Abortion & Libertarianism: Nick Gillespie, Ronald Bailey, Mollie Hemingway, & Katherine Mangu-Ward

As a political philosophy, libertarianism stresses concepts such as self-ownership, voluntary consent, and non-agression. In many areas of human activity, the application of such ideas seems relatively straightforward. In others, reaching clarity is far more difficult.

On Tuesday, May 21, from 2pm to 3pm in Washington, D.C., Reason hosted a discussion tackling one of the most controversial and debated issues of the day: abortion. Among self-identified libertarians, there's a wide variety of positions, ranging from support for all forms of abortions to the prohibition of the same.

The participants include:

    Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason magazine's managing editor
    Mollie Hemingway, editor of Ricochet and a contributor to Christianity Today
    Ronald Bailey, Reason's science correspondent

The topics discussed:

    When does human life - and when do rights - begin?
    What's the role of science - and religion - in setting abortion policy?
    Is there a role for the state in prohibiting, regulating, and providing abortion?

A fast-paced 30-minute discussion was followed by audience Q&A.

About 45 minutes.

Hosted by Nick Gillespie and produced by Joshua Swain.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live.

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.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh God no.

  • ||

    Leave religion out of it you murderer/clump-of-cells-rights extremist!!!

  • SQRLSY One||

    You rape 'em, we scrape 'em!
    No fetus can beat us!
    Discount for bringing your own coat hanger!
    When the cloning of humans is perfected, they will be able to clone all of those cells that I scrape off of my cheek linings every time I brush my teeth. Tooth-brushing will become mass murder. Come to think of it, EATING anything other than liquids will ALSO knock living (could-be-cloned cells = humans) cells off of my cheeks, too. Eating will be mass murder as well…
    Scienfoology (Scienfoologists) does not / do not want to get embroiled in the abortion wars. Scienfoology does, however, offer your young women who would rather not submit to the Government-Almighty-mandated pre-abortion “shaming wand” rituals, a “religious freedom” out… Just WHY should religious freedoms be reserved for the “virtuous” women who don’t need or want abortions? Abortion-seeking so-called “slutty” women deserve religious freedoms too… Therefore, Scienfoology offers religious rituals in which the abortion-seeker’s religious EFFIGY is subjected to the ritual raping via “shaming wand”, rather than the personal body of the abortion-seeker. To see the full details of the “religious exemption” escape clause from the raping/shaming wand, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/sonograms/ ...

  • zafina502||

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  • Knoss||

    Somebody Quick! A straw man has been killed!

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Give this show a try. It is like a revival of Mantrap, with DC Libertarian seasoning.

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  • Alyna_Cleo||

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  • Bramblyspam||

    Sounds like Jason beats Harold, for an extra $124 per month!

  • sam the man||

    You really wanna start an abortion thread?

  • ||

    The thread that won't die.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It is past time to yank the anti-choice police state stinkweed out of the LP.

  • ||

    It is past time to yank the anti-choice police state stinkweed out of the LP.

    Fuck off, you urine reeking piece of statist shit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Oh my, I certainly would not want to upset the generation old conservative/libertarian "alliance".

    How is that working out, anyway?

  • KPres||

    Actually, pretty well, I'd say. Take libertarianism out of conservativism and the socons would be unabashed statists on all fronts. As it stands, their statism is largely contained to gay people and drugs.

    Plus, an alliance with liberals is impossible. The socialists on the left would have to be cast off, as their distaste for liberty is too fundamental to their ideology and motive. That's not going to happen, since they represent the upper echelon of the American Left.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Actually, this is worth a serious attempt at conversation.

    The GOP has been statist to the core since 1980 and the beginning of this purported alliance. Actual data shows higher spending, more programs, more surveillance, more defense spending, and larger deficits with the GOP running things.

    Now I agree that an alliance with progressive Democrats is not possible.

    But I will submit to you that old-fashioned small gov liberals (like myself, Bruce Bartlett, and millions of other GOP defectors don't want anything to do with your shitty "alliance" because what we see is Big Gov GOPism as a result. I know what you will say - "the Andrew Sullivans? Fuck them. They don't exist" But they really do.

    Basically, there is no alliance worth submitting to.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The GOP has been statist to the core since 1980 1854

    FIFY

    But not all statists are the same. Pol Pot and Conrad Adenauer were both statists. One greatly expanded freedom through economic liberalization, at personal political risk, the other was a mass murderer.

    At this point in time, the republicans are more liberty friendly than the dems, by a mile. Which is not to say that they are ideal by any stretch of the imagination. The republicans are even showing more movement towards ending the WOD than the dems.

    Really, the only area were the dems are better is on SSM and given their recent anti-first amendment actions and their hostility to freedom of association, it seem likely to me that SSM is a trojan horse for them to expand power and destroy more liberty.

