img-goldberg-jonah-hr_074946991599.jpg_item_hero_bwConservatives want to leave it to women to make their own choices: about what to eat, whether to smoke, how fast they can drive, whether they can own a gun, etc.

Many conservatives would also like to see women live long enough to have the chance to make those decisions, rather than be snuffed out in utero.

Of course, this argument will be wholly unpersuasive to the folks shouting the loudest about “women’s health decisions.” Which raises an even greater irony.

The basic conservative or pro-life view is that abortion is different from other health-care decisions because there’s a harmed party other than the mother. This fact, not sexism or traditionalism or theology, is what trumps the general conservative preference for individual freedom. You don’t have an unfettered right to harm someone else.

But once you get beyond abortion, conservative public policies treat women like autonomous human beings capable of making their own choices — about health care or anything else.

It’s the abortion-rights extremists who boil down the vast range of issues and choices raised by the term “women’s health” to a single issue, sexual reproduction, as if women were nothing more than breeders.

And yet conservatives are the ones who are called sexists.

~ Jonah Goldberg, National Review, June 28

[HT: Hans Johnson]