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Safe, legal, rare? Not if the government can help!
Posted by: Jon Henke on Saturday, December 31, 2005

Now and then, you come across a story that perfectly encapsulates the different mindset between the Left and the Right (or, perhaps, between liberals and libertarians). On Tuesday, the Washington Post did a story on North Dakota, where it's difficult to get an abortion:
The last doctor in South Dakota to perform abortions stopped about eight years ago; the consensus in the medical community is that offering the procedure is not worth the stigma of being branded a baby killer.

South Dakota, those on both sides of the abortion debate agree, has become one of the hardest states in the country in which to obtain an abortion.
Various doctors are flown in to a clinic "one day a week when the only facility in South Dakota that provides abortions could take in patients." For a woman to get an abortion, she must be able to make it to Sioux Falls on the day the clinic is open.

Now, understand, abortion is perfectly legal in South Dakota. It's just that a lot of people dislike it. Abortion is just, you know, safe, legal and rare.

So, here you have an entire state without a single full-time abortion clinic -- high demand, low supply. Do the liberals see a market opportunity? A chance to make money? An opening for a new charitable social services venture?

No, of course not. Social distaste = government problem. Steve Benen calls it a "de facto ban on abortion". Georgia10 at Daily Kos laments the fact that South Dakota "refuses to pay" for abortions. Etc, etc. Instead of exploiting the market opportunity, their first thought was "how can government fix this"?
 
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Perhaps that’s their problem.... because it’s disliked, there isn’t enough of a market to suit their taste, and so they want to legislate the issue.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Is there really that much of a market opportunity here? If I understand this correctly: one (?) doctor is flown in one day a week to work at one clinic, and this apparently covers the abortion demand. Wouldn’t opening several clinics and employing several doctors full-time for 5 days a week be an incredible waste of resources? And if it was state-funded, taxpayers would be paying several full-time salaries to do the work of one part-time physician. Aye, that is the gist of the difference between liberals and libertarians!
 
Written By: intelrupt
URL: http://
intelrupt, you have it all wrong. If there are too many doctors on the public payroll than are needed for the required abortions, what they need to do is create a market for abortions. Force women to get pregnant unexpectedly, creating more of a need for abortions. Look to the government in South Dakota to contract with condom manufacturers for factory seconds and rejects, which will then be handed out to the unsuspecting populace....
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
I wonder if someone could explain why this is a national news story worthy of the attention of the busybodies at the Washington Post. Surely this is not a federal problem which should be addressed by federal tax dollars. Nor does it seem to rise to the level of a deprivation of civil rights by a state government or a subdivision thereof.

Sounds to me like North Dakotans are perfectly happy with the status quo. Who should be unhappy?







 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://
Sounds to me like North Dakotans are perfectly happy with the status quo. Who should be unhappy?

If the status quo is happy with a solution, then said solution, by default, is oppressive to a minority. And who does the Constitution protect again?
 
Written By: Rick D.
URL: http://
If the status quo is happy with a solution, then said solution, by default, is oppressive to a minority.

That makes no sense. Have you started celebrating New Year’s Eve already?

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I wonder if someone could explain why this is a national news story worthy of the attention of the busybodies at the Washington Post. Surely this is not a federal problem which should be addressed by federal tax dollars. Nor does it seem to rise to the level of a deprivation of civil rights by a state government or a subdivision thereof.

Sounds to me like North Dakotans are perfectly happy with the status quo. Who should be unhappy?







 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://
I’m sure the North Dakotans are happy. This is happening in South Dakota.

:-)
 
Written By: Tim Worstall
URL: http://www.timworstall.com
Where are all those doctors who are so dedicated to the rights of women that they risk their lives(alledgedly) to provide a needed medical service? Surely one of them would be willing to move to S. Dakota. NARAL might even be willing to help out, since the availability of abortions is necessary to the maintainence of civilization-as-we-know-it. If the market is not large enough to support a full-time provider of reproductive health services, they could do it as a part of their regular practice, as doctors in other states do.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Doctors are tired of the stigma of being called baby killers. This is what we’re expected to believe is driving down the availability of abortions? Are SD doctors such wimps that we’re supposed to believe that those doctors believe strongly that every woman is entitled to an abortion at any stage of pregnancy for any reason she can come up with but those same doctors are afraid of stigma so they won’t perform what they strongly believe is a medical procedure to which women are entitled and their ethical responsibility to provide? Rubbish. Either the abortion doctors are being boycotted by patients, and so are being driven out of the health-care provider market or the doctors are as against abortion as the SD people are.
 
Written By: Craig R. Harmon
URL: http://www.smackmybooty.com
Now and then, you come across a story that perfectly encapsulates the different mindset between the Left and the Right (or, perhaps, between liberals and libertarians).
Jon,

I agree, but for different reasons.

Jon, Jon ... I hope you left your muddy-headed thinking behind in 2005.

The ostensible goal of the political right in the Untied States is to eliminate any notion that there is some kind of federally protected right to an abortion. Of course, many GOP nominated jurists have affirmed the existence of such a right. (Kennedy, O’Connor, Souter, Blackmun, Brennan, etc.) And well meaning and reasonable people differ on the existence of such a right. Given this reasonable disagreement, and puting aside the issues regarding stare decisis, and the policy behind the doctrine, the position of the right wing in this country is that such a right does not exist.

