Our bodies and the law: Where is the line?


People fight on both sides over abortion, legalization of drugs and mandatory vaccinations as if they’re unrelated, but I believe the bottom line of these issues is the same.

Where do we draw the line between the rights of the individual to control his or her own body and the role of the government to regulate personal behavior?

In my libertarian opinion, the government has no place in dictating what we do to or within our own bodies.

Decisions of morality are intrinsic to the nature of being human.

Laws stretching beyond protecting our lives from the nefarious interference of others are violations of our personal liberties.

The power of the woman to eliminate an unwelcome pregnancy can’t be denied by government.

Mothers can force their bodies to abort by many historical, unregulated and unsafe methods.

It’s my belief that life begins at conception, that the moment sperm meets egg is when the new entity that is neither father nor mother is created.

Preventing conception would be the safest and most compassionate choice, but there will always be pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, people who make poor decisions regarding sexual activity or the failure of birth control methods.

The responsibility of the government in those situations is to prosecute the perpetrators of rape or incest, not to again violate the victim by limiting medical options.

Along the same lines, the government also has no authority to outlaw an individual’s use of chemicals for medicinal or recreational purposes.

This is a choice people make regardless of whether or not their drug is legal, and based on the risks they are willing to take with their own bodies.

Whether your substance of choice is nicotine, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or heroin, only your body experiences the effects or suffers the consequences.

Controlling what people put into their bodies is beyond the scope of government until the line is crossed where use causes physical harm to another person or property.

When people ingest substances that effect self-control and judgment, they should be prosecuted for assault, murder, and other crimes as if they committed the crime with intention. No Twinkie defense allowed.

Instead of spending billions of tax dollars a year in the futile effort to prevent drug trafficking, and prosecuting and imprisoning nonviolent drug users, government could use those funds to rehabilitate addicts and offer treatment to those who self-medicate for mental illness.

The inviolable right to control our own bodies also extends to vaccinations, and the responsibility of choosing for minor children rests with the parents.

I believe children should be vaccinated against illness that can be prevented by so doing, in the interest of themselves and the community.

Those who vaccinate enjoy the benefits of immunity from or survivability of communicable diseases, and those who choose not to vaccinate will suffer the consequences of their actions by nature’s hand.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can carry pathogens, however, so casting blame for an outbreak isn’t as simple as black and white.

When the government removes access to public services such as education they are punishing people who have not been charged, prosecuted, or found guilty of hurting another person.

Forcing citizens to accept injections is just as intrusive as requiring a woman to carry a pregnancy, or prosecuting people for using substances even though they have not harmed anyone else.

I draw the line between government power and my right to control my own body at the surface of my skin.