Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Tag: Abortion

How pro-life are Wisconsin’s Republicans?

Here is my full column that ran earlier in the week in the Washington County Daily News

Whenever one party controls the Legislature and the executive is of the other party and is up for re-election, the party in the Legislature will use the spring session to pass a flurry of bills designed to establish political positions for the election and communicate their policy priorities to the electorate. This year is no different. With Democrat Gov. Tony Evers vying for re-election later this year, the Republican- led Legislature is using the legislative session to stake their ground on election reform, taxes, education reform, etc. with the full expectation that Evers will veto their efforts.

 

Disturbingly, with the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled to rule on two cases that could improve legal protections for babies by reversing or refining the appalling Roe v. Wade ruling, the Republican Legislature is bottling up a bill in committee that would prohibit abortions after the baby’s heartbeat is detectable. While Evers would certainly veto the bill, it would tell voters what Republicans would do to reshape the state’s abortion laws should the Supreme Court return that responsibility to the states.

 

By state law, abortions are illegal in Wisconsin, but that state law was invalidated when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade. If the court completely reverses that decision — an unlikely, but possible scenario — abortions in Wisconsin could become completely illegal overnight in Wisconsin. While that would be a happy outcome for thousands and thousands of children, it is unlikely that in a politically divided state like Wisconsin that such a prohibition would stand for long. The Legislature and governor would act to adjust Wisconsin’s abortion laws to the new legal reality somewhere within the broad boundaries that are defined by the political and cultural landscape. We know what the Democrats would do. Given the power, they would lift as many restrictions on abortions as possible. We have seen in other states where Democrats are passing laws allowing abortions up to the point that it becomes infanticide. Pro-life Democrats have long since been purged from the party and there are few members left to moderate the leftist dogma when it comes to abortion.

 

What would Republicans do? Would they fight to keep abortions completely illegal in Wisconsin? That seems unlikely. Where would they draw the line?

 

The fetal heartbeat bill is one such line. The bill is modeled after the Texas law that went into effect last year. The law is being considered by the Supreme Court, but was allowed to go into effect, signaling that the court may sanction it permanently. The law prohibits an abortion provider from providing an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. This is usually around six weeks after conception.

 

In order to negotiate around the arbitrary strictures of Roe v. Wade, the Texas law turns over enforcement for the law to the civil courts. It allows private citizens to sue abortion providers if they violate the law. This dubious legal mechanism is troubling, but effective. September of 2021 was the first full month that the Texas law was in effect and the only month for which data is available so far. The data shows that there was a 60% decline in abortions in Texas from August to September. There are anecdotal reports of some Texas women crossing into other states to obtain later-term abortions, but the strong initial evidence is that many women chose to take their children to term. Those are a lot of children who will be able to live full lives instead of having been snuffed out before breathing their first breath.

 

The question remains, what will Wisconsin’s Republicans do? Some of them are ardently pro-life. Some of them talk a good game at Republican events but do little. Some of them might be pro-abortion, which is their right, but they should be honest about it. Every person has a line at which they think an abortion is appropriate and permissible. They also have a line at which an abortion is abhorrent.

 

Given the very high likelihood that the Supreme Court will force the hand of state politicians to rewrite their state abortion laws for a new legal reality, what would the Republicans do in Wisconsin? If they would not draw the line at a baby’s heartbeat, where would they draw the line?

 

This is a question of life and death that the Republicans must answer before the next election. Their answer must be more than more empty pap at a rubber-chicken dinner. Their answer must have the force and detail of a bill that is passed by their legislative caucuses. How pro-life is the Republican Party of Wisconsin when they can’t hide behind a federal court ruling? Hopefully we will find out soon and babies will be able to live with the answer.

How pro-life are Wisconsin’s Republicans?

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

Disturbingly, with the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled to rule on two cases that could improve legal protections for babies by reversing or refining the appalling Roe v. Wade ruling, the Republican Legislature is bottling up a bill in committee that would prohibit abortions after the baby’s heartbeat is detectable. While Evers would certainly veto the bill, it would tell voters what Republicans would do to reshape the state’s abortion laws should the Supreme Court return that responsibility to the states.

