Thursday, February 11, 2016

Informed Consent as Pretext

Imagine this scenario:  Liberals, motivated by a desire to save lives, impose a requirement that anyone who wants to buy a gun must first meet with a psychiatrist, 24 hours before the gun sale can take place. (After all, we don't want crazy people buying gun, and we want to be sure people understand the risk of gun ownership.)

Faced with a backlash about the lack of psychiatrists in rural Kentucky, Liberal legislators modify the proposed law so that the mandatory consult with the shrink can take place by Skype.

Conservatives would protest that such a law was an unconstitutional ruse to make gun ownership more difficult -- an infringement on the second amendment right to bear arms.

This is essentially what Republicans have done in Frankfort, albeit with a different constitutional right.

Roe v. Wade is one of the worst Supreme Court decisions of all time, right up there with Dred Scott (and similar in logic). I do not believe that the constitution gives a woman the right to kill her unborn child. To the contrary, I think that child has its own rights under the constitution.

But nine guys in black robes have held otherwise. It is the law of the land for now. I'd like to see that changed, either by the Court overruling itself or by constitutional amendment. However, until that occurs, respect for rule of law requires that we not undermine the woman's constitutional right to an abortion so long as that remains a constitutional right.

I therefore disagree with what Republicans have done in Frankfort with their so-called "informed consent" bill. As amended, a woman who wants an abortion must have a consult with a doctor by video chat or in-person. The video option was added when it was pointed out that the bill would be most onerous for rural women.

What on earth can the doctor or medical provider tell the woman that cannot be told the day of the abortion? This is just a delay tactic, an obstacle and impediment to the abortion taking place.

I suspect the real motivation behind the bill is the hope that some women, forced to "sleep on it," might change their minds about having the abortion altogether. That would save the life of a child -- certainly a good thing.

Proponents of gun control are similarly motivated to save lives by making the exercise of a constitutional right more onerous.

In both circumstances, the rule of law is undermined. That is a very serious issue, because the rule of law is the linchpin of our democracy. It protects our freedom.

So the informed consent bill, in my view, was well-intentioned but nonetheless a mistake.

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