Ask a Libertarian: "What's the Libertarian Position on Abortion?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer:

"What's the libertarian position on abortion?"

For the complete series, go to http://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Jim||

    "The libertarian position is OH SHIT HEY LOOK OVER THERE BEHIND YOU, A CHUPACABRA!!!"

    *runs away*

  • ||

    *Gets popcorn - awaits train wreck*

  • Um||

    Make it stop.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    So Matt Welch is pro choice. Notice that he's already been born?

  • Non-objectivist||

    ...you can't prove that.

  • hazeeran||

    Solipsist.

  • Maybe...||

    Hot Sauce?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Gillespie thinks the current laws are ok. The same logic was behind all slavery and genocide - "they aren't human, so we can do what we want with them." I'm glad his mother was pro life.

  • Joe M||

    Just fyi, you can be pro-choice and choose to have kids.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Sure. Hitler didn't kill every Jew.

  • Joe M||

    Concern Troll Godwins early! In other news, sky still blue.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Not every african was brought here as a slave.
    FTFY

  • ||

    Libertarians may not agree on whether or not the government should ban abortions. What they can agree on, is that the government should not be in the business of subsidizing abortions.

  • Sudden||

    What is the libertarian stance on abortion?

    Some libertarians believe that we should not kill children until after they are born. Pretty simple.

  • ||

    What's the libertarian position on abortion?

    There are two of them. Some think it should be outlawed, some think it should be legal. Depends on whether the libertarian you are talking to believes that a fetus is a person or not.

    Libertarians fall out on abortion just like everyone else.

  • Yup||

    And many other issues as well. It's almost as if there's no objective reality in the libertarian universe [sarcasm]. If that's the case, then anything goes, correct? One can be both right and wrong at the same time. And all the arguing is for naught.

  • robc||

    robc's rules of libertarianism:

    #1. Everyone agrees with libertarians about something.

    #2. No two libertarians agree about anything.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    #2 is incorrect. So is #1.

  • robc||

    #2 is incorrect.

    Proving it.

    #3 is that some libertarians dont have a sense of humor.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ha! You thought this whole time I was a libertarian. Maybe I'm just a contrarian. Unless everyone else here is one, then I'm a utilitarian.

  • Joe M||

    You're not a contrarian.

  • ||

    "Look, this is simple contradiction. I came here for an good argument."

  • ||

    I'm a utilitarian.

    [Donald Sutherland screech]

  • Bee Tagger||

    We all doubt your worth.

  • ||

    I'm a Unitarian.*

    (*That means I only wear unitards, right?)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Cargo pants.

  • Objectivist||

    Nice little fake philosophy you've got here. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it.

  • ||

    I thought Rule #2 was that no two libertarians agree about everything.

  • robc||

    Nope, anything.

    If there are N libertarians, there are at least N+1 responses to any question.

  • Zeb||

    I agree. Now what are you going to do, Mr. Smartypants?

  • Michael||

    In other words, there are more strains of libertarianism than there are libertarians.

  • Mr Whipple||

    In other words, there are more strains of libertarianism than there are libertarians.

    +1

  • -_-||

    It's almost as if there's no objective reality in the libertarian universe

    Gillespie did say that there should be no litmus test questions for libertarians. I'm glad to hear that since now I don't have to give up my sex-slave breeding business.

  • Yup||

    No rules. Just right.

  • robc||

    I think that there is really only one libertarian position (legitimate) and that is that there is a right to life once "humanity" has begun.

    The only argument is over that point.

    Its somewhere between conception and algebra.

  • ||

    And to do that, you have to have a universally recognized definition of humanity.

    I have trouble with this issue. I tend to view a fetus as one stage of human development, just as I view infancy as a stage of human development. Neither are able to support themselves, and must be dependent on another individual in order to survive.

    The other area of conflict I run into, is that a fetus only comes into being by choice of the mother and father. That choice may have been a conscious one - let's get pregnant - or an unconscious one - I ain't wearing no stinking rubber. Because pregnancy can be prevented fairly easily, I tend to air on the side of the fetus.

  • robc||

    universally recognized?

    Nah. We dont have a universally recognized definition of self defense, but laws for it exist in every state.

  • ||

    Then how about just a recognized definition at which ever level the debate is occurring.

    But looking back, that was the point you were trying to make. I apologize for my redundancy.

  • AlexK||

    Wow... So logic, and science and well... reason goes out of the window once the issue is abortion? Fetus and infant are not the same - fetus/embrio can't live outside the womb- period. That's the difference. Infant can be raised by someone else. Good luck taking out embryo out of one woman and putting it into another. Interesting, that the individual rights of the MOTHER/WOMAN are never once brought up...

  • ||

    I agree, though I'm also troubled by the prohibition aspect. I suppose an individual's right to life trumps utilitarian concerns (if one believes, like I do, that a fetus is an individual with rights), but as somebody who generally cringes when people want to prohibit things they don't like (see, e.g., drugs; see also prostitution) I find myself sympathetic to the whole back-alley abortion argument.

  • robc||

    You know my views on utilitarian concerns, although I am concerned about getting utilitarianism pregnant, as often as Ive fucked it.

  • ||

    Do you have a problem with the prohibition of murder? If what you say is true, that you believe that a fetus is an individual with rights, than you have to view the termination of a fetus, in the same way you would view the termination of a one day old baby.

    A law making it illegal for person A to violate the individual rights of person B is not prohibition. It is the protection of liberty.

  • ||

    I understand that, which is why I noted "I suppose an individual's right to life trumps utilitarian concerns." I was simply trying to illustrate why it's a difficult issue for me and I don't feel truly comfortable in either the pro-life or pro-choice camp, though at the end of the day I self-identify as pro-life.

  • ||

    I don't know how I missed that ClubMed. Sorry about that.

  • Anti-IP Anarchist||

    Are you guys trying to get me to not steal share buy your book?

  • Tony||

    Should government force women to give birth against their will? Tough one.

  • ||

    Forcing a woman to give birth against her will, vs ending a life against it's will.

    The lesser evil is pretty clear.

  • Tony||

    A clump of cells does not have a "will."

  • Objectivist||

    Are you saying that my appendix is not holy?

  • ||

    I didn't realize that a woman gave birth to a clump of cells.

    An unborn baby, ceases to be a "clump of cells" after about five weeks. Most women don't even realize that they are pregnant at that early stage.

  • Clump Of Cells||

    Sucks to be me.

  • WTF||

    A clump of cells does not have a "will."

    Tony's mom gave birth to clump of cells.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony has a mom?
    I thought he reproduced by fission like other bacteria.

