The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


There is nothing more annoying to me than when a woman uses the phrase, “It’s my body and my right to choose.”  It’s as though dragging out that old bromide is the absolute, indisputable debate clincher and there is no response possible once it has been uttered.

If you don’t think about it very deeply, that phrase could be something that is part of the mantra and foundation of libertarianism.  It would appear to be something that we should endorse, living in a country which was founded with the proclamation that we have the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In entering into one of these conversations, I always ask the individual whether this is a right that inures only to women or do men get to play on that same level playing field?  Since it would be very un-PC and sexist to restrict that right to only one gender, naturally the response that I get (after some hemming and hawing) is that it applies to everyone.

My follow up to that answer normally runs along the lines of, “So, you’re saying that the man who is a rapist and acts to fulfill the commands his mind is issuing and his body is able to accomplish is justified in doing what he does?  Or it’s okay for the mayor of San Diego  to grab women’s butts or breasts because he finds that satisfying?”

Since they haven’t really thought about the logical conclusion to their statement, I always receive a horrified look and a gushy, “You’d have to be nuts to believe that,” kind of response.  Implicit in their answer is the key to this entire issue.  That is, there are certain things which society deems “proper behavior” and others which it does not condone.

With all the headlines that are coming out of the Obamacare debacle, I find myself having more or these conversations than formerly.  Many of the women I know who voted for his second term did so because of “women’s issues”.  And I find that, if you’ll pardon the pun, to be very fertile ground for debate.

When someone identifies herself as “pro choice” I normally offer the following scenario.

A woman goes to a restaurant which has an extensive menu.  She might select the Lobster Newburg or order a garden salad for dinner.  She has freely  made a choice.  No one has looked over her shoulder or coerced her into selecting one entrée over another.  But if she chose the Newburg her bill is going to be higher than what she would have spent on the salad and she should be prepared to pay the price for it.

The one word that I find most lacking in the vocabulary of those who are “pro choice” is the word “wisely”.  Yes, we all have the power to choose and we all exercise that every day.  But to choose wisely, well that takes some thought and an admission that our decisions have consequences not only for us but for our society as well.

There is a reason that the word wisely is not a part of the “pro choice” lexicon.  This is not meant as a condemnation of anyone who holds that view who has arrived at her position on the subject in a thoughtful way.  Although I disagree with their position, I can respect the fact that they made it in an informed manner.

My statement is based on my observation of people who have gravitated to that position without thinking about all of its implications or who have merely adopted their view because all of their friends think the same way.  It is predicated on my observation of how they deal with their acquaintance and friendships.  These are merely my empirical observations – and I would be the first to admit that those are limited in number.

But, based on what I’ve seen, looking at the anecdotal evidence of how almost all  of them conduct their lives, I cannot escape the conclusion that most of those who are “pro choice” have adopted their outlook for one simple reason.

They simply do not believe they should be held accountable for their actions.

Fortunately for them, the United States currently has a government that shares that viewpoint as it demonstrates the exact same behavior on a daily basis.  But when people and their governments lose sight of their moral perspective, history teaches, in countless examples, that the end is very near at hand.

Like the house built over a sink hole, the abyss that will swallow us all may arrive at any moment.  Then there will be no more choices to make as the sands of time sweep us under the roiling earth – perhaps to be replaced with something wiser and better.

Comments on: "THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE" (14)

  1. bodycrimes said:

    I think you and your friends are trapped in a misunderstanding – the ‘right to choose’ is shorthand for ‘right to choose what happens to my own body’. So, yes, men get to choose what happens to their own body, but not to anybody else’s. There’s nothing in ‘right to choose’ that would allow a man to become someone who gropes or rapes.

    You’re quite right, though, that abortion is part of a menu of choices. She can choose to carry a baby to term and keep it, or carry it to term and adopt it, or have an abortion. Each of these has different outcomes, some of which are weightier than others.

    Judging by how many children are neglected or abused, you’re right that some people clearly are not choosing wisely.

    • I’m not sure who “my friends” are whom you reference in your comment. The thoughts that I share in these posts are simply my own based on personal observation and life experiences.

      “Judging by how many children are neglected or abused, you’re right that some people clearly are not choosing wisely.”

