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That’s Our Republican Party!

[ 140 ] February 22, 2012 |

Shorter Alana Goodman: I’m a contemporary conservative. Of course I don’t understand the concept of “consent.” For that matter, I don’t know why people get so upset about forced sterilization these days; why, people choose to get vasectomies or their tubes tied all the time!

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  1. “I don’t understand the problem with forced lobotomies. People vote for GOP candidates all the time”

  2. actor212 says:

    We should raise her taxes, just for being stupid.

  3. mark f says:

    It also seems that she’s conflating a typical ultrasound — a.k.a. a sonogram, whereby some jelly is smeared on the stomach and an instrument similar in appearance to a t.v. control is glided around the surface area — to the transvaginal procedure apparently mandated by the VA law.

    • DrDick says:

      I think she is actually confusing the voices in her head with reality.

    • Dave S. says:

      The transvaginal procedure is required because the noninvasive procedure will not register an image that early in a pregnancy.

      • DrDick says:

        Neither of which is medically necessary or even relevant for the procedure under question.

      • mark f says:

        I don’t know, so let’s assume that’s true. So what problem is the Virginia law addressing? Planned Parenthood and other providers of abortion services should be well able to counsel their patients as what procedures are necessary, and it seems that when an ultrasound of whatever variety is required it is performed. Have PP or other providers been risking patients’ health by cutting this step as, say, a cost-saving measure? Or is the VA law about “solving” a different “problem,” namely that of women not being shamed into carrying pregnancies to term? I think that once we consider that the law also requires the doctor to show the patient the pictures and discuss the fetus’s development, as one would do with expectant parents, and that pro-choice, feminist and women’s health organizations –i.e. those groups who’d be most vocal about solving the former problem — all oppose the law, we can make a pretty reasonable inference that it’s the latter.

      • Dave S. says:

        I should have written “required by the VA law.” The law itself is an abomination.

  4. BradP says:

    This consent line of discussion is just getting ridiculous.

    If you support this you argue, like Goodman does, that ultrasounds are an important part of the procedure, and by consenting to the procedure, you consent to all required parts of the procedure.

    That’s not an unusual form of consent.

    • DrDick says:

      Libertarian does not understand the meaning of consent (which cannot exist when the procedure is legally coerced) or the meaning of medically necessary (which this is not, never has been, and never will be). Nice to know that you are so consistent in your opposition to government coercion.

      • Furious Jorge says:

        Libertarian does not understand

        Honestly, this would suffice in about 95 percent of all conversations with libertarians.

      • BradP says:

        Yet you would likely utter “social contact” until you were blue in the face to argue that people consent to all sorts of things on condition of being born into a society.

        • DrDick says:

          I, on the other hand, am not opposed to all forms of government coercion. Indeed, I think that is a necessary and appropriate function of government, without which civilized society could not exist. On the other hand, I think that such coercion should be targeted toward promoting the social welfare and benefit of society as a whole and not mindlessly inconveniencing specific groups of people.

          • BradP says:

            On the other hand, I think that such coercion should be targeted toward promoting the social welfare and benefit of society as a whole and not mindlessly inconveniencing specific groups of people.

            Does this mean it isn’t about consent to you?

            • DrDick says:

              Yes and no. You consent to reasonable degrees of coercion “promoting the social welfare and benefit of society as a whole” as a member of society. This does not include consenting to these kinds of arbitrary and discriminatory intrusions which have no such general benefit. Before you go there, most Americans support the idea that abortion should be safe and legal and oppose these kinds of actions, so there is no general benefit here. This law privileges the views of a small, vocal, authoritarian minority.

              You give your consent here not by birth, but by voluntarily choosing to remain and operate within that society and receive the benefits thereof. You are always free to move to the libertarian paradise of Somalia.

              • BradP says:

                You give your consent here not by birth, but by voluntarily choosing to remain and operate within that society and receive the benefits thereof.

                Do you not see the ridiculous double-standard you are applying?

                Paying your taxes so that you are not forcibly removed from the society you have belonged to your entire life is consent. You have to stretch consent a looooong way.

                • Uncle Kvetch says:

                  Sooooooo…if I consent to having the government withhold a part of my income in order to fund certain necessary public services…it’s fundamentally hypocritical of me to criticize any actions of the government, up to and including raping me for the hell of it, because I’ve already consented to my own enslavement.

                  I got nothin’. I’m just going to sit here and marvel for awhile at the wonder of it all.

                • DrDick says:

                  You can choose to remain in society and enjoy its obvious benefits, at the cost of paying taxes and submitting to certain forms of coercion designed to maintain the general well-being or you can choose to withdraw and try to survive on your own like a mythical Galtian Ubermensch. There is a no free riders clause and the same rules apply (or at least should) to everyone. This is no stretch of consent whatsoever. It is just that you and the rest of the glibertarians want a free ride.

                • DrDick says:

                  And this is more absurd than the libertarian position that if I accept employment I consent to be forcibly sodomized with a chainsaw by my employer because I can always get another job?

