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The Bill of Reproductive Rights Needs Some Revision

455px-Kevin_Bacon_Comic-Con_2012Prompted by pro-life Georgia representative Terry England’s bizarre comments comparing women to farm animals, the Center for Reproductive Rights has released a star-studded video encouraging viewers to “draw the line” against attacks on abortion and contraception rights by signing a petition called the Bill of Reproductive Rights.

The first article of the Bill, which affirms “The right to make our own decisions about our reproductive health and future, free from intrusion or coercion by any government, group, or individual,” is a commendable defense against anti-abortionists.

The second article of the Bill, however, is problematic because it tacitly endorses the violation of rights. It reads, “The right to a full range of safe, affordable, and readily accessible reproductive health care including pregnancy care, preventive services, contraception, abortion, and fertility treatment—and accurate information about all of the above.”

As Ayn Rand put it in her essay, “Man’s Rights,” “A single question added to each of the above . . . would make the issue clear: At whose expense?”

Who is to pay to make these reproductive services safe?

Who is to subsidize their affordability?

Who is to pay to ensure their ready accessibility?

“If some men,” wrote Rand, “are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor. Any alleged ‘right’ of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.”

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