Friday, April 28, 2017

Right to Abortion vs. the "Right" to Abortion Services

A major gimmick statists use to push their policies is to equate rights with material entitlements.  

On the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, a lot of commentary came out reminding us to support that decision. But most of the Left gets it wrong. For example, in a 1/15/16 letter published in the New Jersey Star-Ledger titled N.J. delegation should vote to protect women’s choices, Paula Green, Vice president for Advocacy, National Council of Jewish Women/Essex, writes:

Jan. 22 marks the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and yet politicians continue to interfere with women’s ability to access reproductive health care. In 2015 alone, nearly 400 anti-abortion bills were introduced in legislative efforts to infringe on the reproductive rights of women.

For those who respect a woman’s right to govern her body and her destiny, we must work to ensure that the lawful right to abortion related care exists for all women.

Accordingly, we call on New Jersey’s elected federal representatives to support HR2972 — Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2015. This legislation would ensure coverage for pregnancy-related care, including abortion, for every woman regardless of income level, state of residence, or insurance coverage. A right that exists only for some is not a right at all.

Note the switch. The “reproductive rights of women” becomes a “right to abortion related care.” The freedom “to access reproductive health care” becomes a government mandate for women to access other people’s wallets to pay for her abortion services.

I shot off a rebuttal letter to the Star-Ledger, which was not published. But here it is:

To the editor,

Many supporters of Roe v. Wade equate a woman’s right to abortion with the right to force others to provide and pay for her “abortion related services” through government mandates, as a Jan. 15 [2016] letter recently did. In the name of respecting “a woman’s right to govern her body and her destiny,” the letter advocates denying to others the right to choose how to spend their own money.

But Roe v. Wade merely recognized a woman’s right to reproductive freedom, not a handout. Rights are guarantees to freedom of action to pursue one’s values, not an automatic claim on goods and services that others must be forced to provide. Just as there is a right to freedom of religion, not a right to be provided with a church, synagogue, or mosque; a right to gay marriage, not a right to be provided with a gay wedding cake; a right to freedom of speech, not a right to force the Star-Ledger to print your letter; there is a right to abortion, not a right to be provided with the means to pay for it.

Michael A. LaFerrara

Related Reading:

Defending Reproductive Rights Depends Upon Upholding All Rights

HHS Secretary Nominee Tom Price Whiffs in Confrontation With Bernie Sanders Over a ‘Right’ to Healthcare


Mike Kevitt said...

Rights, without exercising them, or without the means of exercising them, are meaningless. According to the liberal-progressive version of rights, we need legislation, presidential orders and judicial decisions 'authorizing' picking everybody's pockets to gain the means of exercising rights. According to the individual rights version of rights, we need laws and subsequent presidential orders and judicial decisions to protect our pockets so we can proceed to exercise our rights. Our pockets are either picked or protected. Both are accomplished by physical force. There is no argument nor any middle ground between the two.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

"Both are accomplished by physical force."

I know you understand this. But for clarity's sake, let me note that physical force to violate our rights is aggressive force. Physical force to protect our rights is defensive against the aggressors who initiate it. Both functions are accomplished by physical force, but the nature of the force is opposite.

Mike Kevitt said...

Yes, that's right. Thanks for the clarification. Many people need it, if they can take it on the right terms. The nature of the force is opposite, and there's no middle ground between the two. No negotiation, no argument.