I’ve got a short piece up at Campus Progress warning Dems away from “moderation” on reproductive rights.
One argument that didn’t make it into the final draft for space reasons, but which I’m curious to bounce off the blogsphere, is that accepting the fetuses-are-persons line (even if you think maternal rights to bodily control trump their interests) has potential implications beyond the abortion issue. That is, if personhood is a function of having a certain kind of mind, it will tend to follow pretty naturally that whatever respect is due persons will typically take the form of respecting their choices, preferences, beliefs, and so on. If, on the other hand, personhood is not fundamentally about having a certain kind of mind, but rather about mere biological life, then you’re on your way to a view that leaves ample room for paternalism to protect bodies from the minds that inhabit them. Suicide (assisted or otherwise) is the clearest-cut case, but in principle you could justify a wide variety of bans on risky behavior. I don’t know how much Democrats care about this anymore, but liberals with any residual affection for Mill ought to.