If politicians haven’t already triggered enough emotions this season, lawmakers in Ohio last week have done it again.
On December 6th, Ohio legislators added a clause to House Bill 493, allowing for the ban of abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. If it goes into effect it will land Ohio near the top spot when it comes to abortion regulation, and since I live in Ohio, I’d like to weigh in on the matter.
The duty of the United States government has always been, above all else, to preserve the life and liberty of its people. With abortion, though, how can the state protect one without violating the other? Ruling in favor of the child’s life requires that it be placed above the mother’s freedom. The adverse effects of allowing a government to disregard freedom in pursuit of a popular agenda can already be seen in our country. Just walk into an airport and you’ll see all the violations we’ve endured in the name of fighting terrorism. However, even when the child has all the rights of every other person, they still require one more than the rest of us. According to Murray Rothbard, who else among us has the right to remain unhidden and unwanted, inside another human being’s body? Surely, none of us are afforded that right.
Conversely, ruling in favor of the mother’s freedom equates to saying the child’s life is less significant. Implicitly stating that the ends justify the means, where the mother’s preservation of freedom is the goal. This argument has been used to justify some of the worst atrocities ever committed, especially when those approved means include taking another’s life. Which doesn’t help downplay the fact we are asking the state to find a one-size-fits-all solution to prioritizing life and liberty. So, then, how do we solve this?
What if it’s simply beyond the scope of what the government was intended to do? Would that really be a catastrophe? There are examples every day where we see the shortcomings of comprehensive regulations. Would you think it wise to choose one speed limit to govern every road in the country? Of course not. Different speeds make sense for different terrains, population densities, and so on. The inefficiencies of only allowing one speed are easily recognizable, yet we bicker for one absolute ruling on something much more complex.
It’s time we admit the limitation of asking the state to solve our problems for us. So far it has led to several harmful results. This year we’re seeing drug overdoses outpace gun deaths for the first time; even though we have numerous regulations on guns and strict enforcement of our drug laws. Now we want abortion bans that will also cause the unnecessary loss of life, whether it be the mother or the child.
For this reason, any opinion by the state on abortion will be met with derision, and will certainly not solve our problem. It doesn’t matter whether your personal beliefs led you to be pro-choice or pro-life. Let’s recognize that these mandates equate to nothing more than a participation trophy done to make us feel like we did our part. Instead, making criminals out of citizens who, otherwise, would just be in a difficult situation looking for the best plausible solution. We need to start looking in ourselves and others for compassion and alternatives to individual scenarios. It just isn’t in the realm of possibility for the state to solve right now, and that’s okay.
This post was written by Thomas J. Eckert.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.