No, You Don’t Have a RIGHT to Birth Control

Posted: 03/03/2012 in Law, Politics, Social issues

First of all, let me be perfectly clear from the beginning so that there are no misunderstandings. You absolutely do not, under any circumstances, have a right to healthcare. As an extension, you do not have a right to birth control. You do not have a right to food, medicine, clothing, shelter, education, a cell phone, a car, or internet service.

You have a right to your own person and, by extension, to your life, liberty, and labor. Your labor, which is representative of your life because of the time and effort you put into it, transforms into your property, which you thus also have a right to.


It is not possible to have a right to healthcare, birth control, food, or phones, or anything else that is the product of SOMEONE ELSE’S labor. To assert these kinds of “rights” is to enslave the producers of these goods or services, and is thus morally repugnant.

Simply wanting something, or even needing it, is not enough to claim a right to it. We can talk all day about the things we should do, in our daily lives, to succor the needs and wants of our fellow man. We can speak and write emphatically about the fact that no one should be without healthcare, or food, or shelter, but again, that is not the same as “a right”, and it is not the same as a law. The moral drive behind SHOULD is vastly different than the threat of force behind LAW mandated by government.

In other words, everyone has the right to be a “bad person”, so long as their actions do not deprive anyone of their life, liberty, or property. It is not the proper role of government to legislate a society into “goodness”, whether it’s through mandating “free” healthcare or through an imposed definition of marriage. One of these is thought by many to be morally upstanding, and the other to be a moral outrage, but they are in fact both symptoms of the same grievous error: the attempt of a central government at social engineering, at the cost of depriving its citizens of their natural rights.

Once again, the political pundits and talking heads have drowned this issue in sensational rhetoric, affected outrage, and poisonous labels. We hear it’s about a woman’s right to choose, about crusty old men trying to control them through their reproductive health. Those mean conservatives want us to regress fifty years, those godless liberals want us to forsake our religious beliefs. All of this is far beyond the point. The federal government has no authority to require your employer, or anyone else, to pay for any of your healthcare.. It’s irrelevant how much you want it; it does not matter how wonderful it would be if healthcare could be [truly] free for everyone. Envisioning some kind of a utopia and then using government force or the threat of force to coerce your fellow man to follow that vision, is wrong. It’s just plain wrong. Those who have tried to deprive us of our natural rights, to whatever end, have always pleaded the best of intentions.

I have yet to hear a justification for these supposed “rights”, that does not rest solely on “should”. People should have healthcare. People should not have to lose their house because they got cancer. Young adults often can’t afford their own coverage, so insurers should continue to cover them. All women should have birth control, if they want it.

All of these things are true, but they have nothing whatever to do with the law. The only just purpose of the law is to protect your rights (which, remember, are only life, liberty, and property). Everything else is tyranny because virtually everything else involves depriving one group of these rights in order to transfer them to another group.

Even if we were to agree on all these points, we would still be left with a society afflicted by high healthcare costs and with many people who do not have access to healthcare.

So what to do?

The first thing to do is to get government out of the healthcare business altogether. Putting aside the moral arguments against it that I’ve already made, I’ve never heard anyone praise any government agency as efficient and effective, so it mystifies me that people think the government is even capable of dealing with healthcare. It is no coincidence that the cost of healthcare has skyrocketed since the introduction of federal third-party payers. When you introduce a third-party payer, you remove all downward pressures on prices. Neither the provider of the service nor the recipient have any motive to engage in the sorts of behaviors that normally drive prices down. It is truly disturbing to hear people claim that the free market has driven up healthcare costs. What free market? Maybe there’s a healthcare free market in Mexico, or Barbados, or some such so, but certainly not here.

