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    The War Over Life, Liberty and Privacy Rights: From Abortion to COVID-19 and Beyond

    John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead
    December 2nd, 2021
    The Rutherford Institute
    Comments (9)

    This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute.

    “Abortion on demand is the ultimate State tyranny; the State simply declares that certain classes of human beings are not persons, and therefore not entitled to the protection of the law. The State protects the ‘right’ of some people to kill others, just as the courts protected the ‘property rights’ of slave masters in their slaves. Moreover, by this method the State achieves a goal common to all totalitarian regimes: it sets us against each other so that our energies are spent in the struggle between State-created classes, rather than in freeing all individuals from the State. Unlike Nazi Germany, which forcibly sent millions to the gas chambers (as well as forcing abortion and sterilization upon many more), the new regime has enlisted the assistance of millions of people to act as its agents in carrying out a program of mass murder.”—Ron Paul

    Who gets to decide when it comes to bodily autonomy?

    Where does one draw the line over whose rights are worthy of protecting? And how do present-day legal debates over bodily autonomy, privacy, vaccine mandates, the death penalty, and abortion play into future discussions about singularity, artificial intelligence, cloning, and the privacy rights of the individual in the face of increasingly invasive, intrusive, and unavoidable government technologies?

    Caught up in the heated debate over the legality of abortion, we’ve failed to think about what’s coming next. Get ready, because it could get scary, ugly, and overwhelming really fast.

    Thus far, abortion politics have largely revolved around who has the right to decide—the government or the individual—when it comes to bodily autonomy, the right to privacy in one’s body, sexual freedom, and the rights of the unborn.

    In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause provides for a “right to privacy” that assures a woman’s right to abort her pregnancy within the first two trimesters.

    Since that landmark ruling, abortion has been so politicized, polarized, and propagandized as to render it a major frontline in the culture wars.

    In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier ruling in Roe when it prohibited states from imposing an “undue burden” or “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.”

    Thirty years later, in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court is poised to revisit whether the Constitution—namely, the Fourteenth Amendment—truly provides for the right to an abortion.

    At a time when abortion is globally accessible (approximately 73 million abortions are carried out every year), legally expedient form of birth control (it is used to end more than 60% of unplanned pregnancies), and considered a societal norm (according to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans continue to believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases), it’s debatable whether it will ever be truly possible to criminalize abortion altogether.

    No matter how the Supreme Court rules in Dobbs, it will not resolve the problem of a culture that values life based on a sliding scale. Nor will it help us navigate the moral, ethical, and scientific minefields that await us as technology and humanity move ever closer to a point of singularity.

    Here’s what I know.

    Life is an inalienable right. By allowing the government to decide who or what is deserving of rights, it shifts the entire discussion from one in which we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights” (that of life, liberty property, and the pursuit of happiness) to one in which only those favored by the government get to enjoy such rights. The abortion debate—a tug-of-war over when an unborn child is considered a human being with rights—lays the groundwork for discussions about who else may or may not be deserving of rights: the disabled, the aged, the infirm, the immoral, the criminal, etc. The death penalty is just one aspect of this debate. As theologian Francis Schaeffer warned early on: “The acceptance of death of human life in babies born or unborn opens the door to the arbitrary taking of any human life. From then on, it’s purely arbitrary.

    If all people are created equal, then all lives should be equally worthy of protection. There’s an idea embraced by both the Right and the Left according to their biases that there is a hierarchy to live, with some lives worthier of protection than others. Out of that mindset is born the seeds of eugenics, genocide, slavery, and war.

    There is no hierarchy of freedoms. All freedoms hang together. Freedom cannot be a piece-meal venture. My good friend Nat Hentoff (1925-2017), a longtime champion of civil liberties and a staunch pro-lifer, often cited Cardinal Bernardin, who believed that a “consistent ethic of life” viewed all threats to life as immoral: “[N]uclear war threatens life on a previously unimaginable scale. Abortion takes life daily on a horrendous scale. Public executions are fast becoming weekly events in the most advanced technological society in history, and euthanasia is now openly discussed and even advocated. Each of these assaults on life has its own meaning and morality. They cannot be collapsed into one problem, but they must be confronted as pieces of a larger pattern.”

    Beware slippery slopes. To suggest that the end justifies the means (for example, that abortion is justified in order to ensure a better quality of life for women and children) is to encourage a slippery slope mindset that could just as reasonably justify ending a life in order for the great good of preventing war, thwarting disease, defeating poverty, preserving national security, etc. Such arguments have been used in the past to justify such dubious propositions as subjecting segments of the population to secret scientific experiments, unleashing nuclear weapons on innocent civilians, and enslaving fellow humans.

