Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ultrasound Mandate Violates Individual Rights

In a 3/14/12 editorial, Facts behind Doonesbury abortion comic no laughing matter, the NJ Star-Ledger criticized a Texas law that "requires a woman who chooses abortion to undergo a sonogram." The editors defended Garry Trudeau for his contraversial Doonesbury cartoon on the subject, saying:

The important thing to keep in mind is that Trudeau is working from the facts. And that — not the comic strip format itself — is the most disturbing thing of all.

This is the most extreme of abortion restrictions involving ultrasounds in 20 states. Trudeau brings his considerable wit — and rage — to bear on the topic. He takes comedic liberties, embellishing for effect but staying true to the spirit of the law.

And by depicting a lawmaker in the doctor’s office, Trudeau is only making literal the essence of this outrageously intrusive law: government officials injecting themselves into the private lives of women.

A week later, Kyle Beiter, M.D. responded to the editorial in a letter-to-the-editor dubbed No laughing matter: Reduce abortions. He writes, in part:

If the editorial’s authors classify a transvaginal ultrasound as “abuse,” how would they classify abortion? Abortions are much more “invasive” than diagnostic ultrasounds. ... Many times, I’ve heard pro-abortion activists claim, “We need to decrease the number of abortions; let’s throw more contraception at the situation.”

Yet they change their tune when the government proposes another method to decrease abortions. The ultrasounds are an effort at reminding our society that we are killing the unborn within us.

It has been said a state can be measured by how it protects its weakest members. Who are the weakest members of our society if not unborn children who cannot speak for themselves?

I posted this response:

March 21, 2012 at 5:07PM

Since Dr. Beiter seems to favor the government’s birth control mandate, I wonder on what basis he defends the unborn. The mandate violates the rights of insurers by forcing them to include coverage in their policies and of their customers who are forced to purchase the coverage whether they want to or not.

The “weakest” member of society is the individual … any individual. America was founded on the principle of unalienable individual rights, thus for the first time in history establishing a nation offering the individual explicit constitutional protection from tyrannical government. What are insurance mandates if not invasive and abusive; i.e. tyranny?

Both the birth control mandate and the ultrasound mandate violate individual rights, and this is no laughing matter. The principle of unalienable rights, which is the very foundation of this country, means only one thing: the rights of one can not negate the rights of another. Anyone who would violate the individual rights of anyone - by, for example, advocating mandates - negates all rights, including any alleged “rights” of the unborn, and can not claim to be the defender of “the weakest members of our society.”

Despite its emotional nature, the abortion issue is fundamentally about individual rights. I am in the process of articulating my position on the issue in a three-part Abortion Statement titled "Abortion and Individual Rights." You can read Part I here.

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