  • Zeb||

    Ah, fuck it. I'm still just a clump of cells.

  • Tony||

    She doesn't. A baby has rights once it's born. Babies aren't aborted. Clumps of cells are.

    I didn't realize clumps of cells had more rights than women.

  • MJ||

    The area of that argument is defined by the equation A=pi*r^2.

  • Tim||

    You're a clump of cells.

  • Kroneborge||

    Should governments allow women to abort a growing human life in them because it's incovienant. Tough one.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

  • Hippolyta||

    Men are superfluous.

  • Eric Cartmanez||

    You see chica, getting an abortion is no different than cheating, that's like cheating nature itself, you're cheating that little critter in your belly out of a chance at life. How else do you think all the white girls get ahead in life? They get an abortion when they're in high school and then go to college.

  • Matrix||

    that episode made me lol... like most of them do.

  • ||

    This is my High School experience exactly.

  • Slut||

    Me spreading my legs at a frat party and regretting it later totally counts as being "against my will". The sad fact of life is that women can get preggers, men cannot. Thus there is, has been, and always will be a greater burden for women regarding their sexual activities.

    Now if you want to start talking rape victims, you have a real argument that can be made.

  • Tony||

    I think I have an argument to be made for all cases. The product of a rape is not less human than the product of a willing sexual encounter. Either it has rights or it doesn't.

  • ||

    I have to agree with you on this one. Life is life, regardless of the circumstances. If a person believes that an unborn baby is a life, then rape is not a justifiable excuse for an abortion.

  • Slut||

    It was merely to address the issue of "will" on the part of the female.

  • Sudden||

    Moreover, if you make the exception only for rape/incest, you have a utilitarian nightmare on your hands. The unwilling-mother-to-be, confronted with either taking a pregnancy to term or filing a police report alleging rape may very well end up accusing an otherwise consensual partner of rape, thereby ruining his life.

  • Brett L||

    This never happens now w/o regard to her pregnancy status. /sarc

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, this. Either abortion is wrong in all cases without exceptions, or it is OK (at least until "viability" if that can be adequately defined). If the fetus has the same moral status as any adult human, then even abortion to save the mother's life is highly questionable (can you go out and kill someone because you need a kidney?). Abortion following a rape would have to be right out. Same goes for a fetus with severe defects that is still viable. Either the clump of cells is a human life with all of the moral standing that goes with that or not.

    Personally, I see the mind as what makes us human, not the DNA or the clump of cells.

  • Sudden||

    The inherent right of self-defense would permit abortion in the case of LIFE of the mother, although not simply HEALTH.

  • ninja||

    I see the mind as what makes us human

    That's why I kill people in their sleep.

  • Zeb||

    I don't know about you, but I still have a human mind when I sleep.

  • ninja||

    That's why I kill people in their sleep when they are passed-out drunk and their brainwaves are flat lined.

  • ||

    Zeb, I see it similarly: I think that having consciousness (or having had consciousness and with the possibility of regaining it) is the necessary element that differentiates a fetus from a human being. And consciousness arises in the outer layer of the cortex which doesn't even begin to develop until the 27th week of pregnancy. Thus, it is very late in pregnancy that the fetus could even begin to develop a rudimentary sense of self or consciousness and be deemed human. But don't get me wrong, even if consciousness developed very early, I would still favor a mature, sane, conscious woman having the last word over whether or not she brings her pregnancy to term or not. The consciousness argument just makes my decision a little easier. Nobody should have the say over the body of someone else in my opinion; and I consider the fetus to be part of the woman's body until the cord is cut.

  • Meiczyslaw||

    So I take it you have no objection to banning abortion when the sex was consensual.

  • Obamacare||

    Should government force women to give birth against their will?

    Why not? What can't the government do?

  • Here We Go||

  • Meiczyslaw||

    Indeed. Did you bring popcorn?

  • Here We Go||

    No, cyanide. You?

  • Ron||

    As a pro-life libertarian, one of the problems I grapple with is exactly how you go about enforcing laws against abortion. The first person to discover a pregnancy is the pregnant woman. If she wants an abortion, how does the law prevent her from having it? Should there be a government agency she reports to, periodically monitoring the progress of her pregnancy? What methods do they use to test whether she's taking all of the necessary procedures to ensure a safe delivery of the baby, i.e. eating right, vitamins, no strenuous activity... What happens in the case of miscarriages? Does she report to the miscarriage police?

    You can go on and on with the problems this would create. That's why pragmatically, abortion will never be illegal in this country.

  • robc||

    The same way its handled with post-birth children.

    If the neighbor calls and says "the neighbor kid is missing, I think his parents offed him", the police investigate.

  • ||

    That's a good answer.

  • Ron||

    So, a week after a chick gets knocked up, how do the neighbors know there's a bun in the oven?

  • robc||

    They probably dont.

    I didnt say it wouldnt be an easy crime to get away with.

  • ||

    They don't. But then again, neither does the mother.

  • Jim||

    I've brought this up in nearly ever abortion thread, and no one has satisfactorily answered it. Well, to my satisfaction. I've gotten plenty of half-assed, snark answers, but I would be disappointed with any less : ).

  • robc||

    See 1 minute before your post.

  • Jim||

    It still doesn't answer anything. A fully grown and alive kid disappearing usually doesn't have many innocent causes (Bermuda Triangle excepted).

    However, there are a huge number of perfectly innocent reasons a fetus could turn into applesauce and leak out, maybe all at once, maybe in dribs and drabs. I'll leave that up to your imagination.

    In addition, everyone knows if they have a child living in the house or not. Some women may not know they were pregnant.

    Also, you didn't address what level of behavior becomes "illegal". Is it illegal, with state enforcement, for women to drink or smoke during pregnancy? If not, why not, since it may lead to the death or damage of the fetus against it's will?

  • robc||

    Those are questions for 50 state legislatures to answer.

    However, there are a huge number of perfectly innocent reasons a fetus could turn into applesauce and leak out

    Which is why police would investigate. "I had a miscarriage. -- Okay, sorry to bother you ma'am, better luck next time."

    Heck, police might entirely ignore it, focusing on the doctors instead, might only investigate a woman if they think it might lead to the doctor.

    Not my problem.

    Police barely enforce red lights. Doesnt mean it isnt a good law.

  • Jim||

    Murder and red-lights aren't quite analogous. You're making it sound like a routine enforcement issue, but what we're talking about is murder.

    If a woman claimed to have a miscarriage, they wouldn't say, "Ok, have a nice day ma'am", anymore than they would say that if they went up to a house, asked a parent what happened to their vanished kid, and the parent just said he died of natural causes, no worries. No cop would buy that at face value. It doesn't stop there. There has to be an investigation. Every woman who stated she had a miscarriage would have to be medically examined to exonerate her as a suspect in the murder of the fetus.

