Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Question for Rudy: What Exactly About Abortion Do You "Hate"?

NRO's Rich Lowry (again) pinpoints another contradiction in Rudy's oft-repeated line that he "hates!" abortion: it's "so flagrantly insincere" and "rings so false because, temperamentally, [Rudy] is not one to hate something without outlawing or attempting to discourage it."

Indeed, since Rudy is still ultimately pro-choice, why hasn't anybody asked him what exactly he abhors about abortion? Is it that it's controversial? That it's too common? That it constitutes murder?

Moreover, how does Rudy square his avowed abhorrence with at least six, personal contributions to Planned Parenthood, one of the country's leading abortion-rights groups and its top provider of abortions?

Add these questions to Dave Weigel's list for the full field.

Finally, Lowry suggests that Rudy can redeem himself by supporting the repeal of Roe (which many pro-choice scholars agree is bad constitutional law), and allowing each state to decide its own abortion laws. On the surface, this seems like the perfect way out—until you ponder the legal nightmare it would unleash:

The common refrain in the anti-Roe pro-choice camp is that women in anti-abortion states will simply travel elsewhere to end their pregnancies. But it’s unlikely that states with strict regulations on abortion would stand idle, and they will have many legal tools at their disposal.

States could make it illegal to cross state lines in order to abort a fetus—a tactic Ireland tried in the early 1990s, until a court decision and subsequent constitutional amendment recognized a right to travel. While the Supreme Court has recognized a constitutional right to travel across state lines, it has also recognized exceptions.

If states can decree that life begins at conception, they might also be able to use child custody laws to curtail the movements of pregnant women. For example, many states are legally allowed to hold children in protective custody if there is reason to believe the parents will misbehave. Once Roe has been overturned, a state may be able to place unborn children into protective custody, forbidding their mothers to take them across state lines.

Furthermore, in recent decades, the Supreme Court has ruled that a state can regulate its citizens’ activities while they are elsewhere and prosecute them for violations of state law upon their return. This so-called long-arm jurisdiction has been invoked to allow states to regulate Internet sites based beyond their borders, or to prosecute murders that followed interstate kidnappings. Anti-abortion states could forbid their residents to obtain or perform abortions, even while out of state. Would such measures be legal? The current law is unclear.