Monday, 29 June 2009

"Pro-choice" Advocates Often Inconsistent

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pregnant womanI have been inveighing for so long against the hypocrisy of the “pro-choice” advocates, both in and out of government, that some people in my home state of New Hampshire have gotten the impression that I am a single-issue crusader.

For the record, I am also against a broad-based income or sales tax (New Hampshire still has neither), mandatory seat belt use for adults, unwarranted surveillance by the state, the state monopoly on liquor sales (yes, we have such a monopoly in New Hampshire), preventive detention, and unprovoked wars. And don’t get me started on the designated hitter rule, artificial turf, referees watching replays, or a sport for puckheads that requires two intermissions for every match when the MGM studios gave us the entire Civil War in Gone With the Wind and George C. Scott won World War II in Patton with just one intermission each.

But I digress. My point here is not that the “pro-choice” people are wrong about abortion. They are wrong, of course, but we have had that argument many times. I am focusing here on the inconsistency of the many “pro-choicers” who appear opposed to the “right to choose” in anything but “reproductive” matters. Take the issue of mandatory seat belts, for example. A great many people who were in favor of forcing adults to “buckle up” (New Hampshire still has no law requiring seat belt use by adults) are ardent champions of “choice” on abortion. I guess there’s just something about carving up babies in their mothers’ wombs as a matter of “choice” that tugs at the heartstrings of the humanitarian do-gooders.

Or take the issue of gambling. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, who is a true blue champion of reproductive “choice” for pregnant women and abortionists and has trouble politically in figuring out what “marriage” means, has recently taken expanded gambling “off the table” for the current legislative session in the Granite State. I understand he is open, however, to studying it for consideration in the next session. I guess the novelty of gambling has thrown the governor off stride. Like New Hampshire is a virgin on gambling? The state with the first lottery, with racetracks, with scratch tickets sold at every liquor and convenience store? There has been gambling in the world for about as long as there has been marriage. Why didn’t the governor insist on sending the state’s recently passed  “Marriage Equality Act,” which defines marriage as a union between two adults “regardless of gender,” to a committee for interim study? Instead, he signed it within a few weeks of having said he believed the term “marriage” should be reserved for a union between a man and a woman. Thus, New Hampshire became the latest state to legitimize “gay” marriage, leaving only tiny Rhode Island among the New England states to resist the same-sex zeitgeist.    

To be sure, opponents of expanded gambling have formed a coalition of extraordinary breadth, crossing partisan and ideological lines. It is no surprise to find the law-enforcement community, from the police chiefs to the attorney general, opposed to it. It is hardly surprising to find those of a puritan bent, who still believe in the Sunday “blue” laws, opposed to expanded gambling. Nor is it surprising to find those whose economic interests are threatened by the additional competition, like the bingo halls and the existing hospitality and entertainment venues, opposed to allowing casinos and slot machines in the state. But again, you will find the usual suspects from the “pro-choice” brigades — former gubernatorial candidates Arnie Arnesen and Jim Rubens come readily to mind — among the most vocal opponents of expanded gambling. Because, look, Jim Rubens would never have an abortion himself, but he couldn’t bring himself to impose that restriction on others. But Jim Rubens, who wouldn’t gamble himself, won’t let you play the slot machines, either. Being “pro-choice” has its limits, after all.

I’m not saying all “pro-choicers” are opposed to anything but reproductive choice. But a great many are. They are opposed to leaving you much choice as to how you allocate your dollars even for something as essential as healthcare. No, chances are you will find your typical “pro-choice” champions also crusading for a single-payer healthcare system that will be administered by the same compassionate national government that protects and subsidizes abortion, practices detention without trial of U.S. citizens, has maintained secret prisons in other parts of the world, and is involved in the bombing and torture of people in foreign lands. To the tender mercies of such a government, we should entrust the healthcare of 300 million Americans? And what would that do for “choice”?

I’m not enamored of the state healthcare program promoted by former Governor Mitt Romney and enacted in Massachusetts, but at least it is a one-state solution that is not imposed on the entire nation and does not violate the U.S. Constititution (which does not grant the U.S. government any authority to provide or manage healthcare) or the principles of federalism. But most of our conspicuous champions of “choice” want a national healthcare program, and they show little interest in or acquaintance with constitutional principles.

The standard “pro-choicers” may have a better record on decriminalizing marijuana, and for permitting it at least for medical use. Generally speaking, “choice” used to mean freedom before it became translated to mean the license to kill pre-born and even partially born babies. That’s the “choice” most “pro-choice” people most ardently defend. That is why “choice” has little meaning anymore, aside from being the popular buzzword for a modern-day American holocaust that has devoured millions — and has made what should be one of the safest places for a baby to be (the sanctuary of the womb) one of the most dangerous.