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Is It Moral To Tax Abortion?

 Instapundit writes the following and raises an interesting question.

IN THE WEEKLY STANDARD, JOHN MCCORMACK CALLS FOR a federal ban on late-term abortions. But while such a ban wouldn’t violate the Roe/Casey framework, it would nonetheless violate the Constitution because it is outside Congress’s enumerated powers. As Dave Kopel and I argued in Taking Federalism Seriously: Lopez And The Partial-Birth Abortion Act, back in 1997, regulating abortion doesn’t fall within Congress’s commerce power — a conclusion that is strongly supported by the commerce-clause discussion in the Sebelius decision. It is conceivable that Congress could regulate post-viability abortions under it’s 14th Amendment Section 5 powers, but that seems quite iffy to me in light of recent Supreme Court caselaw.

One thing that Congress clearly could do, however — even more strongly supported by the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare decision — would be to put a tax on late-term abortion, and there’s no constitutional reason why that tax would have to be a small one.
This is an interesting question. Obviously, taxing something heavily will lead to less of it, which is a good thing in this case. But is it moral for us to fund the public trust with blood money?

What are your thoughts?
*subhead*Blood money?*subhead*

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13 comments:

Joseph Mazzara said...

Absolutely.

Christina said...

Eh, things taxed make the gov money. Things that make the gov money stick around indefinitely.

Nathan said...

So it's beyond the power of the federal government to ban abortion, but it is within their power to legalize it via Roe? Odd. Should abortion be settled at the state level? Sure, but its about 40 yrs too late for that now.

Matthew A. Siekierski said...

Instapundit is wrong. Banning abortion wouldn't violate the Constitution, it would enforce it.

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Let's take the important chunk out: "No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law".

Not "No citizen". Not "No taxpayer". Not "No voter". No person, no matter their status. Inside a womb or outside of one.

The Federal government absolutely has the power to ban abortion. It's not about commerce, it's about life.

Proteios1 said...

Good point! With a government so incredibly ethical like ours, I would think taxing something morally reprehensible, or a vice like alcohol, cigarettes, etc that have the potential to kill people would just be too inconsistent. Our moral government doesn't start wars, subvert foreign governments, manipulate monetary policies and none of these things subjugated and impoverishes hundreds of millions of people.
No I think our moral government should stay away from anything unethical...but considering it makes up its own ethical code as it goes along, I guess it might be ok. Because just like Obama, abortion is cool now. So it must be moral.

Anonymous said...

What good is a tax when so many are paid with taxes?

The Gosnell trial shows that enforcing current state level laws regulating the facilities would be a good start.

Jonathan said...

I am not so cynical about taxes as Joseph. The British government has been taxing tobacco for a long time and raises nearly £10 Billion a year in tobacco taxes. Nevertheless the government has taken action which has significantly reduced tobacco consumption.

I say tax abortion heavily and put all the proceeds in to providing real, life-affirming choices for women and their children.

Jonathan said...

I am not so cynical about taxes as Joseph. The British government has been taxing tobacco for a long time and raises nearly £10 Billion a year in tobacco taxes. Nevertheless the government has taken action which has significantly reduced tobacco consumption.

I say tax abortion heavily and put all the proceeds in to providing real, life-affirming choices for women and their children.

Donna M said...

....please, put the brakes on the taxation!!!,

....THINK PEOPLE!!!, remember, to tax it, is to "EMBED IT AND ENTRENCH IT, FEDERALLY"!!!!

....the qualifier "IMPOSSIBLE" TO GET RID OF IT, BECAUSE IT WILL ENRICH, UNENDINGLY, FEDERAL COFFERS!!!
....Feds will LOVE IT!!!
....THE FEDS WILL PROTECT IT, EVEN IF THEY DON'T REGULATE OR MONITOR IT!!!
....as long as the money keeps rollin' in!!! (just like right now)

....the unholy crime is, you can get away with "MURDER!",...but, not tax evasion!!!

Anonymous said...

The taxing itself may not be wrong. The federal government has taxed illegal commodities (narcotics, marijuana) even though they are also illegal to possess. The moral question is whether, absent anything else like a ban, taxing would make the government complicit in the act.

Another idea that has been proposed is not to tax abortion itself, but the instruments used in abortions.

Jonathan said...

The Federal government has used the Commerce clause to shred the Constitution by regulating almost everything under the sun. Tens of thousands of "laws" are outside of the enumerated powers. Why would someone get so "Constitutional" when it comes to abortion?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the ethics of it. I suppose part of it depends upon the intent - is the intent to tax the practice out of existence or to raise revenue?

Given the low percentage of abortions that LTA represents, I doubt it would be much of a revenue generator on the federal scheme of things. However, assessing a 99% tax rate on it would provide very little, if any, incentive for anyone to perform them. It would, in essence, remove any profit motive for performing them, and hence the incentive for the hired assassins.

True - the PPs of the world use the tax dollars to pay for it, so it is somewhat circular. But the "doctors" who perform them have to pay income tax. Fewer doctors, fewer abortions.

Anonymous said...

THINK PEOPLE!!!, remember, to tax it, is to "EMBED IT AND ENTRENCH IT, FEDERALLY"

Not really. To tax it is to destroy it, usually (depending on how necessary "it" is, and how much you tax it). The luxury tax on boats dang near sunk the boating industry a few years back.

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