Resolved: We need a constitutional amendment guaranteeing marriage/reproductive rights

Not just because of Dobbs. The fact that it was ever illegal for a couple (married or unmarried) to use contraception (Griswold and Eisenstadt) is ridiculous. And the fact that an adult could not marry who they wanted to because of the archaic views on miscegenation or religion reasons that may not even apply to me or that if you are married you need to be a breeder. Marriage is a civil contract and so any two competent adults should be able to marry and enter into the corresponding financial and legal commitments to each other. (Loving and Obergefell). Abortion is a little trickier. I blame a lot of the current issues on how poorly written Roe v Wade was. Not that abortion is wrong but rather a lot of the issues involved - some practical like When is viability? Do women have a right to abortion at any time up until labor? Is a baby “born” during a partial-birth abortion? And some that are maybe more philosophical and maybe even more controversial than the abortion question itself - Why exactly does the father have no say in an abortion if it is his child too? Don’t parents have a say, or at least a right to knowledge, in their minor child’s medical treatment even if it is an abortion? So why is Roe v Wade so badly written? Because it had to be crowbarred into the existing Constituion and thus we have “Right to Privacy” and penumbra etc. Maybe I’m stupid. I always believed that marrying who you want (assuming consenting adults) and deciding whether or not to have a child with a specific person or leaving it up to fate was a basic right … maybe even the most basic we have. All of the SCOTUS cases I cite could have simply been written

This is the sort of issue that the Ninth Amendment was written for. It is a basic right to XXXXXXXX.
So Ordered.

But apparently in the United States, we need to explicitly spell out our rights. So let’s do it. If you agree with me, then how should we write this amendment. If you disagree with me, tell me why.

Here is my draft:
The right for two persons legally allowed to enter into contracts to marry shall not be denied or abridged. The right of persons to make reproductive choices including contraception and abortion up until fetus viability shall not be denied or abridged. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Do you want to limit it to two people right off the bat?

I’m not sure about the wording of your draft as pertains to marriage - as worded it might allow incestuous marriage, or for a person to enter into multiple marriages simultaneously. (Not that the latter is a problem, in my view, but it might be unintended.)

In the fantasy world in which it might be possible to get such an amendment passed, I would try to reach for an expanded ERA, something along the lines of:

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

In your example what happens if the mother wants an abortion and the father does not, and if the father wants the abortion and the mother does not?

That’s why I started this thread. Feel free to rewrite the amendment to address any issues you are bringing up.

Notwithstanding the ewwwww factor, why if they are adults should close relatives not be allowed to marry from a simple contractual issue? Remember I am trying to move away from “married couples must be breeders” thinking.

That is an awesome question and one that I don’t know I have an answer to. Treating the fetus as a part of a woman’s body until viability is the easy answer as she should have autonomy over her body BUT doesn’t that violate the idea that the father has a right to reproductive choices too? It’s not your child until it is? How does the law handle cases when two people that have equal rights to make a decision can’t agree (thinking two next-of-kin and inheritance issues).

But how to phrase it to disallow polygamous or polyandrous marriages?

Ok I will:

It is hear-by recognized and acknowledged that the woman carrying an unborn human is sole sovereign over it.

So a pregnant woman can smoke and drink and do hard drugs and that is not a form of child abuse under the law?

That right ends when the sperm leaves the end of his penis. He can choose to wear a condom, get a vasectomy, or look to one of the promised male oral contraceptives.

Why? Why does the woman have sole rights over the fetus and then when born the father has his responsibility for 18 years? Is it not his child too in utero?
See - that’s one of the problems with abortion laws. The fetus is a child under some cases like if a woman is attacked and the fetus dies it’s murder, but in other cases it is not treated like a child. Is it even possible to resolve that dichotomy without it being a human child from the point of conception?

I don’t see the dichotomy. If you stab a needle into my earlobe because I asked you to, you can tell me to pay up; if you do it without my consent, I want you locked up, sure as I’ll holler stuff about assault and battery. I routinely show up at blood drives to donate blood, at which point no crime is committed; taking a pint without my permission would be a very different story.

And so on.

hidden by WE? as should not be in thread.

(bolding mine)
Because it’s in her body. I’m not unsympathetic to the male parent’s rights and feelings, but should he be allowed to force the female to have an abortion? If not – and I think we can all agree that would be barbaric – he should also not have a right to force her to not have an abortion.

That’s why I’d support language along the lines of “The right of a pregnant person to terminate their pregnancy before the point of fetal viability shall not be denied or abridged.” It should also include an unambiguous definition of “fetal viability.”

Bodily autonomy is why.

Do not respond to this {What Exit?}

I think that is the best answer so far. And FTR I am pro-choice but bearing in mind that we are looking for an amendment that guarantees reproductive rights I still see an issue with a father not having that right with regards to an unviable fetus. Legally I guess we could say that just the mother has the rights so State and neighbor down the street (looking at you Texas and “standing”) stays out of her body BUT it’s hard to specifically state men do NOT have reproductive rights while the fetus is unviable. I mean that is how I feel but putting it into words and law supporting reproductive rights seems almost contradictory.

Do not respond to this {What Exit?}

Remember, this is not about the philosophical nature of abortion but writing an amendment regarding marriage and reproductive rights. So how would you justify in law taking away a man’s reproductive rights during the first 24 weeks (or whatever the viability threshold is) then saying you now are the father for the next 18 years.

Not saying I disagree with you. Just saying it’s hard to write a law to take away someone’s reproductive rights while trying to support reproductive rights.

Depends on the goal. If it’s responsibility in a free society:

  1. Create a DNA database for the entire population so that parentage can always be established

  2. Make ‘abortion’ an uncontrolled medical procedure

  3. Make marriage an arbitrary contractual agreement between persons. Various contracts can be designed by interested parties like religions, political parties or philosophical associations. Persons engaging in sexual activity are required to have a prior contract that defines responsibility and action for consequences like pregnancy, STDs, finances etc…

These are not absolutes. A male has no absolute claim on a fetus. It is a part of the womans’ anatomy. A male has no responsibility toward a child unless paternity is proven. Contracts are required to define each parties understanding of the relationship.

So my amendment would simply require that people agree to their own rules before they act. Anything else is either chaos at one extreme or authoritarian at the other.

Do not respond to this {What Exit?}

That’s why I wouldn’t write the amendment to protect something as nebulous as “reproductive rights.” Make it specifically about different rights: the right to use birth control and the right to terminate a pregnancy. The second part only applies to people who can actually have a pregnancy.

That part isn’t in the Constitution at all, of course, and I’m not sure it should be part of this amendment. But there’s really no scenario in which the male parent isn’t stuck with being an unwilling father (or at least financial supporter) for 18 years:

  • Current situation: Depending on which state the mother lives in, she may or may not have the right to terminate the pregnancy, and if she doesn’t, the father’s on the hook.
  • Situation after the amendment is passed: The mother has the right to terminate the pregnancy, and if she doesn’t, the father’s on the hook.

I suppose you could try to codify an “opt-out” to accommodate people who want to escape their long-term responsibilities after fathering a child, but who’d support that?

So after the child is born, does the mother also have the bodily autonomy to punch the child badly enough to kill it? After all – “Her body, her choice what to do with it!”

This is one of the biggest weaknesses of the pro-abortion argument–
The fact that the alleged rights of the mother depend solely and exclusively on the physical location (inside the womb or outside the womb) of the child.