  • Wesley Mouch||

    But both the left and the right want to force you into a utopia of their own design. The left wants a kind of Disneyland Copenhagen where the state supports you in a flower-child haze of irresponsibility and the right wants you to live 50's world of Father-knows-best mandated Sunday school attendance.

  • KPres||

    Yes, you're right about Republicans. But 1980 represents the rise of the National Security republicans, and that's where most of their spending has gone. It's not so much the socons, who you're always going on about. The socons don't really get much policy love, even though they're a huge segment of the population...and they vote. But there's no real particular reason they should be economic libertarians, they just lean that way because Marxists are athiests, and they hate athiests so.... Anyway, drawing them toward economic liberalism has really widened the scope of libertarian influence.

    My optimal government is a Republican congress and a Democrat president. Think Clinton era, which you like so much, probably for good reason. Right now, we're about 6 republicans in the senate seats away from that. If that's my end game, who should I side with?

    Anyway, you have to get in power to accomplish anything. Milton Friedman was incredibly influential, and not just on economic stuff, because he was a Republican. If he'd have been a strict libertarian, nobody would have cared what he had to say. It would be nice if there was a 3-party system...Socialists/Liberals/Christians, because that would probably best represent the way the population actually splits, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

    Sorry if that's a little rambling, but it's Sunday and I don't feel like putting my thoughts together.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    But there's no real particular reason they should be economic libertarians, they just lean that way because Marxists are athiests, and they hate athiests so....

    The evolution of Christian political thought in this country is quite interesting.

    In the 19th century, skepticism to markets in general and capitalism in particular was part of mainstream Christian thought with the progressive movement being the intellectual vanguard, but definitely believers. You can see this with terms like social darwinism that survive to this day. The prohibition movement was a Christian and progressivist one. And proggies like to forget that it was their hero WJB that was the prosecutor of the Scopes Monkey trial.

    Then over the last 50 years progressives jettisoned a belief in Jesus and Yahweh but kept the religious hatred of money and markets and skepticism of choice. While Christians kept their god, embraced capitalism and free will.

    Today we have lifetime Christian proselytizer Pat Robertson celebrating capitalism and calling for an end to the drug war and lifetime progress Diane Feinstein calling for ever more government control and fighting for the drug war.

  • prolefeed||

    My optimal government is a Republican congress and a Democrat president.

    My optimal government is none at all.

    My second choice would be a Libertarian Congress with a Radical Anarchist Libertarian president running herd on and restraining those statist bastards.

  • ||

    Hmmm, speaking of things that won't die...

  • ||

    Let's see, which side shall I argue today....

    Okay.

    I think it should be law that all boys MUST be circumcised before the age of one.

  • sam the man||

    Circumcision is murder!

  • ||

    Didja hear about the rabbi who made wallets out of foreskins?

    Those wallets were evil oppressive instruments of the patriarchy.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    I always thought they sold the foreskins to gay people as chewing gum NTTAWWT!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/2.....singleton/

    At 21 weeks, her doctors informed her that her fetus had no brain function and would very likely not survive the pregnancy.

    Gohmert: Ms. Zink, having my great sympathy and empathy both. I still come back wondering, shouldn’t we wai t… and see if the child can survive before we decide to rip him apart?

    Dumbest motherfucker in Congress strikes again.

  • KPres||

    Please. Maxine Waters and her 170 million unemployed make this guy sound like a Rhodes Scholar.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    OK, Maxine is dumb as a door nail. Fair point. Both should be laughed at as often as possible if not for their power to legislate.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Don't forget Hank Johnson (I worried that Guam will tip over and capsize), Sheldon Whitehouse (Oklahoma got just punishment from Gaia for causing global warming), Lizzie Warren (who has high cheekbones like all the Injuns do), ...

  • Generic Stranger||

    What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 100?

    Your honor.

    What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 50?

    Congressman.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    You forgot to mention the 20$/hr minimum wage for Warren-I mean that is fucking ridiculus

  • AlmightyJB||

    Does anyone want my deep dish fetus pizza recipe?

  • ||

    As long as it's better than Epi's conversation heart chili recipe.

  • Ted S.||

    Only if you use artisanal mayonnaise for a topping.

  • Hyperion||

    Oh, meu Deus, did you guys just start a thread on the A word. Fuck. You're going to bring Obamas butt licker out of... oh shit, it's too late, see wtf you did!

  • Caleb Turberville||

    OT: http://timesdaily.com/stories/.....ues,206944

    But I thought y'all might enjoy a laugh at a horribly-written Drug War piece from my local paper that fails to get any quotes from the Legalization side or at least fact check the half-dozen Drug Warriors who are quoted.

    To my delight, there's about a dozen or so commenters who are letting the writer have it for his shoddy reporting.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    As Radley Balko likes to say, the media isn't liberal or conservative; they're statist.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    My favorite quote:

    “It’s like law enforcement can’t catch a break.”
  • Hyperion||

    They have to protect us! I know that my biggest worry at home is that the neighborhood will be taken over by gangs of reefer crazed zombies.