    Beware of double standards. As the furor surrounding COVID-19 vaccine mandates make clear, the debate over bodily autonomy and privacy goes beyond the singular right to abortion. Indeed, as vaccine mandates have been rolled out, long-held positions have been reversed: many of those who historically opposed the government usurping a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and privacy have no qualms about supporting vaccine mandates that trample upon those very same rights. Similarly, those who historically looked to the government to police what a woman does with her body believe the government should have no authority to dictate whether or not one opts to get vaccinated.

    What’s next? Up until now, we have largely focused the privacy debate in the physical realm as it relates to abortion rights, physical searches of our persons and property, and our communications. Yet humanity is being propelled at warp speed into a whole new frontier when it comes to privacy, bodily autonomy, and what it means to be a human being.

    We haven’t even begun to understand how to talk about these new realms, let alone establish safeguards to protect against abuses.

    Humanity itself hangs in the balance.

    Remaining singularly human and retaining your individuality and dominion over yourself—mind, body, and soul—in the face of corporate and government technologies that aim to invade, intrude, monitor, manipulate and control us may be one of the greatest challenges before us.

    These battles over COVID-19 vaccine mandates are merely the tipping point. The groundwork being laid with these mandates is a prologue to what will become the police state’s conquest of a new, relatively uncharted, frontier: inner space, specifically, the inner workings (genetic, biological, biometric, mental, emotional) of the human race.

    If you were unnerved by the rapid deterioration of privacy under the Surveillance State, prepare to be terrified by the surveillance matrix that will be ushered in within the next few decades.

    Everything we do is increasingly dependent on and, ultimately, controlled by technological devices. For example, in 2007, there were an estimated 10 million sensor devices connecting human utilized electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.) to the Internet. By 2013, it had increased to 3.5 billion. By 2030, there will be an estimated 100 trillion sensor devices connecting us to the internet by way of a neural network that approximates a massive global brain.

    The end goal? Population control and the creation of a new “human” species, so to speak, through singularity, a marriage of sorts between machine and human beings in which artificial intelligence and the human brain will merge to form a superhuman mind.

    The plan is to develop a computer network that will exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to or indistinguishable from that of human beings by 2029. And this goal is to have computers that will be “a billion times more powerful than all of the human brains on earth.” As former Google executive Mo Gawdat warns, “The reality is, we’re creating God.”

    Neuralink, a brain-computer chip interface (BCI), paves the way for AI control of the human brain, at which point the disconnect between humans and AI-controlled computers will become blurred and human minds and computers will essentially become one and the same. “In the most severe scenario, hacking a Neuralink-like device could turn ‘hosts’ into programmable drone armies capable of doing anything their ‘master’ wanted,” writes Jason Lau for Forbes.

    Advances in neuroscience indicate that future behavior can be predicted based upon activity in certain portions of the brain, potentially creating a nightmare scenario in which government officials select certain segments of the population for more invasive surveillance or quarantine based solely upon their brain chemistry.

    Clearly, we are rapidly moving into the “posthuman era,” one in which humans will become a new type of being. “Technological devices,” writes journalist Marcelo Gleiser, “will be implanted in our heads and bodies, or used peripherally, like Google Glass, extending our senses and cognitive abilities.”

    Transhumanism—the fusing of machines and people—is here to stay and will continue to grow.

    In fact, as science and technology continue to advance, the ability to control humans will only increase. In 2014, for example, it was revealed that scientists had discovered how to deactivate that part of our brains that controls whether we are conscious or not. Add to this the fact that increasingly humans will be implanted with microchips for such benign purposes as tracking children or as medical devices to assist with our health.

    Such devices “point to an uber-surveillance society that is Big Brother on the inside looking out,” warns Dr. Katina Michael. “Governments or large corporations would have the ability to track people’s actions and movements, categorize them into different socio-economic, political, racial, or consumer groups and ultimately even control them.”

    All of this indicates a new path forward for large corporations and government entities that want to achieve absolute social control.

    It is slavery in another form.

    Abortion, vaccine mandates, transhumanism, etc.: these are all points along the continuum.

    Even so, there will be others. For instance, analysts are speculating whether artificial intelligence, which will eventually dominate all emerging technologies, could come to rule the world and enslave humans. How will a world dominated by artificial intelligence redefine what it means to be human and exercise free will?

    Scientists say the world’s first living robots can now reproduce. What rights are these “living” organisms entitled to? For that matter, what about clones? At the point that scientists are able to move beyond cloning organs and breeding hybrid animals to breeding full-bodied, living clones in order to harvest body parts, who is to say that clones do not also deserve to have their right to life protected?

