Freedom of choice is a basic right, as long as you accept the consequences
By: David Coughlin
I believe in Freedom of Choice as a basic Right in all personal matters, as long as you accept the consequences of your actions. Whether to engage in the act of sex is a perfect example: sex is a personal choice that can be enjoyed with whomever you please. If the choice is removed, a crime has been committed. As long as the adults are consenting, there are no restrictions. However sex has a potential consequence that must be considered. If pregnancy is not desired there are numerous, inexpensive contraception alternatives readily available.
The dilemma arises when the consequences of your initial choice produces a new human being, whose Rights must also be considered. This conception of a new human life introduces an entirely new, independent choice decision. Becoming pregnant is not just an inconvenience, but rather the beginning of a new life story. It is no longer a discussion about contraception, but instead the choice is whether to end this new human life.
The issues involve who makes the decision, when the baby is aborted, and who pays for this procedure. Pregnancy is the consequence of two people’s personal choice, but only the woman has the personal choice to terminate this emerging human life.
The decision when to abort this new life increases personal guilt as time goes on since infant viability improves as the fetus develops. Terminating in the first trimester is viewed as humane, while second or later trimester is viewed as inhumane due to medical advances demonstrating survivability at earlier and earlier gestation. There is now discussion of how late the abortion can take place, since partial birth abortions effectively take place at birth. If the baby survives this procedure the moral question arises can the baby be aborted after birth to ensure the initial abortion decision is honored? Many religious people do not condone abortions at any time.
Personal choices are the responsibility of the decision makers. A majority of Americans do view abortion as a personal choice today, but do not think society must subsidize and pay for another’s personal choice. We should not be forced to pay for other’s contraception nor should we be forced to pay for other’s abortions.
Our Constitution protects our Freedom of Choice in all personal matters, but recently there have been a number of attempts to isolate the person from the consequences of their actions. Our decision is whether society must pay to enable and subsidize us from the consequences of our actions.
David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).