A Slightly DIFFERENT Abortion Question

I DO NOT WANT this to be an abortion debate. Anyone entering into that is highjacking and threadshitting and trolling and has bad breath.

You know how, in the Same Sex Marriage discussion, a lot of people have said that government should simply bow out of the marriage issue entirely?

Well…today, a friend suggested the same thing for abortion. He said that the government should not make it illegal, or difficult, to get an abortion…but also should not subsidize it or in any way make it easier either.

Then – and this is the part that interests me – he said, “But both sides would utterly reject this.”

Would they? As I see it, this would be an immense victory for the pro-choice side, and that they would accept it, perhaps with reservations, but pretty enthusiastically. The government has already pretty much eliminated any funding for abortions, so, if it were to remove itself from placing any obstacles to the procedure, that would be very acceptable to the pro-choice side. I told him that I, at least, would accept it in a heartbeat.

But he was insistent that it would be every bit as odious to NOW and NARAL and ACLU and others as it would be to the churches and other pro-life organizations.

So… Who’s right? Would it be instantly rejected by everyone (his thought) or would the pro-choice side take it as a huge victory (my thought)?

Genuine question: How is the gov’t subsidizing or making abortion easier right now? I really can’t think of anything.

The federal government prevents states from regulating abortion. The pro-choicers would go crazy if the several states outlawed abortion, and the feds let them do it.

That certainly makes for easier abortion.


It absolutely does not prevent states from regulating abortion. It prevents states from prohibiting abortion, but plenty of states have enacted very restrictive abortion legislation.

If by “the government” you are including state governments as well, this is a very interesting idea. Would private insurers cover elective termination of pregnancy if the states didn’t require them to (where this is so)? And if they didn’t, elective termination might be out of range for many, many people.

I think that the anti-choice side would take it as a huge victory and it would be; you are essentially talking about imposing the Mexico City Policy on American hospitals, and we know from the history of the Policy what that means. You’ll end up with large numbers of dead and injured women since any hospital with any government funding will be forced to deny pregnant women any form of medical care, out of fear of being accused of engaging in abortion and losing their funding if she miscarries. They’ll sacrifice her to save their other patients. Plus of course any doctor who is supported in any way by the government will be forced to give pregnant women bad medical advice; to not tell her she needs an abortion even if not getting one will kill her, and to lie about the effects of abortion since not lying about it to make it look evil and dangerous would be “supporting abortion”.

Medicaid covers it in my state. And then aren’t there laws preventing protesters from blocking entrances to clinics or something?

That’s a good point. Protestors would be able to form human walls, and the police would be forbidden to intervene.

First trimester abortions are frequently chemical, not surgical, and are therefore much cheaper. I’m sure that it would make it harder for extremely poor women to get abortions, but I don’t think that it would prevent THAT many abortions.

You’d think so, but they actually cost about the same, at least in the U.S. I could be wrong, but I don’t think the cost of an abortion is really that much of a barrier for most women. Some places (such as Planned Parenthood) have a sliding fee scale.

Is it cheaper to pay for an abortion than to pay for a delivery and perinatal care? If so, insurance companies may stop just short of encouraging abortions (crossing that line may drive away customers).

I can picture an insurance company using a series of artful euphemisms, concealing abortion under the umbrella of general gynecological care, especially if they figure the abortion is cheaper for them than the pregnancy, delivery, and follow-up pediatric care and such.

Well, this, I think, violates the spirit of my question, if not the letter.

The point would be that no government body, at any level – municipal, state, federal, whatever – would bar or ban abortion, or enact such regulations as would be excessively burdensome. Sure, obviously, some regulation would be necessary. It has to be done safely, according to medical standards, etc. But the premise is that government cannot either ban it or prevent it in a sneaky fashion (as in, for instance, charging a million dollar fee for the disposal of fetal medical wastes, etc.)

My guess is that some private insurers would cover it, others wouldn’t. Also, some private organizations would solicit funds to help impoverished women obtain abortions. Per the premise of this thought-experiment, no laws would be enacted making any of this either easier or harder.

Huh? NO! This absolutely contradicts the point of my thought experiment. Again, government wouldn’t act to make it harder or easier. You’re adding weird terms to the original idea.

(The original idea, obviously, is fantastic to begin with. But I’m asking, politely, that people address it on its face, without changing it so far as to be beyond recognition.)

Possibly… But, for the moment, it isn’t relevant to the question… The same could be true for auto-repair insurance, today! If auto shops artfully disguised repairs, they could evade some kinds of billing… But…

Some of you are over-thinking this! My question is: would government non-involvement be rejected by the pro-choice side? Or would they take it as a good thing, perhaps with some reservations. I’m not interested in ways to get around the premise; that’s not playing the same game any more!

(In the same way, I think advocates of same sex marriage would take it as a good thing if government got entirely out of the marriage business. If there were no “government” marriage licenses, and if governments didn’t use the power of the law to define the term “marriage,” wouldn’t same sex marriage be pretty much an accomplished fact?)

It would be another way for insurance companies to deny coverage for a procedure. I expect abortions would become impossible to get through their insurance, and as a result would end up becoming very difficult for an average person to afford. I’d oppose that change.

ETA: I am reluctantly pro-choice. I personally don’t like abortions, and I wish people wouldn’t get them, but I do not want to make them illegal or difficult to have done safely. I guess I count as a pro choice person who would reject the proposal in the OP.

But in the act of doing so, marriage ceases to exist as a legal concept, rendering moot (I assume) all the useful rights and privileges that have accumulated over the years.

How this is a desirable end for anyone (well, except people who think the end of legal marriage will spare them alimony payments to ex-spouses) escapes me.

Why? I simply do not see it. Sure, as a pro-choicer myself, I’d prefer that government pay for abortions for the very needy, exactly as they pay for appendicitis treatment for the very needy. But if I knew that abortion rights would be guaranteed, I could make that sacrifice, especially since government funding for abortion is already next to nil because of things like the Hyde Amendment.

It would allow the most important benefits to be assigned by contract law. People would make a lot more pre-nuptual agreements, and rely less on legislation. And, yeah, married couples would lose the tax benefits of filing jointly…or perhaps not! The IRS might simply say “Any two persons may file jointly.” Either way, it would be sex-neutral, and wouldn’t that be a gain of sorts? If it came along with a guarantee of the right to co-habit, to adopt, to assign inheritance and survival rights, etc., it would seem a small price to pay.

Contract law can create privileged communications?

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: You do realize first of all most pro-lifers support abortion if the mother’s life is threatened? And the idea that hospitals would refuse to treaty any pregnant women (if I’m reading this correctly here) is just WTF-worthy.

That’s just a position they typically officially take to make themselves look less evil. Given a chance, most of them would condemn those women to death, and gloat over their suffering. “Every woman who dies is a victory for morality”, to quote Randall Terry, former head of Operation Rescue.

Not it isn’t; it happens. They don’t dare because if she miscarries we can and would accuse them of abortion and cut off all their funding.

You do realize Randall Terry is not a mainstream pro-lifer? It would be like me quoting Madalyn Murray O’Hair or Marquis de Sade as a mainstream atheist.

You don’t think, I don’t know, the millions of people who are pregnant or are their family members who launch a massive political shitstorm?