Should the government be able to limit number of children?

Try this on for size.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it guarantee that you can have as many children as you want. Should there be some sort of limitation preventing people that cannot care for children from having them? Or should they be immediately given up for adoption?

And this would make the US better than all these other terrible regimes how?

Um, by the Bill of Rights...which I am pretty sure doesn''t say that you can have as many babies as you want when you can''t take care of them.

See, that is the problem with liberals. Ask a legitimate, if difficult or distateful question, and it gets equated with a repeal of the Constitution and putting Saddam in power in the US as ''Dictator for Life''.

Nowhere does it say that a woman has the right to have babies without concern for how they will be cared for. Rather than create a burden on society as a whole, why shouldn''t we restrict who can have children and how many in extreme cases? You have to have a license to drive, to give a massage, to serve alchohol, etc., why shouldn''t there be a license and education required before a woman is allowed to have and keep a child?

Again, what you are talking about is abhorrent to what the Constitution stands for. I gurantee you that any law passed in that regard will get struck down as a violation of the 14th Amendmant. Birth quotas and birth licenses are Communist in nature and I''m surprised that a through-and-through Republican would want to even consider something similar to the law of Red China, a law which is only part of that nation''s human rights violations.

Right to have children is a substantive right of Due Process under the Constitution''s 14th Amendment. Substantive Due Process is the vehicle through which all fundamental rights are protected. If a government regulation is passed that is considered necessary to protect a compelling state interest, then the regulation will stand constitutional. It may be considered a compelling state interest to restrict the number of babies a heroin addict has.

What about abortion?

what you are talking about is abhorrent to what the Constitution stands for

The Constitution doesn''t ""stand"" for anything. It is an explicit document. In American society, the only rights you have which are absolute are those explicit in the document. All others may be abridged, as long as due process is adhered to. Even the rights explicit in the Constitution may be abridged by the democratic process of amending the Constitution.

"Mex" wrote:

What about abortion?

Looks like Mex just found the really convoluted part of it.

What about abortion?

What do you mean Mex? Do you mean enforced abortions? I am not sure what you are getting at...

He''s asking what will happen when you catch a pregnant woman who broke your law. He might also be likening this to a sort of ""pre-abortion,"" a kind of government-imposed birth control. You know, the kind of stuff that Republicans don''t like.

Many problems there. But yes, the Amazing Rat Boy has read my mind, that''s pretty much what I was asking.

Abortion when the government does it is ok?

Also, JohnnyMojo, do you mean forced adoption?

Mex said:
""What about abortion?""
Rat Boy said:
""He''s asking what will happen when you catch a pregnant woman who broke your law. He might also be likening this to a sort of ''pre-abortion,'' a kind of government-imposed birth control.""

Now that''s a hell of a Spanish-English translation...

Folks, there''s the difference between a Republican (JMJ) and a Liberal (Rat). Mex made a statement. JMJ asked Mex to clarify, since he didn''t understand. Rat offered a paragraph explaining it to us, even though his explanation had literally nothing to do with the quote.

Not surprising from someone who uses a misquote from Cheney to make it seem like the VP held an opposite position from reality...

Edit - since Mex has now said Rat was reading his mind, I retract part of my assertion. He got it right on Mex. I should have said that Rat''s explanation ""may"" have had nothing to do with Mex''s question. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day...

Yes. In that situation, I think the law should provide for forced adoption.

In the specific case that started the conversation, she was given a choice between staying out of jail on birth control or going to jail. In jail, she wouldn''t be able to have kids either.

I just don''t understand why anyone would argue that a woman that clearly is incapable of caring for children should be allowed to have more. Women that are convicted child abusers are allowed to have more children even after the abused ones have been taken away. How does this make sense to anyone?

Isn''t it hypocritical to say that they should screen adoptive parents to assure a good home, but not apply that same logic before a woman is allowed to have a baby?

