Sunday, June 30

Left Freedom, Right Freedom

Down in Texas they were debating a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  The bill failed to pass, largely because of an eleven hour filibuster by State Senator, Wendy Davis which prevented the bill from being voted on before the deadline.

Opponents of the bill argued that it infringes on a woman's “reproductive freedom”.  Maybe they have a point.  We conservatives talk about freedom and the need to preserve it all the time, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to defend ourselves.  In this case, the left says that they are defending a woman’s right to decide whether she wants to terminate a pregnancy.  It’s her body, and her problem.  Is saying that a woman has a right to have an abortion the same as a gun owner saying that he has the right to keep and bear arms?  There both personal choices, so what’s the difference?

Here’s where a lot of conservatives “get stuck”.  They might feel that they know what’s right, but apparent logic of a pro-choice person’s position in an argument similar to the paragraph above may seem infallible.  Fortunately, it’s not.  Their logic is flawed, and I’ll explain why.

The right to own a gun and the right to have an abortion are nothing the same.  Why?  Pro-Abortion advocates like to describe themselves as “pro-choice” and being the defenders of women’s freedom, but you know what?  Women have always had the freedom of choice, and always will, even if all the pro-abortion people just dried up and blew away.  All free people have the freedom of choice in most matters - right up to the point where their actions have negative consequences affecting the lives of others.  

Except in the case of rape, (and there is almost no need to bring that up because so few people are against abortions such a case) all women who have became pregnant had the freedom to choose to become pregnant or not, without anyone else infringing upon it.  Once a woman becomes pregnant however, like it or not, other people besides just her have become involved.  So much for the “it’s just her and her body argument”.

What the “pro-choice” people really are, is “pro-do-over”.  “I didn’t want to get pregnant, but I did, so I want a do-over.”  What’s so special about unwanted pregnancies that so many people feel they warrant do-overs?  

Who else get’s do-overs?  Do drunk drivers?  Hell no!  They’re held to even higher standards.  Even if they’re driving down a deserted road and a quarter mile from home, we feel that we must nail them to the wall.  In such a case, we don’t punish them for the harm they caused, we punish them for the harm they might do, or could have caused.

No one’s asking unmarried women who have sex (the vast majority of women who have abortions) to be punished for the harm they might cause.  Some people are suggesting however, that they be responsible once other lives are involved.  Everyone talks about how horrible drunk drivers are, but compare the number of deaths caused by drunk driving to the number of deaths caused by abortion.  

The convicted drunk driver would love to have a chance for a do-over, but no one’s ever gonna let him have it.  A person has the freedom to choose whether he or she is going to become a drunk driver, every bit as much as a woman has the freedom to choose whether she become pregnant, and since they both have the same freedom of choice, they should both be held responsible for their actions.   

Once a person understands this, it’s easy to see that there is no comparing the right to own a gun with the “right” have an abortion.  The pro-choice position is more comparable to an irresponsible gun owner asking that he not be held accountable for a death he caused because of his irresponsible handling of a firearm.  No gun ownership rights advocates are asking for anything like that, quite the opposite, if anything.

Both the left and the right talk about freedom, but by freedom, they mean two very different things.  Conservatives understand that in order to have a functioning society, freedom and rights must be intrinsically tied to responsibility and accountability.  Liberals view freedom as freedom from responsibility, but freedom from responsibility can only exist where freedom itself does not.

After reading all this, you’d might think that I am anti-abortion.  I honestly don’t know where I stand on the issue.  Things are going to be a mess whether abortion is legal, illegal, or legal in some cases.  I just don’t feel right about allowing pregnant women who acted irresponsibly (along with the men who were involved), do-overs without consequence when we don’t cut anyone else the same amount of slack.

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