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Senate Republicans Introduce Bill To Make Abortion Illegal By Granting Embryos Constitutional Rights

Yesterday, nine Republican U.S. senators introduced S. 231, legislation to make abortion illegal by granting embryos the same constitutional rights as children.

Senators Rand Paul, Jim Risch, Mike Rounds, Mike Crapo, Tim Scott, John Thune, David Perdue, Jim Inhofe, and John Boozman sponsored the legislation together. The same bill has been introduced into the Senate in previous years, but with Donald Trump in the White House, claiming to support an anti-abortion agenda, the bill could actually be signed into law this year.

That can only take place if the Republicans in Congress actually have the intention of banning abortion, instead of preserving it as an issue to motivate their political base to turn out on Election Day.

12 thoughts on “Senate Republicans Introduce Bill To Make Abortion Illegal By Granting Embryos Constitutional Rights”

  1. Al Hopfmann says:

    The fundamental question that must first be answered by society in general (NOT just by government or the Catholic Church or “feminists” or politicians) is: When does human life begin? After we have a definitive answer for that, the abortion question becomes quite simple. Abortion before life begins is acceptable. Abortion after life begins is murder.

  2. J Clifford says:

    Hold on a bit there, Al. CAN we have a “definitive answer” for the question, “When does human life begin?”

    What counts as human can have several meanings, which are subjective, not definitive.

    Also, I think you’re not considering the possibility that there could be different KINDS of human life – not just a stark division between what’s human life and what isn’t.

    Given these ambiguities, I don’t think we’re ever going to get a clear answer that “society in general” can agree upon.

    So, that makes the operational question more important: Given that people are going to come to different subjective interpretations about when human life begins, how are we as a society most fairly going to deal with issues such as abortion?

    1. Al Hopfmann says:

      Are you raising the question of chimeras, intentional triploid offspring, fully artificially synthesized “humans”, or some other type of organism that would traditionally and practically be considered “abominations” by most normal people?

      1. J Clifford says:


        Someone could raise those issues, but there are many other, more subtle distinctions to be considered.

  3. Kat_A_Phonic says:

    Would we all agree that a normal human fetus in the 39th week of an average 40 week gestation qualifies as human? And it might be unfair to destroy the fetus in the 39th week?

    1. J Clifford says:

      The public record shows that no, not all people agree about that.

      1. FruityPebbles says:

        So someone believes that it would be acceptable to see a doctor on the day before, perhaps the 279th day of an average 280 day gestation period, and say to the doctor, “never mind-dump it”? Are there really human beings that would believe we, as a civilized society, would or should do that? In other words, someone believes that decision is absolute? The morning of due date? Prior to the head being exposed? What then? What do YOU think is civilized human behavior towards the human fetus prior to standing on its own two feet? If we’re required to provide government (hence society-provided) health care to all family members, at what point does the developing human qualify to be on the family plan? Just asking a basic question.

        1. J Clifford says:

          No, Fruity Pebbles, you don’t get it.

          My entire point is that because we have widely divergent beliefs about the when human life begins, there can be no definitive consensus on the subject in our society, and that’s the foundation we have to start with in making decisions on this subject.

          My individual opinion isn’t the point. The point is that if you got 20 Americans in a room, you would likely have between 10 and 15 different opinions on the matter.

          To have one group whose President was elected with a minority of the vote, with a 40 percent approval rating, create a one size fits all government-imposed choice for everybody doesn’t seem appropriate.

          1. Al Hopfmann says:

            Just an interesting point regarding your last paragraph: As I recall, the Pittsburg Pirates “lost” the 1960 World Series to the NY Yankees by a “popular vote” of 55 to 27 (total runs scored). Yet, the Pirates officially won the World Series, 4 games to 3. (Electoral College vote equivalent?) I have no objection to people wanting to change the election laws, but it must be done properly, will full deliberation in the existing process. But until then, the NY Yankees and Hillary Clinton should accept the results of the “games” that they engaged in and certainly new the rules.

    2. Al Hopfmann says:

      Why not the 38th week or the 37th week or the 26th week or the 15th week or …? What about the 44th week if birth is medically delayed to 45 weeks or more? Something more definitive is needed, or else we are left with a very arbitrary decision. Then, who has the moral/legal/ethical right to make that decision? How is that any different than that person or “authority” making an infanticide decision? Is a democratic majority a valid authority?

      1. FruityPebbles says:

        Well, Al. Where do YOU draw that definitive line? I’ve heard it said when a person is ‘viable’, whatever that means. Obviously, a human child requires enormous care for many of its early years, being unable to even feed itself if food is right in front of them. Even a well developed six year old child could easily destroy its own existence if, say, you walked away from them on the innocent winter sledding hill. Certainly that care for a healthy child’s life and development increases the farther backwards in development we go. The first few days of an infant’s life can be critical, if ‘life’ means exposed from the womb. I think you are legally bound to feed your dependent children up to some age, including pesky, hungry teenage years. I just ask why? Can’t they take care of themselves at 13/14 etc?

        1. Al Hopfmann says:

          You have made a good argument (consideration of when a person can survive on their own) for NOT having an arbitrary definition of when human life begins. I do not wish to assault anyone’s religious beliefs (or lack thereof) by applying a religion-based test to answer the question. So I think it is best to start with a strictly scientific-based test to answer the question. Human reproductive cells are haploid. They cannot become persons until they are “merged” to become diploid. The beginning of human “life” cannot be rationally be considered to begin before that. At what point after the ensuing process of cell multiplication is there not an arbitrary starting point.?
          BTW, I agree that there is a social/human/religious/ethical responsibility to take care of children who can’t survive on their own. Parenthood is a blessing, not a curse. The burden of proof is on those who promote the idea of an arbitrary starting point (wherever they choose to place it) to convince us that the start of human life is somewhere other than when the haploid cells become diploid.

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