 

[…]

 

We know what the Democrats would do. Given the power, they would lift as many restrictions on abortions as possible. We have seen in other states where Democrats are passing laws allowing abortions up to the point that it becomes infanticide. Pro-life Democrats have long since been purged from the party and there are few members left to moderate the leftist dogma when it comes to abortion.

 

What would Republicans do? Would they fight to keep abortions completely illegal in Wisconsin? That seems unlikely. Where would they draw the line?

 

The fetal heartbeat bill is one such line. The bill is modeled after the Texas law that went into effect last year. The law is being considered by the Supreme Court, but was allowed to go into effect, signaling that the court may sanction it permanently. The law prohibits an abortion provider from providing an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. This is usually around six weeks after conception.

 

[…]

 

Every person has a line at which they think an abortion is appropriate and permissible. They also have a line at which an abortion is abhorrent.

 

Given the very high likelihood that the Supreme Court will force the hand of state politicians to rewrite their state abortion laws for a new legal reality, what would the Republicans do in Wisconsin? If they would not draw the line at a baby’s heartbeat, where would they draw the line?

 

This is a question of life and death that the Republicans must answer before the next election. Their answer must be more than more empty pap at a rubber-chicken dinner. Their answer must have the force and detail of a bill that is passed by their legislative caucuses. How pro-life is the Republican Party of Wisconsin when they can’t hide behind a federal court ruling? Hopefully we will find out soon and babies will be able to live with the answer.

 

Abortion extremism in Madison

Here is my full column that ran earlier in the week in the Washington County Daily News:

In the same week that the United States Supreme Court heard arguments about a challenge to the Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Gov. Tony Evers wielded his veto pen to demonstrate just how radical abortion supporters have become. We have come a long way from the time when abortion supporters advocated that they be safe, legal, and rare.

One cannot rationally support human rights and also support abortion. While there was a time when the period between conception and birth was filled with mystery and myth, modern medical science has opened the womb for all to see. We know that from the time of conception, the child is a unique human with unique DNA.

 

Eventually, the child will develop a heart, lungs, skin, eyes, bones, and become ready for birth, but it all starts with a blueprint in a single cell. To assign the origin of life to any point after conception is to do so based on arbitrary distinctions that are designed more to assuage the consciences of older humans than on science or logic. Once a human exists, they are, “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That being the case, we who are able are responsible to defend the rights of those who cannot defend themselves.

 

But the Supreme Court is not deciding if unborn humans have a right to life or whether abortion should be outlawed. They are potentially deciding which level of government gets to decide. The court could uphold Roe v. Wade, thus making it a federal court decision; the court could completely overturn Roe, thus making abortion a state issue; or the court could find a narrow middle road.

 

Should the Supreme Court overturn Roe and return the power to regulate abortion to the states, Wisconsin has an existing statute that makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortions. Time will tell if Wisconsin’s Legislature would rescind that law to replace it with a statutory infrastructure that permits and regulates abortions.

 

As we await the Supreme Court’s decision, the Republican Legislature passed several bills to enhance regulation of abortions and Governor Evers vetoed them all. In doing so, he demonstrated how extreme Democrats have become in their support for abortion and how difficult it will be to create a new abortion regulatory structure should Roe be overturned.

 

One of the bills would have made it a crime for a doctor to withhold medical care from a baby who survived an abortion and was born alive. While very rare, it happens. It is more common than an infant dying of COVID. As I wrote above, to assign the beginning of a life at any point after conception is arbitrary, but as a society, we at least once agreed that children who were born were considered human and worthy of protection. There is no logical distinction in the rights of a baby born during a failed abortion and a baby born in other circumstances. It is a living, breathing, feeling baby. And there is no logical distinction between a doctor letting a baby die for lack of care and a parent doing the same thing. In vetoing this bill, Evers has sanctioned infanticide.