  • robc||

    Abortion wouldnt HAVE to be murder. We have many levels of killing, from murder down to involuntary manslaughter and a bunch in between.

    I assume most women who have a known miscarriage see a doctor, so, honestly, the investigation would probably be easy.

  • ||

    Jim, we had a long discussion about this very subject before, but I cannot pull it up in the archives for some reason. If I eventually do, I'll link you to it.

  • Jim||

    I'd be interested to read it. I just don't think we're going to be able to see eye-to-eye on this. I can't imagine outlawing it working (in the modern world, where busy-bodies find ways to give people life sentences for seeing a picture of kiddie porn) without the clamoring masses setting up a police-state inspecting every woman everytime anything happens to a fetus.

    In addition, the "for the children" crowd would quickly have it to where nearly every activity that might even remotely harm a fetus would be outlawed for pregnant women. I really think that's what the electorate would come to, because they would be fear-mongered into it by vocal soccer moms and wedge-issue pols (who will NOT let this die as a wedge issue, even if it's outlawed. They'll just start harping on other things relating to it, i.e. drinking while pregnant, etc.).

  • Jim||

    Oh, and much as it pains me to say it, I think Danny is right, below, when he talks about comparing how outlawing it would work today much like the War on Drugs. Did anyone imagine when they outlawed pot that someday SWAT teams would be storming people's homes looking for joints? No, but that's what it led to. I can easily, easily imagine SWAT raids into houses where someone was suspected of having an abortion, and them siezing coat hangers as evidence (without a warrant, natch, because they thought they might have heard someone flushing the coat hanger down the toilet).

  • Rock Action ||

    That was a really good thread, a really good point, and I'm generally a sliding-scale guy. I don't like dead fetuses/babies, but I also would hate the thought of the police picking through trash and the subsequent inquisition. That was the most meritorious thing a commenter has ever said since I've been reading the comments. National Review struggles with this issue (read Ramesh Ponnuru) but I've never heard it framed quite so starkly. Peace and belated internet points.

  • Sudden||

    I would envision a world in which abortion is illegal much the way that a decriminalized drug world works. The law enforcement is primarily concerned with arresting providers of abortions. I think very few woman would willing take up crystal meth or repeatedly fall down stairs in an effort to terminate a pregnancy.

  • Jim||

    No, but a bunch of them would do exactly what they did before...go to back alleys and have them done in an extremely unsafe manner. Or doing it themselves with sleeping pills and coat hangers. And just like drug dealers, there is no police state tight enough that you would be able to prevent this from happening.

    Which a pro-life person will then say, "so because it's impossible to enforce entirely, does that mean we should legalize all murder?"

    And then we're back to square one. It all comes down to whether you consider the fetus a person with rights yet or not. Everything else is some bullshit utilitarianism, including the arguments I gave above. Until that first, simple, fundamental thing is agreed upon, there's no real moving forward.

    Since I would submit that it cannot be agreed upon, then the current solution (legal in some, but not all, circumstances), is probably the best we'll ever do.

  • ||

    You have summarized my own thinking on the subject perfectly. I am not "for" abortion, but I also am not prepared to outlaw it entirely either.

  • Ron||

    A-friggin'-men. Couldn't have said it better.

    In principle, I don't want to see it happen; pragmatically, there's no way I, or any other well-intentioned person can stop it.

  • ||

    You are asking robc to grapple with reality.

    The reality of over 1M abortions in this country each year.

    The reality of the impossibility of effective enforcement of his desired legal regime consistent with the norms of a free and open society.

    The reality of creating a vast, brutal and militantly politicized new front in our already disastrous War On Drugs.

    The reality of hundreds of thousands of unwanted, impoverished, deformed, retarded, stigmatized children each year coming into a society that is unwilling to adequately attend to the needs of the hordes of disadvantaged children already here; a society that sees their parents, and, by extension, them, as so many "moochers" and "freeloaders."

    robc is not ready to confront any of this reality. He has his snark. He has his glibness. He has his smug self-assurance, as shallow as it is unshakeable. That is all he has. Reality is the last thing on his mind.

    He thinks suppressing abortion would be functionally equivalent to investigating the murder of a six-year-old. What more do you need to know about this abject knave? Could there be any clearer or more damning evidence of his addled state of mind?

  • -_-||

    Legality has as much to do with condoning something as a society and attaching stigmas to certain actions as it does finding and convicting those who commit crimes. Trade offs are always made. A good example is that we, as a society, would rather error on the side of innocence and, by doing so, let some murders go unpunished than lock up an innocent. The same would be true of abortion if it were severely restricted. Making most abortions a crime would stigmatize it and reduce its occurrence without zealously hunting down everyone who provided abortion services or had an abortion. Hell, look at doctor-assisted suicide. It's not legal. Does anyone think that it doesn't happen frequently? I support letting people off themselves is they really want to, but I strongly oppose openly legalizing DAS since I think it would eventually lead to the elderly feeling an obligation to kill themselves.

  • ||

    Keep dreaming, dreamer.

  • -_-||

    What precisely are you accusing me of dreaming about?

  • Sudden||

    The War on Drugs analogy is decent to a point. A criminalized abortion scenario would probably more resemble a decriminalized drug scenario; the focus would be primarily on the providers/suppliers of abortion services as would be the stiff penalties.

  • ||

    supra, dreamer.

  • ||

    Pro-lifers absolutely refuse to confront this reality. The baseline pro-life position is:

    I.) A fetus is a human.

    II.) RU-486? lalalaICan'tHearYou--
    Misoprostol? lalalaICan'tHearYou--

    III.) Presto: Happy Babies for Everybody!

    The only way to suppress a massive, largely drug-based, clandestine abortion industry in this country would be to put Balko's paramilitary-police-state on Stallone-sized doses of anabolic steroids.

    Uh-uh. No, thanks. I never promised you a rose garden, sweetheart. Legal abortion is no picnic, but it's better than the alternatives.

  • Sudden||

    RU-486 is only effective up to 9 weeks after implantation, meaning it has limited effectiveness for a large swath of cases where women may not yet know they are pregnant until well after it.

  • ||

    "Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was 'Oh no, not again.' Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now."

  • robc||

    Those that speculated so were wrong, as we discovered in book 3.

  • ||

    Hmm? There was a book 3? I don't believe you. Just a vicious rumor dreamed up by the haters to discredit the first two.

  • robc||

    No, that was book 5.

    The first 4 are the legit trilogy.

