Carpool follies

Several years ago I read about a clever prankster in Kansas (I think) so eager to get to the bar that he challenged politicians in his state to rule his way on their own definition of life: that it begins at conception.

He thought: well, if that's true, then we reach the drinking age 9 months earlier than our "21st birthday."

He lost his case.

A similar challenge cropped up recently involving the car pool lane, shining a light on the hypocrisy and complexity of the "when life begins" debate. AP reports: "Candace Dickinson was fined $367 for improper use of a carpool lane, but contended her unborn child qualified to use the lane."

She lost:

"Municipal Judge Dennis Freeman rejected Dickinson's argument Tuesday, applying a 'common sense' definition in which an individual is someone who occupies a 'separate and distinct' space in a vehicle.
"'The law is meant to fill empty space in a vehicle,' the judge said."
Although it isn't really the point, I must disagree with the judge. The ultimate point is actually not "to fill empty space in a vehicle." The point is to reduce emissions by using fewer vehicles. By that rationale, no person under the driving age (or without a license for that matter) ought to count. I mean, they couldn't drive another car so they're not really sparing us the emissions, are they?

No, that's not the point, but these cases humorously highlight the absurdity and arbitrary nature of the arguments surrounding the abortion debate. Not to mention the "common sense" that emerges when the ideologues are left out. (Feministing)

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