 

Another bill would have banned women from aborting their baby based on the baby’s sex, race, or national origin. It would have given the same protections against discrimination that our laws extend to the born. It is a logical extension of the recognition that unborn people have human rights too. In a logical extension of his unscientific opinion that unborn humans are not humans at all, Evers vetoed this bill too. In Evers’ Wisconsin, a woman may abort her child if she doesn’t want a girl or a brown son at her discretion. In-utero discrimination is the law of the land.

 

While I strongly advocate for the end of all abortions, at the very least, we should not be using abortion as a way to curate the population for favored races and sexes. We should also all be able to agree that once a baby is born, it deserves protection from being killed through intentional neglect. Unfortunately, there is no such agreement anymore.

Abortion extremism in Madison

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

In the same week that the United States Supreme Court heard arguments about a challenge to the Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Gov. Tony Evers wielded his veto pen to demonstrate just how radical abortion supporters have become. We have come a long way from the time when abortion supporters advocated that they be safe, legal, and rare.

 

[…]

 

One of the bills would have made it a crime for a doctor to withhold medical care from a baby who survived an abortion and was born alive. While very rare, it happens. It is more common than an infant dying of COVID. As I wrote above, to assign the beginning of a life at any point after conception is arbitrary, but as a society, we at least once agreed that children who were born were considered human and worthy of protection. There is no logical distinction in the rights of a baby born during a failed abortion and a baby born in other circumstances. It is a living, breathing, feeling baby. And there is no logical distinction between a doctor letting a baby die for lack of care and a parent doing the same thing. In vetoing this bill, Evers has sanctioned infanticide.

 

Another bill would have banned women from aborting their baby based on the baby’s sex, race, or national origin. It would have given the same protections against discrimination that our laws extend to the born. It is a logical extension of the recognition that unborn people have human rights too. In a logical extension of his unscientific opinion that unborn humans are not humans at all, Evers vetoed this bill too. In Evers’ Wisconsin, a woman may abort her child if she doesn’t want a girl or a brown son at her discretion. In-utero discrimination is the law of the land.

 

While I strongly advocate for the end of all abortions, at the very least, we should not be using abortion as a way to curate the population for favored races and sexes. We should also all be able to agree that once a baby is born, it deserves protection from being killed through intentional neglect. Unfortunately, there is no such agreement anymore.

Sotomayor Concerned More With Optics than Law

The entire reason that we give Supreme Court justices lifetime appointments is so that that can dispassionately rule on the law irrespective of the social or political winds. Roe is bad law and SCOTUS has a history of revisiting bad decisions and correcting them.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioned whether the legitimacy of the Supreme Court would endure if it overturned abortion rights during a landmark hearing on a Mississippi law restricting the procedure.

 

“Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” Sotomayor said during oral arguments Wednesday morning. “I don’t see how it is possible.”

Texas Abortion Law Remains in Effect

The process continues.

The law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, was briefly paused after a federal judge issued a temporary injunction last week barring its enforcement. Days later, the law was reinstated after a panel of judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary administrative stay.

 

In the latest development of the high-profile case, the court rejected the Justice Department’s request to again halt Texas’ ability to enforce the law. In a 2-1 order Thursday night, a panel of judges granted Texas’s request to continue to stay the preliminary injunction while it pursues its appeal.

 

The court’s order did not detail its reasoning behind the ruling, which is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Appeals Court Sets Aside Lower Court Ruling to Allow Texas’ Abortion Law to Be Enforced

Excellent. This will go through a number of advances and reversals, but hopefully ends with an affirmation that babies are humans endowed with inalienable rights who deserve to be protected.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court Friday night quickly allowed Texas to resume banning most abortions, just one day after clinics began racing to serve patients again for the first time since early September.

 

A one-page order by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the nation’s strictest abortion law, which bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks. It makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

 

“Patients are being thrown back into a state of chaos and fear,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents several Texas clinics that had briefly resumed normal abortion services.

She called on the U.S. Supreme Court to “step in and stop this madness.”

 

Clinics had braced for the New Orleans-based appeals court to act fast after U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman, an appointee of President Barack Obama, on Wednesday suspended the Texas law that he called an “offensive deprivation” of the constitutional right to an abortion. Knowing that order might not stand long, a handful of Texas clinics immediately started performing abortions again beyond six weeks, and booked new appointments for this weekend.

