Megan, the slavery debate was not "the last time" we had a debate about personhood. What about woman suffrage (mid 19th-early 20th century)? What about civil rights and desegregation? What about the ERA debates? What about gay rights (which are still hotly contested)? Almost every group of Americans who are not straight white males are still fighting for the right to be considered as fully human as, say, Justice Roberts. It's simply preposterous to pretend otherwise.I hate Megan McArdle and find her smug conviction incredibly irritating. She is, IMO, a fucking moron and should have the grace to realize it. But in the wake of Dr Tiller's murder, what remains infuriating (as it always is) is the ongoing claim of self-nominated "reasonable people" to be occupying some sort of "middle ground." The truth is that on this issue there is no "middle ground." Either you believe that women are autonomous human beings, with all the same intrinsic rights to bodily self-determination as men, or you do not. If you do, then there is simply no ground on which you can justify LEGISLATING what goes on inside a woman's body. Period. You can teach and encourage and cajole and bully all you want. But you cannot LEGISLATE what goes on in there.
As for the putative personhood of the fetus, in cases where this comes into direct conflict with the indubitable personhood of the mother, the latter will always and categorically win as far as I'm concerned.
If anyone on my flist is anti-choice, please go ahead and defriend me now because I'm not interested.