      • rea says:

        No, he’s a perfectly consistent libertarian. After all, nobody is going to have him undergo transvaginal probing, and worrying about the rights of others would be (shudder) altruistic.

      • Bijan Parsia says:

        And of course it’s explicitly not about informing, or, minimally, the woman would be required to look at the ultrasound (she is not).

        If you can opt out of the putative only point of the subprocedure, but not the subprocedure itself, then it’s clearly not a necessary part of the overall procedure. I will the necessary means to the end I will.

        There is no defending it.

    • Malaclypse says:

      I’m so old that I can remember when libertarians actually and consistently opposed government coercion. Good times, the early 1980s. With enough drugs, which were then cheap and plentiful, you could believe that the election of Reagan was an aberration, rather than the beginning of a long descent.

    • proverbialleadballoon says:

      yes, such an vital part of the procedure, that it took until this week to mandate them. those women who got abortions without getting the vaginal probe first sure must be pissed.

    • (the other) Davis says:

      …ultrasounds are an important part of the procedure…

      The fact that this was not standard procedure until the legislature passed this law is prima facie evidence that ultrasounds are not an “important part of the procedure” — unless you think legislators are better poised than doctors to determine best practices for various procedures (but last I checked, you claimed to be libertarian).

      • actor212 says:

        Goodman’s article notes that PP uses *external* ultrasounds for a specific type of abortion where actual surgery is involved, something Bradley neglects to mention.

      • Furious Jorge says:

        but last I checked, you claimed to be libertarian

        Silly other Davis! Don’t you realize that by claiming to be a libertarian, a person implicitly claims to know better than everyone else, no matter what the subject?

        They are, after all, rugged self reliant manly men who DON’T NEED ANYBODY! Certainly not you, and certainly not the government.

    • actor212 says:

      Bradley, if you’re suggesting that ultrasounds are a vital and integral part of the abortion procedure, then lemme ask you this: why aren’t insurance companies insisting they be done as a protection against malpractice suits in the first place?

      This is about shaming a woman into changing her mind. Go get knotted.

      • BradP says:

        This is about shaming a woman into changing her mind. Go get knotted.

        Agreed. The proponents of this think that this law is necessary to fully inform a woman about her decision. And yes, the idea is that a woman who sees an image of the fetus would be too ashamed of killing it to proceed.

        This is not a unique law, and an even more intrusive and overbearing law has gone through the courts in Texas and were deemed as setting up informed consent.

        This is bad law because it will be humiliating to a lot of women, without much evidence that it would even accomplish the goal of reducing abortions or making women change their mind.

        Saying this is about consent is trotting out a definition of “consent” that I would get mocked for.

        • actor212 says:

          So you don’t think a woman should be asked if she wants to be shamed?

          • BradP says:

            If I thought abortion were of extremely questionable morality, then yes I would support a law that reasonably appealed to the woman’s guilt for following through with the immoral action.

            • NBarnes says:

              I would support a law that reasonably appealed to the woman’s guilt for following through with the immoral action.

              Libertarian!

              Can I get a law passed that reasonably appeals to a CEO’s guilt for following through on accepting tens of millions of dollars in salary and salary-like objects?

              Ridiculous, of course. CEOs don’t feel guilt like humans do.

              • BradP says:

                Can I get a law passed that reasonably appeals to a CEO’s guilt for following through on accepting tens of millions of dollars in salary and salary-like objects?

                I do believe liberals would jump at the idea of forcing someone like Mitt Romney to face the guilt he should feel for his management practices.

                Since it is fairly obvious that Romney exploited public benefits both specifically for his management consulting and for his position in society in general, I wouldn’t give Romney much leeway in resisting.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  And Mitt Romney enriched himself while hurting thousands of people. So comparing his situation (which he does not actually face anywhere but in your hypothetical) to that of a pregnant woman without sufficient resources to travel out of state is something that would only be done by someone who is completely morally obtuse.

                  “Suck up to the powerful, and kick the powerless” is a horrible basic for morality, and Megan McArdle is a bad role model.

                • Holden Pattern says:

                  “Suck up to the powerful, and kick the powerless” is a horrible basic for morality, and Megan McArdle is a bad role model.

                  Yes, but without any meaningful government, the need to suck up to the powerful just completely fucking vanishes because everyone will have rainbow sparkle ponies that whisk them away to the magical land of yeomen, where nobody ever has or can accumulate power over others.

                • BradP says:

                  And Mitt Romney enriched himself while hurting thousands of people. So comparing his situation (which he does not actually face anywhere but in your hypothetical) to that of a pregnant woman without sufficient resources to travel out of state is something that would only be done by someone who is completely morally obtuse.

                  “Suck up to the powerful, and kick the powerless” is a horrible basic for morality, and Megan McArdle is a bad role model.

                  I agree with this.

