If abortion is murder, then coffee is manslaughter.

Don't ask me how it happened, but for some strange reason last night, my computer became a sort of time machine. Instead of the Internet of 2008, for about an hour I was connected to the Internet of 2015. (I think it had something to do with leaving that can of Bean Dip on my overheated wireless router.)

It's difficult to get the tenses correct when talking about future events, so pardon any lapses.

So, being the curious type of person that I am, I decided to peruse several online news sites. Right away, I found out that Roe V. Wade had been overturned in 2012. After that ruling, several sweeping changes were made to “support the rights of the unborn.”

From an article in the New York Times online I found out that there was a Supreme Court ruling on Scheidler V. California where life was determined to start from the moment of conception – at the point where the sperm met the egg. Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito wrote in this majority ruling, “... and so the right to life is finally extended to all humans, from the moment of conception, and these smallest of humans must now be extended equal protection by law.

I then wandered into someone's blog who has been documenting the massive fallout of litigation that has come from these Supreme Court rulings. For example, most radical right to life groups have always asserted that “the pill” was an abortificant in that it would, in a few cases, cause a fertilized ovum (or blastocyst) to fail to implant in a woman's uterine wall. With the overthrow of Roe V. Wade and the new definition of life that includes conception, they decided to test this case. Although there are many pharmaceutical manufacturers that produce estrogen and progestogen oral contraceptives, Wyeth was selected as the pharmaceutical company to sue, probably due to having headquarters in New Jersey.

In this case (Donna Schinder V. Wyeth, Morris County courthouse) Schinder won an immediate injunction against Wyeth, preventing them from manufacturing, transporting, or selling “the pill”. Wyeth appealed to the State, and finally to the Supreme Court, and lost. The Supreme Court ruling handed a further win to pro-life supporters by saying that the willful use of “abortificants” was tantamount to murder.

At about this same time, bills were introduced jointly in the House and Senate that made it illegal to manufacture, transport or sell any products that were intended to interfere with the normal progression of embryo development, starting from the point of conception. This joint bill was quickly signed into law by President Huckabee, and all oral contraceptives became immediately illegal in the United States. Along with illegal narcotics, customs agents started searching for illegal birth control pills. (I couldn't figure out if they started training “contraceptive dogs” or not.)

There were still forms of legal contraceptives available. Condoms, spermicide, diaphragms. And as usual, groups like the American Family Association and the Family Research Council campaigned against them, somewhat successfully. For example, Condoms were then sold “behind the counter” by law in many states. In a few Southern states they can only be sold to those older than 21, with a valid ID.

In 2014, the first cases of “embryo death or endangerment” under these new laws were opened against women in several states. There have been cases prosecuted in the past involving "Fetal Rights", and the use of drugs like cocaine, but under the new fetus protection laws the cases took a different course.

The first of these happened in Charlotte, North Carolina, where a manager of a Starbucks coffee shop called the police on a pregnant woman for ordering and consuming three “Doppio Espresso” drinks on premises. The case, “The City of Charlotte V. Linda Johnson” ruled against the defendant, who was charged with “willful child endangerment” for “knowingly using a substance likely to cause miscarriage.” Mrs. Johnson, in her first trimester, was in divorce proceedings at the time of her arrest, and admitted during interrogation that she no longer wanted “that bastard's baby.” She was sentenced to 18 months in jail, and she was required to forfeit her newborn to Child Protective Services upon birth.

There were a lot of cases like this across the USA.

But I found I was more disturbed by other cases.

For example, In Vitro Fertilization in the United States will come to an abrupt halt. This is because IVF is a sort of 'gamble' wherein several of a woman's eggs are fertilized and introduced to the womb in the hopes that a couple of them implant. Those that do not implant are 'washed out' naturally. This was called “gambling with life” in a popular prime-time news show that also had an in-depth expose on the rate of death of embryos frozen for future implantation, called “Snowflake Babies”. Overnight medical insurers refused to cover IVF, and a team of Federal Prosecutors was formed to look into the IVF industry.

Another disturbing case (still in the works as of my connection to the year 2015) involved a high profile Texas state prosecutor as the defendant. Mrs. Jerri Lancaster is being investigated in 2015 by the State Attorney's Office (her employer) for publicly acknowledging that she is attempting to conceive while in a high-stress job. Even today we know that stress is a risk factor for pregnancy, in some cases a blastocyst will fail to implant in the uterine wall due to stress in the mother. Mrs. Lancaster's public announcement was seen by Texans to be a sign of “negligence” toward her future unborn child.

The fallout of this case may have a profound affect on the types of jobs that women of child-bearing years are allowed to hold.

This really started to worry me. Were women going to be forced out of the workplace and back into the home, so they wouldn't be guilty of possible “negligence”? How would the state reduce the numerous risk factors for the epidemic of "spontaneous abortions"? How would the State be able to ensure that an active woman of child-bearing years with a stressful life wasn't pregnant?

I tried to find out, but at that point my wireless router failed, and there was an acrid smell of burnt bean dip in the house. I went to bed and dreamed about the complete loss of Woman's reproductive rights - it looked like something from "The Handmaid's Tale".

It wasn't until this morning that I realized that I could have downloaded 7 years of future stock market trends and sports scores. Somehow I don't think it's much of a loss – wealth wouldn't make me happy in this future world.

8 comments:

Scientiae said...

Calladus Venerabilis, you are wonderful. I'm putting yours and Margaret Atwood's names on the shortlist for nomination to the Supreme Court. (And I can do that, because in 2015 I'll be chairing the American Judges Association.)

In return, could I possibly borrow some of that rather extraordinary bean dip?

And here's what Douglas Adams has to say about the somewhat sticky grammar problem:

...The main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveller's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping two days in order to avoid it. The event will be described differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is further complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations whilst you are actually travelling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father.

Most readers get as far as the Future Semi-Conditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up.

Calladus said...

Apologies Scientiae - it no longer resembles bean dip - more like a briquette now.

And please... Me, on the Supreme Court? I don't want the job. I'm wise enough to know I wouldn't use that power wisely.

Scientiae said...

But it's people like you- people who are perceptive as well as wary of their own desire for power- that NEED to be in high positions. As Thomas Paine said, too often the task of governing is left to the most rascally individuals. We need some decent folks up top!

Shane Fisher said...

I see you put that HUCK PACK Candidate Survey to good use. At what point in time was it okay for the Government to tell people what to do with their body parts. I have a really hard time finding it in the Constitution.
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

Shane Fisher

Brad Kroeker said...

I'm afraid I have to reject your slippery slope arguments, because if I accept yours, then where does it end? I would have to accept all the other slippery slopes out there, and that is just ridiculous.

;)

Calladus said...

heh. Yes, it might be a fallacy.

However, check out the links in the story. I'm not the one making up these "slippery slopes" - I'm merely reporting what is already happening.

Also, check out the personhood amendment in California (Link)

The amendment proposed would not only negate IVF, the birth control pill, and the day after pill, it would also nullify living wills that included "Do Not Resuscitate" orders and refused extravagant life-saving measures.

In other words, they get you coming and going. And that's not my slope - that's theirs!

Brad Kroeker said...

Yeah, you're right. It's not a slippery slope if you're linking to their actual arguments...

Scary stuff.

Calladus said...

Here is a better link to the California Personhood Amendment (from March 2010). (Link)