I wrote a copious amount of this elsewhere but am recording it here. Increasingly arguments against a woman’s right to an abortion and other methods of birth control are growing intolerable in logical inconsistencies and blatant cognitive dissonance in the ideological matrix of those who champion them. Most obviously, those against government interference with private purchases (like insurance) insisting that birth control not be covered rather than left to the individual at the range of option for insurance plans are allowing government to interfere and engaging in advocating exactly what they are against.
Secondly, the assertion that a pharmacist who denies a client birth control because it is against the religious beliefs of the pharmacist is only practicing the “inalienable” right to religious belief as protected by the United States Constitution, and that an inalienable right—a right that is upheld without requiring the consent of another party, such as the right to life or belief, and thus cannot be mandated by government legislation—trumps a civil right is not only false by example but demonstrably false because even when this incorrect example is observed in different circumstances the allegation is faulty: the right to vote is inalienable because it is a manifestation of free speech, but for a vote to be counted is a civil right requiring another to provide time and consent just as a doctor provides skills to a client. And the civil right to a counted vote must be observed regardless of the racist, sexist, or religious (inalienable right to) beliefs of others. Even with the previous incorrect distinction, the civil right does not trump the inalienable right. Of course this is because the correct definition is that the practice of a belief is not an inalienable right, only the right to belief itself is alienable. A pharmacist can believe birth control is immoral and the right to that belief is inalienable, but to practice that belief is not. The practice of religion is a civil right, not inalienable.
In other words, they can’t deny you the vote, but they can believe you shouldn’t have it. They can’t deny you the medication, but they can believe you shouldn’t have it.
They can practice their beliefs (religious or otherwise) until that practice gets in my way without my consent. And civil rights, unlike inalienable rights, are protected through government legislation.
Voting has very clearly been classified as a civil right, all through history. There were measures taken by legislation to protect it. Conservatives play this fun little game in which they conflate a right with the access to it; even if you can get them to admit abortion is a right, they will insist that access to an abortion is not a right. So if we still required testing piror to allowing people to practice their right to vote in order to limit their access, would conservatives deny it is an affront to their rights? This is no different from, “Oh, sure, you have the right to the morning after pill if you paid for it; you just don’t have the right to actually be able to make that purchase if your doctor is personally against it.”
Why should I fund churches with my tax money, while they have tax exempt status, so that religious individuals could force their beliefs into the functions of my life and limit my freedoms? I’m not allowed healthcare on “their” dollar (because I’m not paying too apparently) but I have to fund their religious activities?
For a voting system to function a service is demanded from an outside party (it takes time to count votes) the same way a service is demanded from a pharmacist. The person counting a vote cannot declare dismissively, “I’m not taking your ballot since I have a problem with your race because I’m an asshole!” To purchase contraceptives, or to have access to healthcare, does not take away from the doctor’s access to healthcare. The same way one vote does not take away from another’s vote.
The vote itself is inalienable, but the time (or equipment) required to count it is civil. A person can say whatever he or she wants (inalienable right to speech), but needs someone’s consent for the recognition of the opinion he or she has expressed. The pharmacists’ beliefs are an inseparable and inalienable right, but to practice them (and employ them in the workplace at the inconvenience of others) is not.
Healthcare is not an inalienable right. That doesn’t mean it isn’t civil. And this is a reason it is entirely conceivable that healthcare is a right.
To be perfectly honest I don’t care whether conservatives do or don’t conclude health care is a right; I am far more interested in holding them accountable for the logical inconsistencies, the blatant favoritism, and the incredible hypocrisy of stating healthcare is not a right because consent is required to make that purchase and simultaneously passing legislation forcing women to dedicate our very entire bodily existence against our consent to the healthcare of fetuses. And I am growing more and more impatient.
When a fetus cannot survive outside someone else’s body because it requires that woman’s blood supply and nourishment from every organ to live, anti-abortionists shame her into providing for it with her very vitality at the risk of her death. I sincerely hope they are as enthusiastic about shaming those who refuse to become organ donors to the fullest extent while still alive, because other actual full human beings will die without their generous supply.
Therefore healthcare is demonstrably a right, not denotatively, based on the very mechanisms of the conservative ideology.
“Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins” is as the saying goes. But as long as anti-abortionists assert that a fetus, something that cannot survive outside the womb and needs to reside within my boundaries, for which it needs my consent has the right to the productions of, and consumption to, my body even at the risk of my own death, I will believe that healthcare is a RIGHT—I will believe that I am entitled to the care I require, even at the expense of others, and that I myself pay for. And I will believe that conservative anti-abortionists who do not affirm that everyone needs to donate their organs to save the lives of others who demand them are hypocrites. You’d stop swinging your fist at the degree that you can feel the air from my nose, but I’d suppose you’d be fine living off my very bodily existence?
Don’t tell me the definition of a right is different for you than it is for me.
I believe healthcare is a right because you have demonstrated that it is with your gratuitous policing, not because it fits my understood definition. Do I need this argument? Of course not. I can be pro-choice without it, based on other arguments. But it is pretty solely because of this that I believe healthcare is a right (contemptuously), and you cannot give rights selectively to fetuses because you suspect they “might just” be too close to human, at the risk of others who are (inarguably) humans and in violation of their bodily rights. This is beyond punching someone in the nose.
No one who believes health care is not a right can be anti-choice.
And lastly, were the “right” of a pharmacist to deny a woman contraceptives applied in other areas, the entire system would dissolve into dysfunction: suppose every doctor decided they were religiously against medication for heart attacks, asthma, and urinary tract infections? Surely anyone can see how absurd this is? Why should any exemption exist for those against birth control, particularly since the woman on the other side of the counter’s life may be at even higher risk than the results of asthma and urinary tract infections? Those who cannot perform based on their religious beliefs should not hold those jobs in the first place. I’m Muslim and I don’t drink. I’m not going to get myself hired to waitress at a restaurant and then refuse to serve alcoholic drinks to those who order them. Imagine the outrage! I suppose the right to practice my religion—supposedly an inalienable right—would still be championed by conservatives then? Every conservative argument on this matter is unsound; otherwise, the arguments would hold in all circumstances, and I doubt conservatives would be willing.
3 thoughts on “Ideological Hypocrisy in Abortion Rights and Health Care: No One Who Believes Healthcare is Not a Right Can Be Anti-Choice.”
The conservatives in this country are extremists, predictable in their arguments as all extremists are because they are thoroughly irrational, illogical, and use emotion to coerce. What an excellent breakdown of the issue, Nahida! When will I be seeing your writing in publication (newspapers/magazines/journals)? Soon, I hope. You should try to get this published in the opinion section of The NYT.
Thanks! If only I knew the first thing about publishing =P
This was a very informative argument about healthcare and it makes me realize that I should most likely brush up on legal knowledge.