Thursday, June 22, 2006

Another slippery slope

Posted by Craig Westover | 9:31 AM |  

In today's Pioneer Press, Kathleen Parker does a nice number ridiculing the easily-ridiculed smoking ban crowd, but to my way of thinking this is the money quote worth thinking about.
While it is legally defensible to abort a fetus, it is apparently inconceivable that a woman would expose her unborn child to the harmful effects of smoking.
Parker uses that line to imply the hypocrisy of the smoking ban position of fetal health. Smoking bans aren’t about fetal health or employee health or anybody’s health -- they are about social engineering and creating the kind of place people in power would like to live. But that’s plowed ground. Parker’s comment opens a fresh field.

Those that would move to use government force to ban abortions have to come to grip with the slippery slope of putting government into the fetal protection business and in effect endorsing legislation of precisely the kind Parker ridicules in her column.

I have no problem condemning abortion as birth control as one of the most despicable of human actions. But imposing a ban on abortions literally puts the government into the fetal protection business. Instead of the current situation where each abortion choice affects a single pregnancy, government in the fetal protection business affects every pregnancy in the country. A natural miscarriage is not a “natural miscarriage” until the government says it is so.

In a free society, sometimes one has to concede that, as Parker notes, “people have a right to be stupid, to make bad decisions” and I would add do reprehensible and immoral things. In the case of abortion, it is better that a few women misuse their freedom than government insert itself in every womb. Conservatives should think about whether or not that is where they really want to go.