Today’s earlier news about Planned Parenthood suing for the ability to perform abortions at a Florida medical park where surgical procedures are forbidden may be a local story without broader legal ramifications for the right to choose death, but it tells us a great deal about how the organization really views freedom.
In this case, Planned Parenthood is not protesting a law against abortion, a state regulation of abortion clinics, or any other sort of legal limit against their or their patients’ rights to do what they want on their own private property.
No, they made a choice to buy a deed knowing that the strings attached wouldn’t let them do abortions, and now that they don’t like the terms they agreed to, they’re trying to get judges to force other private actors to change them, without regard for the 50-to-100 other doctors in the park who didn’t want abortions there.
As one of our most intrepid commenters, MamaBear, observed last year, “If you want to paint your house purple, you do not buy it in a neighborhood with an HOA that limits exterior colors and then take them to court over it.”
There is (sadly) no law stopping Planned Parenthood from packing up and buying a property somewhere else in the county where they can abort as many defenseless babies as they want. But instead of doing the responsible thing after screwing up by not reading the fine print (that is, assuming they didn’t plan all along to just flout the rules), they’re running to the government in the hopes that they can get their way by browbeating their neighbors with the force of law.
Remind me why we let these people call themselves “pro-choice,” again?
The contrast between their bullying here and their posturing as champions for personal freedom against intrusion from others couldn’t be more glaring. Abortion is supposedly unquestionable because none of us have a say in the private affairs of anyone else. It’s the woman’s life, woman’s decision, woman’s interests, and woman’s possessions at stake, and (supposedly) nobody else’s, so the rest of us have to shut up and buzz off.
If they were sincere about this, it would follow that people have similar rights over what they do and don’t want done with their own property. The right to refuse abortion would be just as sacrosanct as the right to have one. “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one” would translate to “if you don’t like deeds that don’t allow abortion, don’t sign one.”
Instead, we see that the only choice they expect to be honored is abortion, and all other choices are to be suppressed by any means necessary. The truth is that they don’t really believe in a consistent personal-freedom ethos. They believe in abortion not because their understanding of liberty tells them they should, but simply because it’s what they want. When appealing to live-and-let-live sentimentality helps get them there, they’ll use it. When it doesn’t, they’re just as comfortable turning to brute force.
Pro-lifers looking for ways to make the next round of Planned Parenthood hearings more effective could do worse than making this one of the many points they challenge PP officials and abortion defenders on: “If your organization is constantly waging war on personal choices against abortion, Ms. Richards, then isn’t your side’s constant insistence that you’re pro-choice rather than pro-abortion just another lie?”