Freedom of Contraception

The federal government has told a judge it will reverse course and take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions.

The Department of Justice, in the latest development in a complex back-and-forth over access to the morning-after pill, notified U.S. District Judge Edward Korman it will submit a plan for compliance. If he approves it, the department will drop its appeal of his April ruling.

Last week, the appeals court dealt the government a setback by saying it would immediately permit unrestricted sales of the two-pill version of the emergency contraception until the appeal was decided. That order was met with praise from advocates for girls’ and women’s rights and with scorn from social conservatives and other opponents, who argue the drug’s availability takes away the rights of parents of girls who could get it without their permission.
(Source: Associated Press)

Obama is right on this one. But not for the right reasons.

Why is it right to keep the government’s hands off contraceptive pills? Because the individual has the right to determine the course of his or her own life, and to be sovereign over that life. Few areas better illustrate this than the choice of whether, or when, to reproduce.

Self-determination and individual sovereignty? You had better believe these are never Obama’s motives.

It’s not a male/female issue. It’s not a ‘social’ issue. It’s not a race or economic issue. It’s an individual rights issue, plain and simple. As for the age of consent for birth control, that’s a borderline issue subject to debate—but it’s not the real issue here.

If Obama were right about contraception for the right reasons, he would immediately call for repeal of Obamacare. Obamacare, like Medicare, is based on the premise that medical care is a publicly owned natural resource. It’s based on the following assumptions:

1) Doctors have no rights, which is why government owns and operates the practice of medical care via a national health board, which will have final say over costs and covered procedures.

2) Patients have no rights, because in any conflict between their doctor and the government—government wins. Somehow, when a for-profit insurance company does this, it’s automatically monstrous; when the government does the same thing, it’s automatically valid and virtuous.

Yes, under Obamacare doctors and patients have certain freedoms. But only on the government’s terms, and only when the government says they do. That’s not freedom.

Obamacare eschews the notion of individual rights. Its purpose is to give government more leverage, not patients or health care providers. Not drug manufacturers, either.

Under Obamacare, the FDA will retain and strengthen its control over the manufacture and distribution of medicine. Free market for medicine? If the spirit and letter of Obamacare has its way, there will be no for-profit marketplace at all for medication in years to come. It will all be government-run, Soviet Russia style. Drug companies will make a profit not by pleasing customers and by saving lives, but by doing the politicians’ and bureaucrats’ bidding. (In case you haven’t noticed, these are not necessarily the same thing.)

The Obama Administration, like the leftist Big Government model more generally, is a strange thing to behold. Somehow, none of us have a right to purchase medical care or medical services/insurance in a free marketplace. Government must have its hand in everything. But with the odd and lone exception of contraception, we’re inexplicably left alone.

The conservatives are just as contradictory. They run around claiming there should be a free market for everything, except for sex and contraception. It’s easy to explain this inconsistency. These ‘social conservatives’ simply don’t approve of sex for its own sake (or at least don’t wish to be seen that way).

Contraception makes sex about pleasure and fulfillment, and this throws many conservatives into a rage. It’s the same way profit and capitalism throws many leftists into a rage. Each side is at war with life and freedom, each in its own way.

In the end, social conservatives are the losers and leftists are the Establishment in charge of the agenda, for better or worse. At the rate we’re going, it seems that sex and contraception will be the only freedoms we have left.


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