Pro-Choice is Conservative!

By Gord Gekko
web posted October 1996

It nearly happened again. Abortion nearly created a schism in the Republican Party during the nominating convention. Only due to skillful maneuvering and a fear to actually resolve an issue did the Republicans escape from fracturing into factions.

It is the danger of describing your political ideology as that of the "individual" when it is not completely. The inherent contradictions that the conservative movement carries is a direct result of the marriage of collectivist elements with those that promote freedom. The American conservative movement describes itself as a champion of the individual, of the free market and of common sense. Why then, does this same movement deny an individual right?

You can spare me your quotation of scripture in support of your anti-choice stand (and guess what, the Bible says nothing about abortion). You can spare me your decidedly unscientific notions of when life begins (as a libertarian stated in a recent article, "The concept 'unborn life' does not make sense to me"). The fact that you don't like abortion means very little. No one likes abortion, but then it seems no one likes radio 'personality' Lowell Greene either, yet we support his right to act like a buffoon.

So why should pro-choice be a conservative plank? Because it is an individual choice. I shall repeat this for people who apparently do not mind railing against the government because their taxes are too high, but want government invention in the womb of a woman. It is an individual choice. The government does not have the right to interfere with individual's decisions concerning their body. Period.

"Responsible parenthood involves decades devoted to the child's proper nurture. To sentence a woman to bear a child against her will is an unspeakable violation of her rights: her right to liberty (to the functions of her body), her right to the pursuit of happiness, and, sometimes, her right to life itself, even as a serf. Such a sentence represents the sacrifice of the actual to the potential, which has no life in the human sense of the term. It is sheer perversion of language for people who demand this sacrifice to call themselves "right-to-lifers."
- Leonard Peikoff

Neither the pontiff in Rome, the lawmakers in the capital or you have the right to force a human being to become a slave to the functioning of their body. The choice to have a child ultimately rests with a individual -- and that right is untouchable.

But why is pro-choice a conservative issue?

We are the movement of freedom. With freedom sometimes comes behavior that we personally find repugnant. I do not like many things in society, but they exist because of the same freedoms that I have so that I may do other things with my mind. You may not like abortion. If you are rational though, you must understand that it is an individual choice. You may consider it murder. You may consider it the greatest sin against whatever deity you subscribe too. You must still understand that it is not your choice.

Fence-sitting is usually the greatest evil. The way I look at it, one can look at the facts and come up with the wrong result. That is okay. It is a result of an honest mistake and that person can be persuaded rationally that they are wrong. Fence-sitters are the greatest evil because they may know what is right and still not support it. This time though, fence-sitting may be the correct course of action for parties who want to support the right to abortions but do not wish to unduly antagonize those in the fold who do not support this right. Perhaps all our political parties who are afraid to make any decisions already can add one more topic that they will not talk about. That way perhaps the debate can be closed and one more freedom can be safe.


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