Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Defining the Right to Life...

When Republicans rushed back to Congress recently to pass the Schiavo law, they justified their invasion of states' rights (a supposed cornerstone of conservative philosophy) by claiming that the Constitutional right to life superceded the need for the federal government to stay out of the way. As Jon Stewart (brilliant as always) pointed out, and as Gabe touched on in the previous post, this shows just how sick you have to get before Congress will do something to fix your healthcare.

But Stewart's point got me thinking about this issue of a "right to life" a little more seriously. Our constitutional rights ALWAYS deserve protection, not merely when we're about to lose them, right? If Republicans are willing to rush back to Washington to pass a federal law that violates states' rights merely to save a single person's health (i.e. life), why doesn't that logic apply to healthcare for all Americans? If someone gets sick, their "right to life" is inherently in danger, so why isn't it the federal government's responsibility to protect their right to life by giving them healthcare?

Food for thought.


At March 24, 2005 10:09 AM, Blogger Margot said...

Eric is right on folks--although I would take it even one step further. Not only do all Americans have right to life, we have a right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In short, Americans have the right to a decent life, a life of hope rather than fear, of progress rather than stagnation. There is no liberty when there is no social or economic justice, let alone adequate health care. And I would venture to say that those things also put a damper on the pursuit of happiness. So let's turn this thing on its head and use it against them--the Republicans are sure to try to make it about abortion, so let's make it about health care, poverty and social security. I believe in the right to life too!

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