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Monday, 16 June 2014 10:56
Gov. Jindal's Abortion Law dogged with Inconsistency
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Jindal-differenceGov. Bobby Jindal’s veto of HB 1091 is unfortunate not only as a matter of bad public policy, but also insofar as it contradicts the logic correctly justifying his signature of HB 388.

 The latter bill introduces more stringent and constitutional restrictions on the operation of abortion clinics, with an eye on making it safer for its surviving human, the adult female patient. Currently, three of the state’s five operating mills without modifying their buildings or practices would not meet the new requirements. Critics, legally unsuccessfully in other states with similar laws, have complained that these amount to limiting abortions so severely as to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court declaration that abortion can’t be made always illegal. Proponents contend that these reduce the risk of adult deaths added to those of the unborn, to which critics respond by saying women dying as a result of complications from legal abortion is rare.

Maybe rare, but it does happen even when done according to the law. And if erring on the side of life when considering unborn humans is not respected adequately in American jurisprudence, there’s no excuse not to do so when it comes to a female already born voluntarily choosing an elective if unsavory procedure. Abortion cannot be justified by putting even more innocent lives at needless, avoidable risk.

However, in vetoing the other bill Jindal defied this logic. That one would have prevented individuals from transporting dogs in beds of pickup trucks on interstate highways without having them secured by humane restraints, containers, or coverings. In his message, Jindal indicated that opposition from two interest groups that argued the law was too intrusive along with existing animal cruelty laws meant that he “trust[ed] that our citizens can care for their pets without the nanny state intervening.”

Whether this reasoning meets a test of moral treatment of animals is debatable. Dogs and many other things are granted to us by God as resources for our use, but for which we must act as wise stewards. In and of itself, having a dog bounce along unsecured can cause it extensive physical damage that could be reduced by humane restraining practices, and failure to do so suggests an inherent indifference, if not outright denial, of following His will on this matter. Regardless, this seems more a matter of individual conscience than requiring state intervention.

But the problem is that Jindal ignored a threat to human lives in his consideration of the bill. Unsecured dogs when for that reason fall or jump out of a moving truck – and especially on interstate highways where driver maneuvers are more severe and extreme and reaction times reduced because of the higher rate of speed – can cause accidents involving other vehicles. Unless the truck itself carrying the dogs has a bad crash, if restrained or contained humanely there’s no way a dog would come flying out of a pickup bed into the path of an oncoming car.

Yes, these events are rare – but so is death directly from legalized abortion. In that case, extensive measures are justified because of the direct impact the procedure has on a woman’s health. In this other case, even if the threat isn’t as directly related it’s just as deadly potentially, validating lesser intrusiveness on people’s behavior.

That innocent people can suffer from the absolutely avoidable negligence of others, rather than let the suffering or even loss of life happen and the courts sort it out subsequently when extremely minimal and responsible efforts can be made to prevent this, is a matter that is not overbroad and thereby deserves government regulation in order to preserve lives. For whatever reason, Jindal did not see the obvious connection that both of these bills had asking that people act to appropriate degrees out of concern for others to the aid in obviating direct threats to life.

Jeffrey Sadow

Jeffrey Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.   He writes a daily conservative blog called Between The Lines

Website: jeffsadow.blogspot.com/
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