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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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The questionable morality of abortion

Uploaded: Jun 27, 2022
Note: The recent Supreme Court ruling banning abortion has been a major concern in this country the past several days. While abortion is not a specific local issue, it does affect all of us locally, some short term, but possibly long-term in this state, given the other birth issues, e.g., birth control, that may also come under court review.

If, as the SCOTUS conservative justices claim, abortion is morally wrong because it deprives a fetus of life, what about the other moral aspects also cloaked in the majority justices’ decision?

If eliminating a woman’s right to get an abortion, and diminishing her rights to equality is this country, a moral way to act? Inherent in the court’s majority vote was the presumed awareness that such a ruling would deeply affect the lives of women in their child-bearing years, and most notably, hurt lower-income Blacks and Hispanics who may not have the financial means to get in abortion in another state. And the law also imposes by law forced delivery and forced pregnancy.

If you agree that their decision may endanger particularly lower-income women, then “morality” not only concerns the rights of the fetus, it also includes the rights of women. Does one fetus’s right sweep away any consideration of a woman’s right? What is the correct moral position here? Where do we – or should we – draw the line? Who decides – women? Or men? Both?

I am suggesting that the “morality” of an issue may not be a simple black-white decision. Other factors also should be considered. If you agree, then “morality” has become a shades-of-gray issue.

Let’s take something like deliberate murder of an individual – is that a black-white issue? If so, what about the death penalty in many states in this country? If murder is black-white, then why can states commit murder?

And what about wars – some say if it’s a “just” was, then war and the killing of the enemy is okay. But what is a “just” – or an “unjust” war? If my country wages a war, then it’s just? Or if another country does, it could be unjust? Who decides?

We are facing difficult questions these days, amplified by recent Supreme Court decisions.

While decisions such as open carrying of guns in the public does not have the same moral overtones for me, I would say that data suggests that the more guns on public streets show that more gun mishaps can occur, such as “road rage” or drunken bar fights. And if people die from gun shots, then does that make carrying a weapon out on the streets merely a personal second amendment right, or do such killings add different dimensions to the “freedom" to own and carry guns?

Other shades of gray also surround these recent Supreme Court decisions. As NYT columnist Maureen Dowd pointed out in her recent column, women are losing their rights because of this decision. “This is a story about men gaining power by trading away something that meant little to them-- the rights of women -- compared with their own stature.”

No, I am not saying that all men are guilty of her claim about men wanting power over women, but in some areas, among some men, that power is very important to them. I saw a picture of the Texas legislature with several women legislators in the front row and rows and rows of men behind them.

Texas legislature:

Description<span style="margin-left: 30px">House Members<span style="margin-left: 30px">Senate Members

Male<span style="margin-left: 130px">111</span><span style="margin-left: 130px">21</span>

Female<span style="margin-left: 120px">38</span><span style="margin-left: 130px">10</span>

Total<span style="margin-left: 130px">149</span><span style="margin-left: 130px">31</span>

Yes, this draconian abortion ruling was made by mostly by men.

The Catholic church took a strong stand against abortion, -- a decision made by all men.

The other thing that bothers me is the increasing power the Supreme Court is assuming this year. In the 6-3 abortion case, five justices, a majority, agreed that Roe v. Wade should be erased. Five people regulating the future lives of all of us. There are 162,826,299 or 162.83 million males and 166,238,618 or 166.24 million females in US. Five justices.

Add to all this Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion that said (paraphrased)abortion is just the beginning -- this decision opens the door to other aspects – the right to use contraceptives (!), the right to engage in same sex relationships, possibly forbidding gay marriage, LGBTQ rights – and who knows what else he can dream up (although, interestingly, he did not include a ban on interracial marriage). How convenient for he and his white wife, Ginni.

This is just the beginning of the fight – maybe for Thomas, but also for us women and men to fight as hard as they can to restore our rights -- equal rights for all.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of another community,
on Jun 27, 2022 at 3:41 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

I think SCOTUS fall back position on this is that because abortion isn't rooted or mentioned in the Constitution, it must be wrong. So their thinking is over 200 years old. Slavery was also a states' rights issue, that was amended by the 13th Amendment forbidding it across the entire country. There's no stopping the SCOTUS from booting that item, too. But I'm going to guess Clarence Thomas won't TOUCH interracial marriage laws that are also not mentioned in the constitution. If gay marriage gets overturned they would almost have no choice BUT to overrule interracial marriage. And then I guess the next thing to go would be a woman's right to vote. I just wish we could go back 1000 years or more and give this country back to its rightful indigenous inhabitants. We have no moral compass and no right to interfere between a woman and a doctor.

Posted by Richt, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Jun 27, 2022 at 5:32 pm

Richt is a registered user.

I support abortion on demand, even for teens. I always thought the 13th Amendment should be the controlling factor in protecting abortion rights. However... Diana you stated: "If, as the SCOTUS conservative justices claim, abortion is morally wrong because it deprives a fetus of life, what about the other moral aspects also cloaked in the majority justices' decision?"

The SCOTUS stated:
"The Court emphasizes that this decision concerns the constitutional
right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be
understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion."

The SCOTUS did NOT declare abortion was "morally wrong", just that there is a difference of opinion in the mind of the public about that.

The SCOTUS ruling was a direct examination of the Roe and Casey decisions and the explanation and reasoning they employed on those 2 cases to justify the outcome of Roe and Casey.