                  I’m just stating that even though I am a libertarian (to me, its because I am a libertarian) I mildly support laws that force people to take on the social costs of actions where they would otherwise be able to shirk them under an “anarchistic” society.

                  And, while I don’t believe this to be true in the slightest, if abortion involved activity between the woman and the doctor, without consideration for a right-holding entity, I would be supportive of coercing the parties into a situation where they were required to make that consideration.

                • BradP says:

                  For examples of laws that would pertain to that goal:

                  Pigouvian taxes on gas, cigarettes, alcohol.

                  Mandatory automobile insurance.

                  Mandatory gun-liability insurance.

                  I have extremely strong reservations about governments ability to apply these appropriately and ethically, but I do not question their justification.

              • Holden Pattern says:

                And that is about MONEY, DOLLAR$, MOOLAH, and we all know that in libertarian-land once you have enough of that, you’re immune from this sort of thing, which is when the howls about consent really commence.

            • Njorl says:

              Which current legal but immoral activities have mandatory shaming requirements?

              • Ferdinand de Saussure says:

                You know, in my day we didn’t need cops or doctors to shame people; we did it our own damn selves. Now people just go around whining “why can’t the government do it for us?”

                • Hogan says:

                  Oh sorry–that was me, not being Swiss.

                • Uncle Kvetch says:

                  Oh sorry–that was me, not being Swiss.

                  Damn. I was hoping for an exhaustive semantic treatise on the meaning of the word “consent.” Y’know, just to kick the utter pointlessness of this thread up another notch.

                • Hogan says:

                  I don’t think even Lacan could make this thread worse.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  I don’t think even Lacan could make this thread worse.

                  In itself the exercise of power is not violence; nor is it a consent which, implicitly, is renewable. It is a total structure of actions brought to bear upon possible actions; it incites, it induces, it seduces, it makes easier or more difficult; in the extreme it constrains or forbids absolutely; it is nevertheless always a way of acting upon an acting subject or acting subjects by virtue of their acting or being capable of action.

                • Hogan says:

                  You are totally taking that out of context.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Context is the Panopticon, and Oppression, and lies at the very nexus of Power/Knowledge. I cannot believe you are pretending not to see that. So to speak, as the kids nowadays say, when they are not quoting Foucault.

              • DrDick says:

                Arguing with libertarians.

        • Bijan Parsia says:

          Agreed. The proponents of this think that this law is necessary to fully inform a woman about her decision.

          No, they most obviously don’t. Otherwise, viewing the result would be compulsory.

          And yes, the idea is that a woman who sees an image of the fetus would be too ashamed of killing it to proceed.

          No, I’m pretty sure that the idea is that it will 1) add to the cost of the procedure and 2) rape the patient which is both deterrent and punishment.

          And if you spent two seconds examining how unnecessary medical contact is treated by ethics and the law (e.g., assault and battery anyone?) you would understand the deep connection with consent.

          • Malaclypse says:

            Look, all I am saying is, women have already consented to lose certain organic materials when the have abortions, so cutting off one finger every time they have an abortion is just a new part to an old procedure. And this helps people by making available information – people can look at a woman’s hands and see if she is a slut. Pinky amputations are clearly consistent with libertarianism. Q E Fucking D.

          • BradP says:

            No, they most obviously don’t. Otherwise, viewing the result would be compulsory.

            I think this law is directed at abortion providers, not abortion recipients, even if the recipients suffer the most for it.

            Opponents of abortion are generally convinced that abortion providers are willfully misleading women, and that forcing them to to the ultrasound forces them to present the woman with the whole picture.

            • You need to reset your thinkamajig because it doesn’t work properly.

            • Malaclypse says:

              Opponents of abortion are generally convinced that abortion providers are willfully misleading women, and that forcing them to to the ultrasound forces them to present the woman with the whole picture.

              Brad, if I am genuinely convinced that libertarians are possessed by demons, and need holes drilled into their skulls to let the demons out, should anybody be obliged to take that belief seriously?

              Because for the belief that abortion providers are lying to women to be reasonable, there would need to be some actual evidence of lying. Right now there is no more evidence of lying than there is of demons.

              • Bijan Parsia says:

                And how the hell do we get from “abortion providers are lying” to “the way we stop them from lying is by forcing them to do unnecessary and unwanted medical procedures on the people they lie to that they get paid for”.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  We assume that the people making such specious arguments must, obviously, be possessed by demons. Drill baby drill!

                  It is the only reasonable course of action to take, really. They consented to the power drill by voluntarily walking into a room with an electric outlet, after all.

                • Holden Pattern says:

                  Because if the stoopid wimmins really understood that they are KILLIN’ A BAYBEE!, then they wouldn’t do it. And we all know that the stoopid wimmins won’t really pay attention unless you get their attention (cue old joke about woman with two black eyes), so you need to shove a probe into them, which will hold their attention.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  But this twist is new! It’s not, “Wimmin need to SEEZ THE BABEES” but “Liars won’t lie if they are force to get paid for doing extra procedures”.

