Obama's Lost Article: Fetal Rights Released!

Patience sometimes pays off in the middle of the night, here it is..From The Politico:

The subject matter took Obama to the treacherous political landscape of reproductive rights, and - unlike many student authors - he dived eagerly into the policy implications of the court decision. His article acknowledged a public interest in the health of the fetus, but also seemed to demonstrate his continuing commitment to abortion rights, and suggested that the government may have more important concerns than "ensuring that any particular fetus is born."

The temperate legal language doesn't display the rhetorical heights that run through his memoir, published a few years later, but provides insight into his support for abortion rights and expanded social services.

"[T]he case raises the broader policy and constitutional considerations that argue against using civil liability to control the behavior of pregnant women," Obama wrote of Stallman vs. Youngquist.

And he concluded the article with a flourish: "Expanded access to prenatal education and heath care facilities will far more likely serve the very real state interest in preventing increasing numbers of children from being born in to lives of pain and despair."

The article continues:

Obama's article addressed only the narrow question of whether a fetus could sue its mother for negligence. He didn't take on the broader question of the fetus's personhood, or whether it could sue others.

He described cases "involving maternal activities that might be considered intentional or reckless infliction of prenatal injuries on the fetus" as "more difficult," though he wrote that as a matter of encouraging good maternal behavior, giving fetuses the right to sue their mothers remained "ill-conceived."

Fetal rights is, as Obama acknowledged, a charged issue largely because of its connection to the abortion debate. That's a question Obama touched in passing, and from both sides, in his article.

On one hand, he warned that allowing fetuses to sue their mothers could actually lead to more abortions.

"Imposing civil liability on mothers may be as likely to deter the carrying of pregnancies to term as to deter maternal negligence during pregnancy," he wrote.

He was also acutely sensitive to women's rights, and to the consequences of involving civil law in childbearing.

"Fetal-maternal tort suits might entail far more intrusive scrutiny of a woman's behavior than the scrutiny involved in the discrete regulation of the abortion decision," he wrote. "On the other hand, the state may also have a more compelling interest in ensuring that fetuses carried to term do not suffer from debilitating injuries than it does in ensuring that any particular fetus is born."

Obama's article, which begins on page 823 of Volume 103 of the Harvard Law Review, is available in libraries and subscription-only legal databases.

As my night turns into day..this article will be anaylized over and over..one does not need to know Con Law to figure out that Obama wanted it both ways, never truly taking a position..well, except one..the fetus is a the mercy of the mother and in the end, it is for the fetus' best interest; Yeah, this STILL IS above his pay grade.
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  • Charlie 2008/08/22 14:55:27
    You guys kill me being so hateful and racist but in the same breathe pretending to care about fetal life. If the mom agreed to have an abortion and it was botched and down-syndrome and it happened to be still alive...after you bring that child back to health....then what, who takes the child? That is between that mother and God not the govt. I'm sure you have enough sins to worry about on your own.The same people that fight for pro life are the same ones that mistreat living adults of other races, spit hate, commit injustices, and deprive of equal opportunity. When was the last or the first time a White unarmed teen was beaten or killed by police officers? So if you are going to be "pro-life", start with the lives that already exist!
  • morning... Charlie 2008/08/22 14:57:23
    morning40oz~mad as hell
    Your own generalizations would lead one to believe that you are a racist yourself.
  • Kitty w... Charlie 2008/08/22 19:20:30
    Kitty we shall overcome!
    What part in the above was "hateful and racist" ? The hateful part was in what you just wrote.. "and it happened to still be alive" it? are you kidding me? The "it" is a child.
  • morning... Kitty w... 2008/08/22 19:21:57
    morning40oz~mad as hell
    Some are too far gone, Kitty.
  • Kitty w... morning... 2008/08/22 19:29:38
    Kitty we shall overcome!
    So true! I was kind of wondering if there was a part II or something left to read where you just went off and typed in some hateful, racist part. But, it's you.... good as always and no hate or racism :)
  • morning... Kitty w... 2008/08/22 19:31:17
    morning40oz~mad as hell
    I'm glad I didn't disappoint. Thank you.

About Me

morning40oz~mad as hell

morning40oz~mad as hell

New Orleans, LA, US

2008/06/30 08:21:24

Commies to the Left, Fascists to the Right...Here I am ......Stuck in the middle...

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