Conservatives and liberals alike should be outraged at the abuse of government power in the contraceptive rights battle being waged against pregnant mothers.
What has transpired over the past few years, particularly the last 18 months, is a slew of laws have been passed to try to curb abortion.
Abortion is a treacherous topic to be sure, but social conservatives have clouded the issue with an overstep of state’s authority.
Virginia is the latest state to try and shape our behavior (well, ‘their’ behavior. I don’t have a uterus) by proposing a law to mandate an invasive ultrasound before having an abortion.
Other states require less invasive measures, but are no less threatening to our liberties.
By law, women are allowed to get abortions.
You can agree with the law or disagree with the law, but if you disagree, it can’t be your platform as a conservative, to use the long reach of the state’s arm to infringe on a woman’s rights.
If you don’t like the law, change it.
The problem is you can’t, on the one hand, be a champion of religious freedom and personal liberty in the contraceptive mandate from Obama and then disallow a woman who, claiming no religious affiliation, intends to exercise what are her legal rights.
We’ll call it the Ron Paul stance (although Paul has changed his mind on this issue a number of times it seems).
At various times, the Texas Congressman and GOP
doubtful hopeful has expressed that while he believes abortion is wrong, the government has no right to interfere with the rights of a woman to manage her own body.
Social conservatives and Pro-life advocates can certainly come up with plenty of rights-based arguments to disagree with the latter portion of his argument.
If abortion were not legal, it’d be much easier for conservatives to make the case that all of these extra procedures should be mandated as part of the law because, frankly, the government has the right to limit freedoms not already established.
I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, just that the government has that right, and small-government conservatives would have firmer grounds to oppose abortion. In other words, if the government is offering a measure of freedom, in this case an abortion, it has the right to add stipulations to that freedom without being draconian because at the end of the day, it’s still a net positive freedom.
Given that abortion is already legal and Roe v. Wade has little chance of being overturned, it’s a conservative’s responsibility to protect those freedoms from the government.
If you don’t like the law, make an argument based on the freedom of the fetus and the importance of protecting life, and change the law.
A conservative can, in good civic conscience, reduce the liberty of some in favor of expanding liberty for others, particularly in a case like this where the group losing liberty has considerably more freedom than those receiving it.
It’s not hard to have considerably more freedom than a group with none.