Opinion

Don’t abort the right to privacy

As abortion battles escalate across the nation, Florida has 18 bills pending in state legislature that would limit abortion rights for women in the state.

Conservative lawmakers are assertively pushing for a political agenda at the expense of women’s health. From requiring women to receive an ultrasound in their first trimester before getting an abortion to banning most insurance coverage in abortion facilities, these restrictions pose a legal threat to Roe v. Wade.

Just recently, the U.S. Senate approved a bill that would bar private insurers from covering abortions if the policy is paid with public money. Moreover, the Health and Human Services Committee passed a bill that would limit third-trimester abortions, require ethics training for doctors performing abortions and demand that all abortion clinics be owned by physicians.

Not only does the issue boil down to whether the government has the right to dictate what women can do to their bodies, but it raises the question, should the government be allowed to control what goes on between a doctor and his or her patient?

To deny a woman an abortion is to not only deny fundamental privacy rights, but to deny health care as a basic human right. Under the Fourth Amendment, the Constitution protects our right to make private decisions.

These bills’ propositions interfere with the doctor-patient relationship as well as with an individual’s protections against unnecessary government intrusions to privacy. Why force doctors to perform a procedure (an ultrasound) when it is not medically needed or is against the physician’s professional judgment? And why force a patient to pay for a procedure they may not want?

Instead of dismantling women’s rights, attacking women’s health and raising legal, financial and psychological obstacles for women, shouldn’t we be tackling the overall health care issues in our state?

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

March 30, 2011

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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