    These are ethical dilemmas without any clear-cut answers. Yet one thing is certain: as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, putting the power to determine who gets to live or die in the hands of the government is a dangerous place to start.

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      Author: John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead
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      Date: December 2nd, 2021
      Website: https://www.rutherford.org/

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      9 Comments...

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      1. Anonymous says:

        Maybe I was just too young to take notice, but I don’t recall the nation being divided over the issue before Roe vs. Wade.

      2. Mr_Yesterday says:

        Wow John & Nisha Whitehead, way to run in circles with your own argument. Please allow me to simplify this for you, on both the inalienable rights to life side of the argument, and the unusually strange twist you have taken towards a totalitarian technocracy. I mean the argument is interesting, but you’re missing the essential points, having skipped over essential considerations to bridge your assertions. Portending a technological revolution is inevitable, which is not the case. Technology is a tool, not a moral code.

        Would such similar comparative positions be available on the battlefield, in a time when a marauder raids a house to steal belongings and people, even to steal life itself? No it would not. We would adopt the warriors for Christ argument, or even just the basic argument of survival of the fittest. However, community does not stand alone, nor does the righteous man exist in complete isolation. Sometimes evil must be vanquished, by any means necessary. The ends justify the means.

        Enter the concept of justice, rooted in a moral code. This is what your argument missed, and is what bridges the gap, answering the questions posed in this article.

        We don’t have to be pushed incrementally with the inevitable conclusion we must remain peaceful. We do not allow people to alter our morals. Nor do we allow them to alter our traditionally understood meanings of justice.

        We will march these technocrats and usurpers, the evil dooers, the corrupted and immoral, right to the center of the square and we will abolish everything they stand for in one fell heft. We seek peaceful resolution first, as that is at the core of this moral code, demanding the principals of justice and accepting no substitute. The free world is for the brave, the wise, the morally sound. Sometimes there are individuals so possessed, so immoral, they can not be swayed. For them; JUSTICE! Swift and immediate, unforgiving.

        We are not going to lose sleep over it either because the action is not immoral, but rather necessary to preserve morality. We judge them by their fruits, one can not be two tongues or two trees. One can not walk two paths at the same time. This is why they seek to abolish the bible and morality as we have understood it. The Christian moral is written and although it may be interpreted many ways, as long as the good book remains, there will be limitations to behavior and governance. It is why truly totalitarian regimes ban the bible completely and outright. Their societal codes can not exist alongside those contained within the bible and christian teachings.

        I swear, all you people so concerned with tech… Because you’re too immersed in the tech. Having swallowed the poison pill, taken a bite out of the apple. Just set the damned tech down and escape to the resonance of this world and your life, your mind and your body. God is a frequency within you, tune in. In search of ad free spaces. One a day commercial limit. Extremely limited tech spending. Old tech is good tech, when my stuff breaks, I bounce to ebay and buy 20-30 year old identical models, they’re often still out there. Social media? If you need an approved login to have speech, you have already relinquished speech. Reasons why you find me posting here, among the last places which still accept anonymous identity handles.

        If you want to be a force for change, a force for good; Take the television out of your living room, or at least control what you watch. We use only xbox live internet, and watch shows like ron paul liberty report, infowars, documentaries or music, what we feel like. We are not told what to watch. We have no social networking what so ever. We insist on paper and never fell for paperless. Everything is wired, no wireless anything is allowed in this house. Smart tech is spy tech, get rid of everything capable of sending IOT signals be that wifi or bluetooth, or anything else along the primary transmission bandwith for such devices. Get rid of high frequency resonating smart bulbs, move back to incandescent classicals. Eat organic, non gmo, no pesticides. Your body is a temple, stop polluting it with synthetics. Take the edge off with what the lord provided man, beer and cigarettes, food and warmth, love family and companionship. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Some traditions are worth saving.

        Fun arguments but no, a technocracy is not an inevitable conclusion of the human condition. The world is what we make of it. Provide me 4 hours to chop down a tree, I will spend the first 3 sharpening the axe. Plant the seeds of liberty everywhere you go.

      3. Make no mistake, I could give a barn yard rats ass what laws or what other idiots do. I live my life as I want. No one will tell me what to do. I am free American and will act like it. You want to screw with me be prepared for consequences! I am Not a metro sexual – I am an alpha red blooded male who does not fear anyone or thing.

      4. Brockland A.T. says:

        Mr. Whitehead’s work is respectable, however, women have the right to abort a pregnancy. She owns her own body. The pregnancy is an aggressive intrusion that may or may not be welcome.

        Life is sacred but not that not that sacred. The golden rule is reciprocity.