  • Hyperion||

    Gawd, that's horrible. But typical of so called journalists. Nothing they like better than some good ol non-factual scare mongering.

    Nearly all the comments are more informed than the author of that POS.

  • General Butt Naked||

    The absence of any thought is marked in that article.

    First of all, kind bud has been everywhere for 20 years now, and the shit that people grow at home (in a flower pot) is way more likely to be of high quality than the stuff smuggled in from mexico.

    Secondly, they make a big deal about the rise in potency, but only a few paragraphs later are saying how expensive this super-weed is; a bit of thought would get you to the conclusion that people aren't actually getting any more THC per drug dollar spent by buying the quality weed. Could it be that it's easier to smuggle a smaller amount of weed than a larger amount, and that prohibition encourages increased THC levels?

    Oh, and I love how the reporter allows the DEA guy to set up his own strawman and burn it down without question.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Welcome to North Alabama reporting, where the powerful institutions get their propaganda posted as the featured story in the Sunday paper.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Oh I get it. I'm in pittsburgh, where every big bust is so celebrated by the local media you'd think it was the last bust needed for a drug free america.

    In fact, I'll say this right now, western PA is a horrible place to be a libertarian (except for our gun laws): The general political climate is socially conservative and fiscally liberal. I've met more people than I can count that sound like Chomsky when talking about economics and David Duke when talking culture. And the media is as you say, the propaganda arm of the local large institutions.

  • Pulseguy||

    Socially conservative and fiscally liberal - Dude, you have my sympathy.

    Canada is definitely annoying at times, but largely we are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. But, we are in bureaucratic overdrive most of the time. Which, added to fiscally conservative, leads to stagnation, unfortunately.

  • Ted S.||

    To my delight, there's about a dozen or so commenters who are letting the writer have it for his shoddy reporting.

    I liked the comment from "Amitie Kassis" the most. :-)

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "Lawrence County Drug Task Force Director Amard Martin said marijuana usually sells for $125 per ounce, and there are 26 grams in an ounce."

    28.35 fool.

  • Pulseguy||

    The Lawrence County Drug Task Force takes 2.35 grams as their commission on every bust. So, technically he is correct.

  • Lord at War||

    Lawrence County Drug Task Force Director Amard Martin said marijuana usually sells for $125 per ounce, and there are 26 grams in an ounce.

    Someone should tell Peanut-brain Martin that an ounce is 28.35 grams.

    My ounces were always 29 grams. (put a celery stalk in the bag overnight- the pot will absorb a little water...)

  • kingice||

    Check your audio/video quality...It sucks on this end.

  • Ted S.||

    You want to listen to a reason video on abortion???

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?"

  • Hyperion||

    Free speech is now illegal in Limeytardia.

    632 anti-Muslim hate incidents reported to 'MAMA' since March 2012

    MAMA? Bwahahhaaahaa! You can't make up this degree of stupid.

    Holy wars in Limeytardia, formerly known as Britain

    It's not too late to get in on my burqua factory IPO. Sales in Sweden and Limeytardia will be exploding soon. I predict that the male burqua for the fully feminized, sit down pee-ers, in Sweden, will be the best seller. Take care in insulting them, though, they will swing their man purse at you.

  • ||

    They were trying to lose the perfidious Albion sobriquet, and got a little carried away. Could've happened to anyone.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I predict that the male burqua for the fully feminized, sit down pee-ers, in Sweden, will be the best seller.

    Hey!

    There's nothing wrong with sit down pee-ers. I'm one, but not because I wanted to leave by the wayside one of the biggest advantages of being a man, but because I'm prone to micturition sycope which is a bitch when you have a tile floor.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I sit to pee because of the cat who visits me nearly every time. She a sweet little thing who thinks she's still a kitten. She rubs and talks (she waits to be answered) and poses, and I refuse to hurt her feelings.

  • BMFPitt||

    When does human life - and when do rights - begin?

    I'll go with a 10% chance of viability. But in cases of serious, debilitating birth defects, I'd leave the option there right up to full term.

    What's the role of science - and religion - in setting abortion policy?

    Science will tend to make the age above go down over time, and enhance detection and prevention of said birth defects. Religion has no place in maters of public policy.

    Is there a role for the state in prohibiting, regulating, and providing abortion?

    Yes, yes, no.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    At the point at which the fetus is considered to "viable" is it legal for the mother to induce labor? Once the "viable" fetus has been delivered, what sort of care is the mother legally required to provide?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    From my POV, they're not strictly viable until they can live on their own dime.
    I people with grandchildren who haven't fully qualified yet.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I know people...

  • Caleb Turberville||

    When Mangu-Ward and Bailey started talking about life-boat ethics and people's different personal intuitions, that really struck a chord with me.

