Jan 23, 2012

Posted by in Articles & Essays, Family Life, Health Care, Politics, Pro-Life, Women and Health | 0 Comments

Obama: Government, Privacy and Dreams

“As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue—no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”
~Barack Obama, as posted  Jan. 22, 2012, on his blog at http://www.barackobama.com/news/entry/on-the-39th-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade

Two points jumped out at me when reading this statement:

  1. The government should not intrude on private family matters.
  2. Somehow legalized abortions give women the same rights, freedoms and opportunities as men to achieve their dreams.

Barack Obama’s Statement on Roe V Wade, 1/22/12


I read this statement and wondered how this ruling affirms that the government should not intrude on private family matters. In many states, a female under the age of 18 can get an abortion without a parent being aware that she is having a serious medical procedure. In my own state, my underage children cannot get a vaccination without my consent, but my daughter could get an abortion without my knowledge. Is this not intruding on private family matters while also taking away my parental rights?

The government intrudes on the medical care options we have available, from forcing medical insurance on families to deciding what expenses are covered. If you are a patient insured by Medicaid or Medicare, the government decides which medications and procedures are approved for the poorest and oldest in our society, taking medical choices out of the hands of families and their doctors. Universities commonly force students to pay for health insurance, which often automatically cover abortions, even if the students to not want or need that type of coverage. Is this not intruding on private family matters and personal choice?

The government also wants to mandate what our children eat at school and what they eat at home – with many schools making it mandatory that children eat food provided by the schools, paid for by the parents – unless the families are eligible for free lunches. While it is admirable that Michelle Obama wants our children to be fit and healthy, even as she eats junk food and her husband smokes cigarettes, should not parents have the final say on what their own children eat? Is this not intruding, once again, on family matters?

I read this statement and would like to know how legalized abortion ensures that our daughters will “have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.” Our daughters and sons already have the same opportunities to achieve their dreams. Abortion does not somehow make this achievement more accessible to the females in our society than it does to the males.

Legalized abortion does not give women more access to education and careers. There are already other laws in place to ensure that our daughters have the same access to schools and jobs. Parents and families also play a role in determining that all of their children can achieve their dreams, no matter their sex.

Legalized abortion does not afford women who choose to be mothers, along with those who choose not to be mothers, any more benefits than those received by men who are parents or men who are not parents. The President’s statement seems to indicate that abortion somehow gives women equality to men when in fact it does nothing of the sort. Roe v. Wade was born out of the misguided notion by the Supreme Court that a right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that it must also be balanced against the state’s reasons for regulating the procedure: protecting prenatal life and protecting a woman’s health.

I do applaud the part of President Obama’s statement that states we must support pregnant women and mothers, along with prevention of unintended pregnancies. He is right when he stated that we should promote adoption and encourage healthy relationships. We can do these things without promoting the killing of the unborn, who are the weakest in our society and do not have a voice. We can also do these things without compromising the rights, freedoms and opportunities for all of our children, no matter their sex.


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