 

But barely 48 hours passed before the appeals court accepted Texas’ request to set aside Pitman’s ruling — at least for now — pending further arguments. It gave the Biden administration, which had brought the lawsuit, until Tuesday to respond.

Abortions Increase In Wisconsin

Sad and outrageous.

Abortions increased 7% in 2018 over 2017, the report said. There were 6,042 abortions in Wisconsin in 2018, up from 5,640 the year before. That’s nearly double the rate of increase between 2016 and 2017 when abortions went up 3.7%.

The report does not attempt to explain the increase which came despite no loosening of state laws related to abortions. Abortions had dropped steadily from 2009 until 2017.

Governor Evers endorses new era of moral depravity

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here you go:

On Friday afternoon, as people all over Wisconsin were getting ready to enjoy the first official weekend of summer, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed four bills relating to abortion. While it is easy to discuss the vetoes in the context of the political gamesmanship between the Republicans and the Democrats, to do so is facile and fails to fully appreciate the depravity behind the action.

The political angle is simple. In response to radical pro-abortion laws being passed by Democrats in states like New York, Republicans across the country are trying to pass laws to protect the unborn. Both parties are acting to solidify state laws should the United States Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade and cast the responsibility for regulating abortions back to the states.

But behind these bills are the lives of real people. Let us take the four bills that Evers signed one by one.

The first bill would have prevented taxpayers from funding abortion providers through Medicaid. The two political parties have been fighting over this for years. The Republicans argue, rightly, that people who are morally opposed to killing babies in the womb should not be forced to fund organizations that do so. Democrats know that Planned Parenthood is a major financial and rhetorical supporter of the Democratic Party, so they must keep the taxpayer gravy train flowing. Evers vetoed the bill.

The second bill would have required that abortionists provide information that a woman may be able to change her mind and continue her pregnancy even after the first dose of mifepristone, a drug used as part of a drug cocktail to cause an abortion. The information would have been provided as part of the documentation that is already provided by abortionists. Evers vetoed the bill.

These two bills are somewhat procedural and wonkish, but the last two are morally crystal clear.

The third bill would have prohibited a woman from killing her baby based on its race, sex, or disabilities. Evers vetoed the bill. In doing so, Evers affirmed that women should have the ability to abort her baby if she does not like the color of its skin, the baby’s sex, or if the baby is disabled in some fashion. If a mom really wanted a boy but the ultrasound shows a girl, Evers supports her choice to kill the girl and try again. If a baby is shown to have a malformed foot, Evers supports the mom’s choice to kill the baby. If a mom does not want a black baby, Evers supports her choice. In short, Evers supports a woman’s choice to kill her baby even for the most capricious and vain reasons.

The fourth bill passed by the Legislature and vetoed by Governor Evers would have ensured that a baby who survives an abortion receives the same medical care and treatment that any newborn baby would. Sadly, abortionists are very effective, so the odds of a baby surviving an abortion is very rare. But when it does happen, the baby is, by any definition used since the dawn of humankind, born. The baby is outside the womb as a separate human. As such, the baby is entitled to all of the same protection and care as any other person. The fact that the baby survived an attempted abortion is immaterial in terms of the baby’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Not according to Governor Evers. According to our governor, a baby who is born and survived an abortion can still be quietly murdered because the abortionist and mother intended to kill it earlier. In Evers’ moral universe, the mother’s desire to kill her baby, even after it has left her body, trumps the baby’s right to exist.

We have come a long way from the old Bill Clinton mantra that abortions should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Now the rabid pro-abortionists like Governors Evers support abortions for any reason — even for anti-disabled, racist, or sexist reasons — up until the time of birth, and even for a while after birth. The moral decrepitude inherent in such a political position is astounding.

Babies deserve society’s protection

Here is my full column that ran yesterday in the Washington County Daily News

The debate over abortion has taken a gruesome turn and Gov. Tony Evers is in the vanguard of a radical new front in the war on babies.

The dispute about when and if abortion should be allowed in our nation has generally come down to one’s opinion of when life begins, or, to put it another way, when a person becomes a person. Ardent pro-lifers, like myself, believe that life begins at conception.

