Thursday, March 25, 2010

Libertarians For Life

I've avoided starting any abortion debates on this site for several reasons - the best of which is that I can't have babies. 
But while doing a bit of websurfing tonight, I found a blog called Libertarians For Life , whose stated goal is "presenting the pro-life case to libertarians, and the libertarian case to pro-lifers."

Their argument goes as follows: 

1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.

2. Abortion is homicide -- the killing of one person by another.

3. One's right to control one's own body does not allow violating the obligation not to aggress. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.

4. A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother's body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.

5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally "de-person" any one of us, born or preborn.

6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.

I learned my response to the abortion issue from Big Daddy John Spivey - It's a 10th Amendment issue that should be left to the states, and no government (i.e. taxpayer) money should ever be used to fund abortion. 
But these folks are making a liberty-based argument about the issue. 
Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

The issue is when does a person become a person, and the problem is that no one knows the answer to this question. The majority of people believe it is sometime between conception and birth.

I personally tend to be more anti-abortion (can't stand to use the words "pro-life" to describe myself because of the association). My response to the "It's my body!" argument has been, "Well no, it's not really."

If you do crack, your baby does crack too. It's not fair, but I didn't make the rules regarding human life. You are now sharing your body with someone else. Someone who had no part in the decision to be there.

I don't think tensions will ever be settled regarding abortion between the two sides. My hopes are that birth control will become available enough that the issue will become less relevant with time. Sadly, the pro-life crowd seems to want to keep birth control scarce which confuses me to no end . . .

Nick Rowe said...

You do not have to be a woman to have a right to hold an authoritative opinion regarding abortion. Fathers can care about the lives they create. We are allowed to care about lives which are not our own.

In my 12th grade AP Bio class, we learned the characteristics of life:

1. Cells
2. Organization
3. Metabolism
4. Homeostasis
5. Growth
6. Reproduction or replication
7. Response to stimulus

There are many variations of these characteristics, but by any of them an embryo is "alive" at conception.

A sperm is alive. An egg is alive. But neither is distinctly human because they possess only the haploid number of chromosomes. An embryo contains the diploid number - the full DNA code of a human being. A fertilized egg is alive and distinctly human, therefore a living human being (at an early stage of development).

As we venture into outer space or into the extreme ranges of environmental conditions on our planet, we will apply these conditions to determine whether we have found "life." It's ironic that we fail to find "life" right in front of us.

It has been said that the right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose. The right of a woman to cleanse her uterus ends when it is inhabited by another living human being.

The debate over abortion and much of the testimony of Roe v. Wade centered on issues of survivability. That was a red herring designed to facilitate a pre-conceived (no pun intended) judgment enabling abortion and giving it with some pseudo-scientific and legal support. The same legal "penumbras" which support the "right" to abortion in Roe v. Wade could be re-stated to establish a right to life for the unborn.

I fully support the right of women to use birth control which prevents conception, but no form of birth control is 100% effective. Pregnancy is the natural consequence of sex and any woman who chooses sex consents to pregnancy no matter how hard she tries to prevent it.

How about rape? That is a tough issue which challenges even the most ardent pro-lifers. Pro-abortionists always try to drive in that wedge because it bothers all of us. Clearly there was no consent but the embryo is still alive and still innocent. Rape accounts for less than 1% of abortions - if we banned all abortions except for plausible cases of rape, I think I could let my conscience not be bothered by the inconsistency of my moral beliefs.

I agree with Richard. Some day advances in birth control will obviate the need for abortion. As that day approaches, more abortionists will lose business until they are no longer viable.

In 100 years, abortion will be gone. Women of that future era will look back into history with the same confusion we now hold with regard to the institution of slavery in the United States. They'll say, "My God, what did we think we were fighting for?"

Abortion proponents are not "pro-choice." They are pro-abortion. If most women in America CHOSE not to have abortions, clinics would close for lack of economic viability and thus make it less accessible.

Ask an abortion supporter this:

"You are escorting a young pregnant girl to an abortion clinic through a crowd of anti-abortion protesters. One of the protesters pleads, 'Please honey, let us help you! Don't kill your baby.' At that, the young girl breaks free from your grip, runs into the arms of the protester, and disappears into the crowd. The crowd cheers."

The girl made a free choice. How do you feel about it?

Four women have told me they had had an abortion. When I asked why they did it, all four women responded, "I had no choice."

Ironic, isn't it?

seran said...

I am a libertarian and would be considered extremist on most social issues. I think the law should treat same-sex relationships exactly the same as opposite sex relations, would decriminalize most victimless crimes, such as drugs and prostitution, etc.

But I am not what most people would consider pro-choice on abortion. I support legal abortions only in the very early stages of a pregnancy. I would make the deadline somewhere before eight weeks of pregnancy, maybe even as early as five weeks.

I have no justification for where I draw the line other than that having been through pregnancy and seen ultrasounds of the "fetus," I feel in my bones that by somewhere around 11 weeks or earlier there is a life that has sufficient attributes entitling it to rights.

As the first woman to respond to this, I want to say that there should be no question that men are equally as entitled to an opinion on this issue as women.

Also, in terms of the "it's my body" defense, my framework for analyzing that comes from tort law. You can legally prevent someone from entering your house. But if you allow them in your house and they become ill or otherwise needy of assistance, you have a legal duty to provide such until they can safely be removed from your house.

I think that translates nicely into the abortion debate. People can legally prevent another life from taking residence in their body, but once they've allowed it in there, they have a legal duty to provide what it needs to reach a point where it can safely exit the body.

Now I know that an issue arises when a person becomes pregnant as a result of force. And this is especially troubling for young people who may not have sufficient knowledge or resources to identify and deal with their pregnancy in the very early stages. So I am open to exempting these people from my previous analysis. But I don't think that these extreme examples should define the analysis.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

I'm pretty much in line with the other posters here. I didn't want it to be said that I completely framed my anti-abortion stance on biblical mandates or a pope or Billy Graham saying it should be illegal. Instead I thought of it in terms of a logic problem.

Is murder wrong? I think that's a slam dunk question... of course, its wrong. Is eating veal wrong? Well, I'm one of these heartless types that think that humans are at the top of the food chain (until we're walking around the Serengeti or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef). So, don't be too cruel to the calf and I'm OK with veal.

So why can I eat veal and not a baby steak? Because a baby is a human? So how about puree of six-month fetus? (feeling a little queasy?) So, if not... what makes that fetus "human"? What separates the baby from the calf?

The baby has DNA of a human (so does a fetus), the baby has the central nervous system that differentiates itself from the calf (the fetus does... after a point). Other than that, there's not much difference. It's all steak. So, DNA and Central Nervous Systems are the main differentiators.

Therefore, after a fetus has developed a central nervous system - it has the two scientific identifiers classifying that 'thing' as a human being. It's about 6 to 8 weeks. So, the morning after pill (using my logic) is OK. Second trimester abortions = clearly murder.

And all murder cases (unless we're talking about protecting the civil rights of the unborn) - should be sent to the states for their take. It's pretty much a Constitutional thang. Tenth Amendment is clear on that.