Right to Life/Abortion Rights

If it ever becomes the law that Americans have a fundamental right to freedom, that right would naturally include freedom of choice about medical procedures performed on one’s own body. For a free people, one can hardly think of anything more fundamental than the right to carry out the medical choices we make for our own selves. Government interference with these private choices is a double offense: It not only intrudes on the individual's physical integrity but it is, in addition, an annihilation of personal choice, an abnegation of freedom.

The right to human life is, of course, also a fundamental right. It is, however, highly contested whether unborn fetuses count as “human life” for this purpose. For most of our law’s history, they did not. Only recently has this been partially changed. In response to those changes, the U.S. Supreme Court has reached a compromise under which fetuses can be protected as “human life” after a certain stage in fetal development.

The main point, however, is this: The resolution of abortion rights/right-to-life questions should treat individual freedom as a fundamental right and never as an afterthought. It should place an extremely high priority on the choices made by those who are most directly affected.

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