                  Nonsense in the service of evil.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Perhaps the argument is that the abortion providers are unaware of how babies get made, and need to shove a probe into women to figure it all out? I mean, it is all Play-Doh and bacon down there, amirite?

                • Hogan says:

                  Here be monsters.

            • Bijan Parsia says:

              Dude, give up. That’s pathetic.

              How does forcing providers to rape women force them to present “the whole picture” when, you know, the woman doesn’t have to look at the picture? That just concedes that it’s got nothing to do with informed consent.

              Don’t you feel bad about so egregiously misreading the simple facts of the situation in support of people trying to enforce mass medical rape? Goodness knows you’ve had and endless supply of evidence of your incapacity to formulate a sensible line of argument, but I would hope that when it leads you into this monstrous position that you’d have a wake up call.

              • BradP says:

                How does forcing providers to rape women force them to present “the whole picture” when, you know, the woman doesn’t have to look at the picture? That just concedes that it’s got nothing to do with informed consent.

                I thought this was pretty plain from the post you quoted.

                The law is meant to prevent abortion providers from misleading women into not really understanding what they are doing.

                Are you seriously not aware of that line of criticism of Planned Parenthood? That one woman left the organization and made a big deal how she changed her mind when she saw video of an abortion.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  The law is meant to prevent abortion providers from misleading women into not really understanding what they are doing.

                  Saying something, particularly something as silly as this, does not actually make it so.

                • Holden Pattern says:

                  Again, you need to shove a probe into the stoopid wimmins hooha to make sure they are paying attention when you tell ‘em they’re BAYBEE KILLIN!

                • BradP says:

                  Saying something, particularly something as silly as this, does not actually make it so.

                  Are you saying that it doesn’t happen or that it wasn’t the justification?

                  Because I would agree with you if its the former.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  I love your hilariously unwarranted high dudgeon.

                  Are you so besotted with these creepy pro-raping sickos that you cannot go from:

                  “The women MUST UNDERGO THE PROCEDURE but DOES NOT HAVE TO LOOK AT THE PICTURE.” to “THERE IS NO ATTEMPT TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM MISLEADING ANYONE ELSE”.

                  There’s not even the beginning of a connection. Not even a little bit. You have to claim that the PROCEDURE ITSELF is sufficient to prevent misleadingness.

                  And that is obviously, trivially, inescapably bonkers.

                  Why not claim that the law will eliminate the deficit! It’s as plausible!

                  How about the providers be required to punch the patient in the face to reveal that they REALLY ARE FILTHY BABY KILLERS. A punch in the face would be very convincing.

                  Why not have them kill a kitten! There’d be NO MISTAKING their blood thirsty ways THEN!

                  You are pursuing idiotic lines in the service of rape. I wonder when you’ll start feeling bad about that.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  I am saying I remain deeply concerned about the demons in your skull, and feel it is my duty to help you understand the problem.

                • BradP says:

                  There’s not even the beginning of a connection. Not even a little bit. You have to claim that the PROCEDURE ITSELF is sufficient to prevent misleadingness.

                  To belabor the obvious and conceded point, therequired disclosures of a sonogram, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical
                  descriptions are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information. They are
                  not different in kind, although more graphic and scientifically up-to-date, than
                  the disclosures discussed in Casey—probable gestational age of the fetus and
                  printed material showing a baby’s general prenatal development stages.
                  Likewise, the relevance of these disclosures to securing informed consent is
                  sustained by Casey and Gonzales, because both cases allow the state to regulate
                  medical practice by deciding that information about fetal development is
                  “relevant” to a woman’s decision-making.5

                  That is from the Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling on Texas’s even more restrictive law.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  BradP, what part of “The women is not required to look at the results of the required procedure” don’t you understand?

                  The law mandates the procedure, not the woman’s consumption of the information. The law mandates the procedure EVEN IF the women refuses to look at the results IN ADVANCE.

                  Thus, the law does not combat the phenomenon that is laughingly claimed to be fought.

                  Enjoying the pro-rape life?

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  I was wondering if they had changed that bit or if I were wrong about it, but no.

                  Except in the case of a medical emergency, at least 24 hours before the performance of an abortion a qualified medical professional trained in sonography and working under the direct supervision of a physician licensed in the Commonwealth shall perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing the abortion for the purpose of determining gestational age. If the pregnant woman lives at least 100 miles from the facility where the abortion is to be performed, the fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services shall be performed at least two hours before the abortion. The ultrasound image shall be made pursuant to standard medical practice in the community, contain the dimensions of the fetus, and accurately
                  portray the presence of external members and internal organs of the fetus, if present or viewable. Determination of gestational age shall be based upon measurement of the fetus in a manner consistent with standard medical practice in the community in determining gestational age. When only the gestational sac is visible during ultrasound imaging, gestational age may be based upon measurement of the gestational sac. A print of the ultrasound image shall be made to document the measurements that have been taken to determine the gestational age of the fetus. C. The qualified medical professional performing fetal ultrasound imaging pursuant to subsection B shall offer the woman an opportunity to view and receive a printed copy of the ultrasound image and hear auscultation of fetal heart tone and shall obtain from the woman written certification that this opportunity was offered and whether or not it was accepted and, if applicable, verification that the pregnant woman lives at least 100 miles from the facility where the abortion is to be performed. A printed copy of the ultrasound image shall be maintained in the woman’s medical record at the facility where the abortion is to be performed…

                  I.e., the results of the medically unnecessary procedure are not required to be reviewed by the patient as part of informed consent.