Now, since reasonable people disagree about abortion, it would stand to reason that neither side of the debate is unreasonable.

Of course we also know that if Roe is overruled, the abortion question - that is, the political question - returns to the states. In other words, each state gets to decide if abortion is legal.

And, finally, we know that libertarians have allied themselves with the political right in this country. Therefore, it is safe to assume that most libertarians agree that the Roe should be overruled and the issue should be returned to the states.

But then most libertartians must also know that some states would outlaw abortion if given the chance. Therefore, libertarians must know that abortion doctors in these states - and their staff - would be put out of work. In other words, libertarians seemingly are ok with a legal position that says any current federal protections that prohibit state governments from eliminating free market capitalists from profiting from abortion procedures should themselves be eliminated. Stated another way, not only should state governments have the ability to outlaw abortion, they should also effectively have the ability to shut down businesses that currently perform abortions.

The abortion issue is about choice. If reasonable people can disagree about whether a person has a right against government to get an abortion, it would seem natural that libertarians would side with those persons who say such a right exists. And it would also seem natural that such libertarians would agree that the commerce in abortion services should not be tampered with in any meaningful way by government, or at least in a way that meaniningfully hinders an individual’s exercise of the right.

If you take the position that Jon does - in a reasonable poltiical and legal debate, and the effective result of that decision is that currently existing businesses, i.e., abortion providers would be shut down, you would be in a helluva position to argue that your opponents are somehow anti-capitlist/socilaist.

But that is what Jon does. Because liberals are against legal and political results that would drive abortion providers out of business, they are anti-capitalist and anti-free market. Because right wingers want to effectively shut down the same businesses, they are pro-capitalist and free market.

No - seriously - this is how wingers think.

Now, I know how Jon will respond - he will claim that the three bloggers/commenters he cites who riffed on the situation in South Dakota somehow proves that it really the political left, not the political right, that seeks to inject government into the issue of whether a woman should be able to go to a doctor to get an abortion.

Right, Jon - it is the left that wants the government involved in the question of who should be able to get an abortion, not the right.

There’s a hole in that bucket you are carrying.

Welcome to 2006.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The ostensible goal of the political right in the Untied States is to eliminate any notion that there is some kind of federally protected right to an abortion. Of course, many GOP nominated jurists have affirmed the existence of such a right.
You contradict yourself already. As you note in your second sentence, opinions on the Right vary about abortion.
Now, since reasonable people disagree about abortion, it would stand to reason that neither side of the debate is unreasonable.
Actually, my own opinion is that reasonable people disagree about abortion, but both sides tend to be unreasonable -- at least, in their arguments. Their positions may be reasonable from their own premises, but they’re far-too-often argued in rhetorically unreasonable terms.
And, finally, we know that libertarians have allied themselves with the political right in this country. Therefore, it is safe to assume that most libertarians agree that the Roe should be overruled and the issue should be returned to the states.
No, that’s not a safe assumption at all. There’s absolutely no consistent libertarian position on abortion except for general agreement that the government shouldn’t fund it.
The abortion issue is about choice. If reasonable people can disagree about whether a person has a right against government to get an abortion, it would seem natural that libertarians would side with those persons who say such a right exists.
Look, I have no intention of arguing the abortion thing, but the anti-abortion argument is that killing an unborn baby is murder. Assuming that premise, there’s nothing "free market" about the procedure.
Because liberals are against legal and political results that would drive abortion providers out of business, they are anti-capitalist and anti-free market.
And yet, the government has taken no steps that actually prevent the free market. They do not subsidize the procedure, and they require doctors to give patients information prior to the procedure. But the ONLY actual barrier cited in the article was public disapproval.

 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
And, finally, we know that libertarians have allied themselves with the political right in this country. Therefore, it is safe to assume that most libertarians agree that the Roe should be overruled and the issue should be returned to the states.

Whooooooooooooa, there, MK. As I understand, and have been a devout follower for many moons, is that Libertarianism is as much about social liberties as it is about fiscal liberties. Don’t let the “Neo” crowd fool you. There are many libertarians, like myself, who have allied themselves with the Left as far as civil liberties are concerned. Where we differ with the Left is that we do not believe that the government is capable of delivering those liberties, whether they be civil or fiscal. Don’t try to deliver liberties, just keep out of it, will you?

It is my libertarian belief that the government should not be in the business of regulating liberty. Obviously, there are areas where some sort of regulation is needed. But let’s try to keep it at a minimum, shall we.

There are some soi-disant “libertarians” who do not believe in a right to privacy (Why, I’ll never understand) as long as that right does not infringe upon the rights of others. This is where Jon’s apt statement about there not being a consistent libertarian position on abortion applies.

Rights of the fetus (baby), and what not.

If you want, there are some, like myself, who believe that Libertarianism has been somewhat hi-jacked by the Right. But I’m sure that there are some who disagree,

Capeesh?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://

 
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