From a religious point of view, most of the major religions teach that life begins at conception. From a scientific point of view, the moment of conception is when the parents’ DNA commingles to create a new, unique DNA. It is generally accepted that each person has unique DNA and it is a distinguishing characteristic of personhood.

When discussing when it should be allowed to kill a conceived child, those who do not believe that life begins at conception generally try to figure out a point upon the developmental trajectory when the child (or growth, or clump of cells, or whatever) becomes “viable.” Given that human children are unable to survive on their own without the aid of adults until several years after birth, the distinction of when a child is “viable” is utterly arbitrary. But virtually every pro-abortionist puts the point of viability before birth.

Some pro-abortionists put the viability demarcation at the point of pregnancy when the baby could survive outside of the womb with medical help. Some put it at when there is heart and/or brain function. Some put it at when the baby can feel pain. Some put it right up until the moment of birth. These arguments are old and well-worn.

At the root of the debate, however, was the notion of morality and human rights that we do not just kill people. We used to be able to agree that killing humans without the due process of law or an act of war was immoral and barbaric. This was especially the view when it came to killing babies. Pro-abortionists had always argued that abortion is not murder because it does not kill an actual human. Such a stance was a tacit acknowledgment that killing actual humans is wrong. Even the most pro-abortion people who support abortion up until birth would argue that an unborn child is still not an actual human deserving of rights and protections of law and society.

Not anymore.

In response to a wave of pro-abortion legislation being passed in states like New York and Vermont which would dramatically expand when and how abortions are allowed, Wisconsin’s legislative Republicans announced a bill that would protect babies who are born alive after a

botched abortion. Since medical professionals are already morally and legally obligated to protect life and even most pro-abortion people oppose killing babies once they are born, the Republican bill is just common sense.

In an earlier age, the Republican bill would have had broad bipartisan support. All it says is that if a baby is lucky to escape the womb alive during an abortion attempt, the medical personnel would be obligated to provide lifesaving care to the child. After all, once the baby is outside of the womb, we used to all agree that it was a child deserving of protection.

Immediately after the Republicans announced their Born Alive Abortions Survivors bill, Governor Evers rushed to tell anyone who would listen that he will veto the bill. Not wanting to admit that he supports killing babies, or at least letting babies die by withholding medical care, Evers has offered a couple of nonsensical excuses. He has claimed that the law is redundant and not necessary. If so, so what? It takes just as much effort to sign it as it does to veto it. Evers has also said that the law is not necessary because babies never survive abortions. The people who are alive today after botched abortions would take issue with Evers’ assertion. There is no data collected on how many babies have survived an abortion only to be left to die by an ardent abortionist.

Evers gave away the game in his response to President Trump’s comments about the bill during his recent Wisconsin rally. In response to Trump, Evers said, “To say that doctors in the state of Wisconsin are executing babies is just a blasphemy.” What a telling use of the word “blasphemy.” To blaspheme is to speak or act against God or a religious tenet. Evers is so exercised by Trump’s comments because the president had the audacity to blaspheme against the liberal orthodoxy where abortion on demand stands as a pillar of faith.

Even people who believe that life does not begin until birth should support the Born Alive Abortions Survivors bill. Sadly, abortionists are very effective and it is rare for a baby to survive an abortion attempt, but when they do, the least we can do is provide them medical treatment and a chance to live.

Babies deserve society’s protection

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. In it, I note the ghoulish shift in the abortion debate and our governor’s position as chief ghoul. Here’s a taste.

In response to a wave of pro-abortion legislation being passed in states like New York and Vermont which would dramatically expand when and how abortions are allowed, Wisconsin’s legislative Republicans announced a bill that would protect babies who are born alive after a

botched abortion. Since medical professionals are already morally and legally obligated to protect life and even most pro-abortion people oppose killing babies once they are born, the Republican bill is just common sense.

In an earlier age, the Republican bill would have had broad bipartisan support. All it says is that if a baby is lucky to escape the womb alive during an abortion attempt, the medical personnel would be obligated to provide lifesaving care to the child. After all, once the baby is outside of the womb, we used to all agree that it was a child deserving of protection.

