Jacob Sullum

Similarly, "a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion," is based on a constitutional argument -- not a very sound one, at least as laid out in Roe v. Wade, but nevertheless an argument about the proper relationship between government and the individual. True to form, the Democrats immediately add that women have a right to obtain abortions "regardless of ability to pay," once again conflating freedom from coercion with a claim on other people's resources. If the right to arms does not entail a right to gun subsidies, why would a right to abortion entail a right to abortion subsidies?

This fundamental confusion about rights was on display throughout the Democratic convention. Although Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, opposes legal restrictions on contraceptives, Fluke warned that a vote for him would be a vote for "an America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it." Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards likewise claimed that if you question government subsidies for her organization, or if you think insurers and employers should not be forced to offer health plans that cover contraceptives, you "want to end access to birth control."

Nancy Keenan, president of the National Abortion Rights Action League, declared that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act shows Obama "believes in a woman's right to make her own decisions." Yes, as long as the woman is not an insurer, an employer or a consumer interested in a health plan that does not meet the government's specifications.

Keenan also praised Obama for defending Fluke's "right to tell her story." At last: an actual right! Fluke surely should be free to tell her story, but that does not mean we have to listen.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @jacobsullum. To find out more about Jacob Sullum and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine and a contributing columnist on Townhall.com.
 
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