  • ||

    lalalalalalala i can't hear you.

  • ||

    +27

  • Tim||

    If you don't feel revulsion at the idea of a mother killing her own baby, there's probably no hope for you.

  • ||

    So we decide things on feelings now, do we?

  • Tim||

    Conscience.

  • Most Commentators Here||

    Sure. All the time.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Exactly. Libertarians oppose the initiation of force. If killing a baby isn't the initiation of force, nothing is.

  • ||

    Making a woman stay pregnant isn't accomplished by force?

  • robc||

    No more so than preventing some crazy bitch from offing her 2 year old is accomplished by force.

  • ||

    But then we are back to deciding when those protects attached, i.e. what is humanity?

    All I'm getting at is the force decides nothing.

  • robc||

    Once we have decided the humanity question, then the initiation of force question absolutely matters. And is easy.

  • ||

    I agree, rob. I'm just saying that initiation of force alone doesn't solve the issue.

  • robc||

    Once we have that pesky humanity question solved, yes it does. All libertarian laws would come down to initiation of force (assuming fraud is a kind of force).

  • ||

    We agree rob.

  • Casey Anthony||

    Back off!

  • Matrix||

    Making sure you don't murder innocent people isn't accomplished by force?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    The difference being who initiates said force.

  • Tim||

    I'm not going to be strapping women to litters, or following them around. They can find ways to have abortions no doubt. But I don't condone it and I will speak out against it, where my opinion is sought, like here today.

  • ||

    Good answer.

  • ||

    Tim - infanticide was common, and often legal, in the ancient world as a method of family planning. See references to "exposing infants" (ie, abandoning them outdoors to die of hypothermia, dehydration, being eaten by animals, etc). Drowning and smashing their brains out were also common.

    Our ancestors didn't have the well-developed notions of rights and personhood we do. They also didn't have access to safe (for the woman) reliable contraception, contra-implant and fetus killing technologies that we now have.

    The perfect is always the enemy of the good.

  • Applederry||

    In my experience there are three types of libertarians regarding abortion.

    The first believes the woman's self-ownership of her body overrides any claim the fetus might have and thus abortion is completely legal.

    The second may believe the fetus has a claim to life at a certain point, but the idea of the government forcing a woman to bear a child and give birth is too icky so they think abortion should be mostly legal, with perhaps a few minimal regulations.

    The third believes the fetus' right to life overrides the woman's claim of self-ownership, whether because of choices made or some other reason and thus believe abortion should be illegal.

  • ||

    Part of a woman's right to own her body, is the responsibility of accepting the consequences of what she does with her body.

    Unless you believe in immaculate conceptions, pregnancy comes as a result of the mothers actions.

    People try hard to make nuanced arguments, as to why an unborn baby is not a life worth protecting, yet a new born baby is.

  • ||

    So pregnancy is a punishment for the crime of having sex?

  • robc||

    Not a punishment, a result.

    We as libertarians, in theory, believe that people* are responsible for their actions. If the action of sex leads to pregnancy and the pregnancy has gone past the humanity line**, then there ya go, deal with it.

    *with very, very few exceptions that arent worth discussing

    **which may be conception. Or not.

  • ||

    But if the humanity line is conception--which many, many people suggest that it is--forced continued pregnancy is something that is being done, by definition, without the mother's consent. The only analogy that fits if crime (I mug you) and punishment (I go to jail for nine months.)

    And this is avoiding dragging in pregnancy through contraceptive failure, rape, and incest.

    I think there is a blind spot here, where temporarily enslaving a doctor to save the life of the man dying at his feet is understood as wrong, but nine months of pregnancy can be forced based on a roll of the dice through an emotion-driven duty imposed on the mother.

  • robc||

    And if I knock up a chick, I have to pay 18 years of child support.

    Not exactly the same thing, but close enough. Actions have consequences. Sometimes you roll snake eyes. Dont stick your dick in ovulating chicks.

  • ||

    I don't agree with child support either, as I have outlined here before. That a bad law exists is not a sufficient reason to make an additional bad law.

  • robc||

    I dont have any problem with child support (in theory, actual practice leaves a lot to be desired). Dont want to pay for a child, dont knock some chick up.

  • sarcasmic||

    "That a bad law exists is not a sufficient reason to make an additional bad law."

    The alternative is to repeal the bad law.
    How does one who sees their job as a "lawmaker" repeal legislation?
    They don't repeal laws, they make laws.
    Besides, intentions are what matter. If well intentioned legislation (and it's all well intentioned) does not accomplish its intended goal, it didn't have enough teeth. Unintended consequences can be dealt with with more well intentioned legislation.

    A lot of hard work went into drafting that legislation, and repealing it would make the "lawmaker" look weak.

    Repeal is not an option.

  • ||

    The primary, biological purpose for sexual intercourse, is reproduction. Anyone who engages in sexual activity, has to be aware that pregnancy is a possible outcome. When a person makes a choice to engage in an activity, and that activity has the potential for a known result, then the person who engages in the activity is responsible for the result.

    A result can not be considered "forced", if the activity that led to the result was done out of free will.

  • ||

    A result can not be considered "forced", if the activity that led to the result was done out of free will.

    You walk into my house under your own free will. You are now my slave.

    Don't like that one? You voluntarily had sex and caught the clap. Not only do you deserve the clap, you are legally prevented from taking antibiotics to get rid of it.

    The "consenting to sex is consenting to full-term pregnancy" argument might have more traction if the responsibilities weren't so one-sided. (And no, the millions of fathers avoiding child support don't give you an argument. It only argues that the ability to get an abortion should be as easy as getting out of child support.)

  • ||

    You walk into my house under your own free will. You are now my slave.

    You are ignoring the rest of my comment, which provides the context for the portion you are quoting.

    I didn't realize that becoming the property of another individual was a potential, known result of walking into your home.

    If I willfully enter your home with out your permission, and you decide to take action to force me out of your home, I can't turn around and accuse you of assault.

    As far as getting the clap, STD's are a risk of sexual intercourse. I have to deal with it.

    Your analogy between STD's, and a fetus is flawed. if I take anti-biotics to get rid of an STD, who's individual liberties am I violating by doing so?

    The "consenting to sex is consenting to full-term pregnancy" argument might have more traction if the responsibilities weren't so one-sided.

    The man should be held just as accountable as the woman. If you want to argue for stricter enforcement of child support laws, then I would support that.

  • ||

    who's individual liberties am I violating by doing so?

    You have failed to convince me that individual liberties attach at contraception. So the same question applies to STDs.

    If you take as axiomatic that a fertilized egg is a human being with full individual rights, then the rest of this is just a dog's breakfast.

