Sunday, November 07, 2010

The right to choose

This afternoon two friends came over to bring back some stuff we had lent them for a party.  We got to talking about the election and discussing the campaigns for Governor and Senator in California.  The wife said she believed in a "woman's right to choose" and that women should have control of their bodies on the issue of abortion.

I asked her how she had voted on Proposition 19 (the Marijuana initiative) she said she had voted no.  I commented that I thought that was in conflict with her basic principle on abortion issues.   If the state should not intervene in deciding about whether to abort a fetus, then why would it be logical to prevent someone from smoking dope?  She responded that it was different.  I asked how?  She said there is a great possibility that pot smokers can injure others (one wonders whether the same argument about the fetus makes any sense).   I responded that existing law allows additional penalties for people who drive with impairments (including dope and alcohol).   So I wondered why she would reject a candidate who did not allow a woman to control her body but would reject a proposal to allow pot smokers to decide what they put in their body.

Note - I believe that existing law on abortion diminishes the ability of fathers to be involved in the decisions about children and thus makes them less responsible - but believe that the state should not be involved in medical decisions (like abortion) either in intervening between a woman and her fetus or in funding the provision of abortion.  At the same time I voted against Proposition 19 (in part because I thought it was poorly drafted) - so her illogic also applies to my voting pattern.  But I wanted to point out that most Californians do not believe in an absolute right to choose on most activities in society.

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