The Stupak amendment, the greatest rollback of rights for women in decades is now in that thing the House has been calling a “Health Care” bill. (Links from Reclusive Leftist, The Confluence, WiredLeft.)
But women are just, as always, the expendable canaries in the coal mine. Their rights are toast, which means so are everyone else’s.
I’m going to shout that: WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE TOAST WHICH MEANS SO ARE EVERYONE ELSE’S.
Rights are for all. When only some people have them, they’re just privileges. And privileges can be taken away.
Think through the consequences of what equal rights for all really means, and you wind up with a system that doesn’t look much like what we have now. There’s lots more about it here, but this is the bit (paraphrased) that concerns us right now:
The right to control one’s own person is fundamental. Even the right not to be murdered is secondary, since killing is allowed in self-defence.
Abortion muddies the argument only because some people believe the fetus is a person with legal rights greater than those of the mother since it can require her life support. There is nothing to stop women from believing this and living accordingly because there is a right to control one’s own body. Depending on beliefs, an individual’s dilemma about abortion may be very complex.
But fair social policies are simple. Either everyone can live according to their beliefs, or nobody can. And personhood is necessarily a belief, a social or religious category. It’s not possible for it to be a matter of objective fact. Biology can only determine who belongs in the species Homo sapiens, but no cellular marker lights up when someone is due to get legal rights.
I’ll repeat: personhood is necessarily a matter of belief, whether that’s based on religion or social consensus.
Therefore those who oppose abortion because they believe the fetus is a person with special status have to hope they are never successful in legislating how others handle their pregnancies. If they are, it means that exceptions could be made to the right to control one’s own person.
Once that principle is admitted, then there is nothing to stop a majority with different beliefs from legislating forced abortions.
Over-population is, after all, the source of the environmental problems killing the planet.
There is nothing to stop an aging population from requisitioning a kidney from healthy people walking around with a spare.
There is nothing to stop doctors from performing medical experiments on you for the public good.
There is nothing to stop the majority from deciding all those old folks are too expensive to live.
Really. Nothing. Once you take away the right to control your own body.
Extreme? Sure. So why is it okay when applied to women?
Stupak, abortion, Health Care Reform Act, HRCA