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To simplify a complex, contentious, conflict filled issue a Libertarian
answer to abortion should be:
Each woman should have the right of choice based on her own personal
situation. This right to choose should be without any interference from
any politically issued, religiously motivated, voter currying governmental
fiat, policy or standard dictated by self-serving politicians.
Unfortunately, I don't think that all libertarians can get behind that.
I am not religious. Personally, I think that abortion is a medical
procedure up until some fuzzily-defined point of viability, at which point
I begin to have reservations which grow stronger as the fetus approaches term.
But there are other people with very strong religious convictions about the
humanity of a fetus. Whether or not those beliefs are rational is
irrelevant to the fact that they believe them.
So consider this thought experiment: if you believed that murder were being
committed daily, and that the government officially condoned it, would you
be willing to sit by? Frankly, I'm surprised that there aren't *more*
There are also arguments against abortion from atheist points of view,
including eugenics fears (e.g., if homosexuality's genetic basis is
determined, will parents start aborting gay fetuses?) and the viability of
late-term fetuses as individuals.
So can we come up with something that avoids making a judgment
pronouncement on the pro-life/pro-choice axis, and particularly avoids
religious baiting, but instead focuses on the role of government? I'm
thinking something like:
No one *likes* abortion. But a government War on Abortion will be as
effective as the War on Drugs; in short order, *men* would be having
them. In a Libertarian society, people will be more prosperous, and able
to afford to keep the children they want. In a Libertarian society, people
will be better-educated, and will make more-informed choices about family
planning. In a Libertarian society, regulations will not impede the
adoption of children whose prospective parents want to love and care for
them. Remember that in the Soviet Union's planned economy, abortion was
the most popular form of birth control. Don't let that happen here.
Except that I think that that's too long, and it's a leap of faith (for a
non-libertarian) to accept that "In a Libertarian society," all those
things will be true. There are also good points to be made about the
rights of women and fetuses becoming political footballs as long as the
politicians are in control (I very much like your last clause there).
"Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit
to undertake. It is not easy." - Ursula K. LeGuin
Political gadfly and freelance nerd: <URL: http://crism.maden.org/ >
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