Right making fatal mistake equating abortion rights and vaccine mandates

Jordan Reid is the founding editor of Ramshackle Glam.
Liberal Opinion

Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam
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If abortion rights activists pin their case on bodily autonomy, does the same hold true for anti-vaxxers? While both sides shout “My body, my choice!”, those against vaccines mandates are ignoring an extremely important issue in this battle.

If you don’t take advantage of access to a safe, readily available vaccine, you contribute to the spread of a sickness, which kills people. If you deprive a woman of reproductive rights, you also deprive her of access to potentially life-saving procedures, which kills people.

Nobody is storming houses in the middle of the night jabbing shots into arms willy nilly. Those supporting vaccine mandates are simply saying that should you choose to participate in society, you also need to accept your moral responsibility to protect the health and safety of the other members. When you take away a woman’s right to choose, you even criminalize those choices, you put every part of her in danger, her mental health, her ability to provide for herself, even her life.

One removes danger. The other amplifies it. This is a false equivalency.

This ongoing debate that equates abortion and vaccine mandates is unfolding as the Supreme Court considers a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. That 1973 landmark decision by the nation’s highest court granted women the right to choose whether to have an abortion. Court watchers believe the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Earlier this month, the court upheld a Texas law that restricts women from getting an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Yes, the court also allowed a lawsuit over that restriction to proceed, but if you listen to what Supreme Court Justice Amy Comey Barrett has to say about abortion and vaccine mandates, it’s pretty clear where things are going. Quite frankly, we should expect more from a Supreme Court Justice than someone who uses their position of power to troll the left.

I bet you think, you know, where I stand on abortion rights, and you are correct. I am in favor of a woman’s right to choose, which is why I’ve been following the Supreme Court’s likely overturning or at least knee-capping of Roe versus Wade with considerable attention and the occasional brain explosion. 

Okay. Let’s start with the concept of bodily autonomy. This is a person’s right to determine what they want to do with their own life and future. This is clearly an issue that’s central to abortion rights, but it’s also become a central issue with regards to anti-vaxxers or people who don’t want to wear masks.

See very early on in the pandemic, the political right began appropriating language used by the reproductive rights activists, my body, my choice, et cetera, which was clearly meant to be a poke at the libs, but let’s dig deeper here. 

I mean, isn’t the far right these days all about individuals getting to choose what they do or do not do to their own bodies, whether or not to get the shot? Aren’t they up in arms about any attempt to mandate vaccination so as to slow the spread of a deadly disease that has at this point killed nearly 800,000 people in the United States alone? Bodily autonomy for everyone! Oh right, except for women. Which brings me back to my most recent brain explosion. There, there have been many, the past few years have been hard on my brain.

Amy Comey Barrett, a Supreme Court appointee of President Trump, had some pretty interesting things to say with regards to whether an abortion ban impacts a women’s bodily autonomy. Let’s take a listen.

Justice Amy Comey Barrett: There is, without question, an infringement on bodily autonomy, you know, which we have in other contexts, like vaccines.

 Okay. So the right opposes vaccine mandates because they’re a violation of bodily autonomy, but they justify an abortion ban and the removal of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy by saying that vaccine mandates are basically the same thing, which is just taking a vaccine mandate argument and using it in whatever direction suits your interest on any given day.

This is the trap that they’re trying to put liberals in. If you argue that vaccine mandates are legal, because nobody has the right to bodily autonomy, you must also concede that a ban on abortion is legal because nobody has the right to bodily autonomy. Conversely, if you argue that a woman should have the right to choose, you have to extend that access to bodily autonomy to anti-vaxxers except there is a fatal flaw in this argument.

If you don’t take advantage of access to a safe, readily available vaccine, you contribute to the spread of a sickness, which kills people. If you deprive a woman of reproductive rights, you also deprive her of access to potentially life-saving procedures, which kills people.

Nobody is storming houses in the middle of the night jabbing shots into arms willynilly. Those supporting vaccine mandates are simply saying that should you choose to participate in society, you also need to accept your moral responsibility to protect the health and safety of the other members. When you take away a woman’s right to choose, you even criminalize those choices, you put every part of her in danger, her mental health, her ability to provide for herself, even her life.

One removes danger. The other amplifies it. This is a false equivalency.

Justice Barrett, you’re a smart woman, which is why I’m certain that your attempt to cite vaccine mandates in support of the overturning of abortion rights, it’s not about logic or constitutional argument. It’s trolling, and it’s a hard pill to swallow knowing that a Supreme Court justice isn’t above that. 


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