Do abortion rights imply "heroin rights"?

Many proponents of abortion rights believe sentiments to the effect that a woman’s body is her own and thus she, and only she, has the right to choose, or not to choose, to have an abortion. FWIW, I stand solidly behind this line of reasoning.

That said, it seems to me that the same logic applies to things like a woman’s right to take whatever drug (legal or not) she wishes, to prostitute herself, to gamble, etc. Yet, and correct me if I’m wrong about this, one ‘never’ hears women’s abortion rights activists/proponents making statements to the effect of, “a woman’s body is her own and thus she has the right to smoke grass, snort coke (or whatever)”.

Now, I am not suggesting that all women, or even many women, want to exercise their rights to smoke dope or gamble. What I am saying is that anyone who subscribes to the syllogism that “a woman’s body is her own and thus . . . she has the right to choose to have an abortion”, would be a hypocrite not to support those women who do wish to smoke dope, gamble, etc. As a non-hypocrite, I would support such women. And men.

Do you agree?

abortion is a medical decision - it does not equate to a decision to do an ‘agreed upon illegal thing’.

That being said - I do think that many of our nanny laws go a step to far - but to equate abortion with heroin use is disingenuous at best, even if your overall point is about ‘freedom to choose more’.

First off, yes, I agree, and I think most or all of those things should be legal for competent, free adults to engage in.

I can see counterarguments that apply to drugs and prostitution, in that those things may have wider societal effects, whereas abortion, in my opinion, does not. So, one may plausibly argue that drugs cause lower productivity, invite gang activity, crime, or other societal effects, so they should be banned, whereas abortion does not and should not be banned. That is, society has an interest in regulating or banning activities that hurt society as a whole and that may trump personal bodily rights, so it may not be hypocritical to ban those while supporting abortion rights.

Of course, abortion opponents might say that permitting abortion rots society in profound ways. I would disagree, mind you. Again, I go back to the syllogism above - you either believe it or you don’t. And, if you do, you allow drug use etc.

From a purely libertarian standpoint, I would agree with you.

However, there is more than just “your body” at work in situations like these. Heroin and similar “hard drugs” have a very high addiction feed need. So high that your concept of “Acceptable” distorts to allow as acceptable anything that gets you the next fix. So, robbing/mugging/breaking & entering all become avenues to your next fix and are also problems for other people. This is why it should be outlawed.

Following the same concept:, allowing abortions until a certain point of development is ok, and past that it affects “another person”.

Prostitution should be legalized, but regulated to prevent the spread of VD/STD/STI/Current Favored Name.

Depends on the person’s rationale for that stance. If it’s that people own their bodies and the state has no claim what a person does with their body, then advocating for drug use and prostitution to be illegal is hypocritical.

If the rationale is that the state can only regulate uses of your body that have a harmful effect on society at large, and that abortion has no such negative effect, but drug use and prostitution do, then they could hold that stance without hypocrisy.

I think that is a forever impossible goal - abortion foes can claim, and do claim, that permitting abortions leads to a decline in societal morals, an undervaluing of human life, etc. ISTM that the only unassailable position is to limit restriction of the individual only when direct harm is demonstrable to others.

The argument specific to abortion rights (for me, at least) is this: anyone (adult of sound mind, etc) has the right to expel anything or anyone from their body that they don’t want inside, for any reason, and at any time. I don’t see how drugs or even prostitution would follow from this, though I’ll note that I think prostitution and drug use should be decriminalized.

That’s a different question, though. You asked if someone could advocate for legal abortion on the basis of a woman’s rights over her own body, while also forbidding drug use, prostitution, and gambling, without being hypocritical/dissonant. The answer is ‘yes’.

Whether that stance is persuasive to pro-lifers is irrevelant to whether it is internally consistent.

Well, I think it’s easy to believe that abortion has no broader societal effects and therefore shouldn’t be banned, but drug use and prostitution does and should be banned.

For example, it can be easily argued (IMO) that, while prostitution in some ideal form is fine, the reality is that many women end up effectively slaves in that role, and it spreads STDs, and it could break up families. Whereas, an abortion can be a quiet matter between a woman and her doctor.

So, I don’t see the automatic hypocrisy of being for abortion rights but against legalized drugs. The libertarian argument for abortion rights isn’t the only possible argument. If one sees an abortion as just another medical procedure, rather than a woman’s right to bodily autonomy trumping any rights the fetus may have, then you can be for the medical procedure without any comment whatsoever on drugs, prostitution, etc.

We’re actually seeing this debate unfold in real time in the US.

More and more people (hence more and more states) are finding marijuana use less objectionable, primarily because there’s growing evidence that the physical and social effects of marijuana use aren’t as bad as people thought a few decades ago.

So the more we see that its use is primarily limited to the individual and not to society at large, the less we are inclined to ban it outright and even overturn earlier bans on use.

An interesting “in between” case is medical drug use. If Marijuana, or heroin, were necessary for medical relief of harmful symptoms, it would be a lot easier to justify. And, indeed, there are exactly those exceptions.

Obviously, many do not agree, but I agree with you: abortion is a legitimate medical relief from an undesired physical symptom.

(And, not only does abortion not cause harmful social effects…it may very well provide beneficial social effects. A government that truly valued such things would subsidize it.)

Abortion certainly can have negative social effects. People are always banging on about abortion in India and China being bad, for example. However, it’s claimed that negative effects were more prevalent in the past, with illegitimate back-alley abortionists and the like. I’m very much against abortion, but I’m not convinced prohibition would be a gain for society. Wasn’t when applied to alcohol. Isn’t when applied to prostitution, or drugs either.

The same applies to drugs and the like. Even hard drugs like heroin. Prohibition was followed by a massive, orders of magnitude, increase in the number of addicts, and the violence associated with the new and highly lucrative black market. Heroin was provided on prescription for addicts, before prohibition, and addiction was the only problem associated with heroin use. Probition led to the proliferation of violent criminal gangs, drug use in unsanitary conditions, drugs of unpredictable levels of purity and with unknown contaminants, and of course to the existence of ravenous drug cartels who wring profits from addicts by pushing them into a life of crime.

So unless someone can come up with a negative effect on wider society for prostitution, drug use or gambling that isn’t caused or exacerbated by prohibition, then situation is entirely analogous to abortion and reliant on your support of bodily autonomy.

I can see how both sets of rights spring from the same legal theory, but not how one implies the need for the other.

Similarly, the existence of legal straight marriage does not in itself imply a legal justification for gay marriage, but the principle of equal treatment under the law does.

Actually, in the cases of India and China, the problem isn’t that they have access to abortion - it’s that they don’t value women.

At least for prostitution, there’s historically been physical and emotional abuse of prostitutes by their pimps. At least in Western Europe, this leads to some regulations/restrictions on pimping. And the spread of sexually transmissable disease is certainly an issue unless health and safety regulations are in place.

As for hard drugs, you get problems with addicts needing to find money to support their habit and often turning to questionable methods like theft or taking from savings (thus depriving their families of an economic buffer). A recent example I found was that of Yip Man (Bruce Lee’s one time teacher) and Lee’s father himself who were known to skim from family money to support their opium habits.

While I don’t think outright prohibition is necessarily called for, I think it’s overly broad to say it’s entirely analogous. Certainly I’d say more restrictions and/or regulations are needed for the use of hard drugs or the prostitution industry than abortions if only for health and safety reasons. And that’s going to be true of any activity in which a user would presumably engaged with regularity, unlike an abortion, which hopefully is a more rare occurrence, no matter if you support them or not (hurrah for birth control!).

Carrying an unwanted child to birth can be a severe life-changing ordeal, physically and emotionally. If one rejects religious arguments against abortion (a big “if”), then allowing it is to allow a woman to avoid severe hardship.

To compare this right with the “right” to abuse a recreational drug is much too facile.

There will be correlations in opinions. I’m pro-freedom; and I’m both pro-choice and in favor of legalizing at least some recreational drugs. But to argue that logic dictates that advocating one requires advocating the other is much too facile.

The “freedom do do what you choose with your body” argument is heavily undermined in the case of heroin because of its addictiveness. Addiction is a compulsion; the addict isn’t making free choices, she’s making compelled choices. Her judgement is severely distorted. It isn’t really her free choice to take heroin any more than it’s her free choice to have sex if someone has drugged her drink to render her semiconscious.

This is true, and India at least has banned sex selective abortion. I used to think this was a good move, but now I’m not so sure. Why force girls to be born in families where they’re not wanted? Better to let scarcity (of women) and education change social mores to the point where the problem goes away. The usual response is that all the extra men are not good for social stability. Yeah, well, maybe a little instability would teach society to value women more.

Double post