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Betsy McCaughey: Government Control of Your Body

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 General News J E 4
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NEW YORK, March 23 "Democrats defending the new Obama health law claim that a woman's right to abortion is protected. That's not possible because the rest of her body is subject to government control," says Betsy McCaughey, patient advocate and former Lt. Governor of New York State. "Either your body is protected from government interference or it isn't."

For forty-five years pro-choice women have ardently defended a "right" to privacy (Roe v. Wade 410 U.S. 113), quoting the case's statement that "a woman cannot be isolated in her privacy." It is a right to be exercised with her physician or other caregivers.

Yet the bill signed by the President undoes what many women consider a constitutional guarantee. The new law subjects all patients, male and female, to government controlled health decisions.

The new health law empowers federal officials to dictate how doctors treat privately insured patients (Senate bill, pp. 148-149). Never before in history, except on narrow issues such as drug safety, has this been done.

The bill requires nearly all Americans to be in a "qualified plan," then says that plans can pay only doctors who implement whatever regulations the Secretary of Health and Human Services imposes to improve "quality." That covers everything in medicine -- whether your cardiologist uses a stent or does bypass surgery, whether your ob/gyn settles for a pap smear or orders a pelvic sonogram. It could also cover reproductive issues.

The same people who ardently defend a woman's right to choose abortion and contraception should oppose this bills' interference in patients' medical autonomy and privacy. The same Constitution that guarantees a woman the right to choose abortion must also guarantee her the right to choose a hip replacement or a doctor who recommends one. "Whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, you have something to lose with this law."

SOURCE Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D.
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