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Abortion is not like paying taxes


The author of yesterday’s column in The Daily Targum, titled “The anti-choice choice,” wrote a ridiculous, illogical editorial about abortion in the United States. I am flabbergasted that such argumentation can be found in print.

In addition to being incredibly inflammatory, the author’s comparison of a woman’s right to undergo a controversial (but legal, regulated and generally safe) medical procedure to things like the non-existent rights to pay no income tax, to eschew business regulations and to send children to other county’s school districts is unequivocally offensive. It also lacks some serious thought, considering, for example, that the federal government does not direct school districts. A political science degree is not required to know that.

I don’t think the author would make such absurd comparisons if he moved to a state in which an evangelical state legislature might forbid masturbation. I’m sure then whacking off would be a protected legal right, whereas not paying taxes is still something you cannot do.

But if we can set aside the inflammatory and degrading nature of these analogies, they are still false analogies. There is no reason to believe government must either regulate all possible choices or none at all. No two choices are the same — like choosing not to withhold income tax versus choosing to have a legal medical procedure. And of course, abortion procedures are conducted under the regulation of laws and guidelines from various authorities in government and medicine.

In the end, the author’s argument is sophomoric and completely invalid. He makes only the most simple of inferences in a profoundly fallacious manner. He makes no convincing case against abortion (or for it), nor does he come anywhere close to establishing the thesis of his letter, which is — apparently — to reject the authority of all government.

The majority of this country (which is a democracy, mind you), and the vast majority of women in particular, believe in the right of women to use contraception and other obstetric care as they see fit — and this includes abortion as of today. That choice is protected. Other choices are regulated or protected at a federal level, as dictated in the Constitution and as interpreted by the Supreme Court. Until that changes, the myriad choices we face daily are not automatically logically or legally equivalent.

Kellen Myers is a University Ph.D student in mathematics.

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