                  “Informed written consent” means the knowing and voluntary written consent to abortion by a pregnant woman of any age, without undue inducement or any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, or other form of constraint or coercion by the physician who is to perform the abortion or his agent. The basic information to effect such consent, as required by this subsection, shall be provided by telephone or in person to the woman at least 24 hours before the abortion by the physician who is to perform the abortion, by a referring physician…This basic information shall include:…
                  A statement of the probable gestational age of the fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed and that fetal ultrasound imaging shall be performed prior to the abortion to confirm the gestational age; and

                  Note that the confirmation is not required. The women is given the opportunity to view the ultrasound and hear the heartbeat, but no one is required to say, “This ultrasound confirms the predicted gestational age”, AFAICT.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Christ, even Goodman concedes later on that the procedure isn’t being mandated out of medical necessity. Pull the other one.

      • BradP says:

        You are right. The argument is that it is necessary for “informed consent”.

        There are countless instances where some step is legally mandated to a procedure solely for ensuring that both parties are fully informed as to what is about to happen.

        • proverbialleadballoon says:

          holy shit, there’s a baby in there?! i thought i was going to abort a pepperoni pizza. good thing i got the vaginal probe!

        • Katya says:

          A TV ultrasound is not necessary for informed consent to an abortion. A woman who wants an abortion knows perfectly well she is pregnant and that the pregnancy, if not aborted, will result in a baby. That’s why she’s getting an abortion.

          If an ultrasound is needed in order to safely perform the abortion or determine what method is most appropriate, then a doctor may order one. If a TV ultrasound (rather than an abdominal ultrasound) is needed, the doctor should order one. But those decisions should be left to the doctor and the woman, not the state legislature, and certainly not a state legislature interested in shaming women for exercising their legal rights.

          Amazing to me how many “libertarians” think that the government’s job is to enforce personal morality. I’m waiting for them all to agree that the War on Drugs is a great idea and should be expanded.

          • BradP says:

            Amazing to me how many “libertarians” think that the government’s job is to enforce personal morality. I’m waiting for them all to agree that the War on Drugs is a great idea and should be expanded.

            I personally oppose this law.

            But the government’s job is to enforce morality. We don’t outlaw murder because it is bad economics.

            And there is no such thing as a morality that isn’t personal.

            • Hogan says:

              Which is why, before people commit murder, they are required to look at pictures of murder victims killed by the method of choice. So that they fully understand what they’re about to do. That’s how seriously we take murder.

              • BradP says:

                If outlawing murder had the terrible effects of prohibiting abortion, then we would seriously need to look at the way we have crafted laws meant to deal with murder.

            • Njorl says:

              There is broad overlap between governance and enforcning morality, but that is not what governance is about. All sorts of immoral actions are legal.

            • Malaclypse says:

              But the government’s job is to enforce morality. We don’t outlaw murder because it is bad economics.

              You think a modern economy can run without limiting violence?

              When murdering people is good economics – think about the Ford Pinto, or all those Native Americans occupying all that good land – we don’t call it murder, except in hindsight.

              • BradP says:

                Are we talking about what government does, or what government should do?

                If you ask me what government’s job is, I would say it would be universal protection of certain broad rights and that is because it morally should do that.

                If you ask me if the government has performed its job very well, I would say no.

            • rea says:

              But the government’s job is to enforce morality.

              Dude, are you sure your a libertarian?

            • kth says:

              It’s hard to imagine anything more antithetical to “classical liberalism” than the idea that it’s the government’s job to enforce morality. The government’s job is to protect rights. Do you really believe otherwise, or are you just making a tiresome and vacuous “in for a penny, in for a pound” argument?

              • BradP says:

                The government’s job is to protect rights.

                Why?

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Amendment XIV
                  Section 1.

                  All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

                • It’s like he scours out his brain for each thread.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  I don’t think, morally speaking, you get to ask questions until you answer ones posed of you (e.g.,).

                  Of course, morally speaking, you should feel so ashamed of your performance in this threat that you stay in bed for a month, but whatever.

                • BradP says:

                  All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

                  Arrrrrghhhhhh.

                  While “rights” may be a legal construct, they are moral as well.

                  We wish for government to protect the rights of its citizens because it is moral for it to do so.