    It's kinda like people's personal intuitions about the first-cause of the Big Bang; there's a kind of breakdown in the general theory of personhood at the singularity of conception where 10 out 10 people have different but equally valid thoughts about what's going on.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    First time I ran into the "Life Boat" ethics exercise, it was from a government teacher in high school. We were supposed to write a paper called "Who to Choose?" It gave a clear scenario, and I chose according to useful skills and supplies. I wrote that paper, and another called "Which to Choose?" In it I argued the correct moral perspective is to plan ahead, buy a lifeboat and stock it to suit your needs.

  • Hyperion||

    NR, on a lighter note.

    Has anyone played Divinity II directors cut? I've been hacking on that since Thursday evening. Talk about a hardcore serious RPG, it's total awesomeness, but not for casual gamers.

  • ||

    NR, on a lighter note.

    Racist!

  • Gorilla tactics||

    hmmmm...intriguing, older game though isn't it? Tell me more about these strange Non-TES RPGs

  • General Butt Naked||

    On Tuesday, May 21, from 2pm to 3pm in Washington, D.C., Reason hosted a discussion tackling one of the most controversial and debated issues of the day: abortion.

    Yeah, and you posted it twice already. We get the point, you really want a giant weekend abortion thread, but people are kinda burnt out on dead babies.

  • mad libertarian guy||

  • AlmightyJB||

    a little on the emo side

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Definitely not emo, but I know exactly your meaning. That's why it's Sunday metal.

  • AlmightyJB||

    ah yes. Makes sense:)

  • Ted S.||

    Not metal. Definitely not metal.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I just listened to KMW opening statement and I don't see any reason why her same points could not be used to justify infanticide.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Since all moral statements are a matter of opinion, they could be. The Romans used to throw their unwanted babies off the cliffs. You just have to convince enough people that there is no need to feel guilt or shame about it.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    In practice though, morality is simply whatever the person or group of persons with the biggest, baddest, meanest thugs in their employ says it is.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I'm not sure it could be used to "justify" infanticide. I guess it could be used to excuse infanticide provided there isn't a good enough reason to condemn infanticide, which I'm sure KMW has, but the topic at hand was, instead, abortion.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    She said that she doen't believe in 'natural rights' and that birth is the dividing line for her because of tradition.

    So, what is the moral basis to oppose infanticide, especially in a society where it's widespread.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I think she says "skeptic".

    I don't know what her personal opinion is, but as a person who shares her inclination to question the seemingly magical qualities of natural rights, I would suppose she's weighed the value-status that modern society has placed on neonates.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So where do rights come from if they are not inherent?

    And what's to prevent a society from determining an individuals rights entirely based on their utility to that society?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    It's my understanding that the concept of natural rights is a product of the Enlightenment. It's a very important concept, because it says that there's an inalienable individual sovereignty that government cannot trespass.

    But to continue the rationalist tradition of the Enlightenment, it would seem reasonable and honest to admit there are areas where the morality and ethics of the individuals breakdown and we must allow for a reasonable debate to include societal standards, personal intuition, and, yes, objectives values, such as utility, to inform our decisions.

    I think it's reasonable to conclude that the conception-personhood debate is an area where differences of opinion must be debated because if there's such as thing as non-person human lifeform, then questioning its right to continued dependence on the mother, whose personhood is not in question, must occur.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's my understanding that the concept of natural rights is a product of the Enlightenment.

    I think it has more of a religious origin and the enlightenment was trying to give it a rational instead of supernatural basis.

    ...the conception-personhood debate...

    My problem with this dichotomy is that it can lead to the idea of a human loosing personhood and rights.

    I come down more on Bailey's side on abortion, but I also recognize the irrationality of that position and where it leads in the future.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    It's more reasonable to conclude that the exploration of rational, objective basis and development of morality and ethics is still primitive enough that it breaks down in certain areas.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Around 31 minutes in KMW states that the rise secularism has not led to an abandonment of individual rights in the US at this point; and she acknowledges that has happened in other societies throughout history. Which is true enough. But it's also possible (likely to me) that is only the case because of the inherent conservatism (as in lack of change) of all cultures and that over time a secular society will necessarily move away from respecting individual rights.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Secularism doesn't necessarily dismiss natural rights; it merely opens the door for a broader discussion not confined to the theistic boundaries of the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I disagree and think that a secular belief in natural rights is freeloading off of the religious beliefs of society at large and cultures resistance to change.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Well, for me, a secular idea of natural rights stems from the non-belief in the divinity of kings. In the secular tradition, I believe that no one has a monopoly on the "eternal truths"; because no one has such a monopoly, no one has a right to control another individual.

