The legal defense of abortion rests on a claim of a right to privacy. Alas, following the argument below, it seems this right is used as a legal proxy and is not consistently applied. By legal proxy, I mean that it is the legal argument/excuse used to justify the legalization of abortion (for other reasons unstated) and is not a right which is given in other comparable or parallel circumstances. Consider the following three somewhat related cases involving immunization. Immunization is fundamentally a private thing involving the manipulation of your immune system, which is clearly a private part of your person. If the state feels it can adjust and order your immune system programming for its purposes, logically it can also do so in the case of pregnancy.

  1. Pubic schools demand immunization of children attending. While it might be said that public education is not a right, education is a requirement placed by the state on parents. You cannot legally raise your child and deny him or her an education. However that is not relevant to the question. The point is, immunization being private should not be a question asked or required to be answered by the state regarding education or any other purpose.
  2. When you travel abroad certain immunizations and proof of the same are required for exit and re-entry into the country. One cannot claim a right to privacy to waive this requirement. Again, if this is private how can the state justify this in the face of their stated alliance to a right of privacy. Should one not logically be able, akin to “claiming a fourth Amendment right” be able to stake a claim to one’s right to privacy and refuse to provide information regarding your immunization status?
  3. Consider the case of a modern carrier, a Typhoid Mary, if you will. That is to say, ,she/he is a person, symptom free, who is an active vector for a disease. I claim that this person if identified, would be given treatment and by court order if she refused. When this was suggested earlier in a comment, Boonton suggested she might be exiled. However this suggestion clearly fails under examination as the public/foreign relations problem of knowingly sending an active disease vector to another state is, well, just a little problematic. Perhaps we might also, in those states where there is no capital punishment, exile serial killers as well. The only realistic solution, once discovered, is that this person would be treated, willingly or not.

How is that from a legal standpoint are immunizations required? The logical reason is of course the health and safety of the people. Yet over a million are killed per year by abortion. That is clearly a health and safety issue for quite a number of human lives, in fact a quite terminal question for those. And, if you argue the non-personhood of a early term fetus, one still faces the 45 late term abortions performed per day … and after that a small number of executions of infants for whom that late term abortion was intended but botched (botched in that the infant was failed to be murdered at the appropriate moment in the delivery process). It is in this latter case that our current President (in)famously argued that those failed executions should be carried out at any rate.

So there is a logical inconsistency here. Abortion is claimed as a privacy right. Yet analogous privacy rights are waived every day in circumstance not related to abortion and the reason that right is waived is exactly the same claim made by the abortion opponents why abortion should be regulated if not prevented. So perhaps dropping the rights talk regarding privacy in the legal and ethical discussions might be helpful, for that’s really just a smoke screen for something else.

Filed under: AbortionMark O.

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