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Alabama, Abortion and Consistent Application

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Alabama recently passed the most restrictive anti-abortion law to date, forbidding abortion even in cases of rape and incest. While the bill is obviously aimed at restricting abortion, its primary function is to be challenged and end up at the supreme court. The hope is that the conservative judges will use the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade. What should strike proponents of rational, informed legislation as deranged is that the supporters of Alabama’s law are apparently both confused about what the law does and proud of their confusion. While this does not entail that the law must be bad, it is certainly problematic. To use an analogy, imagine that your surgeon was proud of his incredible confusion about how your organs worked and their layout. While this does not entail that the surgery he is performing on you will turn out badly, it should certainly raise grave concerns. Likewise for the law: it might be great, but the confusion and ignorance of its creators and supporters should raise concerns. But perhaps it is fine because the law has the noblest of intentions. Image Credit Proponents of the law, such as Alabama governor Kay Ivey, claim that the motivation behind the law is to protect life. As the governor said, “to the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.” Some who oppose the bill claim that it is not about protecting life but about restricting women’s reproductive rights. While the philosophical problem of other minds entails that I cannot know what another thinks and feels, it is certainly sensible to look at the available evidence when determining motivations and intentions. In the case of the abortion law, the claim is that Alabamians believe that every life is a precious and sacred gift from God. This is certainly consistent with wanting to reduce the number of abortions. But. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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