          • Holden Pattern says:

            I think Brad’s point, such as it is, is the libertarian GOTCHA, LIBERAL BITCHES! point, where because liberals think that the government should have certain powers, therefore liberals should have to suck it when so-called “conservatives” decide to grant government additional powers.

            If you think that pretty much all government power is illegitimate, then you get to shout GOTCHA when the argument is over the legitimacy of certain powers.

            • BradP says:

              Well you should treat issues with some consistency, not adopting different standards of consent depending upon how one feels about a particular legislation.

              For me, the more I hear liberals and progressives trot out defenses of a concept of consent that is as rigid as what is generally trotted out in libertarian circles, the happier I am.

              • Holden Pattern says:

                Well you should treat issues with some consistency, not adopting different standards of consent depending upon how one feels about a particular legislation.

                Aaaaand… this is libertarianism fail in a nutshell. Because SHOVING A NOT-MEDICALLY-NECESSARY PROBE INTO A WOMANS’ VAGINA as a condition for obtaining a legal medical procedure is EXACTLY THE SAME AS A ZONING REGULATION, and the standard for what constitutes “consent” should be exactly the same.

                • SamR says:

                  I think most self-described libertarians would believe that zoning regulations are a worse liberty infringement than an unwanted vaginal probe (or it would at least make them angrier). After all, zoning regulations affect everyone who may want to run a business, while this vaginal probe only affects women who want abortions.

                  Mel Brooks once commented that “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” To many libertarians, govt oppression is when they’re forced to pay taxes/fees or obey traffic lights, while a reasonable exercise of govt power is the govt forcing doctors to jab an 8-inch wand into a woman against her will before she can obtain a legal medical procedure.

                • Howlin Wolfe says:

                  Bingo. But the glibertarian will double down.

              • DrDick says:

                Well you should treat issues with some consistency, not adopting different standards of consent depending upon how one feels about a particular legislation.

                Bwaahahahahahahahahaha!

                Brad the shape-shifting libertarian chameleon who shifts the argument and arbitrarily redefines terms with widely accepted meanings constantly in every argument wants to bitch about consistency?!!!

                ROTFLMAO!!

              • Malaclypse says:

                Well you should treat issues with some consistency, not adopting different standards of consent depending upon how one feels about a particular legislation.

                Brad, it is perfectly reasonable to evaluate laws on an ad hoc basis depending on the consequences of the law as applied in actual situations.

                I know libertarians do not like to admit this, but humans are Ornery Beasts, and there is no One Right Principle That Works Throughout All Time And Eternity To Make Everything Perfect.

                Also, what Holden and Dick said.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  And what’s inconsistent with saying that the normal standards of informed consent should apply to abortion?

                  If there’s innovation to be had, then it should be applied consistently. The law itself explicitly doesn’t think it’s about informed consent, whatever lip service it gives, as I’ve pointed out.

                  You can make an extremely ridiculously sexist argument that when a women SEEZ THE BABEEEEE for REALZ then maternal instinct will kick in. Or something. I trust this is so obviously gratuitously stupid as well as sexist to need no further comment.

                  Note that guilting someone in to making a certain decision is NOT THE SAME THING as informing them about their decision. Indeed, that’s a standard sub-coercive move. When it’s couple with assault, it goes full blown coercive.

                  This is hard?

                • BradP says:

                  Brad, it is perfectly reasonable to evaluate laws on an ad hoc basis depending on the consequences of the law as applied in actual situations.

                  Yes, but this consent argument is a libertarian-styled first principles argument.

                  Lemieux and everyone else is setting a rigid definition for consent that is inconsistent with every other argument about consent I have seen made on this blog, and then screaming “But they didn’t consent!!!!”

                  You folks defined consent out of the picture a long, long time ago.

                  This is about issuing rational legislation to align private costs with social costs. It happens all the time in liberal government and nobody says a thing.

                  Consent has nothing to do with it.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Lemieux and everyone else is setting a rigid definition for consent that is inconsistent with every other argument about consent I have seen made on this blog, and then screaming “But they didn’t consent!!!!”

                  Yes, but that is because in Sensible Non-Libertarian world, consent to paying taxes has different criteria than consent to having a devise forcibly shoved inside oneself for no medically useful reason.

                  I get that the fact that paying sales taxes when you are at the cash register of the local Kwik-E-Mart is seen by you as an infringement on your Freedom, while women getting what amounts to a dildo shoved into them does not bother you as much, for some silly First Principles argument that, to be blunt, nobody here cares much about. We all understand your position. We are just explaining, in small words, that we think that you are excusing monsterous behavior.

                • BradP says:

                  Yes, but that is because in Sensible Non-Libertarian world, consent to paying taxes has different criteria than consent to having a devise forcibly shoved inside oneself for no medically useful reason.

                  Then perhaps the support for this law is not a lack of understanding of consent, but a shifting criteria?