    This requires no "freeloading." Theists and secularists may both believe in natural rights, but we have different reasons for doing so.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but was ancient Jewish Canaan all that respectful of the individual. For instance, weren't the Canaanites slaughtered to make room for the Israelites?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Kinda like the Injuns were in America.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    weren't the Canaanites slaughtered to make room for the Israelites?
    Kinda like the Injuns were in America.

    Space was never the reason for what was done to the Injuns.
    Of course, most people are completely unaware of America's greatest demographic disaster. It befell them simply by the explorers showing up and travelling around exposing them to diseases America had been isolated from for several thousand years. Literal decimation.

  • Lord at War||

    Literal decimation.

    Somebody here doesn't understand the meaning of "literal" and "decimation".

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think that it was accepted at the time that the moral laws in Torah concerning respect for the individual only applied within the tribe. That was one of the reasons that The Good Samaruten story in the New Testament was so important. It showed respect, not o ly for another tribe, but one that was reviled by the Israelites.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I meant freeloading in the sense that the larger culture provides a basis for respecting 'natural' individual rights.

    Ultimately, that premise is a first principle assertion not something that is intuitively obvious. Eliminate the support of because sky daddy says so, or we believe that because that's who we are and a great many people will stop supporting the concept altogether. A factor that has been happening in the US for the last several decades.

  • Sordid Business||

    I think that the whole debate about 'natural rights' versus received truth from GOD is unnecessary on a rational level. You just have to make each step of your argument conditional upon previously established steps. It is a bit more work, but it eliminates the need for worrying about the ontological status of first principles

    I doubt anyone reads such things any more, but Berkeley's "Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous" is a great example of how this can work at its best.

    But that is on a rational level. When it comes to moving the hearts and minds of the populace as a whole, this is all (of course) quite meaningless.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Is there a way to mathematically prove the existence and scope of natural rights?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    KMW is also a self-professed "skeptic of natural rights". I'm not certain what that necessarily entails, but I would guess she's given the ethics of personhood a good deal of thought.

  • LynchPin1477||

    When does human life - and when do rights - begin?

    This seems to be the fundamental question that would determine a Libertarian position on abortion. I personally favor conception, because what else but human do I call a self-replicating organism with unique human DNA that has the potential to develop into a grown person? I can see an argument for viability, but you could argue that an infant is hardly viable without constant care from someone. I can see an argument for brain activity, but an infant's brain is not fully developed, and an infant may not even fit into certain definitions of sentience. I don't have a perfect answer, and I'm not sure one exists, so perhaps it is better to err on the side of caution.

    Obvious exceptions apply: when the well-being of the mother is in danger then abortion should be allowed on something similar to self-defense grounds. Rape is such a morally gray area. Assuming life does begin before birth, you can't escape punishing an innocent person. But then you force a woman to carry a life that she never consented to creating. There are no good solutions there, so leave it up to the victim to decide how best to handle it.

  • lap83||

    "Rape is such a morally gray area"

    Is it really? It all depends on whether you think abortion is wrong or not. If it is, the fact that someone did something wrong to you does not justify it.

    I think the issue of abortion is basically a litmus test for whether you are a moral relativist or you tend to see things in black and white. Personally, I don't see it in terms of "rights" so much as "right and wrong". The vagina is not a magical portal to personhood.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I agree with that.

    And you can say that abortion is taking a human life without it being murder. Almost no one thinks that any and all killing is murder.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: VG Zaytzev,

    And you can say that abortion is taking a human life without it being murder.


    Just like we can call taxation the taking of property without calling it theft? Even when it is theft? Engaging in obfuscation does not change the facts that taking the life of an innocent human is murder. You may find the idea of prosecuting women (or doctors) for abortions abhorrent or impractical. I prefer banishment and outcasting as punishment, which are more libertarian that having the state dispensing justice, but you have to come to term to the fact that abortion IS murder; it IS the taking of life, whether you like it or not.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yes it is taking life but almost no one thinks that it's murder. As shown by the fact that almost no one advocates prosecuting and imprisoning a woman that seeks or has an abortion. And yet, we everyone thinks that a woman that kills her born infant(s) should be.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: VG Zaytsev,

    Yes it is taking life but almost no one thinks that it's murder.


    You should know that the fact "almost no one" call it "murder" is irrelevant. Most people think "insider trading" is a real crime, a fact that does not make insider trading ipso facto a real crime.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So what makes it murder then, Old Mexican asserting so?

  • MoMark||

    " abortion IS murder; it IS the taking of life, whether you like it or not."

    So, if a non-viable fetus were removed intact from its mother, and then died because it no longer had support, it would still be murder?

  • OldMexican||

    Rape is such a morally gray area.


    Maybe for you. With rape, you have either one criminal and one victim or one criminal and two victims. Unfortunately when it comes to the second case, abortionists want to treat the second victim as a criminal devoid of any rights and condemn him or her to DEATH, a sentence that today's criminal justice system does not impose on rapists themselves (!)

