that when you go to the hospital for an operation. Maybe they decide they need one of your lungs for medical necessity on another patient. And what’s wrong with that since you’ve denied bodily autonomy at a fundamental level.

          Do you even know what my position of personhood is? I’ve clearly stated in previous threads that I take the gradualist view, and don’t consider personhood to be feasible until consciousness is formed. That’s not convenience that’s a reasonable way of defining it. That’s the core of what make you, well you.

          That’s strawman, you know full well what i mean in that consciousness has formed.. Framing an unconscious person as being without a conscious is a deliberate misunderstanding of what being unconscious is. Being unconscious doesn’t mean you are brain dead and even if it did what’s the process there. Well it might be to hook up that person to a life support machine (and yes there bloody well is a difference between a machine and a person – I don’t see you volunteering to be hooked up to another person for 9 months) . Then of course Dr’s will provide family the best knowledge available on whether there is any chance for that person to live, and further what quality of life they might have. Those are difficult decisions to weight up. It may well be the moral thing to do to switch of life support.

          In terms of your more substantive point of degrees of consciousness thats why i take the gradualist view, ITs a complex issue and it seems to me reasonable as a basis that the formation of the functioning brain and this the elementary beginnings of consciousness as a starting point. Sure there is more development to go but that doesn’t help your argument does it, if you are saying that full consciousness is required that means a fetus isn’t a person period. In any case consciousness from an ethical perspective relates to the pain aspect. At this point its reasonable to say that the fetus has a pain response that’s similar to a baby, Thus the ethical implications of abortion are no longer trivial for the fetus.

          The mothers medical need obviously. And wo are you to judge whether its a trivial medical need. That’s the height of arrogance. The Dr and the mother are surely in a better position that you are.

          Why is feeding / nurturing different because that’s not using the mothers organs directly. That’s pretty fundamental as a difference. If the mother wants her family to help that’s fine no issue not so easy when pregnant though is it. That’s an either a yes or a no isn’t it.

I agree that this is too soon, both because it would be smarter to wait until the Mississippi case has been heard, and because I think Kavanaugh is a vote against. He’s already said he regards his mentor Kennedy’s opinion in Casey as “the precedent on precedents”. So why would anyone think he’ll change his mind now? Roberts I’m not so sure of; he is very pro-precedent, but he hasn’t explicitly committed himself to Casey, so he might swing our way. But strategically it might be better to wait four years and hope for one more vote our way.

Then again, time might swing the court against us. Thomas might fall off the perch and be replaced by a Biden appointee. And there’s no guarantee a Republican will win in 2024. So now might be the best time after all.

    gonzotx in reply to Milhouse. | May 19, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Robert’s? Never
    And these so called Republican judges do not have the cajones to turn it over and give back the rights to the States.

      Milhouse in reply to gonzotx. | May 19, 2021 at 7:08 pm

      Your hostility to Roberts blinds you. Roberts is not an enemy. Let go of the crazy fantasies about his being blackmailed or whatever. There’s no evidence for them. He’s an honest justice doing his job as well as he knows how. And part of how he knows is what I consider an excessive adherence to precedent. Not as much as Kavanaugh’s, but more than Gorsuch, Barrett, and Alito, (Thomas rejects the whole concept that the supreme court’s precedents can override the constitution.) So while I think Kavanaugh is a vote against, and those three are for, I don’t know how Roberts will swing.

        ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 2:32 am

        Roberts is not an enemy.

        Roberts is most certainly an enemy. He’s an enemy of the Constitution, an enemy of America, and an enemy of reasonable, decent society living under a Rule of Law. He is a coward and a retard who has made a mockery of the Constitution and the SCOTUS. If he had any sense of integrity, at all … even the tiniest smidgeon of self-respect, he would have killed himself right after that totally insane BarkyCare case. He has, however, assured himself a place in history as one of the worst jurist ever in human history. He will be a laughing stock and a cautionary tale for millenia.

        You are correct, though. ROberts is not being blackmailed or threatened or anything. He is just the lowest piece of shit anyone could possibly find pretending to be a justice. He chose to be an America-hating laughing stock. The only bench that Benedict Roberts is qualified to sit on is a park bench. He should have been impeached by the first GOP Congress to have a chance … of course, there were LOTS of criminals floating around the federal government who deserved to be impeached and criminally tried for their many serious, and blatant, crimes.

        Roberts is an enemy of all decent Americans. Period.

          Get over yourself. Roberts is none of those things. Your hysterical accusations against him only discredit you. His first 0bamacare decision was well argued and I found the part showing that the so-called “mandate” did not exist convincing.

          (I was not convinced by the second part, about direct taxes, but that whole topic is a mystery; nobody seems to know what the framers meant by that term, and they don’t seem to have left anything explaining it. It’s like Bork’s infamous “inkblot” theory about the ninth amendment.)

        ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 3:08 am

        This is to reply to your reply to me … but there is no reply button for it.

        Roberts is none of those things. Your hysterical accusations against him only discredit you.

        Well … I guess I’ll just have to live with that …

        His first 0bamacare decision was well argued and I found the part showing that the so-called “mandate” did not exist convincing.

        LOL. His first BarkyCare decision was one of the worst jokes ever to come out of the SCOTUS – which is no easy feat. He demonstrated cowardice, irrationality, stupidity of the first order, and a hate of America and our architecture of governance and structure of our society. He made a mockery of the SCOTUS and the Constitution, as I stated.

        If you think his decision was well-argued then … let’s just say that I wouldn’t be throwing around allegations of people discrediting themselves if I were you …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | May 20, 2021 at 2:25 am

As far as those things we can easily and safely detect in a fetus, having the presence of a heartbeat establish a border for the beginning of life (the determination of which should rest with the state just as the determination of death does) is perfectly sensible and reasonable. The fetus is not a person, per se, at this point, but should certainly enjoy more humane considerations, part of which is the right not to be intentionally killed. There is no reasonable argument against the idea that a fetus with a heartbeat is a no more “just a clump of cells” than any adult is, though adult leftists are piles of shit … but that’s a separate issue.

Of course, leftists will argue this until they’re blue in the face … because leftists really get off on wanton murder. They really do.

    Who says “the fetus is not a person, per se, at this point”? I think it is as much a person as an adult who has suffered brain damage and is in a coma.

      mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 2:56 am

      What’s your criteria for personhood?

        Milhouse in reply to mark311. | May 20, 2021 at 3:20 am

        A discernible human body that is biologically alive and has some brain activity. That happens at six weeks.

        At the end of life, we don’t allow someone to be and cut up for spare parts until there is no brain activity and no prospect of it ever resuming. If someone were to do so a minute before brain activity permanently ceased, they’d be convicted of murder and be sentenced for it, just as if they had killed a healthy adult. I see no reason why the same should not be true at the beginning of life.

        Indeed the argument is stronger at the beginning of life, because unlike a dying person, even when the brain is not functioning that lack of activity is not permanent; just as at the end of life it’s not sufficient for brain activity to cease, but it must be permanent, one could argue that a lack of activity at the beginning of life is inherently impermanent and thus should not count. But sufficient to the day. Let’s agree that actual brain activity is sufficient to establish personhood, and we can worry about future brain activity another time.

          mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 21, 2021 at 1:24 am

          Well that’s problematic the brain hasn’t fully formed at all that’s much alter at 24 weeks. Having an electrical signal isn’t a great criteria on that basis your phone is a person. What’s important is functioning brain not a precursor. In other words the criteria needs to be more meaningful ie conscious processes.

          Your discernible human body criteria is less problematic but still would only work from perhaps 10 weeks.

          Your analogy doesn’t really work, in those circumstances there is a medical decision on when a person is dead. The burden of proof is on showing they are dead before any organ donation. Im not clear how your arguments runs with the brain prior to functioning. That merely indicates potential activity which makes no sense since that necessarily entails taking the sperm or egg as potential brain activity.

          Id agree that functioning brain activity grants personhood. Which is a big difference in timings but still i do grant that a degree of personhood is granted by week 24 in most cases. I refer you to my other reply regarding my gradualist view.

          @mark311, you write, “What’s important is functioning brain not a precursor. In other words the criteria needs to be more meaningful ie conscious processes.”

          Ah, so are you arguing that any human being without a “meaningful conscious process” should be killed? Does this include the developmentally impaired? Those with Downs Syndrome? The comatose? Those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other diseases that affect conscious processes? Those suffering minor concussions after being banged on the head? Those who have over-imbibed and can’t formulate a coherent thought? Where do we stop at killing those you deem incapable of mental processes? Obviously, anyone who engages in “wrongthink” is a candidate, right? They are clearly incapable of thinking exactly as you do, so does that make them nonpersons due to their errant conscious processes?

          I will do what I haven’t done in quite some time–since I was teaching college freshmen, but you are apparently quite like them at least on an intellectual level–and point out that I am asking you this to challenge your ideas, not because I think you literally want to kill the drunk and concussed. You have to think about what you are saying, @mark311, what it means, where it goes, and whether it’s worth even saying in the first place. /teacher mode off.

          mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | May 21, 2021 at 11:45 am

          @Fuzzy slippers

          “Ah, so are you arguing that any human being without a “meaningful conscious process” should be killed?”

          No im not arguing that at all. There are several important distinctions. Firstly a functioning brain indicated the beginning of consciousness and there grants personhood. Trying to apply it the other way around leads to several examples. Some of the ones you choose describe limitations to consciousness or some kind of damage not its loss. In the case of a person in vegetative state a dr and the family make a decision based on quality of life and chances of recovery that’s a difficult choice which no one would make lightly. For clarity none of the examples you cite would qualify for a justification for killing them.

