Watch the above video with the sound muted. Until the second title card comes up, what point of view do you think it is advocating? With elements like the Big Brother-like surveillance of the women’s clinic and the supremely creepy Uncle Sam menacingly approaching the woman waiting for a gynecological appointment, it’s easy to believe that the ad is about the recent inundation of state laws that regulate women’s clinics. Even the first title card, which reads “Don’t Let The Government Play Doctor” supports this thesis. Despite state legislators’ statements that the laws are attempts to make clinics and procedures safer for women, studies have shown that not only is there little evidence of the purported dangers, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available. Compare this to childbirth, which, despite being natural and vital to the continuation of the human race, remains extremely dangerous (maybe we should try to make contraceptive methods readily available to ensure that women who are not physically or emotionally ready for pregnancy need not get pregnant). If these are the laws the government chooses to enact, I too would be wary of the government “playing doctor.”
But no. This ad encourages people to opt out of the Affordable Care Act, which conservatives still feel compelled to call Obamacare (possibly the least effective derogatory nickname ever conceived). In other words, it’s fine for the government to select what procedures a woman must endure before maybe being allowed to have an abortion; it’s fine for the government to decide that these procedures may be excluded from insurance plans; it’s fine for the government to require doctors suggest one course of action (carrying the pregnancy to term) over another (abortion). But for the government to insert its own bureaucracy in place of private insurance bureaucracy is not fine. The “Don’t Let The Government Play Doctor” statement becomes almost comical. Almost. Because many people who are proposing and voting on these laws are blind to this irony.