      I couldn’t agree more with your statement – and that is tragic. However, there are many families who have three or four children and offer each of them love and security. One of those children becomes a serial killer. Would you argue that the family should not have had any of these kids?

      We live in a turbulent world. If we judge by the news stories there are a lot more violent people in it than those whose lives are committed to peace and love. Apparently, we give birth to more Hitlers than Gandhis. So if I follow your logic, the ultimate conclusion would be that by eliminating all future births, we could resolve this problem.

      “…the ‘right to choose’ is shorthand for ‘right to choose what happens to my own body’.”

      When you describe the choices available, including abortion, you omit two others which are also available to women. The choice of making certain that sex partners are using condoms – and an even more basic one – the right to decline to enter into a sexual liaison which might result in a pregnancy in the first place. Aren’t those choices open to all women as well?

      Unfortunately, there are cases where rape or incest occur in which a woman might become pregnant through no choice of her own. Those are special cases and, thankfully, represent a very small percentage of the number of abortions which are performed.

  2. EXCELLENT! Thanks for your insight, well appreciated.

  3. It strikes me that even more than the man (he’s big enough, and loud enough to take care that his feelings are known) What about the kid’s choices. The libertarians, and the rest of us believe in the right to life, or do we?, or only sometimes? See the thing is there are two events, and only two in a pregnancy, conception and birth, in between is a process, so the fetus is either a person, deserving rights, or a fetus is not a person deserving rights till birth, in which case any intervention in abortions (other than public health considerations) is immoral.

    Answer that question and the rest becomes simple, not easy but simple.

    • When all the fancy dancing and pussyfooting is done, I think we would have far fewer people who claim to be Pro Choice if we simply renamed their position for what it is – Pro Abortion.

      • I do as well. I didn’t want to hit it overly hard since I wasn’t sure of your views. 🙂

        I actually don’t overly like the term abortion either, the more general infanticide, seems more appropriate.

        It’s a hard subject to not offend somebody on.

      • Never feel afraid to offend me. I don’t view challenges to my beliefs as personal attacks but, rather, challenges to my way of thinking. And isn’t having our think challenged how we grow and learn?

        I never approach the subject of abortion from a religious standpoint. I believe that is as useful as having a devout Roman Catholic trying to convert a committed atheist to his way of thinking or vice versa.

        We simply do not know with absolute certainty when human life begins – conception, brith or somewhere in between.

        But as an American, I believe that if we have long-standing precedent to offer someone accused of a crime the protection of “reasonable doubt” then we should be consistant and offer a fetus that same protection.

      • I certainly agree with you.

        Strangely I worked out my feeling on abortion on my own and then found my church agreed with me, which pleased me.

        My only real problem is that I don’t really see a objective point in between, I would like a compromise position politically but can’t find one. Feeling pain is an attempt, and I applaud it but, in truth I just can’t condone abortion, but legally I can leave some slack for very unfortunate situations.

        I really like your last paragraph, it’s a very appealing construct.

  4. Perhaps I read too much sci-fi as a kid; or had too much exposure to conspiracy theories. Whatever the reason and putting aside the question of the morality or immorality of abortions this question ultimately morphs into a far more horrific potential – one that is already playing out.

    What if, (just speculating) a dictatorial government rose to power. It sees itself as being the sole determinant of what is good for the society it wants to create. In that regard it makes decisions as to who shall be allowed to have children and who shall be denied that privilige.

    We already see that happening with the far larger percentages of minorities having abortions than the general white population. And with our advanced abilities to determine the health of a fetus, we are seeing far more children, such as those with Downs Syndrome or the potential for autitism being aborted.

    In my view normalizing abortions and making it societally acceptable is merely a step toward the scenario I postulated above. In much the same way that the passage of Obamacare is merely a step toward having a single-payer system. And if that comes to pass, that in turn makes my scenario all the more possible.

  5. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Articles with great information!

  6. I think that in the past a woman’s rights have been dictated by men and we do need to see the other side of the coin. A woman’s point of view certainly does need to be respected and protected.

    • Everyone’s point of view needs to be respected and protected. That’s why we have the First Amendment to the Constitution in the U.S.

      That, however, does not abrogate our responsibility for our personal decisions and actions.

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