This is controversial, I know. I may have to take cover for posting this. However, in my view, some USA ‘rights’ are topsy-turvy.
There is the right to bear arms, under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Citizens have the right carry a gun that only has one mechanical function: to kill or maim. Consequently, deaths by firearms are a fixture of American life.
Those who are pro-gun say people are the problem, not guns. But without so many guns, there would not be so many deaths.
Between 1968 and 2017 in the US there were 1.5 million deaths caused by firearms.
That’s higher than ALL the soldiers killed in EVERY US conflict since the American War for Independence in 1775.
In 2020, more than 45,000 Americans died from a bullet or bullets, whether by homicide or suicide.
And the death rates from firearms keep going up. The 2020 firearms deaths stats represented a 43per cent increase from ten years previously.
Yet, it’s a right. The right for citizens to carry devices that kill. Weapons of mass destruction that Americans are allowed to bear upon their person. As a right.
It’s pro-death. But many Americans don’t call it pro-death. It’s a right. A right that leads to murders and suicides in the USA on an industrial scale.
On the other hand, many in the USA consider abortion to be the right to murder that should not be allowed.
And this week, America’s highest court – their Supreme Court – agreed. They ruled that there is no constitutional right to an abortion in the United States.
The ruling upended the landmark Roe v Wade case of almost 50 years ago that had made abortion a constitutional right in the USA (subject to certain restrictions).
The Supreme Court this week also rejected a New York gun control law that would have placed strict restrictions on firearms outside of the home.
Instead, America’s highest court affirmed and emboldened the right of almost all law-abiding Americans to carry concealed and loaded handguns in public.
So, in the USA, there is the constitutional right to carry weapons that kill, but now no constitutional right for a woman to decide if she wants to proceed with her pregnancy.
As reported by The Guardian at least 26 states in the USA are now expected to ban abortion immediately or as soon as practicable.
The Republican attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, celebrated the ruling and said:
“Abortion is illegal here.”
I’m a man, so what do I know? But for a woman having to decide and choose whether to terminate a pregnancy it will be painful and involve anguish and heartache.
There are many sound reasons why a woman may not want to proceed with a pregnancy. It should be her choice, and her choice alone, but for many millions across America now, that choice has been removed.
In the USA currently there are around 620,000 abortions a year.
But let’s look at this in a different context. There are a similar number (just over half-a-million) miscarriages a year in the USA. That’s nature, for whatever reason, terminating almost as many pregnancies as are aborted.
Furthermore – because of shocking disparities in access to primary health care, especially for impoverished and marginalised women – the USA has an appallingly poor record for infant and maternal mortality rates compared to other rich nations.
In other words, with better and more equitable health care – in the world’s richest country – many more pregnant Americans could survive a pregnancy and have a baby they want.
But this is America.
And in America, you have the right to carry the means to kill children in a school.
But if you’re a woman, you don’t have the right to choose whether to bring into this world a child that could be killed by weapons that people have the right to own.
Wrong. All wrong, in my view.
Jon Danzig is a campaigning journalist and film maker who specialises in writing about health, human rights, and Europe. He is also founder of the pro-EU information campaign, Reasons2Rejoin. You can follow Jon Danzig on his Facebook journalism page at www.Facebook.com/JonDanzigWrites