Any third-party payer is covered by this rule, whether it’s government or private insurance. It’s also no coincidence that the cost of plastic surgery has fallen significantly in the past few decades. Any new, cutting-edge procedure may start expensive, but quickly goes down in value, in much the same way as high-tech gadgets. Why would non-elective healthcare be exempt from this trend? Why is it that health insurance is supposed to cover everything, even the routine? Car insurance does not cover the cost of oil changes. House insurance does not cover the cost of a new water heater. If they did, the cost of these types of insurance would also skyrocket. Heath insurance as we know it today is not insurance at all. If it were, it would cover only unforeseen, high-impact events, like severe injury or long-term diseases. Now, the government is making it harder or even impossible to buy such coverage (usually called “high-deductible” plans).

The impact of a government-funded third-party payer is, however, much greater than private insurance, because the government has access to certain things that private insurance companies do not, things that remove any remnant of normal price controlling forces: taxes and a printing press.

Where is the motivation to lower prices? Not only is “someone else” footing the bill, but that someone else has infinite money! Or, at least, they think they do.

The end result of soaring healthcare costs was always a mathematical and economic inevitability.

Amazingly, we are told that introducing more government into the mix will make it better. Increasing the presence of this mammoth, third-party payer, even mandating that everyone participate in it, is somehow going to reduce costs. This would be a good example of a mathematical impossibility.

I can’t tell you how sad it makes me that so many people believe it. The results are not going to be an improvement. Instead, it is going to make things much, much worse.

Remove government from the business altogether, free hospitals and clinics from the noose of regulations and paperwork, and return insurance to what it properly is, a protection against unforeseeable catastrophes, and you will see the cost of healthcare plummet like a lead ball.

Nonetheless, you would still be left with people who cannot afford it. What to do?

It’s called CHARITY. It’s actually been around for a long time.

If your house is blown over by a hurricane, who would you rather see come to your aid, the Red Cross, or FEMA?

What is more effective in addressing human catastrophes overseas: the International Red Cross, Peace Corps, and Doctors Without Borders? Or government backed foreign aid?

With very few exceptions, private always does it better, and everyone knows it. And not only do private charities function more effectively than government mandated aid, but best of all, they don’t violate anyone rights! From the workers who give their time to the individuals who contribute their hard-earned money, it’s all voluntary! No force or threats involved! Amazing!

We do have wealth in this country (dwindling though it may be), but most of all we have a lot of goodness, goodness which we can, and do, put into action all the time, without any direction or mandates or threats from government. This generosity and goodwill could be even more powerful if we removed the crutch of government assistance, and if so much of our wealth and prosperity were not forfeited to, and consumed by, the state. I believe it may be the greatest tragedy of our time that the statists, on both sides of the aisle, have convinced us that all good things (healthcare, jobs, education, protection for the vulnerable, assistance for the needy) come from government, and all bad things (drug use, gun crime, discrimination, poverty) come from freedom. The argument that private charity can and should replace government welfare is always countered by the assertion that people would not give enough without the force of government to make them do so. This argument, made by individuals who profess to care deeply about their fellow man, instead belies a deep and callous cynicism towards humanity. If you scratch the surface of any statist, left or right, you will find a dark antagonism toward true freedom. In a statement condemning the Blunt amendment (which was an attempt to tack a unrelated measure to a transportation funding bill, by the way), Senator Barbara Mikulski declared:

It allows any insurance company or any employer to deny coverage for any service they choose, based on a religious belief or moral conviction. What is a moral conviction? I have moral convictions. You have moral convictions. We have different moral convictions.

Wow. You mean, people are different? What a pain. That must make social engineering a real headache. And allowing the employers who have to pay for it a choice in the matter? How horrible! That cannot stand! I have a right to take your money and use it for my birth control. Of course, the real hilarity about the whole thing is that if employers are forced to cover this and other services, they’ll just pay their employees less. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, people!

The sensational antics that are being displayed over the recent birth control versus religious freedom controversy are outside the point. It makes no difference what Blunt’s motives are. Rush Limbaugh is just one thick-headed gas bag, whose daily airing of piffle and nonsense will never have the slightest impact on your life. The hysterical hyperbole and name callings are distractions from the core truth that is being ignored: the federal government has no authority and no moral right to force your employer, or anyone else, to pay for your birth control.

Try freedom.



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