I'm not sure what to say about this interview with John Stossell regarding the the law against selling ones' organs on the open market.
John Stossell is amazed, no - he seems genuinely angered - over the 1984 bill spearheaded by Al Gore that banned the sale of human organs from either dead or living donors because "...it is the ultimate conceit to say 'you don't own your body. I, Al Gore,...own your body. I decide what's moral for you to do with your body.' "
Now, I truly have not given much thought (luckily, I have not had to) regarding whether or not organ selling should be legal or not. My belief is that legalized organ selling is likely a dangerous, slippery slope. Mr. Stossel's article this week in Jewish World Review certainly makes it clear that there are far too many people out there waiting for organs and far too many people who die waiting - that is abominable and organ donation is not solving the problem.
I'm angered, however, because in this society we can have a brainless "news" reporter arguing for (according to him) "poor people's free will" to sell their own organs based on the fact that government has no right to tell you what you can or cannot do with your own body but nothing about what this framework means for women's and girl's reproductive rights.
John Stossel opens his 7/6/2006 Jewish World Review article protesting the criminalization of organ selling with this line:
"Who owns your body? You? Or Al Gore?"
Excuse me Mr. Stossell? You're honestly arguing for one's right to decide whether one can sell a second kidney or a spleen based on a reproductive justice framework?! I hope you are actively and openly pro-choice - I really do.
And John Stossel is angry that his right to decide what he does or does not want to do with his own body could be impeded by our legislators?! Where is his outrage at our crumbling reproductive rights? Where is his outrage with legislators in states where teenagers are being forced to tell a parent who has committed incest against them that they are pregnant with that parent's child in order to get an abortion? Where is his outrage when young, pregnant low income women cannot scrape up enough money to pay for an abortion they desperately want in order to ensure that the children they already have are taken care of in they best way they can. Where is his outrage with pharmacists who decide what is "moral" for women when they deny us our right to birth control?
This interview with John Stossel is truly eye-opening. His anger at daring to be told what he can or cannot do with his own body is telling. He seems to not recognize the impact of what he's saying - as if this idea of government intrusion into our rights over our own bodies is ridiculous.
Yes, Mr. Stossel, it is hard to imagine, isn't it? And, now, the next time you are in El Salvador and you are forced to bear a child against your will and become pregnant again and seek an illegal abortion only to be tried and convicted in a court of law for having that dangerous, illegal abortion - only then do you have the right to be outraged.
In the meantime, please email him (as I will do) and tell him what this unimaginable scenario (you know, having our legislators decide what is morally acceptable for one to do with one's body) is like. Then tell him that you'll be looking for him to do a significant story on 20/20 about the absolute atrocity of the United States (and for that matter - the world's) government telling women what they can or cannot do with their own bodies.