“Freedom” is a strange word in our day. It has been used in so many contexts at so many times that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it means now to most speakers and advocates. More than not, however, it is safe to assume that post-moderns use the word to sum up their “right” to do what they want, when they want, where they want. “Whatever” they want. No, it’s not our Founding Fathers’ notion of “freedom” in the least, but it’s a stipulation we’re working under in the 21st century.
The problem with such a definition is that in many cases, “freedom” is so ego-centric it’s self-defeating.
For example, although it can be argued that many rightly appealed to “freedom” as a justification for women’s equality in some battles of the early 20th century, a far more left-leaning swath of advocates appealed to the same for an ideologically driven agenda aimed at lessening gender-based policies and America’s ongoing allegiance to the family as it has always been understood. As a result of the latter, instead of increasing their enjoyment of freedom, women actually face a “freedom gap” that was not present prior to the legacy of Roe v Wade (1973).
This is chiefly due to the fact that one of the clearest results of the revisionist legal movement in the United States was the court-ordered allowance of abortion on demand in Roe, and it’s now demonstrable that one of the unforeseen outcomes of such abortion practices has been the killing of far more preborn girls than preborn boys (that is, in the name of “freedom,” women are literally killing themselves.)
And sadly, this “freedom gap” is even more pronounced if we look at it internationally, where many countries also went down the path of accepting the practice of killing preborn children on demand and have, as a result, seen girls aborted at exponentially higher levels than boys.
In South Korea, for instance, “the sex ratio for first births…was 104 boys for every 100 girls…in 1989.” But if a couple’s first child was a girl, they turned to abortion in order to prevent the birth of a second girl and the result was a sex ratio for second births of 113 boys to 100 girls. For the third birth it was 185 boys for 100 girls and for the fourth, 209 boys for 100 girls. In India alone, where abortion based on gender is rampant, it is estimated that up to 12 million girls were aborted between the years 1980 and 2010.
According to researcher Mara Hvistendahl, throughout the world there have been so many “sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls” that should have been born were killed instead.
One-hundred sixty-three million. Could a greater “freedom gap” be imaginable?
Yet it seems that even when confronted with these numbers, the left remains so adamant about protecting “access” to abortion that they aren’t prepared to give an inch. And some even argue that “women become scarce, their value increases, and…this as a positive development.” When Thomas Jefferson wrote the words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as a summary of the kind of freedoms we were meant to enjoy, it was foremost in his mind, and implicit in the phrase itself, that “life” is the first of many conditions for the “liberty” and “happiness” that follow. Today, we are trying to pursue “liberty” and “happiness” without giving “life” its rightful place, and it’s simply not working.
Instead of freedom, women now have a “freedom gap” as a result of the policies of the left.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.