Originally Posted by Tame
I know how it is drawn legally. My comment was in relation to how people within a society reach that conclusion.
However, with Roe v. Wade in effect, the line can only be drawn so far back. From what i remember when I read the decision, there is no room for a state legisltaure to pass a law stating viability begins at conception.
Roe v Wade was more or less changed through Planned Parenthood v Casey. ROe gave a trimester system; PP v Casey gives a "viability" standard. With PP, a state could, concievably, put any number of rules into effect to prevent abortions, including putting the viability date extremely early in the pregnancy (and potentially, even up to conception). PA's viability date is very early, something like 5 weeks into the pregnancy (something like 40 days). After that, the state's laws for medical abortions, etc, come into play. I'm not sure if there is a state that has an earlier date, but it is legally possible.
I think that, generally speaking, a state wouldn't set it at conception because even though the pro life (or anti-choice) organizations make the most noise, the majority of constituents tend to be pro choice.
it's an interesting case, Casey. one of my favorites to study (and it's relatives). it really did change the face of the laws in most states, making it easier for states to prevent 'on demand' abortions by setting early dates and other means such as 24 and 48 hr waiting periods, parental consent for minors, father's/grandparents "rights" via consent or injunctions, and a myriad of other laws.
and reproductive rights is such an amazing and intense process to study. Eugenics laws of the late 1800s and early 1900s have a great influence and affect on modern laws, and our (cultural) fears of repeating such atrocities (or even being associated with the policies that dominated and formulated much of fascist ideology of the early 1900s), clearly have strong influence in our modern legal developments.
what is difficult is to decern whose bodies belong to whom, and when the state has an interest in that individual's body--regardless of whether it is the abortion issue or a myriad of consent laws.
Sorry again for being off topic. These topics are so highly charged and intertwined (particularly from the legal mindset) that they are hard to parcel out.