Since the presidential election — and in particular since Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Georgia representative Tom Price as secretary of health and human services — the pro-choice movement has succumbed to mass hysteria, convinced that the Trump administration will wage a war on women’s fundamental “reproductive rights.” Planned Parenthood and NARAL have orchestrated online campaigns formally opposing Price as “a direct threat to women’s health and rights” who “does not trust women to make our own decisions about our health care.” The New York Times editorial board worried that that the future of America’s recent “progress in reproductive health” under President Trump looks “bleak.”
This state of terror stems from both a flawed conception of “health care” and a socialist view of the government’s responsibility to citizens. Health care is rightly understood as a system of using medicine to treat persons whose bodies are functioning as they shouldn’t. In other words, health care treats a human body that is in some way diseased. Preventive care, too, works to avoid some possible dysfunction or disease. Labeling contraception as preventive care and abortion as a form of health care assumes that pregnancy is a disease, or the result of a body functioning as it shouldn’t, when in reality pregnancy is the wholly natural result of sex; to become pregnant shows that a woman’s body is functioning properly.
The true position of those who support abortion rights is that a woman should not be pregnant if she does not want to be. That is an argument in favor of abortion, surely, if an unconvincing one.