    If you want the miscarriage police checking your garbage for you wife's maxi-pad to make sure there's not an extra-large chunky part they need to send back to the lab, if you want state social workers visiting every pregnant woman to make sure she is eating exactly what they decide, you want shackled women giving birth under guard, you want to try women who have self-aborted for murder and throw them in prison... then just say so.

    If women become the chattel of their children the second they conceive, then just say so.

  • ||

    A baby has no rights at all, until it has made the transition from being a fetus to an infant? So, does that mean I can walk up to a woman with a big, giant, prego belly, and give her a few kicks to the gut, without having to fear any punishment for any damage I did to the fetus?

    What is the trigger that transforms a fetus, with no rights, into a baby with rights? What is the biological distinction between a baby, one day before it is born, and the day after it is born?

    As far as the "miscarriage police" are concerned, it's amusing that you make the leap from "fetus has rights" to a massive new police state. Is this an issue that we have now, when it comes to newly born babies? Are social workers going around, knocking on doors, and checking to make sure that every new mom are feeding their babies properly? Your talent for melodrama is admirable.

  • ||

    and if i beat you to a bloody pulp for trying to kill my unborn baby, would i get sent to jail?

  • hazeeran||

    If one decides to go unprotected I presume.

  • Baby Boomers||

    Fuck off! We want to continue having fun with no consequences! Because we're that awesome!

  • Joe M||

    Pretty sure almost all baby boomer women are post-menopausal, thus making this issue moot.

  • Generation X||

    So do we! Get ready for Death Panels you expensive old geezers.

  • Applederry||

    Well the obvious difference is that an infant is no longer using someone else's body for life support. However, that only answers the question of if it is okay to kill the baby. The question of who is obligated to care for the baby needs a little more.

  • ||

    Sorry, pal, but there is no such thing as an "unborn baby." As Danny said above, it's the refusal of the anti-abortion crowd to confront this reality that prevents the debate from moving forward.

    They are called fetuses for a reason.

    There is no perfect answer here, but birth is the best bright dividing line we can come up with.

    @Jim: Chupacabra answer rocks.

  • Joe M||

    Not sure how bright that line is, since plenty of premature babies survive.

  • ||

    JoeM: That's why I wrote "best." Ron @ 1:32 gives a good exposition of why conception and detectable pregnancy are bad tests.

  • -_-||

    conception and detectable pregnancy are bad tests.

    Bad tests for rigorous enforcement, not necessarily bad tests for answering the philosophical question of when life begins.

  • -_-||

    They are called fetuses for a reason.

    My understanding of the history of abortion is that the term "fetus" is Latin for "unborn child" and that the pro-abortion forces started using the term precisely because the public didn't know what the term meant. The meanings of words, of course, do change with time.

    Sorry, pal, but there is no such thing as an "unborn baby." ... it's the refusal of the anti-abortion crowd to confront this reality

    In this case, there is no uncontested "reality", only your opinion. It's impossible to get everyone to agree on a definition of when life begins.

  • ||

    Actually, I recall reading some years back that "fetus" is the latin word for "offspring".

  • -_-||

    There is no perfect answer here, but birth is the best bright dividing line we can come up with.

    Here's a dividing line that is at least as good: "A life is created at a particular moment if, in the absence of any subsequent action beyond the normal activities of living, a child will eventually be born."

    Advantages:
    1. Technological advancements will not affect the determination.
    2. Fertilized eggs in a test tube can be used or discarded without consequence.
    3. The use of almost all birth control technologies are legal.

  • ||

    Unless you believe in immaculate conceptions, pregnancy comes as a result of the mothers actions.

    And if you believe in immaculate conception, you're already pro life so it's a non-issue.

  • robc||

    Unless you believe in immaculate conceptions, pregnancy comes as a result of the mothers actions.

    The immaculate conception refers to the conception of Mary, which did involve sex, AFAIK.

    CMS - arent you catholic? Why is the baptist pointing this out?

  • ||

    Hellz no... I'm Lutheran, which is sort of like Catholocism except for all the doctrinal stuff.

    That being said, I suspect that anybody who believes Mary was immaculately conceived also believes that Jesus is God and is likely to be pro-life, so my point stands.

  • ||

    Oh, and another tenet of Lutheranism is spelling Catholocism with an "o" after the "l" instead of an "i."

  • A Serious Man||

    In my opinion once the fetus begins to be able to feel pain, then it's a human being with rights of its own and it has a right, like all persons, NOT to be killed without just cause.

  • ||

    So the mere act of being able to feel pain qualifies it as human? Why don't all creatures who are able to feel pain entitled to rights?

  • leper||

    "So the mere act of being able to feel pain qualifies it as human?"

    Why is everyone always picking on me?

  • A Serious Man||

    It IS human, it was conceived by humans, carries human DNA, and once it's cognitive enough to feel pain it should be considered a person with rights, meaning we can't burn it or crush its skull or do anything that would be cruel and ununsual to a fully developed person.

  • -_-||

    What's the Libertarian position on embroidered shirts? Shouldn't they have rhinestones?

  • Fred||

    Exactly -- The Jacket has become The Shirt.

  • AlmightyJB||

    No. The Jacket is always there whether you see it or not.

  •  ||

    +1.5

  • robc||

    once the fetus begins to be able to feel pain

    so about age 13?

  • Dan||

    A Libertarians point of view should be that the Fed Gov't has no say or view on the issue. It's not what it was set up to do - read the Constitution.
    If an individual state wants to allow abortions and even fund them then that is the choice of those citizens in that state.

    Once again, the Federal Government per order of the Constitution has no say in the matter

    That is the beauty of that document and why politicians had to enact the Clauses' as soon as possible, while we the sheeple have to obey every step of the way

  • robc||

    Not all libertarians are constitutionalists or even federalists.

  • Tim||

    Forsooth, the Libertarian position ought to be that Government abortion subsidies are as wrong as government subsidized anything else.

  • Matrix||

    So, I guess the federal government has no right to tell states to protect their citizens if those states decide a few people are allowed to murder innocent people at will?

  • robc||

    Correct.

    Its already done. The line between self-defense and murder varies from state to state. What is considered murder of an innocent in one state is a-ok in other states.

  • Matrix||

    I don't believe any state allows a special class of people to run around gunning down whomever they will without legal reprecussions.

    We're not talking about self-defense vs. murder.

  • Applederry||

    A Libertarians point of view should be that the Fed Gov't has no say or view on the issue.

    That's a cop out. Libertarians are not constitutionalists. Local government may be given a little more leeway than the federal, but as a rule, if something is wrong for the government to do at the federal level, then it's wrong to do it at the local level. Or do you think there's nothing wrong with a local gov outlawing speech critical of the mayor?

