I debated, both internally and with friends, about whether to write this. As someone who doomscrolls on this subject in this “alternate reality” America, each article on the progress of creating the reality of the Shmuley Myers universe is depressing. But, also, uplifting, given the strength of politics as regards to bodily agency.
We’re creeping, sometimes leaping, to the point where the Preborn Investigation Bureau is a state, if not federal, necessity. After all, if “personhood” starts at conception, then civil law suits as a trigger or response don’t make sense. One doesn’t use civil suits, for example, as the primary means of handling assault and battery, right?
The abortion issue aside, fetal personhood requires intrusion into personal lives that makes England’s forced boarding of soldiers as a Revolutionary War trigger look trivial. Just as the police patrol for lawbreakers, sewers and toilets would need to be surveilled to look for pregnancies or abortion signs.
However, that’s just the start.
There would need to exist, even on a state-level “personhood” concept, an equivalent of the NCIC, to track people when they’re pregnant, and their “crimes” of abortion. Just like bank robbers. After all, if abortion=murder, we’d need those mechanisms in place.
Now add the kinds of protections afforded to born children: Child Protective Services would be called on a parent who took their kids into a bar to drink. Ditto for having a child hang out while the parent works dangerous tasks, such as working on an oil rig, or being a cop. A woman in this reality would be under the aegis of such a bureaucracy.
The non-birth parent would also need to be under scrutiny. What if they smoke at home? Do drugs? Abuse the birth parent in a way that might endanger the fetus? Use carbon tetrachloride to clean down a greasy bike? Keep unsecured weapons in the house?
And what of punishment, or recidivism? Can a person with a history of fetal personhood termination be allowed contact with their children? Courts have been removing children from dangerous homes for decades.
Either people have agency or not. Cognitive dissonance does not work in a legal framework. If we take away privacy, add Soviet-style snooping, and add data collection, we have created the ultimate “nanny state” in terms of privacy intrusion. We also add a huge financial burden to the economy for no economic benefit.
In a society today where fetuses are coveted no matter the mother’s religion or circumstances, but children are abandoned if they’re beyond the current safety net, we’re doing no one any good. And there, perhaps, is a good place to invest in outrage and remediation.
There’ll be an ongoing set of posts when particularly obtuse news comes out relating to the 13th Amendment.
What do you think?