JMJ - Somewhat hypocritical. But the right to have kids is considered fundamental, and cannot be taken away absent a compelling state interest. As it is, there is no fundamental right to adopt, so a state can create regulations to ensure the safety of the child.

The result is that you can get situations like this, where you have completely unfit natural parents, and prospective adoptive parents that are more than fit, yet not able to help the child. I think we''re kinda stuck here, absent a new ruling on what the limits of privacy are.

Now while children arent 100% joy, I think you guys are digging to deep to find the answer. Its right there on the surface. Our inalienable rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I vote for number three. Children arent always pure bliss but they certainly qualify as pursuing happiness.

You can even make a stretch, claiming children are extensions of your life as they are atleast potential to continue your legacy.

The real interesting dilema comes from issues regarding parents trying to force abortion or adoption on their retarded yet otherwise capable offspring.

Which would you rather have: a mentally challenged couple raising a child or a single dependant parent with too many mouths to feed raising another child?

No. It is none of the governments business how many children I have. The problems you have aren''t children problems but hand-out problems.

It''s your own god-damn (and god given) right and responsibility to choose whether or not to ''produce'' and raise a child, eh?

Children arent always pure bliss but they certainly qualify as pursuing happiness.

Heroin isn''t always pure bliss, but it certainly qualifies as pursuing happiness...

Which really brings us full circle. Junkie moms are just extra-happy citizens...

The difference between say, driving a car/owning a gun/etc and having a child is that the former is a privilege, the latter a basic human right. As a result -- and much to my chagrin -- you can''t mandate that a license/training be required to raise a child. Procreating is our lowest-level mission in life, aside from surviving. That said, I don''t want morons having children (and too many at that) to infringe on my quailty of life. But, there''s nothing I can really do about it. It''s a drawback to living in a society. The question is, do you get more good than bad out of society? Probably, or you wouldn''t continue to live within society.

I have a plan, though. Save up a few trillion, buy an island, an start my own country. I''ll call it NoMorons, and it will be moron-free! Who''s with me?

Ahh the great analogy of heroin and babies. Did you know that if you chip babies into teenie-weenie pieces and roll em together with some serious ganja they make a great crack ersatz?

The difference between say, driving a car/owning a gun/etc and having a child is that the former is a privilege, the latter a basic human right

Just a reminder: There''s no such thing as a basic human right. Every right you have in American society was granted by and can be taken away by the democratic process.

So what does that make the constitution, fundamentally flawed?

"ralcydan" wrote:
The difference between say, driving a car/owning a gun/etc and having a child is that the former is a privilege, the latter a basic human right

Just a reminder: There''s no such thing as a basic human right. Every right you have in American society was granted by and can be taken away by the democratic process.

In theory, yes... but you gotta draw the line somewhere! I went on to further explain that procreation is really our lowest-level mission in life, second only to surviving. I''d say that''s pretty basic, and human, and as close to a natural right as one can get.

Point made though I hope that is not an attempt at humor. If that''s the case don''t quit your day job.

I would be all for helping prevent unfit parents from having more children.

There isnt anything I can do about it so I''m not going to lose sleep over it. I would never vote for or support legislation on it either. It needs to be addressed by society. Unfortunately, society always turns a blind eye.

Well, let''s assume that there is such a thing as a basic human right. I think it is important to define what a ''right'' is, because people keep talking about their ''rights'', where none exist.

A ''right'' is something that everyone possesses in equal measure. The exercising of my right does not prevent you from exercising your same right. A right is something that has no actual societal cost associated with it. Want to practice Scientology? Cool. Has no effect on my ability to be a baptist. Want to rant on about how Bush lied? Cool. I can disagree or ignore you at no cost to society. Want to own a gun? Cool, pay for it yourself and clean it regularly. Right to vote? Get out and do it. And so on.