  • Matrix||

    Not only that, but the federal government should investigate situations where local law enforcement is abusing it's citizens. There was a case in Texas where local cops were stopping motorists and confiscating money and jewelry and other valuables from them without cause.

  • MJ||

    "A Libertarians point of view should be that the Fed Gov't has no say or view on the issue."

    Right now, the federal government has the only say on the issue. The states are largely prohibited from making law on this issue by a branch of the federal government.

    By your reasonong the Libertarian position should be to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  • Ayn Rand||

    Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.

  • Tim||

    Sophistry.

  • Baby Boomers||

    I had an unintended hangover!

  • Joe M||

    Ayn Rand: pro-choice AND pro-life

  • ||

    Golf clap for "vicious nonsense".

    @Tim: Sophistry = You don't like it and can't think of a response on the merits.

  • ||

    Sort of like how music critics use the word "pretentious."

  • Tim||

    "but the essential issue concerns only the first three months"
    - no, abortion is legal up until birth, see the whole partial birth debate.

    "human beings are not stock-farm animals"
    - Which means you can't kill them for convenience.

    "the unborn, i.e., the nonliving" -Rubbish. If the unborn were "nonliving" then they would come out dead. And rotten eggs would hatch chickens.
    "the right of young people to set the course of their own lives"
    - except for those people younger than 9 months.

  • ||

    Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.

    Thank goodness there is sterilization, abstinence, condoms, the pill, the morning-after pill and dozens of other methods of living with the consequences of your actions, respecting life, and meeting your fucking and child-bearing needs.

  • Yup||

    Yeah, because mistakes never happen.

  • ||

    ... and the baby should pay for the mistakes of others.

  • Yup||

    the baby should pay

    No, the fetus should, but they rarely have cash on hand. By the way, "babies" are actual people. Fetuses are not. Hope this helps.

  • MJ||

    "Fetus" is a stage of human development like "infant" and "adolescent". A human fetus is an actual individual human being. You need to come up with a better reason for a fetus to be defined out of personhood than because you think that term makes a particular distinction. Oh and that reason needs to applicalble across all stages of human life.

  • ||

    Yeah, because mistakes never happen.

    They happen all the time. That is what the morning after pill is for. If you are too busy to be troubled with the responsibility I would suggest sterilization.

  • Murray Rothbard||

    The proper groundwork for analysis of abortion is in every man’s absolute right of self-ownership. This implies immediately that every woman has the absolute right to her own body, that she has absolute dominion over her body and everything within it. This includes the fetus. Most fetuses are in the mother’s womb because the mother consents to this situation, but the fetus is there by the mother’s freely-granted consent. But should the mother decide that she does not want the fetus there any longer, then the fetus becomes a parasitic “invader” of her person, and the mother has the perfect right to expel this invader from her domain. Abortion should be looked upon, not as “murder” of a living person, but as the expulsion of an unwanted invader from the mother’s body. Any laws restricting or prohibiting abortion are therefore invasions of the rights of mothers.

  • Tim||

    If you don't feel revulsion at the idea of a mother killing her own baby, there's probably no hope for you.

  • Matrix||

    How is that any different than, say, a mother deciding not to take care of her child any longer, and leaving it alone to starve or die of thirst? Why should she be inconvenienced any further to seeing to the safety and needs of the child before her?

  • -_-||

    every woman has the absolute right to her own body, that she has absolute dominion over her body and everything within it

    I'll never be comfortable having sex ever again.

  • ||

    But should the mother decide that she does not want the fetus there any longer, then the fetus becomes a parasitic “invader” of her person, and the mother has the perfect right to expel this invader from her domain.

    So anytime before the child is delivered it can be considered a "parasite"? Only the most militant pro-choice advocate would argue along those lines. The time to decide you "do not want a fetus" is before you get pregnant. Any libertarian analysis of abortion that ignores actions and consequences is poorly developed at best.

  • ||

    So you think a significant number of people plan to get pregnant and then get abortions? Derp.

  • Matrix||

    I don't think anyone is requiring the woman to raise the child until it become an adult. In fact, there are plenty of people out there willing to adopt a baby.

  • Yup||

    How many have you taken in?

  • ||

    You want to get rid of welfare? How many poor people are you willing to support?

  • Yup||

    Only those I love and respect and value, when it's within my means and when doing so doesn't sacrifice my own happiness. How about you?

  • M. Sanger||

    Definitely not one of Rand's moments of clarity. Over-the-top rhetoric, unsubstantiated assertions, blind moral equivalencies, all in the service of rationalizing her own irresponsible slutty lifestyle. Cheap tart.

  • Yup||

    Beautiful ad hom. Bravo!

  • MJ||

    "A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term."

    How is a "piece of protoplasm" not an apt description of any human being? An embryoor a fetus is an individual human life which is by definition "living". Your argument makes no sense without assuming definitions of "living" and "human" which are quite narrow and eccentric.

  • Tim||

    Poor Nick is rocking like Rainman in that vid. Give him his jacket back.

  • -||

    Too late. Katrina vanden Heuvel walked off with it, and just try getting it back.

  • ||

    Withdrawal is a bitch.

  • ||

    Does the libertarian position allow for the groupon discount?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think abortion is wrong but I think a WOA would go about as well as the WOD and the WOT. Keep the status quo with the exception of me having to pay for it. The wars against the populace need to end.

  • ||

    Amen, but this may not be the best forum for pragmatic, reality-based analysis.

  • -_-||

    Was there a WOA before Roe v. Wade? Would there have to be one if Roe v. Wade were overturned?

  • ||

    That's retarded. If you think abortion is murder (I don't), you should be willing to use counter-force to stop it. Murder being illegal doesn't stop all murders, but that doesn't mean we should allow it.

  • Zeb||

    Abortions for all!

    No Abortions for anyone!

    (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos)

  • -_-||

    One of the confounding problems when discussing the politics of abortion is that there are sharp distinctions amongst the perspectives with which people answer the question, "Should abortion be legal and, if so, under what circumstances?"

    For those answering on the basis of the Constitution, the answer boils down to the question of when life begins. Once that question is answered, then there is a Constitutional obligation on the part of the Federal Government to prevent abortions beyond the point at which life begins. Before the point at which life begins, the Federal Government has no reason to be involved and restrictions, if any, should be applied at the State level. This Constitutional perspective has been thoroughly effed up by the SCOTUS declaring that there is a Right to get an abortion.