    I can see an argument for viability, but you could argue that an infant is hardly viable without constant care from someone


    I don't make such arguments (viability) because they're always fallacious; they are nothing more than appeals to impatience. Farmers teach their children to wait until the seedlings become full-grown plants so they can see the results of their patience; it amazes me that someone would argue that such courtesy cannot be afforded to an unborn HUMAN.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I see where you are coming from on the issue of rape, I truly do. But it is a gray area for me because consent was never given, and you can't just brush off the continuing trauma that a woman might be forced to endure by carrying a rape-induced pregnancy to term.

    BTW, I *think* that (at least in some jurisdictions) some rapes are a capital crime. If we are going to have capital punishment at all, rape certainly qualifies for it in my mind.

  • ||

    Seedlings don't require gestation prior to leaving the antheridium/archegonium of their parents. Fetuses do. If it weren't for the forcing a mother to carry the byproduct of a brutal crime for 9 months in order to see the full result, no one would have an issue with allowing the child to live.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "...I *think* that (at least in some jurisdictions) some rapes are a capital crime."

    The US Supreme Court won't allow it, not even for the rape of children.

  • ||

    Maybe people making that argument should raise the offspring of rape victims, if they're going to take that moral stance. I imagine those that feel sympathy for a zygote formed from a forced sexual encounter to be in a severe minority.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I'm sure that a lot of people would pay a substantial amount of money to adopt an infant conceived during a rape.

  • ||

    Sure. And if they're the ones pushing for legislation protecting the rights of rape fetuses, the. Let them be forcibly required to parent them and compensate the mother. If we're being fair and all.

  • ||

    *then let

  • AlmightyJB||

    If someone raped my wife or one of my daughters, I would have no qualms with killing it's offspring. That is something I would never consider with my own offspring. Call that or me whatever you want. It will not change my decision.

  • ||

    By "offspring," do you mean a baby born alive?

  • ||

    I think he means "some time shortly after the rapist inseminated his significant other, after which that sperm fertilized one of her eggs". I mean, maybe.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I mean an abortion, preferably the same day or day after the rape.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Would you want to kill the rapist? The US Supreme Court won't let you. If the law thwarts your wish to kill the guilty rapist, why shouldn't it thwart your wish to kill an innocent child?

    For myself, my response to the rape of someone I loved would be to want the execution of the actual rapist.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    We get shocked when some village in Pakistan responds to a rape by authorizing the rape of a girl related to the offender, but how can this possibly be worse than responding to a rape by killing the offender's child?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Like I originally said, you may pass all the moral judgements you would like. It's simply your opinion anyways. Doesn't change my decision.

  • ||

    "We get shocked when some village in Pakistan responds to a rape by authorizing the rape of a girl related to the offender"

    Whoever this 'we' is, I'm sure understands that exacting vengeance on an unrelated, innocent third party is quite fucking different from actually punishing the offender.

    I, for one, am all for the life in prison for violent rapes.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The assumption here is that the party is innocent. The party in question is forcibly occupying someone else's body.

  • ||

    I think human life, and all the attendant rights, begin at the point that, under normal circumstances (i.e., without 'heroic' measures; but intensive care, respirators and so forth are considered as normal), the fetus can survive outside the womb. This will become earlier and earlier as medical technology advances. Abortion should be permitted only before then, and maybe only in the first trimester. Abortion after then should be considered first-degree murder, except when the life of the mother would be jeopardized.

  • earlstabile88||

    my roomate's step-sister makes $65 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 9 months but last month her pay check was $21459 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site... http://www.Taz1.com

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The abortion issue is like the man in the poem:

    Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    I wish, I wish he’d go away...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigonish_(poem)

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    (Copy the address, don't click it)

  • Being Waterboarded||

    I know I'm late to the party here (watching a movie), but I thought I'd put forth an alternate view to those I've read. Everyone treats the abortion issue in a deterministic way: if an unborn baby is something/someone that has natural rights, then most say abortion is wrong; if an unborn baby is NOT something/someone yet, then abortion is no different than trimming your nails. Unfortunately, science has no ability to define when a fetus becomes acquires natural rights in a deterministic fashion. So why not utilize stochastics and risk analysis in the decision as to whether abortion should be legal? Risk is the product of probability and a measure of consequence. Let's say that there is a 5% chance that a fetus is deserving of rights at 1 month gestation. That is the probability. The consequence of an abortion, however, if the fetus is killed and actually IS deserving of rights, is murder. Since murder removes the future possibility of exercising any natural rights, I consider it the most severe possible consequence. Thus, the risk inherent in an abortion is extreme even if the probability of a fetus being deserving of natural rights is low. As such, I cannot condone abortion.

    Has anyone else out there considered abortion (and many other topics) could be considered as a fertile ground for the application of risk theory?

