Monday, July 16, 2012

Six Ways in Which the Government Controls Your Body

One of the most common objections to abortion is that nobody has the right to control one's body.

The truth is: the government already controls your body.

Here are six examples to prove my point:

  1. Drug Laws
  2. There are a number of controlled substances and illegal narcotics in Canada that the government does not want you to consume, or only wants you to consume under the advice of a doctor. In the U.S. alcohol is denied to many adults until the age of 21. In Ontario, it's until the age of 19.

  3. Personal Safety Laws
  4. Every single person who drives their own car in Ontario must wear a seatbelt, regardless of the actual risk. Every single motorcycle rider must wear a helmet.

  5. Prohibition Against Selling Body Parts
  6. In Canada, you cannot sell your blood, your gametes or any of your organs, like kidneys.

  7. Decency Laws
  8. It's legal to be topless in Ontario, but it isn't in most parts of North America. And it's illegal to be completely naked. It's also illegal to engage in sex acts in public.

  9. Food Regulation
  10. A number of items are banned for sale in Canada in order to prevent consumption. For instance: raw milk, shark fin soup (in Toronto), trans fats.

  11. Public Health Laws
  12. It is illegal to spit, defecate or urinate in public. The government may also require In certain situations, the government can quarantine you if you have a communicable disease.

As you can see, the precedent for the government controlling one's body has been set.

Whether some or all of these measures are necessary is debatable.

However, what our legal system recognizes is that bodily autonomy is not absolute.

If there is a greater good at stake, the government can and does limit bodily autonomy.

So if the good at stake is human life, why wouldn't the government have the right to limit bodily autonomy in the case of abortion?

Such limits are already imposed in various European countries and in some American States.

The only reason there aren't more is that the human lives taken are not considered equal to born human beings.