        • Bijan Parsia says:

          I would like some of these countless instances where some invasive medical procedures is mandated solely for the purpose of securing informed consent of the patient. Frankly, I can’t imagine the case. I can imagine that there are procedures required before other procedures (but this is medically necessity that’s driving it). All other forms of informed consent involve, you know, *TELLING PEOPLE STUFF*. (I.e., risks and expected benefits with uncertainties.)

          • BradP says:

            I never said there are countless instances of mandatory invasive medical procedures.

            • Bijan Parsia says:

              Yes, you did. You wrote:

              There are countless instances where some step is legally mandated to a procedure solely for ensuring that both parties are fully informed as to what is about to happen.

              in response to Scott’s

              Christ, even Goodman concedes later on that the procedure isn’t being mandated out of medical necessity.

              So you at the very ultimate best case equivocate. Except that you also equivocate on “fully informed” which, in context, should refer to “informed consent”, not “general contractual disclosure”.

              You are a rather unfit person to be complaining about lack of precision in anyone. Shocking.

              • BradP says:

                So you at the very ultimate best case equivocate.

                I agreed with Scott. That part where I said “You are right”, that was me agreeing that it wasn’t about medical necessity.

                The opponents of this law are concerned that abortion providers are purposefully leaving women more in the dark than they should be.

                When Texas passed their much more restrictive abortion law, they marched a few women into testify that they had abortions that they would have not proceeded with if they had been presented with an ultrasound.

    • ema says:

      A medical U/S, to date the pregnancy, is not a required part of the procedure. It is clinically recommended and requires the patient’s consent, separate from the consent for the procedure*.

      The U/S procedure mandated by the VA law has no medical indication. (Briefly, it requires that you tell the patient the EGA and inform her she can’t have the procedure unless she undergoes an U/S to confirm that EGA. Also, FHR, members and internal organs are not part of a scan to determine EGA.)

      *Contrast that to certain second trim procedures when an intra-op abdominal U/S might be indicated to guide the procedure. In those cases, when you consent to the procedure, you consent to the intra-op scan. And even in those cases, it’s not because you couldn’t do the procedure without the U/S. You could if you had to. It’s because, once the patient is sedated, you can no longer consent.

  5. BradP says:

    I played sports when I was in high school. As a condition of playing, I had to go through a physical which included a doctor doing a physical examination of my testicles.

    To say that it was rape because I didn’t consent to a having my balls cupped is to trot out a hopelessly rigid definition of consent that, on any other issue, you would outright reject.

    • proverbialleadballoon says:

      was the cupping of your balls intended to stop you from playing basketball? cuz thats what the vaginal probe is for.

      • Uncle Kvetch says:

        was the cupping of your balls intended to stop you from playing basketball? cuz thats what the vaginal probe is for.

        Don’t be ridiculous. It was intended to solve the mystery, once and for all, of “what the hell are those things down there, anyway?”

        Brad needed to be informed, you see, just as a woman seeking an abortion needs to be informed that she’s pregnant.

    • Scott says:

      Not really the same thing, sorry. The Virginia law is the equivalent of declaring non-athletes as mortal enemies of the football team and requiring the principal to subject them to physical examinations that consist solely of ball-cuppings without their permission.

    • timb says:

      Did he stick a probe up your bum in order to show you your testicles from the inside? So, you could better play basketball by knowing what they were?

      That’s the analogy, Brad

      • BradP says:

        My analogy was in reference to the idea of consent, not the invasiveness of the procedure.

        • Furious Jorge says:

          And it was a poor one.

        • DrDick says:

          Illustrating once again that libertarians do not understand the concept of consent.

        • Howlin Wolfe says:

          The testicle exam had the benefit of determining whether you had a hernia, Brad. It wasn’t done for informed consent purposes, or even to shame you, and in order to protect your health and the school from liability from letting you play and aggravating the injury, it required a physical. I would think (although I don’t know) a cursory pelvic exam would be done by the doctor before the abortion; but that may be medically necessary and normal procedure. The transvaginal ultrasound, however, has been widely recognized in this context as medically unnecessary. Context, Brad. First prinicples, my ass.

    • dave3544 says:

      So, you’re sure that if you had asked the doctor to not cup your balls he would have told you that he was mandated by state law to indeed give your boys a cupping? And that this cupping wasn’t, in fact, medically necessary at all, but rather, it was deemed a moral good that you go through a cupping before playing basketball because it might make you reconsider?

      I think that if you had objected to the cupping, your doctor would have gone ahead and signed your damn form let you play all the basketball you want.

      • BradP says:

        I will say that if I had any clue that I could refuse and still play sports I would have.

        • dave3544 says:

          And yet a woman in Virginia who is certain that she does not want to have a probe put up her vagina does not have that choice if she wants to obtain an unrelated medical procedure.

          There is a huge difference between “something happened to me that I didn’t ‘consent’ to because I didn’t understand I could refuse” and the government passing a law taking away your right to refuse an unnecessary procedure because of the belief that it is a moral good that you undergo it.

