Sauce for the Gander




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The Texas anti-abortion law enshrines the idea that others’ interests legally trump an individual’s right to bodily integrity. Of course, many would question whether a six-week embryo really has morally significant interests yet, but put such worries aside for now. I’m interested in how broadly this principle should be applied. For there are many needy individuals out whose moral status is much clearer than that of an embryo. Just consider any dialysis patient, for example. If bodily integrity is no longer sacrosanct, should we not pass laws mandating the removal of excess kidneys to help those in need? Better yet, since most of us (I think) still regard violations of bodily integrity as a serious moral cost, perhaps one could instead mandate just that those who have mandated that others’ bodily integrity be violated for another’s sake should themselves be subject to mandatory kidney donation. They’ve already implicitly consented to the principle at stake, after all.As a bonus, we don’t even need the State to get its hands dirty — just further specify that the law empowers any concerned citizen to harvest a kidney from anyone responsible for the Texas law (including, e.g., those who offered legal, financial, or other support to the legislators in the crafting of their bill). I’m sure such a proposal would immediately be met with universal support, right?In other news: Trumpists finally proved that birthright citizenship is a mistake. Nice as it may sound to welcome new-comers into our country with open arms, there are those whose values are plainly incompatible with liberal democracy. If allowed into the country — and eventually to vote — they will threaten the very foundation upon which America’s greatness rests. Political views — including illiberal, anti-democratic values — are all-too-often transmitted from one generation to the next within cloistered cultural communities who refuse to. . .

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