  • Pulseguy||

    I think your comment will change millions of people's minds. For sure. Yeah, add that to the commentary. Most lib women will read it, and go 'heck, I was wrong all this time'.

  • Michael||

    Hilarious anecdote (to me, at least):

    As I was perusing this thread, Accept's Winterdreams came on. In one verse Udo sings, "like a wonderful diamond," and I swear that I heard, "like a woman's vagina" instead.

    Anyway, carry the fuck on.

  • Mickey Rat||

    How stoned were you?

  • Polo Ralph Lauren outlet||

  • Polo Ralph Lauren outlet||

  • glendaperry7||

    my best friend's sister-in-law makes $67 an hour on the internet. She has been without a job for seven months but last month her payment was $21287 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more... http://www.Taz1.com

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Hate to break it to you, but your best friend's sister-in-law is doing back-alley abortions for 99 dollars.

  • Mike M.||

    After almost 24 hours, police have finally identified the Columbia Mall shooter as Darion Marcus Aguilar, a 19 year old from College Park, Maryland. Still no photos released yet that I'm aware of.

  • Anomalous||

    Most abortionists are barely scraping out a living.

  • ||

    Ba da ba!

  • OldMexican||

    As a political philosophy, libertarianism stresses concepts such as self-ownership, voluntary consent, and non-agression.


    Which is why I am against abortion and consider it the murder of a human being. Abortion violates the non-aggression principle, it goes against the concept of self-ownership (a fetus' body belongs to the fetus) and nobody asks the fetus if he or she wants to be aborted, so there's nothing 'voluntary' about abortion.

    In many areas of human activity, the application of such ideas seems relatively straightforward. In others, reaching clarity is far more difficult.


    Reaching clarity may be difficult for those that are not really serious about the principles they claim to hold so dear. That's all.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    nobody asks the fetus if he or she wants to be aborted, so there's nothing 'voluntary' about abortion.

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone ask a fetus if it wants to be created?

  • OldMexican||

    re: Francisco d Aconia,

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone ask a fetus if it wants to be created?


    Since nobody asked you if you wanted to be created, would you then find the fact of your existence meaningless? Worthless? Would you say it shouldn't have happened?

    I'm currious as to why people make these perfunctory contradictions. You can only ask a question to someone who already exists in the physical world. Once he or she exists, then you can ask either if he or she wants to exist. If it happens that that person is not available for interviews, then make an appointment, but don't assume that he or she has no right to live!

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    You can only ask a question to someone who already exists in the physical world.

    Couldn't agree more, and that was my point. I have NO position on abortion because no one can definitevly say when a lump of cells becomes a person with rights.

    Both sides have equally compelling arguments.

    The one thing I am quite certain of, is that at the instant that bunch of cells becomes a person, abortion is immoral.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "Find Out What Libertarians Think About Abortion"

    Love it!

  • RishJoMo||

    Sounds like that dude has some serious issues man.

    www.AnonWork.tk

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

  • BardMetal||

    Who keeps resurrecting these stories? I almost responded to a comment that was nearly a year old.

  • Mike M.||

    Reason is getting lazier and lazier by the day, just like the rest of America.

  • RishJoMo||

    Jo Diddy Meme says heck yeah dude.

    www.Anon-VPN.com

  • LibertarianX||

    By almost any measure, abortion is a matter of convenience for the mother. While there are some exceptions to this, such as rape, pregnancy is always a choice since any adult knows no birth control method is 100% effective. Every time you have sex, pregnancy is possible. Abortion just makes it easier to gamble, to remove the consequence of doing what feels good.

  • ||

    A traffic accident is always a choice since any adult knows no trip is 100% safe. Every time you take a trip, an accident is possible.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: neoteny,

    Every time you take a trip, an accident is possible.


    Which is why people buy insurance. There are always options, besides killing the passengers of the other car so as to leave no witnesses... or aborting the product of your one-night stand.

  • ||

    Which is why people buy insurance.

    The legal availability of abortion is a kind of insurance that the woman doesn't have to carry an accidental pregnancy to term.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: neoteny,

    The legal availability of abortion is a kind of insurance


    No, it is not. Like I said above, abortion is like killing the passengers on the other car so they don't rat you out.

  • ||

    No, it is not.

    Yes it is.

    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.[2] Any laws restricting or prohibiting abortion are therefore invasions of the rights of mothers.

    [...]

    [2]What we are trying to establish here is not the morality of abortion (which may or may not be moral on other grounds), but its legality, i.e., the absolute right of the mother to have an abortion. What we are concerned with in this book is people’s rights to do or not do various things, not whether they should or should not exercise such rights. [...]

    The Ethics of Liberty by Murray Rothbard

  • ||

    Above you wrote:

    Reaching clarity may be difficult for those that are not really serious about the principles they claim to hold so dear.

    You might not agree with Rothbard's analysis, but saying that he wasn't really serious about the principles he claimed to hold so dear is bunk.