Immediately after the Republicans announced their Born Alive Abortions Survivors bill, Governor Evers rushed to tell anyone who would listen that he will veto the bill. Not wanting to admit that he supports killing babies, or at least letting babies die by withholding medical care, Evers has offered a couple of nonsensical excuses. He has claimed that the law is redundant and not necessary. If so, so what? It takes just as much effort to sign it as it does to veto it. Evers has also said that the law is not necessary because babies never survive abortions. The people who are alive today after botched abortions would take issue with Evers’ assertion. There is no data collected on how many babies have survived an abortion only to be left to die by an ardent abortionist.

Evers gave away the game in his response to President Trump’s comments about the bill during his recent Wisconsin rally. In response to Trump, Evers said, “To say that doctors in the state of Wisconsin are executing babies is just a blasphemy.” What a telling use of the word “blasphemy.” To blaspheme is to speak or act against God or a religious tenet. Evers is so exercised by Trump’s comments because the president had the audacity to blaspheme against the liberal orthodoxy where abortion on demand stands as a pillar of faith.

Senate Fails to Protect Babies

Shame.

Washington (AFP) – US Senate Democrats blocked a controversial measure Monday that would ban and criminalize abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, scuttling a longtime priority of conservatives in Congress.

President Donald Trump described the failure of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act as “disappointing,” and urged senators to reconsider.

The measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill in the 100-member Senate, although it earned a narrow majority in the chamber, 51 to 46.

Assembly Passes Bill Prohibiting State from Covering Abortions for Employees

Good!

Abortions would not be covered by health insurance plans for Wisconsin state employees, with few exceptions, under legislation approved Thursday by the state Assembly.

Lawmakers voted on party lines to approve the bill, authored by Sen. David Craig, R-Town of Vernon, and Rep. André Jacque, R-De Pere. It awaits action in the Senate.

Under the legislation, the state’s Group Insurance Board would not be allowed to enter into a group health insurance plan contract or provide a group health insurance plan on a self-insured basis that provides abortion services, except for in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

It’s unclear whether the legislation would change anything in practice, as state plans currently only require coverage for medically necessary abortions.

Defending Rights

Bob Hyatt, a lefty sports columnist for the Capital Times, has decided to take me to task regarding a column I wrote a couple of weeks ago about rights. Here is that column, which he quotes extensively. Let’s take a look at some of Hyatt’s feedback:

One envisions Robinson’s attempt to exercise such free speech “rights” (critical of government), or the possession of an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with 30-round banana clip “right,” in North Korea, Russia, Iran, or any number of third-world dictatorships across the globe in order to back up his claim that such “rights” can be “exercised without any outside interference or assistance,” as he so eloquently argues in his definition of what constitutes a “right” and what does not.

I assume that this is some sort of childish slap at my courage and whether or not I would exercise my rights in a totalitarian regime. Perhaps. Perhaps not. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are rights. It is just that they are rights that are restricted by totalitarian regimes. Hyatt actually bolsters my later argument of how the coercive power of government can by used to squelch people’s rights.

Robinson predicates his definition of what constitutes a “right” on language in a founding document of this country: the Declaration of Independence — a document that does not hold the force of law, incidentally, and is a poor basis for defining what is legally a “right.”

No, the DOC is not law nor did I ever say it was. This is a convenient straw man. The DOC is a statement of philosophy, which is what we are talking about. Rights are inherent in the individual, or granted by your Creator if you prefer, and can only be restricted by government – not granted. This is a fundamental difference between how the Left and the Right views government.
Hyatt then goes on to complain that I cherry picked out of the DOC, which I did, and then proceeds to do the same. Interestingly, he started out by saying that I was off base to use the DOC as a source for defining rights, but then does the same thing. Curious. Anyway, he rightly points out that the DOC says that:
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
And then makes the illogical leap to:
Far from “rights” being inherent to one’s self, the declaration states that “rights” are in fact guarded and protected by a government with its people’s consent.
Yes, governments are instituted to guard and protect individual rights, but the rights are just that – individual. I’m not sure how Hyatt thinks that undermines my argument. In fact, it again bolsters that. Our government rests on the philosophical understanding that rights are the sole possession of individuals and that those individuals institute governments amongst themselves to protect those rights. The fact that we have government does not mean that rights are collective. The fact that we have government is to protect individual rights.
Hyatt then goes on to use more cherry picked language from the DOC to claim that it declares healthcare to be a right (again, I thought the DOC wasn’t a valid source document for this?). I’m beginning to think that this is the first time Hyatt actually read the DOC.
The Declaration of Independence makes the case FOR health care being a “right” under the governance of the people in its very first charge in the litany of grievances against then King George III.

