Amendment 1 and the ‘Government Interference’ Fallacy

Just as “marriage equality” has become the campaign theme for those trying to turn marriage into something it isn’t, “stop government interference” has become the theme for opponents of Amendment 1 to turn it into something it isn’t. Surely, they aren’t really against government interference.

Being against government interference certainly has an attractive ring to political conservatives who want less government. And, of course, that is what Planned Parenthood with its “government interference” mantra wants conservatives to think. But hopefully conservatives will do just that—think!

Government is, by definition, a form of interference. When something is governed, it has order and it has limits.

It’s not like we really want to stop government interference completely. Like me, you want the civil government to interfere when someone’s jeopardizing your life or property. The truth is, we all like the kind of interference we think is appropriately within the civil government’s jurisdiction, and we don’t like the interference we think is outside its jurisdiction.

For example, polls show that most opponents of Amendment 1 are Democrats. But Democrats love government inference! They love to regulate everything. They want the government to regulate health care in general. Ever heard of Obamacare?

Obamacare interferes in the kind of health procedures an employer’s health insurance policy must provide. That is government interference in health care. And I guarantee you the opponents of Amendment 1 don’t want the government to repeal the “interference” the abortifacient mandate under Obamacare is to some Christian employers.

So the real question is what kind of things should civil government interfere with? That is where I really question some of the ministers who have talked as if Amendment 1 is depriving a woman of a God-given choice.

First, if you’re a minister, you have to know there is a difference between the free will to make a choice and whether a choice is one that is generally permitted in a civilized society. God and civil government both say that some choices are not okay, like murder. Like stealing. Like lying under oath. Do these ministers oppose government interference when it comes to those choices?

Oh, but they say, “Those choices affect another human being.” But that is the question, isn’t it? Is this living being in a mother’s womb with a DNA and circulatory system of its own not that of its mother of the same essence as the minister? Of course.

Yes, they again counter, “But ‘it’ can’t survive without the “life support” provided by the mother. Ah, but can any of us “its” survive long if someone is unilaterally allowed to deprive us of the things we need for our continued existence, like nutrition and oxygen?

I hope none of these ministers who are against government interference ever ask for government assistance if they are too frail to care for themselves. The golden rule would say that they should be treated the same as the little ones around whose necks they are now casting the abortion millstone.

But, really, these arguments over the rightness or wrongness of abortion are beside the point when it comes to Amendment 1. Amendment 1 cannot take away the right to abortion given by the United States Supreme Court.

Opponents of Amendment 1 are hoping you won’t think about that. And they hope you won’t think about what government interference really means in this situation.

So, if you don’t know what “government interference” means when Planned Parenthood says it, here it is; it means you are okay with:

  • some women continuing to make life-altering, irreversible medical decisions without the assurance they have been fully informed about the procedure and their options,
  • that decision being made on the spot in non-emergency situations, and
  • another human being’s life being taken under those conditions.

Well, that’s not something, as a conservative, I’m okay with for the sake of the woman or the unborn child. So, in this instance, I’ll accept a little “government interference.”


David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.

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