However, many people think that rights exist that aren''t rights at all, because they are not applied equally, or they have a societal cost. ''Right'' to decent housing? BS, because it has to be paid for. To say that someone has the ''right'' to decent housing means that someone else has the ''right'' to expend money, labor, material resources, and financial risk without being compensated in return. ''Right'' to own a car? BS, same thing. ''Right'' to a public education? BS, has to be paid for. ''Right'' to healthcare? BS again.

Rights from government interference may be free, but rights to anything means that someone else has to be put into your service involuntarily.

And thus we come to the ''right'' to have children. Someone has to pay for the child. If you or your family is not capable of paying the costs associated with raising a child, why on earth should you be allowed to have one in the first place?

And the ''pursuit of happiness'' is not sufficient. It has to be held to the same standard as other rights, which is to say that it your pursuit of happiness has no impact on another person''s pursuit, and there is no societal cost associated. Which is why we don''t let child molesters pursue their version of happiness.

You have no ''right'' to children. You can, and should have children, but only if you have the capability to provide for them at no cost to the rest of us.

In theory, yes... but you gotta draw the line somewhere!

Not in theory, in reality. Luckily, our forefathers indeed drew a line for us and provided the protections in the Constitution.

There''s a big difference between what one would want their rights to be, and what is legally possible.

So what does that make the constitution, fundamentally flawed?

I don''t think so, but there is an interesting philosophical persepective on American politics here. The very concept of rights for a minority group being protected from the will of the majority, was itself implemented as the result of a democratic process, done by majority rule.

This is the strongest argument for maintaining a philosophically-homogenous society. Not all cultures value liberty for the masses, much less for the minority as we do. There are some who criticize our immigration policies and are called racist or xenophobic. In Europe, leaders are called fascist or reactionary if they oppose large-scale immigration from the Muslim world. In reality, they are trying to preserve a history of liberty and democracy.

I look at the history of rights and self-government and realize that these are deep issues to worry about. When Shiite Iraqis want to build a theocratic tyranny to replace Saddam''s secular tyranny, it makes me shudder. There is no legal reason we couldn''t amend the constitution and vote ourselves the same.

Liberals in this country complain of a civil-rights crisis, when new laws allow law enforcement to tap two or more phone lines on the same judge-signed warrant. But they have no problems opening our borders to the Third World, creating legions of voters with no personal or cultural experience with liberty.

Kind of screwy, if you ask me.

There are different theories on where rights come from, such as the economic perspective, the divine rights perspective, the social contract perspective. As it stands right now, however, the US Supreme Court has determined that certain rights delegated to US citizens are created by contract - the Constitution. Some of these are Free Speech, Association, Press, Double Jeopardy, et cetera.

Other rights, however, have been found by the Supreme Court to be derived from Substantive Due Process. These rights are fundamental, and beyond the scope of what the Constitution explicitly considered. They have been enumerated by the Supreme Court in cases such as Roe v. Wade, Carey v. Population Services, Griswold v. Connecticut, Saenz v. Roe. These rights include the Right of Privacy, Right to Vote, and Right to Travel.

They aren''t contracted, and they aren''t rights provided economically. They are rights that come part and parcel with being human. So sayeth the court, anyway.

And I think the same goes for the right to have children, excellent point Bosephus.

So sayeth the court, anyway.

Which derives its authority from the contract (the Constitution). Also, the Due Process clause is itself in the Constitution. If it weren''t, the Court wouldn''t have been able to derive them...

Further, what Substantive Due Process says is that these ""fundamental...rights that come part and parcel with being human"" (as you put it) can still be taken away, so long as there is compelling government interest.

Pretty important then to protect the makeup of government and the Court...

The right to vote actually is in the Constitution. The ''right'' to travel meets the standard defined above, as does the ''right'' to privacy''. The ''right'' to have an abortion isn''t actually a right, as there is a cost to the father (maybe he wants the child). However, the court decided that the woman''s cost of carrying the child is greater than the father''s right to have it and so they gave the woman the power to decide.

Nothing anyone has said has provided for the societal costs of having to raise a child.