The SCOTUS properly analyzed both decisions and all historical facts. The Roe and Casey rulings read like a piece of legislation, not like a court ruling.

The outcome of the Roe and Casey rulings were just fine by me, but the mechanisms those courts used to come to their decision was indeed legislating from the bench.

This SCOTUS pointed out that if it had not been for the Roe and Casey, the legislatures and the Congress would have been forced by society to establish abortion as legal by the proper legislative process. And at the time of Roe, the momentum was fully on the side of making abortion legal. Essentially, the Roe decision slammed the door shut on any legislative action and gave Congress an "easy-out" to do nothing for 49 years.

Bill Clinton could have secured Roe by insisting Congress make it into Federal law, but he didn't. Biden was well aware Roe was going to be overturned and he did nothing.

If you are going to scream warnings about something for 49 years, why didn't you lift a finger to prevent it when you could have?

Posted by Richt, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Jun 27, 2022 at 5:54 pm

Richt is a registered user.

Diana you wrote: "While decisions such as open carrying of guns in the public does not have the same moral overtones for me,"

The SCOTUS ruled on Concealed Carry of a Weapon, or CCW, not "open carry". Six states deny the right to self-defense in public exists and have turned that into a privilege by allowing the local Sheriff to decide arbitrarily whom they will allow to get a CCW license.

The Sheriff of Santa Clara County was caught selling CCW licenses to people. Under existing California laws, a powerful politician, like Diana Feinstein was able to get a CCW without any training at all. She carried a hidden handgun for decades here in California and the moment she became a Senator she got a US Marshals badge so she could carry almost anywhere.

That was what the SCOTUS was over-ruling. Laws like the NYC "Sullivan Act" was passed in 1913 specifically to prevent anyone but friends of the local cops from carrying. This laws was abused along racial, ethnic and nationality lines ever since.

California gun-control began because politicians specifically wanted to prevent black people from carrying guns for defensive purposes.

"I would say that data suggests that the more guns on public streets show that more gun mishaps can occur, such as “road rage" or drunken bar fights."

Actual historical fact over the past 30+ years show that the tens of millions of Americans who lawfully carry concealed have not become a problem in any of the 40+ states that now allow this. Now many states don't even require a permit to CCW.

"And if people die from gun shots,"

You ignore the other side of the equation.
The lives that have been saved by ordinary citizens with guns for defensive purposes.

Posted by DianaDiamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 28, 2022 at 2:43 pm

DianaDiamond is a registered user.

Richt -- You and I may be on two different sides of the political pendulum. You quoted the Supreme Court as sayaing :
The Court emphasizes that this decision concerns the constitutional
right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be
understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion."

But if you read Justice Clarence Thomas's opinion, he very clearly states that this abortion decision opens the door to other related considerations -- like purchasing birth control pills, IUDs, etc., gay rights, gay marriage and LBGTQ rights. his written opinion contradicts the decision (casts doubts on precedents that do not concern abortion." Perhaps Thomas feels his open door issues do involve the abortion ruling, although I think that's a big stretch.

And the five justices in the 5-4 decision that were in the majority are Catholics (Gorsuch was born Catholic but then later in life became Protestant) who were taught that abortion and birth control are morally wrong. The justices strong Christian religious views are also apparent in other recent decisions, where religious rights rule (e.g., the coach saying prayers after a game upholds his rights to do so but does not discuss that students affected by the coach's action). Often the written words of a decision are applied in many other circumstances. And when Alito suggests abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution, as originally written, does not take into consideration that women are not mentioned, nor is the Air Force, etc., etc.

Thanks for writing!


Posted by Harrison Carter, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 29, 2022 at 7:52 am

Harrison Carter is a registered user.

It should be noted that there is no such thing as true justice in America. Supreme Court decisions are merely judicial OPINIONS reflective of the times as witnessed by the earlier and wrongful Dred Scott and Fred Koramatsu cases.

And the same applies to Superior Court Cases regarding probate, child custody, and divorce. In the absence of a jury, the judge decides the case based on his opinion which is why cases are often appealed (providing one has the financial resources to cover the added legal expenditures).

Overturning Roe VS Wade did not eliminate abortion altogether. It merely gives individual states the option of approving or outlawing abortion.

Since blue states will most likely continue to approve abortions while red states will outlaw most abortions, it becomes more of an inconvenience issue for those seeking an abortion out of state.

The nebulous concept of morality is embedded in many of our laws and for countless Americans who embrace the mandates of The Old Testament, an LGBTQ existence (along with the practice of sodomy) is considered both immoral and a societal aberration. And the same applies to the taking of human life during an abortion.

For most atheists, these concepts are easily ignored as they do not acknowledge any existence of God or his mandates.

The current SCOTUS is leaning towards a theocratic mindset due to the current makeup of the court and since most of the conservative justices will be around for the next 20+ years, we are moving towards a more stringent set of legal interpretations that reflect religious morality and retribution.

If states have the right in deciding whether to implement the death penalty for heinous crimes, they should also have the right to legalize or outlaw abortion.

And if someone truly needs to get an abortion, just travel to another state.

Posted by Bette Pinchot, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 29, 2022 at 9:54 am

Bette Pinchot is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by staying home, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 29, 2022 at 12:48 pm

staying home is a registered user.

[Post removed; referenced comments have been deleted.

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