I find it strange that I want to preserve legal abortion and abolish the death penalty. What leads me to this apparent inconsistency? Why do I value one life over another? This isn’t an issue over “when life begins” or whether an unborn fetus can be considered a life- it just seems strange to me…
first, i’m not sure why you categorized all of this as political theory? humans have the human right to life. it’s apolitical. and capital punishment is not about the inmate’s choosing to live or die?—it’s about the state having the legal power to take away life, and if the right to life is a human right, then the state absolutely should not have the power to take it away from anyone.
as for legalizing abortion—i think, although i disagree with the claim that a fetus is a person, it’d generally be stain on one’s conscience to abort a baby/fetus that could survive outside of the womb, because as you said, there is a real potential for [an amazing] life if you have reached that point in pregnancy. women ultimately have the responsibility to be actively thinking about what is best for them in their situation and to be reviewing options once they are aware that they have an unwanted pregnancy- the responsible action for me would to be to review all options and make the decision before it reaches the 28 week point.
but again, that’s general, and you cannot account for every possible situation in a law like this—i think as a rule of thumb, a woman should 100% have the right to make decisions about her own body and her health. whether it be her lack of responsibility, a rape situation, or a life-threatening pregnancy, or something else, we cannot tell a woman what to do with her body. so in cases where the situation is not life-threatening or extremely emotionally-traumatic, it should just be made clear that around 28 weeks, it may make more sense (and beneficial to her feelings in the long run) to have the baby and look into adoption…
but that is totally separate from the issue of the state being able to kill someone. the power to kill is a power that should never be in the hands of the state. especially one that cannot seem to stay away from some very serious flaws. i don’t really think the issues of abortion and the death penalty fit into what you seem to think is a black-and-white pro-human life vs. pro-individual liberty situation… though i understand what you mean and why it’d seem contradictory.
and note - i definitely don’t know the nitty-gritty of roe vs. wade or fetal viability or the current status of unborn child protection laws in all the states right now (and i don’t have time to research), so …maybe i am not the best person to be talking. haha…
I tagged my post as “political theory” rather impulsively, mostly because I thought my post was about the implications of policies. But you’re right; preservation of life transcends politics and is a moral issue dealing with rights.
I never meant to imply that the death penalty is “about the inmate’s choosing to live or die”, as you said- obviously, no one willingly chooses the death penalty for themselves (unless they’re Socrates, but I digress…) I think the confusion came from the fact that I was poorly phrasing the inmate’s right to live as the inmate’s desire to not be killed.
And did I imply that I was considering whether to support the death penalty/illegal abortion? I apologize. That wasn’t remotely my point. Of course the state shouldn’t be allowed to kill people or tell a woman what to do. Of course it denies the inmate’s right to live and the woman’s right to choose carefully.
So I see what you’re trying to say now. I had forgotten to remember that “freedom” comes in two categories- individual and state. Both Illegal abortion and a legal death penalty place the will of the state over the will of the individual (and of course both cases are wrong- no need to preach to the choir here.) So there is a consistency!
But the questions I asked in my original post still stand. Are there tensions between the individual’s right to make their own choices, and the need to preserve human life? Or, as I said before, in what circumstances is it okay for the state to say to the individual, “you can’t do that, even if you want to” (which would mean that the will of the state is superseding the will of the individual.) That is the issue I was trying to get to.
What are your thoughts? You know much more than me about government and society and human rights…