Lauren Snyder is Director of Communications for the Arizona Libertarian Party

The Libertarian platform states, “Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

Regardless of personal beliefs, the massive government overreach and violation of individual rights established by TX SB8 is extremely alarming.  TX SB8 Sec. 171.208. clearly states that Texans may bring a civil action against anyone who:

(1)  performs or induces an abortion in violation of
this subchapter;
(2)  knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induced in violation of this subchapter, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of this subchapter; or
(3)  intends to engage in the conduct described by Subdivision (1) or (2).”

Not only is this setting a very frightening precedence for thought-policing, it also essentially deputizes Texans and puts a $10,000 bounty on the head of anyone who thinks about having an abortion, or anyone who might have been asked to help a friend or family member through the tough decision.  This violation of medical freedom by Texas is a clear attack on a person’s First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”, this can be applied to bodily autonomy and in the case of abortion, certain people do not hold the same beliefs of when life begins. For example, in the Talmud which is the primary source of Jewish Law and the central text of Rabbinic Judaism, states that the full status of “humanness” is given at birth, not at conception, which is typically a Christian belief.  Abortion is allowed in the Jewish faith in some cases, and according to the article “The beginning of human life; Status of embryo. Perspectives in Halakha (Jewish Religious Law)“ written by Joseph G. Schenker, “some Rabbinical authorities have been known to approve abortion in the early stages of gestation, within the first forty days, during which it is, according to one talmudic statement, ‘mere water’. The Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 69b states that: ‘the embryo is considered to be mere water until the fortieth day.’ Afterwards, it is considered subhuman until it is born.”  To push any other belief on a person that does not believe that life begins at conception is an infringement on their beliefs and therefore, a First Amendment violation.

Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  This protection includes private healthcare information.  Turning details of a patient’s private healthcare into public information fueled by a bounty for $10,000 is a violation of their Fourth Amendment right to be secure in their persons and papers.

Fifth Amendment states: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”  Denying a person the right to bodily autonomy and medical freedom is a violation of their due process and their right to life, liberty or property as well as a civil suit forcing an individual to be a witness against themselves.

Ninth Amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  The Ninth Amendment means that the rights which have been detailed in the Constitution are not finite. Even though there is a list of Constitutional rights that has been written and established, that does not mean that other rights which are not listed do not exist and they should not be denied or disparaged.  Denying an individual’s right to medical freedom is an infringement of their Ninth Amendment protection of “unwritten” rights.

Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1 states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  Similar to the Fifth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment establishes the right to due process on a State level.  Any State denying a person the right to bodily autonomy and medical freedom is a violation of their due process and their right to life, liberty or property as well as forcing an individual to be a witness against themselves.

We are living in a time where a person’s medical freedom, bodily autonomy and their rights to make personal choices are constantly under attack. Medical freedom isn’t a “pick and choose” issue, it is all or nothing.  An individual should have the right to deny a medical procedure just the same as they should have the right to choose to have a procedure done.

 

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