    Another perspective is one based on the idea of the sovereignty of a women over her own body. This perspective carries a lot of weight amongst libertarians perhaps because the body sovereignty question impacts many other issues, e.g. drug use, consensual sex, etc., that have important political implications. However, there is still the question of determining when life begins.

    I think it is clear from past public opinion polls that the majority of the public does not look at abortion from either of the above perspectives. The public has consistently supported allowing abortion in the cases of rape, incest and a medical threat to the life of the mother. Since rape and incest have nothing to do with when life begins and don't involve balancing the rights of a child with the rights of a mother, as a threat to the life of the mother does, it is clear that the public bases its opinion mostly on the question of a woman's personal responsibility for getting pregnant. If, as it is sometimes alleged, the public is becoming more opposed to abortion because of the increasing use of ultrasound, then it would seem that the public is increasingly forming its opinions about abortion based on the question of when life begins.

  • Zeb||

    I think that the question of when life begins is impossible to answer and possibly meaningless. Life began several billion years ago is really the only sensible answer I can think of to that question. The question of when a human life begins is, I think, a question of mind, not biology. A sperm is alive and an egg is alive. No new life is created when they join, just a slightly different form of life. So I think it is a mistake to look for the answer in biology. Any line you draw there is bound to be somewhat arbitrary unless you also consider what it is that makes something human rather than just a clump of cells.

  • MJ||

    Except one of the fundamental assumptions of our governing philosophy is that human beings have inalienable rights. Calling into question whether or not we can even make bright line determinations on what qualifies as what qualifies as a human being puts that basic assumption into question. Ultimately, you are just taking coward's way out because you cannot come up with a definition that makes sense and also gets the practical results you would prefer.

  • ||

    Abortion should be looked upon, not as “murder” of a living person, but as the expulsion of an unwanted invader from the mother’s body.

    Murray begs the question here, and implicitly assumes that a fetus has no personhood.

    To use his analogy on an actual no-kidding person, you can invite someone into your house for a party, and even tell them they can sleep over. But, if you change your mind when you find them on your couch the next morning, you can shoot them in the head.

  • Jim||

    Almost. You can't shoot them in the head, but you can sure as hell kick them out without ensuring that they have the means to support themselves. Maybe this guy was sleeping on my couch because he has nowhere else to go, and no money. So am I now morally obligated to take care of him, since at one point in the past I invited him in?

  • Sparky||

    Here's a novel idea, how about giving individuals the freedom to choose. Maybe a woman doesn't agree that a fetus is alive until she gives birth. Maybe she then finds a doctor that agrees with her point of view and is willing to do an abortion. What gives anyone else the right to tell them they can't go through with it?

    IOW, why do you hate freedom?

  • Hitler||

    You know, I don't think Jews are ever really alive. I have some soldiers who agree with me.

    Freedom is a great thing, nicht wahr?

  • Sparky||

    Sure is, that's why a bunch of other countries felt free to form an alliance and stop you.

    It strikes me as odd that there might be people who say we have no business being in Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya but also believe that we had a duty to stop Hitler.

  • Patton||

    It strikes me as odd that there might be people who say we have no business being in Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya but also believe that we had a duty to stop Hitler.

    Hitler was a threat. Stopping him was self-defense. The others, eh, not so much.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yep. With all those bombs dropping on American soil and looming threat of invasion, waging war against Germany was most definitely self defense.

  • robc||

    Hawaii and Oregon.

  • Patton||

    In your mind, is it necessary to wait until someone is standing next to you and pointing a gun at your head before you start thinking about the need for self defense?

    Actually, many of the WWII generation that I have talked to say that most Americans didn't really care much about waging war against Germany. They saw the war in Europe as just European business-as-usual. But they were sporting war-wood for Japan because of Pearl Harbor. The US war fever for fighting Hitler may be mostly a post-WWII invention.

  • MJ||

    The Germans did wreak havoc on American shipping within sight of our coast in '42.

  • ||

    Germany declared war on America. We had to fight.

  • Hitler||

    D'Oh!

  • ||

    Here's a novel idea, how about giving individuals the freedom to choose.

    Some of us believe that the unborn child is also an individual in the transaction. The fact that they cannot express it makes them no different than anyone on life support.

    What gives anyone else the right to tell them they can't go through with it?

    The same right the state has to protect the person on life support. The fact that the person’s children want to pull the tube out and have found a doctor willing to do so does not mean the state will not use threat of force or punishment to protect that person if they consider them viable.

    And I really don’t give a fuck if a woman disagrees a fetus is alive until she gives birth; that is an infantile argument. Or were those heartbeats I heard at my children’s first ultrasound auditory illusions?

  • Sparky||

    So are you arguing that the state has the rightful power to declare if a person (born or unborn) is viable?

    I understand that there are people who think an unborn fetus deserves the same rights as a fully born person. However, as I asked, what gives those people the right to dictate how other people live their lives?

  • MJ||

    So you are arguing that the state has no legitimate authority to protect human rights?

    What gives people who believe in property rights the right to dictate to burglars how to live their lives?

    It never ceases to amaze me how easily some people chuck the whole idea of human rights in order rationalize abortion.

  • Sparky||

    But are they human rights? In the case of the fetus in question both the doctor and the woman don't believe the fetus is a human. Since both parties involved believe they have every right to take part in an abortion why shouldn't they be allowed to? You are telling someone what they can or can't do by presuming to speak for someone/thing that can't.

    While we're conflating abortion with other things that are in no way the same, how about these situations:
    -don't like what's on TV? change the station
    -don't like smoking? don't smoke
    -think taking drugs is bad? don't take them
    -think abortion is bad? don't have one

    It never ceases to amaze me how some people manage to completely miss the point.

  • MJ||

    "Since both parties involved believe they have every right to take part in an abortion why shouldn't they be allowed to?"

    That only works if the woman and the doctor are correct in their assumption that the child being killed is not human. Otherwise there is a third party involved. Stop making arguments that assume your concusion.

    How about:

    -think slavery is bad? don't own slaves.

  • Sparky||

    Yet you're allowed to assume that a fetus is human. Since your opinion is that a fetus is a human from the moment of conception then everyone else in the world must agree with you and you're willing to use force if they don't.

    I do think slavery is bad, that's why I don't own any slaves. You continue to compare abortion to things that are in no way like abortion. Just like the poster who compared abortion to Hitler killing Jews. You are both coming from the position that a fetus is a human and aborting it is murder. Sorry to say, not everyone sees it that way and most likely no amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth on your part is going to change their mind.

  • CE||

    Position A: It's my body, take your stinkin' government hands off it.

    Position B: It's the baby's body, and if the government doesn't defend the weak and innocent, what good is it?