          Perhaps its my communication or that you misinterpreted my statements. Thats partly because I rush and dont delve into the detail perhaps as much as i should. but i would say that you dont seem overly familiar with abortion arguments. Id refer you to Marquis, D “Why abortion is immoral”, Strong, C “A critique of ‘the best secular argument against abortion'”, Thompson JJ “A defence against abortion”.

          The Marquis argument in terms of future value of life is quite strong which is why i try to balance my views in abortion to be pre 24 weeks. The issues are quite complex and trying to create a balanced argument is difficult on such an emotive subject.

          ” You have to think about what you are saying, @mark311, what it means, where it goes, and whether it’s worth even saying in the first place”

          Even though you are being slightly condescending I appreciate that you didn’t outright reach for ad hominem. As it happens I think about these issues a lot, so perhaps you could learn something even if its better arguments to support your position with. Unlike some of the arguments we have had I fully appreciate that its a complex issue with many points of view. Id refer you to the Irish abortion debate, that was one of the most mature debates I’ve ever followed. IT was very impressive for a country with such a deep religious tradition to come up such a mature and thoughtful outcome. I don’t necessarily agree that the law they came up with is perfect but at least it attempting to justify its stand point and had a reasonable basis to it. That’s very much in contrast with the Texan law which is a blatant attempt to be a law for only one side without any effort at justification. For reference I believe the Irish abortion law allows abortion 12 weeks and earlier.

        Joe-dallas in reply to mark311. | May 20, 2021 at 8:37 am

        Milhouse criteria for personhood is based on the science of biology

        Most Abortion supporters take the “legal” position that a person is not a person until emergence from the womb – similar to person becoming a “legal ” adult on his/her 18th birthday.

          mark311 in reply to Joe-dallas. | May 21, 2021 at 1:59 am

          No, biology might assist in terms of when certain things happen like the heartbeat or brain functioning or consciousness but the debate is a philosophical one or ethical one primarily. What makes a person, what counts, can a fetus be considered a complete person. What’s the ethical considerations? all tricky questions. If you went down the purely biology route I’m not convinced that would actually help the pro life argument at all. It would be easy to say actually at 6 weeks its not even a fetus, its an embryo. The heart isn’t even a complete organ and the brain hasn’t formed to the point where it feels any form of pain. You could argue its a collection of cells at that stage.

          Again no, not all abortion supporters consider that to be true. There is a branch that considered personhood on a functioning brain.

      ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Milhouse. | May 20, 2021 at 3:00 am

      So, do you think that the fetus should be made a citizen at the point of attaining a heartbeat? I don’t think so.

      The presence of a heartbeat is a well-defined border that signifies that the fetus has moved to a new stage in development that has brought it to a point just short of “a person”, but a point after which it should be protected against killed – certainly against the institutional killing by abortion professionals who kill for a living.

      If you want to call them whole persons at that point of a heartbeat then there are many other considerations that you have to deal with, for which you will not have many good arguments to withhold. A fetus with a heartbeat is entitled to a very minimal set of rights – the right to not be intentionally killed. That is clear and reasonable. Any more than that is a hard, and problematic, argument that I certainly wouldn’t agree with. Even with this minimal right the left is going to start wailing about one case in 10,000 where it is found in the 7th month that it is either deliver the baby or save the mother … The left (and our judiciary, including the idiot traitor, Roberts) loves to make asinine decisions based on one in a million occurrences.

        So, do you think that the fetus should be made a citizen at the point of attaining a heartbeat? I don’t think so.

        Well, I draw the line at brain activity, not heartbeat, but that’s at about six weeks anyway, so there’s not that much difference. But yes, why not? Whether you like heartbeat or brain activity, why should a six-week foetus not be a citizen? Why should it not have all the same rights that it will have 7.5 months later?

        Any more than that is a hard, and problematic, argument that I certainly wouldn’t agree with.

        What are those problems? I can’t think of any.

        Even with this minimal right the left is going to start wailing about one case in 10,000 where it is found in the 7th month that it is either deliver the baby or save the mother

        I don’t think that’s a difficult issue at all. Of course you do what you need to do to save the mother’s life, taking all possible care not to harm the baby, but recognizing that it may not be possible, and unfortunately the baby will be collateral damage from saving the mother. It’s no different from a two-year-old innocently playing with a gun and about to shoot someone; you save that person’s life, even if the only way to do so is by shooting the toddler.

I did not understand until just now that this bill has been cleverly designed to be proof against most lawsuits. See Josh Blackman’s summary for details. Of course it’s not invulnerable — nothing is — but the tactics that the pro-abortion lobby has used in the past to strip unborn babies of legal protection will not work against this law. They’ll have to come up with whole new tactics, and they may not succeed. Let’s hope.

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