“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”

“The public good” — a concept Robinson and his ilk somehow fail to understand — is absolutely within the purview of the governing body of this nation to MAKE a “right” if it so chooses.

And there is the fundamental flaw in his thinking. Hyatt thinks that government has the jurisdiction, or even the power, to make something a “right” just because a majority likes it. Not at all. A group of people can form a government that uses the violent power of government to tax the people and use the collective monies to then buy stuff that everyone wants, like healthcare. That is certainly something a government can do. But that does not magically make healthcare a right. And in fact, history has shown that government does a very poor job at efficiently allocating resources for the collective good except in a few rare circumstances. So while government can use its violent power to control and fund healthcare services, that does not make it a right. Hyatt continues:

Robinson may not like the fact that the government has, in fact, the consent of its people for things that he does not personally endorse, but that’s democracy for you — a messy system of upholding those “inalienable rights” that Robinson seems so fond of trying to define on his own terms to avoid sharing responsibility for the health of all of the people instead of just those who can afford it.

I wish I was trying to define rights on my own terms. In fact, I am merely parroting the old enlightenment philosophy upon which our entire American Experiment is based. Standing on the shoulders of giants, and whatnot.

In his own words, Robinson declares: “One certainly has the right to practice health care on oneself, as that right rests in the right to own one’s own body.”

I would agree with Robinson on that account, if I could just prescribe various treatments, medicines, and procedures, exercising my own self-contained “right” without the necessary consent of pesky licensed professionals called doctors, pharmacists and medical technicians.

Again, Hyatt unwittingly proves my point. He is saying that healthcare is a right, but it relies on the expertise of others that must be extracted by the police state. If it requires government to force people to provide it, then it can’t be a right. So healthcare can be called a right insofar as one is exercising itself on oneself to the extend of one’s knowledge, but forcing a doctor to provide services impedes his/her right to self determination. We have a word for when the government uses the coercive force of law to require people to provide services to other people… slavery. Is there a difference between the government forcing someone to till a field and the government forcing someone to set a broken limb?

Hyatt continues:

Furthermore, I am barred from acquiring the necessary knowledge and licensing because the government and an entirely self-serving guild, the American Medical Association — designed to protect the income of all those licensed professionals — decides not only who, but how many, can access the training necessary to practice medicine, even on one’s self.

Actually, that’s not true. Hyatt can get all of the knowledge he wants. The information is largely available in all sorts of libraries and online. What he can’t do is practice healthcare on someone else without a license from the government.

Then Hyatt enters into scary tyrannical thinking:

Robinson’s self-serving exercise to confirm his own bias is not even supported by his own argument: “An individual can always exercise a right, but at the point that such exercise imposes upon another person, it ceases to be a right and instead slips into the realms of commerce or coercion.”

Such an assumed “right” does NOT exist in America — because its government does not support it — and without that support, such a “right” is meaningless — is no “right” at all — when I am forced by law to submit my time, my labor and my money to obtain the means by which I can treat disorders of my own body.

According to Hyatt, a right cannot exist unless the government supports it. Whoa. So do the people of Venezuela no longer have the right to free speech because their government doesn’t support it? Do the people of North Korea not have a right to assemble or religion because their government doesn’t support it? Wow. Hyatt’s philosophy of collective rights granted by government has been the foundation of totalitarian regimes since time began.

And Hyatt ends his screed with what I am sure he thought was a good point.

