November 15 2012
What’s the best way to dilute real women’s rights? To water them down with privileges disguised as rights.
For the first time in history, the United Nations called contraception a human right in its recent report, population fund report. Not only is this action offensive to both religious groups who consider contraception wrong and the millions of women living without access to their basic human rights, but it also will further distort healthcare costs, increasing financial burdens on families and fiscal burdens on governments and harm women’s access to birth control.
Human rights are innate, not given to us by governments. But when international organizations or governments declare privileges as human rights, real rights such as life, liberty, and freedom fall aside.
While the statement is not legally binding, governments have a responsibility to enforce human rights. When contraception is a right, governments have a moral obligation to ensure all women have equal access. How is this accomplished? Through regulation, subsidies, and tax distortion. Instead of markets being given the freedom to allocate resources to those who are willing and able to acquire them, the market is bound. If price controls are put in place, fewer companies will sell birth control, and the ones that do will have to charge even more. Everyone will pay more: single moms, those in poverty, middle class families, employers, and governments.
Instead of lowering healthcare costs for the world, costs will rise and the economy will be burdened as healthcare dominates a bigger portion of the economy.
The UN’s actions actually hurt women’s access to these privileges that really do increase women’s living standards.
One of the great critiques of the United Nations Universal Declaration of human rights is that it established so many privileges as human rights, that the document itself became impossible to hold to. If governments cannot ensure things like contraception for their population, how can they be inspired to ensure real rights are provided without the prodding of other nations?
Contraception can easily be expanded to all by free market allocations, but it is not a right.