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Government restrictions, the good and the bad | READER COMMENTARY

Goodrich, Michigan resident Megan Brown, a mother of four at front right, wears a sign that reads "Mama's Choice" during a demonstration protesting the K-12 mask mandate in Genesee County, Michian on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 outside of the Genesee County Administration Building and Flint City Hall. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)
Goodrich, Michigan resident Megan Brown, a mother of four at front right, wears a sign that reads "Mama's Choice" during a demonstration protesting the K-12 mask mandate in Genesee County, Michian on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 outside of the Genesee County Administration Building and Flint City Hall. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP) (Jake May/AP)

The mask mandate is restricting individual choice — to put others at risk of getting sick. The attempt is to protect the community from individuals who deny the scientific evidence and choose to remain at risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus in the name of individual freedom (”As a Black man in America, my COVID mask, sadly, gives me new freedom,” Sept. 2).

The Texas abortion ban is restricting individual women’s choices — to decide whether an unwanted pregnancy should go forward. However, there is no attempt to assist in the raising of the resulting child. The ban puts at risk the resulting child, or the woman who decides that she must abort anyway, requiring illegal abortion or travel to another state. It puts the community at risk of the child growing up in awful conditions and turning to drugs or crime — claiming that it is protecting the unborn child when it simultaneously puts the unborn child at risk of a life of misery.

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The election “reforms” in Texas, Georgia and elsewhere are restricting individual choice — to vote. It puts the community at risk of the minority overruling the majority. It puts targeted communities at risk of losing their voice, potentially resulting in discrimination becoming the law of the land. The false claim is to avoid fraud, but the actual (and intended) result is the creation of fraud, as some communities are disenfranchised.

If the argument against the mask mandate is freedom of choice, then freedom of choice should apply to the other two issues as well. The mask mandate is at least an attempt to protect the broader community, rather than an explicit attempt to restrict the choice of a specific subset of the community.

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Charles E. Scott, Columbia

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