Tuesday, February 07, 2012

No “Right” to Abortion or Birth Control

Saturday, February 4, 2012
Wesley J. Smith

Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker writes about the intimidation tactics wielded by the Left against the Catholic Church with Obama’s Free Birth Control Rule and in the How Dare Komen defund the sacrosanct Planned Parenthood! brouhaha. She starts her column with an unintentionally false assertion. From “Komen, Catholics and the Cost of Conscience:”
Two of the top news stories this week have revolved around reproductive rights, though both raise far more troubling issues than a woman’s right to contraception or abortion.
Parker is writing loosely, but this is an important liberty point: Women don’t have the “right to an abortion,” as in, the constitutional right to obtain it under force of law. Ditto contraception. That would be a positive right to receive the service or procedure. There is, as yet, no such positive right to either Indeed, that is what the fight over medical conscience is all about.

Women do have the right to obtain it if they can find a willing provider–a negative right against state interference with that “choice.” Neither Griswald v. Connecticut, which prevented the state from restricting birth control to married couples (how quaint), nor Roe v. Wade, which prevented the states from criminally punishing abortion in most cases, created positive rights. They created negative rights. the rest


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