The Corner

Sneering at South Dakota, Ctd.

Yesterday I defended a South Dakota law against William Saletan’s criticism. A reader makes an additional point:

I haven’t read it, but is Saletan saying because that maternal RNA in the egg cytoplasm directs development for the first couple of cell divisions, the early embryo is part of the mother? [RP: As I wrote, it’s a little hard to figure out what Saletan’s argument is, but your description of it seems pretty good.]

First, for reasons that you point out, that doesn’t make sense as a philosophical matter  — the new organism is recruiting the genetic factors in moving itself along the developmental trajectory.

But more importantly, by the time a woman gets an abortion, the new genome is doing all the developmental work and the mitochondrial DNA is simply providing energy for cell function.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Judge Barrett on the Second Amendment

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s impressive dissent in Kanter v. Barr (pp. 27-64) illustrates both her fidelity to the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and her masterful application of the constitutional methodology of originalism. Rickey I. Kanter pleaded ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Judge Barrett on the Second Amendment

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s impressive dissent in Kanter v. Barr (pp. 27-64) illustrates both her fidelity to the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and her masterful application of the constitutional methodology of originalism. Rickey I. Kanter pleaded ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Elections

There Will Be a Peaceful Transfer of Power

The answer to the question, “Will your administration oversee a peaceful transfer of power after the impending election?” is, without exception, “Yes.” It would be better for the United States, and for this administration, if President Trump understood that. One of the more peculiar political dynamics ... Read More
Elections

There Will Be a Peaceful Transfer of Power

The answer to the question, “Will your administration oversee a peaceful transfer of power after the impending election?” is, without exception, “Yes.” It would be better for the United States, and for this administration, if President Trump understood that. One of the more peculiar political dynamics ... Read More

The Arson Party

About that peaceful transfer of power . . . I do not have access to my friend Mario Loyola’s Donald J. Trump super-secret decoder ring, but I am inclined to accept Loyola’s explanation that what President Trump was trying to say, but couldn’t quite manage to say, was the usual witless Trump trolling -- ... Read More

The Arson Party

About that peaceful transfer of power . . . I do not have access to my friend Mario Loyola’s Donald J. Trump super-secret decoder ring, but I am inclined to accept Loyola’s explanation that what President Trump was trying to say, but couldn’t quite manage to say, was the usual witless Trump trolling -- ... Read More