The writers of the Declaration of Independence once believed that there were “certain unalienable Rights” given to the human person, and among those rights included the rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is an interesting order that the founding fathers used: Life, because without which a person cannot know liberty; liberty, because without liberty a person cannot truly be happy.
It can be argued that America has held so tight to the idea of freedom that it has smothered the definition against the bosom of Lady Liberty. What I see is that many Americans have found real freedom difficult and have left it untried. Freedom once meant “doing what one ought to do”- which validates the need for responsibility. Now freedom means “doing what I want to do” - which validates no responsibility necessary. It is true that a person can do whatever it is he or she wants to do and have it fit a definition of “freedom being the absence of restraints.” It is even further true that a person might not be free by today’s values if he or she is not allowed to destroy oneself, but what a damn fool he or she is to want for the destruction of oneself - or even another’s self.
So why has it become that life is more important if it resides in the world? Why exactly is it that life is less important if it resides inside the womb? Why is it horrible for a woman to kill her 2 month old child in the bath tub because she has recently decided that she really did not want to have a child? Yet, why is it considered empowering for a woman to kill her child in the womb because she recently decided that she really did not want to have a child?
With the way the birth-rate has been declining over the years, I imagine that there will eventually be a time when there are no more birth – I imagine the pro-choice movement will be happy when this happens, for there will be no more births and no more choice will be necessary. G.K. Chesterton gets to the heart of the abortion debate when he wrote that “It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities."
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
You Don't Own Me. I Do What I Want: Abortion, Freedom, and Relativism
As published in the LSU Reveille in response to the article by Shanelle Matthews on abortion, freedom, and relitivism. I would have written more, but LSU only gives me 400 words.