How “Reproductive Rights” Conflict with Natural Right

Opinion   |   Katie McCann   |   Jul 24, 2012   |   4:21PM   |   Columbus, OH

“Reproductive rights.” That’s how Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion politicians have been terming the right to abortion.

Recently, I’ve been reading about John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) and his The Second Treatise of Government (1690). There’s a reason that Locke’s philosophy is timeless, why I still marvel at it after six years of learning about it, and why the world still marvels at it after 322 years.

It’s because Locke scientifically concluded that man is born with rights and the state’s duty is to protect those rights. Unlike Thomas Hobbes, who argued that man’s life is short, nasty and brutish and that an absolute government is needed to stamp out that brutishness, Locke argued that in a state of nature (where there is no government), God has given man inalienable rights, life, liberty, and property. Every human lives with the freedom to act as he (or she) pleases. He has command over his own personhood – he owns himself (his reason, his labor, and the fruits of that labor).

Governments are instituted among men because the natural law can be and is violated. The government’s role is to protect those rights. Not to manipulate or create others.

We already see how the right to life is literally mutilated by the pro-abortionists.

But with the manipulation of the term “reproductive rights” we see the creation of rights that the government was not instituted to protect. And with that creation, we see a contradiction between these new rights and our traditional and harmonious, inalienable ones.

In the state of nature, man is born with dominion over himself alone. He is not born as a subject. And he is not born with dominion over anyone else. Acknowledging this right to individuality and freedom and creating laws to defend them are fundamental to the maintenance of a free society.

But once you say that you have a right to an abortion, you capsize that free society. Not only do you obliterate the right to life, but you claim that somebody else’s reason and labor is your right. You claim dominion over somebody else. You institute slavery.

Regardless of whether a doctor or institution disagrees with abortion, once a society legally recognizes a right to that service, that doctor or institution must provide it. The society legally recognizes a person’s ownership of another human being.

The true reproductive right is to choose to participate or not to participate in procreation. This does not conflict with natural law. Life, liberty, and property are preserved.

But “reproductive rights,” or “reproductive justice,” conflict with natural rights, the rights that our nation was founded to defend. That’s why Roe was such a crazy decision. Not only did the Founders not include anything about abortion in the Constitution, but they would never have done so because recognizing abortion as a right would be a disgusting contradiction in a free society.



And to claim that a person should also have the right to use his reason and his labor to perform an abortion leads us right back to the first natural right that Locke lists: life. The argument also contradicts the unborn child’s right to liberty and property (his personhood). The performance of an abortion violates natural law. The right to receive an abortion violates natural law. “Reproductive rights” and abortion violate natural law on every level.

LifeNews Note: Katie McCann is the Communications intern at Ohio Right to Life.