  • ||

    Position C: I don't really give a shit about other people so I will parrot Position A and posture as principled.

  • ||

    By Googling "salt solutions in abortion", I found out that some abortions use a salt solution to slowly poison the baby, which takes up to 24 hours to die, meanwhile eroding the skin. Torture in the womb.

    Please, can't we oppose all torture, whether to animals (there is immense cruelty in the food industries), to unborn babies imprisoned in the womb and unable to scream, to prisoners in the War on Terror, or to anyone?

  • Wordsworthless||

    I support the torturing of arguments.

  • Hitler||

    +2

  • ||

    Run Forrest run!

  • AlexK||

    It's not a baby.

  • ||

    In my ideal universe, Roe v. Wade would be overturned (which wouldn't ban abortions, it would simply let each state decide its own law on the subject), and there would be many states in which you could live (or travel to) where abortion was legal, and many states where it was illegal. If you disagree strongly with your state's laws on abortion, you can move to a different state if you wish.

    All the blue states (where most of the crack whores and other undesirable breeders of future criminals) would allow abortion as a form of birth control and other states can feel good about protecting the innocent. It's win-win.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    On the video, Gillespie (?) says that the abortion issue is rapidly becoming politically obsolete due to technological developments. So far, I haven't seen that argument repeated in the 216-and-counting comments. No have I seen anyone here say that abortion is an irrelevant issue distracting us from the Real Issues (TM). Instead, I see some people saying the government should forbid abortion (or most abortions), some saying that prohibiting abortion would enslave women or cause a police state, and some admitting their agonized vacillation between these positions.

    Not bad for an irrelevant issue that will soon become obsolete! Maybe the issue is more enduring that some might wish.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Also, some opposition to *Roe v. Wade* on federalist grounds.

  • Mr Whipple||

    There is no "right-to-life" in the non-aggression principle. If you enter someone's house without their permission and refuse to leave, the owner has a right to "evict" you, by any means necessary, including death by buckshot. If a fetus enters a woman's womb without her permission, and refuses to leave, she has a right to "evict" by any means necessary.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNTAmwUHcLM

  • MJ||

    Having consensual sex is essentially an open invitation. If you invite someone over, you don't have a right to kill them.

    If you don't want to issue such invitations, take up a hobby that does not have consequences that you consider so undesirable.

  • Mr Whipple||

    If you invite someone over, you don't have a right to kill them.

    OF COURSE you do. If they do not leave when you want them to leave, you can still "evict". The "invitation" is irrelevant.

  • MJ||

    If you invite them for a specific term, you cannot kill them if they stay for that term.

  • MJ||

    Say your neighbors are going away for a week and you offer to take care of their child for that time. you cannot decide in the middle of the week that you don't like the kid and put him out on the stoop in the middle of the night. Without being able to find alternate accommodations, you are stuck with your decision.

  • Sparky||

    While finding a different place for the kid to stay may be the humane thing to do, unless you signed a contract that says otherwise you absolutely have the right to kick the kid out.

    Let's say you're right and you are obligated to take care of the kid. If during the week he starts acting in a way you don't like are you allowed to punish him in a manner the parents might not agree with?

  • Kroneborge||

    you're certainly not allowed to punish him with death.

  • ||

    As a sympathetic conservative I don't mind pro-choice libertarians. Just don't tell me the opinion in Roe holds water.

  • AlexK||

    So I am trying to find out Libertarian stance on this issue and - wow - so we are accepting a religious based idea of life? Life doesn't begin at conception because well, at conception the lump of cells is not alive. Even with a heartbeat, it's not alive. about 2-3 months from birth - now is a grey area. But why aren't we talking about rights of a woman - a full sentient being, to terminate pregnancy for whatever the reason. I am confused as to why the individual rights of cells are put above the individual rights of women? What about rape? What about realising that pregnancy and child birth will destroy you physically and economically. This is the most wimpy interview I have ever seen. And just curious, I am new to libertarians, do you have women members? How often do you tell them to keep the rapist's embryo because you don't want to infringe on its individual rights.

  • Ella||

    I consider myself to be a libertarian and, personally, I have chosen to use birth control so I've not had an abortion. If I became pregnant, I would choose to keep the child and enjoy raising them just as much as I enjoyed making them. My opinion on other women having abortions is mixed. Sometimes things go wrong. She is sick and carrying the pregnancy on any longer can harm her, or treating her can harm the baby. What do you do then? That's tragic. Also, I think abortions in the first couple months should be legal simply because the fetus is not self aware. After that, illegal unless the woman's life is in danger or the baby won't survive outside the womb. I don't know how I feel about 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions after rape, though. I really don't know why a woman would carry a pregnancy on for so long after something like that unless she couldn't access an abortion.

  • scarpe Nike Store||

    is good

  • ||

    I fail to see how a pro-life position can be consistent with the libertarian value of individual liberty.

    If Jane invites John into her house and later asks him to leave and he refuses, he is a trespasser and the pro-property right stance of libertarianism would permit Jane to expel John from her house through self-help or with the help of others.

    Jane owns her body just as, or even more than, she owns her house (Locke's self-ownership principle upon which all our rights are based). If Jane no longer wishes to carry a fetus in her body, she ought to be able to expel it just as she has the right to expel John from her home. To require otherwise is to assert that Jane has no right to control the use of her own body.

    If you don't like abortion, then don't have one. But using the state to deny that option to others reduces those women to mere incubators.

  • Miranda||

    I am shocked at all the controversy that abortion causes amongst Libertarians. I would have thought it would be a slam-dunk for pro-CHOICE. It seems Libertarians are against government interference in personal lives unless women are involved. It figures. No man has ever in history picked up a gun to fight a war to free women in any way. Women's rights have been won by protest, long years of protest and politics. Men are forever going to be debating this because many men simply don't like the idea of an uppity woman, having rights over her own private parts. Now, as far as the anti-choice women, I put them on a par with those minorities who opposed civil rights for their own group--there will always be traitors to the group, no matter what group.

  • michijo||

    What a hoaky answer to a straight forward question. Libertarianism obviously is nothing at all. The great nothing, with Mr. Rogers speakers promoting it. That's why they exclaim "dont put us in a cage!", because they don't want to define themselves clearly.

    In fact, if Libertarians took over the USA, I really feel like the borders would dissolve and people would cease to be Americans. you could just walk into Canada and live there. you could argue that the nation you come from has no State, and that you are stateless and therefore ask permission to reside in Canada, because paradoxically, you no longer have a state or nationality.

  • michijo||

    Libertarians would make us Americans look so stupid. They would make us all stateless. Think about it. How retarded would we look to the rest of the world?

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