Civil Liberties

Abortion, Roe v. Wade, Ron Paul, & Libertarians


 Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, turns 39 today.

Rick Santorum writes in the Wall Street Journal why he's against abortion: "I know life begins at conception…. The right to life is the first right. Without its protection, no other rights matter." He also goes on about how President Obama and his GOP rivals fail to protect the unborn as much as he does.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), author of "the Bubble Bill" that created a zone protecting abortion facilities from protesters, writes in HuffPo why she's for abortion rights: "I fight to protect a woman's right to choose largely grounded in my Western values of personal freedom and common sense."

Back in 2008, "Jane Roe" (a.k.a. Norma McCorvey) came out for Ron Paul:

I support Ron Paul for president because we share the same goal, that of overturning Roe v Wade. Ron Paul doesn't just talk about being pro-life, he acts on it. His voting record truly is impeccable and he undoubtedly understands our constitutional republic and the inalienable right to life for all. Ron Paul is the prime author of H.R. 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v. Wade. As the signor of the affidavit that legalized abortion 35 years ago I appreciate Ron Paul's action to restore protection for the unborn. Ron Paul has also authored H.R. 1094 in Congress, which seeks to define life as beginning at conception. He has never wavered on the issue of being pro-life and has a voting record to prove it. He understands the importance of civil liberties for all, including the unborn.

In 2006, Ronald Bailey wrote about why abortion will never be fully outlawed again:

Most Americans believe that abortion is wrong, but they also believe that it would be more immoral for the government to interfere with their fellow citizens' private reproductive decisions. If the Supreme Court dared to overturn Roe v. Wade, there would be political hell to pay. However, because most Americans remain ambiguously uncomfortable with abortion, our political institutions will fitfully continue to try to narrow the scope of the decision. Nevertheless, the central holding that a woman can choose abortion in the first three months of a pregnancy will not be overturned. Ultimately, our politicians realize that Americans want the Roe v. Wade escape hatch to be kept open just in case they or their loved ones have to make the hard decision to use it themselves.

In 2004, Bailey asked, "Is Heaven Populated Chiefly By the Souls of Embryos?", writing "Bioconservatives…do not advocate the rescue of naturally conceived unimplanted embryos. But why not? In right-to-life terms, normal unimplanted embryos are the moral equivalents of a 30-year-old mother of three children."

Last November, Judge Andrew Napolitano told me why he thinks abortion is murder: "I believe—and it is a question of science and of faith—that a fertilized egg is a human being." (Go to 9.40 in the interview video).

Last year, as part of our Ask a Libertarian series we did to celebrate the publication of The Declaration of Independents, we tackled the question, "What's the libertarian position on abortion?":

Reason on abortion.