One of the popular mantras of the pro-choice crowd in the abortion debate is “My body, my choice.” The notion has been that government has no legitimate role in interfering with what a person decides to do to her own body. Of course, the pro-life crowd’s response to that mantra has been that there is another life that is involved in abortion — the life of an unborn child.
What I don’t understand, however, is how any pro-choicer can possibly be pro-drug war. Mind you, I don’t know how many pro-choicers are pro-drug war. Maybe none of them. But I’d be willing to bet that in actuality many pro-choicers oppose the legalization of drugs, at least such drugs as heroin, cocaine, and meth.
Yet, you couldn’t find a better case for the application of the “My body, my choice” mantra than drugs. Why should government wield the power to interfere with what a person decides to ingest? Doesn’t freedom necessarily entail deciding for yourself what to ingest?
The drug warriors argue that drugs are harmful and dangerous. Okay, let’s concede that for the sake of argument. That still doesn’t answer the question: Doesn’t freedom necessarily entail deciding for yourself what to ingest, even when what you are ingesting is harmful and dangerous?
In fact, there are lots of things that people ingest that some people say are harmful and dangerous. Fatty foods. Soft drinks. Alcohol. Red meat. Tobacco. The list goes on and on. Why should government wield the authority to control or regulate the ingestion of anything? Why should government wield the power to punish people for ingesting any substance, no matter how dangerous or harmful? Why doesn’t the mantra “Why body, my choice,” apply to the drug war? Isn’t it hypocritical to claim “My body, my choice” in one context and not another?