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Migration & Abortion

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As J.S. Mill pointed out in his writing on liberty, people generally do not operate based on consistent principles. Instead, they act based on their likes and dislikes—which are often the result of misinformation. Comparing the view of many Republicans of abortion to their view of immigration illustrates this nicely. Image Credit To use a concrete example, Alabama recently passed the most restrictive anti-abortion law to date, forbidding abortion even in cases of rape and incest. 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.” On the face of it, the principle in operation here is that because each life is precious and a sacred gift, if a man impregnates a woman (or girl) against her will, then she is obligated to host the zygote until birth. The expenses and risks of doing so fall on the woman (or girl)—the United States generally does shockingly little to assist pregnant women. Looked at in the abstract, the principle is that if a child manages to get inside a certain area, then there is an obligation on the part of the owner of that area to care for that child until the child can safely exit the area. If removing the child would kill or harm the child, then the child cannot be removed—regardless of how the child got there. This principle would seem to also apply to certain migrant children who enter the United States—even if they are brought here illegally and against the will of the United States. Once they get within the United States, if expelling them would lead to harm, then the United States is obligated to care for them until they can safely exit the United States. After all, if the principle permits compelling women to bear a child from rape or. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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