Neil Grossman writes,

Banning abortion essentially gives the state custody of a pregnant woman’s uterus. That’s not a politically correct way to put it, but it’s what a ban entails. Under such laws, if a woman gets pregnant, she loses the right to control what happens inside her body. If she doesn’t want to carry to term and give birth, the government forces her to against her will. That means the state, not the pregnant woman, has custody of her body. Otherwise, she, not government, would get to decide what happens inside her uterus, and whether the rest of her body should go through the physical changes and health risks that accompany pregnancy. (

The government prevents me from injecting heroin into my body. By Grossman’s logic it seems the government already has custody of my body and everyone else’s.

Many years ago Paul Manata mentioned the following hypothetical: what if I sowed a bomb under my skin. Can the government prevent me from detonating it?

Or suppose a child wants to smoke cigarettes and the parents consent. Or suppose a child wants her perfectly healthy arm amputated and the parents consent. If Grossman thinks the government can prevent it, then ultimately it is the government that has custody of all children.

If Grossman thinks that the government preventing you from doing something to your body (to someone in your body) means that the government has custody of your body, then okay, that’s sometimes a good and necessary element to social welfare. But I suspect Grossmen would resist the characterization in those cases because he’s really trying to to make it sound scary and therefore bad. It’s a “Boo!” argument.



Throwing half-baked ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks.

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John Bowling

John Bowling

Throwing half-baked ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks.

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