As an aside, one also wonders exactly where Robinson stands on the issue of practicing health care on one’s own body (and laws abridging such a “right”) when it comes to the contentious “reproductive rights” arguments — given the normally close opposition to such a “right” associated with the stance of those advocating the First and Second Amendment “rights” Robinson seems in favor of.

Does Owen Robinson care to inform us as to why women in many states are NOT afforded a “right” to practice medicine upon their own bodies as they see fit?

I got a couple of emails from lefty readers after that column was published making the same “point.” The problem with Hyatt’s argument is that it rests on the notion that an unborn baby is not a person – endowed with its own rights. So while a woman has a right to practice healthcare on her own body, that does not extend to killing another human being. In the classical example, I have a right to swing my arm up until the point it strikes another person. So too, a person has a right to one’s own body up until it harms or kills another human. At that point, we have a conflict of rights wherein we institute government to resolve the conflict.

I might suggest that Hyatt stick to sports, but this was an easy, fun exercise on a Wednesday morning.

Abortions Down In Wisconsin

Here’s some good news.

MADISON, Wis. –

The number of abortions performed in Wisconsin has dropped for the sixth straight year.

That’s according to the latest annual report on induced abortions released by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Monday.

The report shows that there were 5,660 abortions in the state last year compared with 5,800 abortions in 2014. That’s a drop of 140 abortions, a 2.4 percent decline.

Abortions have been steadily declining in the state since 2009.

Supreme Court Overturns Texas Abortion Laws

This means that Wisconsin’s law, which is substantially similar, is struck down too.

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Texas abortion law imposing strict regulations on doctors and facilities in the strongest endorsement of abortion rights in America in more than two decades.

The 5-3 ruling held that the Republican-backed 2013 Texas law placed an undue burden on women exercising their right under the U.S. Constitution to end a pregnancy, established in the court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Trump Waffles on Abortion Issue

Serious people who actually think about issues know their own mind on an issue as important as abortion. Trump’s meandering thoughts on it show that he has either never seriously thought about one of the most important social issues of our time, or he is simply pandering to whoever is in front of him at the moment. I strongly suspect that it’s both.

Throughout his campaign, Trump has faced questions about the authenticity of his position on abortion. He said he was “pro-choice in every respect” in a 1999 interview, though he said he hated the “concept of abortion.”
His comments on Wednesday appeared to be the latest in Trump’s persistent efforts to court the support of socially conservative voters. But his efforts backfired as three leading anti-abortion groups swiftly criticized Trump’s comments.
March for Life released the toughest statement of the three groups, calling Trump’s remarks “completely out of touch with the pro-life movement.”

Federal Judge Rules Against Contraception Mandate

Good. Being able to freely act according to one’s conscience is a right that should be, and used to be, protected in our nation.

It sued the Obama administration last year, calling the contraceptive mandate unconstitutional because it granted an exemption to churches, synagogues and other religious institutions but did not extend the same carve out for non-religious groups that raised ethical — and not religious — objections.

In his ruling, Leon agreed with that reasoning, saying the contraceptive requirement violated the Constitution by treating religious and nonreligious groups differently.

March for Life closely resembles religious groups in that its employees do not wish to use birth control, Leon wrote, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had nonetheless chosen to “accommodate this moral philosophy only when it is overtly tied to religious values.” The government, he said, had created a framework of “regulatory favoritism.

“HHS provides no principled basis, other than the semantics of religious tolerance, for its distinction,” Leon wrote. “If the purpose of the religious employer exemption is, as HHS states, to respect the anti-abortifacient tenets of an employment relationship, then it makes no rational sense — indeed, no sense whatsoever — to deny March (for) Life that same respect.”

20-Week Fetal Pain Bill Moving Forward in Wisconsin Legislature

Excellent.

MADISON, Wis. – A state Senate committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would ban non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Two Wisconsin health committees took up testimony on the fast-tracked bill during a public hearing Tuesday. Under the proposal, doctors who perform an abortion after 20 weeks in non-emergency situations could be charged with a felony and subject to $10,000 in fines or 3 ½ years in prison.

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