        Most of us wouldn’t think twice about killing a carjacker or home invader. Most of us cheer for wars we think we might benefit from. We all understand not everyone wins in life but differ on how far we’d go to ameliorate that.

        What we really fight for, is self-action over our own lives. The ability to choose is inalienable. The impregnated woman can choose; anyone at the fetal stage of development, cannot.

        Prior to Roe vs. Wade, the state enforced denial of abortion, after Roe vs Wade, the state enforced access to abortion.

        The first stance filled armies in eras where superior numbers mattered. The second stance filled workforces where skilled workers mattered more than sheer numbers of them.

        In nature, a woman’s body’s default answer to pregnancy is ‘no’.

        The impregnation process takes advantage of heightened inflammation in the womb to secure the embryo to the uterus, then blocks out further access.

        If this lockout is in any way imperfect, a preterm birth – spontaneous abortion may occur, and the rate of such incidents in the U.S. is 10%.

        All we really care about, is the freedom to do what’s right for ourselves. This paradoxically includes wanting what’s best for others.

        Some of us will choose to step up to care for an unexpected child. Some of us won’t serve the military. Some of us won’t get vaxxed. We all have our reasons and they will not all be the same, rationally driven, or even noble.

        Freedom of choice is what it is.

        We’re close to having the technology to monitor most pregnancies, an extension of being able to monitor most human beings.

        We can’t necessarily ensure no baby dies, but to give every fetus the best chance at survival we’d have to incarcerate every woman in a secure care space upon first sign of pregnancy, and keep her intervened upon, until the pregnancy is complete. (And that’s just the start.)

        The logical outcome of a non-qualitative, quantitative approach to morality that upholds the absolute sanctity of the fetal stage of life, is that all society would have to be geared to just that end.

        Ironically, incarceration pregnancies would be a far easier sell than a ban on wars and corruption, an elaborate virtue signaling compensating for other sins.

        • Bill says:

          To be honest, outside of my family, that a woman is pro choice or pro life or whatever is of no consequence or interest to me. I personally don’t like abortion at any stage, for a variety of reasons. But what really strikes me is the callousness of so many women using abortion merely as birth control. But all that aside, I would never try to stop any woman from getting one.
          However, women should not have any right over a man’s reproductive rights either. For example, if a man impregnates a woman (wife, girlfriend, whoever) she alone has the all the options. If he wants her to have the baby and is willing to pay for the rearing of the child she can unilaterally say “no, I will have an abortion”. She may then proceed to destroy the fetus. But if he wants her to have an abortion she can still unilaterally carry the fetus to term and have the child. Then force the father of the child to pay child support for at least 18 years because she says “it takes two to tango”. In each scenario the father literally has no rights.
          Another example, over the last 50 years there have been untold numbers of women who became pregnant after stop taking the pill without informing the fathers. Since the fathers assumed their partner was still on the pill pregnancy occurred by deception, and forced on the father. Why would the father have then still be liable for 18 years of support since pregnancy in those circumstances was solely the mother’s unilateral decision. I know 3 cases where this happened and the fathers had no legal recourse to avoid paying 18 years of child support.
          One more example, in most states wives also have control over the husband’s reproductive rights. She is able to withhold her necessary consent before a vasectomy procedure can be performed. Should a man obtain a vasectomy without consent from his wife he may be sued for divorce and if so, certainly lose due to the law on her side. Yet, again in most states husbands have no rights should the wife desire a tubal ligation. What happened to equal protection under the law? What we have now is selective permissible discrimination.
          This and other legal hypocrisies are reasons why men desiring to marry and have families is rapidly plunging. It is estimated by demographers at least 50 to 60 % of all men under age 35 in North America will never marry nor have children, for whatever reasons. (It’s a good time to buy stock in companies that make cat food and cat products due to an anticipated huge surge in cats being new companions for millions and millions of single women.)
          But all this may become academic if Whitehead’s predictions are correct. The time may come when men and women will no longer have the individual right (or ability) to have children. Only the State may decide if and when one may have a child. And under those circumstances who would want a child that would exist in only the ways the State decides how he/she exists. Then again, the State may also order a woman to bear a child(ren) whether she wants to or not.
          Well, the majority of women have always voted for more of some kind of State intervention and control in people’s lives, and boy are they going to get it. Again, if Whitehead and others are right, enjoy life now, your daughters or granddaughters won’t, they’ll merely be State controlled biological units.

      5. Brockland A.T. says:

        …. And then there is artificial conception and artificial womb technology…

        We are the Borg, anyone?

      6. NoVaxCidentForMe says:

        Who’s for the the fusion of rope meets elite tyrants necks for the greater good of humanity?

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