  • ||

    I didn't read all the comments nor I don't think I can watch one hour on the subject, but if I understand libertarianism correctly, the position on abortion is to be, well, be neutral? Since it's up to each individual for each unique to determine they will abort or not? I can't see how there should be a law to what ends up being an intensely personal decision.

    Am I seeing this wrong?

  • Response||

    Though my personal beliefs are that women should have the right to an abortion at various points in their pregnancy (not here to debate when life begins). My convictions tell me that someone who accepts abortion should also accept gov sanctioned death penalties. Likewise, I understand the logic of someone who thinks both are wrong. I can even see how some people could say that abortion (of the innocent) should be illegal while death penalty (for the wicked) should be legal. What I don't think I'll ever be able to wrap my head around is those that think abortion is ok, while death penalty is not.

  • Ann N||

    killing is taking life.
    murder is killing innocent life.

    that is why its called murder when a thug kills a child but execution when he gets lethal injection on death row.

    i totally agree with you.

    it takes a liberal to pervert such basic morality and afix wrong treatments to different persons. unguilty unborn, guilty murderers.

    they got their wires crossed.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    That's OK, guys, start the abortion thread without me, I don't mind. :(

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Don't start up with your white zone shit again.

  • @ShawingtonTimes||

    I'd hate for the state which doesn't believe women should be paid as much as men — and clearly doesn't value the personhood of full grown girls and women as much as men — to be in charge of female fetuses, zygotes, etc. And I would hate to be the ethnic minority, LGBT or a biologically deformed zygote/fetus that might need special resources or care when the state clearly has unequal provisions for providing for children and adults who are not white and male or who have some special medical needs. A state that cannot adequately provide effective clean safe public schools, provide reasonable support for veterans returning from wars instigated/*conceived* by the state, effectively manage the outcomes of the wars it *conceives*, or provide for seniors who have paid into the system all their lives — shouldn't be over reaching into a woman's womb to make unenforcable rules to manage what happens to a zygote/fetus.

    If, at conception, a zygote becomes a person, then the two parents should be financially responsible for that zygote. Indeed, the father/baby daddy should be responsible for at least half of the financial care of the mother and zygote — and women shouldn't be required to work during that period of pregnancy, whether married or not, so they can better care for the zygote/fetus. But then that state would need to make paternity tests mandatory at conception so the when the clock starts, automatic deductions can be made from the father's/baby daddy's paychecks.

  • @ShawingtonTimes||

    A woman is, practically, the most responsible party for a zygote/fetus when it's in her body and the zygote/fetus is dependent on the woman's biology and nutrition for life support, so she should have the ultimate authority about what happens to that zygote/fetus, with the father and state having secondary and tertiary responsibility —at best.

    Making fathers and baby daddy's financially responsible for zygotes/fetuses and their mother's welfare is probably the best form of birth control imaginable.

    Furthermore, if we're going to blame a woman for abandoning a zygote/fetus/pregnancy in any form of abortion, and sentence her to prison, then the father — often the one who initially abandons the woman and zygote/fetus after insemination — should get the very same sentence for abandoning his seed. And all those people clamoring to force a women to proceed with an accidental or unwanted pregnancy, should have automatic deductions from their paychecks to care for these accidental/unwanted zygotes and fetuses, and be prepared to take full parental — financial, emotional, spiritual, educational, medical, nutritional, housing — care for the child/ren after birth and through college graduation. I don't see the queue for that, but I do know that state does a disastrous job of facilitating effective adoption services and provides unequal care for children who are not white male and healthy.

  • @ShawingtonTimes||

    ... Lastly, since the state does such as spectacularly incompetent job of taking care of children and full grown adults, let's continue to leave it to the mother to have ultimate authority over what happens to her zygote/fetus until the state and science are capable of producing children from fertilized eggs outside of a woman's body, relieving women from the joys/burdens of pregnancy and joys/pains of childbirth, and effectively ensure that all those children have the care they need to graduate from college and become independent citizens.

  • bravo38||

    I am a pro life libertarian, and I do not see the issue as a religous issue. To me me it is simple, until someone can prove when human life begins we must err on the side of the child. It doesn't matter if the fetus can feel pain or is unaware. We have thousands of adults being kept alive by machines that can't feel pain or are brain dead and unaware, they are still considered human. What is the difference whether you are being kept alive by a machine or an umbilical cord. the question is when are you human? Until science can can pinpoint the instant we become human, we must assume it is conception. Libertarianism at it's core is to protect the inalienable rights of us all. That includes the right to life.

  • Don'tTreadOnMe||

    Q.E.D.

  • pob||

    just as Russell replied I'm shocked that someone can earn $4298 in a few weeks on the computer. look at this now W­ o­ r­ k­ s­ 7­ 7­ .­ C­ O­ M­

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