          They are not the same thing at all.

        • Julian says:

          “The proponents of this think that this law is necessary to fully inform a woman about her decision. And yes, the idea is that a woman who sees an image of the fetus would be too ashamed of killing it to proceed.”

          You say that the proponents think this law is necessary to fully inform a woman about her decision.

          How do you know that’s what they think?

          So what if that is what they think? If they are incorrect, and a transvaginal ultrasound is not necessary to “fully inform a woman about her decision,” then the law has no medical justification.

          What do you think the argument is FOR a transvaginal ultrasound being necessary for informed consent to an abortion?

          What do you know about informed consent? Do you have any idea how often a procedure is required for there to be “informed consent?”

          Informed consent is often determined by lawsuits brought by unhappy patients. Can you point to any plaintiffs who have sued doctors for failing to perform a transvaginal ultrasound? Isn’t it odd that you don’t know of any?

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      And the examination had nothing to do with informing you, it was about determining your fitness for participating in the activity.

      How is this analogous?

      By the by, public health might well require non-consensual medical contact, e.g., during an epidemic. Or hell, vaccines. There is a strong case of No Consent Needed in the case of vaccines (try traveling certain places).

      However, these are all cases where the procedure has a medical rationale and there is a rational connection between the procedure and the activity the procedure is gatekeeping (or a legitimate state interest).

      I repeat, there is no defending it.

    • ema says:

      No. The testicular exam is a required part of a comprehensive physical, to which you consented. Moreover, the exam is relevant to playing sports (testicular torsion, mass, etc.).

      Having a *medical* U/S is not a required part of having an abortion. Also, the nonmedical procedure mandated by the VA law is not relevant to terminating a pregnancy.

  6. Estragon says:

    Oof, Alana Goodman. She and Eli Lake are going to have some really, truly awful children someday.

  7. norbizness says:

    arguingwithbradp.blogspot.com : still available.

    • Let’s keep that one as a symbolic blank slate.

    • elm says:

      It’s particularly galling here because Brad’s trolled the board again: whether or not progressives have a consistent definition of consent may actually be an interesting question; what Scott’s posts have been about is that on this (and many other issues) Conservatives demonstrate their lack of understanding of what consent is by point to the fact that people routinely consent to similar things as what the law is forcing them to do. (Since some people get ultrasounds before an abortion, there’s nothing wrong with forcing everyone to get them! Because (and this is McMegan’s horrid argument) worse things can happen to women when they choose to go to their OB, there’s nothing wrong with this law! Because we waterboard SEALS, it can’t be torture! Because people talk loudly on their cell phones in public, there’s nothing wrong with the government eavesdropping on cell phone calls! If we allow gay marriage, what will stop pedophilia?) Whether or not progressive believe that consent is always necessary for law is irrelevant to discussing the ridiculousness of the conservative arguments that depend on conflating consensual vs. nonconsensual activity.

      • Bijan Parsia says:

        Is it just conflating consenting vs. nonconsenting? Yes, some obviously do, but I think there’s a broader strand of diminishing the negative aspects of some activity by pointing to something nominally similar in some respect. E.g., the difference between fraternity hazing and Abu Ghraib isn’t primarily consent, but that one is hazing and the other is torture of prisoners. As long as the equating goes through, they’ve won even if the concede lack of consent or the inherent nastiness of both actions.

        Oh vomit.

      • SamR says:

        Exactly. To put it another way, before the govt should be able to disregard consent, it needs to address a few questions:
        1. How invasive is this procedure?
        2. What’s the justification for this procedure as necessary or beneficial?
        3. If the person objects to the procedure, what do they lose?

        With this procedure, the answers are:
        #1- Extremely
        #2- There is no legitimate justification
        #3- The person cannot obtain a legal medical procedure where they live, and as a result will undergo 9+ months of unwanted physical symptoms as well as hours and hours of considerable pain at the end of that time period

        With Brad’s ball-cupping example, I’d say its more like

        #1- Moderately
        #2- The procedure will give an indication of the person’s ability to engage in a leisure activity safely
        #3- The person loses the ability to engage in a specific leisure activity as part of a specific group.

        Frankly, I actually think Brad should have been able to decline the procedure and still be allowed to play b-ball. But to argue they’re comparable is totally crazy.

      • Malaclypse says:

        However, you did not think about arguingwithbradpotts.blogspot.com. That, also, is now no longer available, but I will think about opening up posting rights to people who ask me nicely.

  8. Bijan Parsia says:

    Wow, BradP is to the authoritarian, pro-rape right of McDonnell!

    “Thus,” [McDonnell] continued, “having looked at the current proposal, I believe there is no need to direct by statute that further invasive ultrasound procedures be done. Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure.”

  9. Howlin Wolfe says:

    Brad maybe you could trade off: someone can put that vaginal wand up your ass, and you won’t have to pay your taxes this year. Sound good? I knew you’d like it.
    You really don’t comprehend logic much, do you.

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