Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kansas Legislators Choose Their Own Morality Over Liberty

Every legislative season the people of Kansas are forced to endure the same outrage: righteous legislators wasting the taxpayer’s time and money intruding upon women’s reproductive decisions.

The bills are endless: more reporting, more regulations, more rights for the fetus at the expense of the woman, more legislation targeting Dr. Tiller and just more burdens for women to bare in order to exercise their legal rights.

Brazen legislators are using their own families as examples of why their own private reproductive decisions must be the same choice required of everyone else. (This, from the men and women who talk about keeping the government out of our lives).

During recent testimony, several state legislators grilled a man for having the nerve to support his wife’s decision to come to Kansas for an abortion due to the terrible abnormalities of their unborn child. The man appeared stunned. To defend what should have been their own private decision and have it openly disputed in a legislative body as if they were monsters is just the worst example of government abusing citizens.

Legislators in turn gave their own pompous and cruel statements to the press about how they too had children with severe abnormalities and had rightly made a different decision.

Last year a female legislator divulged she had an abortion but later regretted her decision Thus, it was only reasonable to argue that her change of mind was some sort of rationale as to why no other woman should be able to make her own decision. This is the level of discourse and deep thinking by our legislative body. In a word: stupid.

The hypocrisy is enormous and self-evident but no one in Kansas should ever believe for a minute that this legislature holds an august body of stellar individuals working for the good of the state. Too many work for the good of their own morality and act prouder than a peacock when they pass a lame bill on license plates or work to deny women the dignity to make their own health care decisions.

In Plato’s Republic, one philosopher argues that “justice” is the “advantage of the stronger”. Clearly, in Kansas what is right is based on who has the power to abuse others, and if might continues to make right, there is little hope for women in their most vulnerable hour unless the public demands real justice to prevail. In Kansas, that could continue to take a long time when morality trumps liberty again and again.

Vickie Sandall Stangl

No comments: