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Sunstein: Fetuses 'use' women, abortion limits 'troublesome'
Posted By Aaron Klein On 09/25/2009 @ 12:45 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
JERUSALEM – Restrictions on access to abortion would turn women’s bodies into vessels to be “used” by fetuses, according to President Obama’s newly confirmed regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein.
“A restriction on access to abortion turns women’s reproductive capacities into something to be used by fetuses. … Legal and social control of women’s sexual and reproductive capacities has been a principal historical source of sexual inequality,” Sunstein wrote in his 1993 book “The Partial Constitution.”
In the book, obtained and reviewed by WND, Sunstein sets forth a radical new interpretation of the Constitution. In one chapter, titled “Pornography, abortion, surrogacy,” Sunstein argued against restrictions on abortion and pornography.
“Restrictions on abortion, surrogacy and free availability of pornography are troublesome,” he wrote.
“I do not mean to oppose equality to liberty. … Liberty does not entail respect for all ‘choices,’” he maintained.
Sunstein’s views on fetuses are not limited to his 1993 book.
WND reported earlier this month that in a 2003 book review, Sunstein argued there is no moral concern regarding cloning human beings since human embryos, which develop into a baby, are “only a handful of cells.”
In addition to Sunstein’s moral disregard for human embryos, WND reported the Obama czar several times has quoted approvingly from an author who likened animals to slaves and argued an adult dog or a horse is more rational than a human infant and should, therefore, be granted similar rights.
A brief video on YouTube captures Sunstein at a 2002 event using the writings of Jeremy Bentham, a 19th century social reformer and animal-rights pioneer.
“You’ve heard a reference to Bentham, so let’s listen to him, shall we,” he begins in the video.
He then quotes from Bentham’s 1789 primer, “Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation,” written just after slaves had been freed by the French but were still held captive in the British dominions:
“The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor,” Sunstein states, quoting Bentham.
Sunstein continues quoting the author: “A full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise.”
The rest of Bentham’s sentence, not captured in the video, continued, “what would it avail? The question is not, can they (animals) reason or can they talk? But, can they suffer?”
While the YouTube video offers only a brief sound bite with no context, a WND review of Sunstein’s academic writings find he used the same verses from Bentham to push for animal rights.
In the footnotes to a 2002 academic paper for Harvard University, “The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer,” Sunstein expresses his approval of Bentham’s arguments:
“I suggest that Bentham and Mill were not wrong to offer an analogy between current uses of animals and human slavery,” he wrote.
Several other works by Sunstein, including his books, quote approvingly of Bentham’s statements comparing adult dogs and horses to human infants.
In the Harvard paper, Sunstein even suggests animals could be granted the right to sue humans in court.
“We could even grant animals a right to bring suit without insisting that animals are in some general sense ‘persons,’ or that they are not property,” he wrote.
The Senate two weeks ago confirmed Sunstein as Obama’s administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, overcoming months of delay due to Republican concerns that he would push a radical animal-rights agenda.
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