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The Fetus as Parasitic Invader: Murray Rothbard on Abortion

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.

http://mises.org/resources.aspx?Id=e407b9ac-8791-4e1e-b23f-6...

From the Ethics of Liberty, by Murray Rothbard

Just sayin'



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if you want to go that route...

the fetus has permission to use the woman's body because the body does not reject the normal, healthy fetus. whereas a (natural) miscarriage is the body rejecting the fetus.

and before you call it a parasite, call it what it really is--life.

"The Fetus as Parasitic Invader"

The Libertarians for Life website includes a brief piece by a biology professor on scientific reasons "Why the Embryo or Fetus Is Not a Parasite": www.L4L.org/library/notparas.html.

It also offers Doris Gordon's outstanding essay on "Abortion and Rights: Applying Libertarian Principles Correctly": www.L4L.org/library/abor-rts.html.

And it offers Dr. Ron Paul's 1981 essay, "Being Pro-Life Is Necessary to Defend Liberty": www.L4L.org/library/bepro-rp.html.

This is a great site--worth returning to many times.

Mary Meehan

Doctrine of Estoppel

The mother invited the fetus in knowing in advance that once invited, the fetus cannot leave without severe injury. Therefore she is estopped from being allowed to evict.

The life wasnt invited inside

The life wasnt invited inside the mother, it was created inside the mother.

I agree that "invited" would apply if the fetus was alive before being inside the mother and the mother brought it inside her without the fetuses consent; in this case the mother would clearly be estopped from removing it. (In the same way that if I invite you on my airplane, I 'd be estopped from kicking you off of it in mid air.)

However, because the fetus didn't exist as a life before existing inside the mother, there was nothing to consent in the first place. (It'd be like if I bring an inanimate object on my airplane, the fact that, in the time before it was on my airplane, it wasn't alive, it didn't need to consent to being brought on the airplane.)

(Note that the main point of my admittedly imperfect analogy re: an airplane is only to clarify that although in common speech we talk a lot about consent being needed, technically what is needed is consent only for 'rights bearing units'. So while people are 'rights bearing units', rocks arent, and neither are things that don't yet exist. So even if I condede that a fetus that actually exists is a 'rights bearing unit', in the split second before it existed in the womb there was no 'rights bearing unit' in existence from which she would need consent in the first place. She didn't take a preexisting 'rights bearing unit' from a better place and place it in a worse place.)

I'm not sure if you agree or

I'm not sure if you agree or disagree with what I said.

If the mother is responsible for bringing it into existence, do you believe that it is justifiable to evict the trespasser even though the eviction process will cause it to die?

What Rothbard is calling liberty in this rationale for abortion

is in truth mere lawlessness. This is the Achilles heel of the libertarian philosophy when it is divorced from the law of human nature. Libertarianism as taught by Dr. Paul is lawful and can be nothing else without self destruction.

If one departs from the law of human nature, not perceiving the higher consciousness to which we are called, one simply sets oneself up as an autonomous god with an absolute prerogative to determine right and wrong, good and evil. In other words one succumbs to the lie of the serpent mind and sinks into delusion, deception and self deception.

It may be that Rothbard merely created an hypothesis in order to stimulate debate but if so in this case it is a dangerous experiment given his reputation in the liberty community. It could lead many into the path of lawlessness that is so prevalent among libertarians and for which they are often derided by the general community.

Dr. Paul has rightly pointed out that one cannot have any rights unless one has all rights. Rights like the Law are a seamless robe. Break one and the entire structure falls. Without a right to life one loses all other rights.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

Thank you

Very well-said! I would only add that Dr. Paul has always maintained that we are free to do what we want as long as we do not hurt anybody else. Since life begins at conception then it is reasonable to say that abortion brings obvious harm (death) to another person.

When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object. - Patrick Henry

Dependency is a Privilege not a Right

People who are completely dependent upon another do not have any Rights. A Right is defined as an action or behavior that does not require the permission of another to act or behave. Privileges require permission.

Dependency requires permission to anothers' property. A person can withhold permission to their property/self at any time otherwise we have no Right to our person.

A fetus is 100% dependent therefor has no Right to Life. It can only be said to be Privileged. How privileged? Look at the parents.

Independence is the ONLY path to Rights.

No Liberty No Peace, Know Liberty Know Peace!

so by your logic

any time during a person's life cycle, if he happens to suffer an accident so horrible it renders him completely dependent on someone else's care or resource for a month, that time period automatically takes away his right to life with a kill order at his provider's will? a fetus is not always a fetus, it is dependent then it is not in a few months, just like someone traumatized by a car accident.. so your world view only describes phenomenon months at a time? it's like saying a musician can't perform because it is partially true at 11pm until wakes up at 8am. hilarious. this is why i love people who bring personalized philosophy into discussions. they think it's smart, but it usually isn't.

and i guess by your logic, laws in most countries alleging crime for ignoring a (temporarily) dying person next to you if you refuse to help while being reasonably in a position to do so, is completely without sense. whether a lawsuit against you because you refused to help a dying person is reasonable or not, the fact that forms of this law are present in multiple cultures shows you that in order to become socially acceptable, humans ARE expected some degree of weight bearing when it comes in concern of another person's life, whether you like it or not. but of course, all organic matters are judged non-life solely on the factor of (temporary) dependency.

Legislating morality leads to less of it

It has nothing to do with the time period. It has everything to do with capability. If you are not capable of acting or behaving in particular manner, then you cannot be said to have a Right to it, including living.

People, injured or not, do not have a Right to care, it is a privilege to be cared for. Privileges unlike Rights can be purchased.

The subject is not an easy one, but if one looks for a practical solution the only solution that will last is to promote Independence. Independent people have far fewer reasons to abort pregnancies.

The second supposition you made is an interesting one. I have an understanding that people who do not behave morally from their own free will, lose the ability to do so easily. When government legislates morality, the people begin to behave in a moral manner for fear as much as for the reward it brings. Once that happens it does not take long before a great many only do so in fear. Reward from altruism should not include lack of punishment. It cheapens it.

Put into the context of your example, when Altruism is legislated, it too is diminished. Independence allows for a truly altruistic people. People who don't think twice about helping their fellow man, just as they wouldn't think twice about whether to receive it.

Legislating morality leads to less of it. Independence leads to morality.

This is basis of being pro-choice but anti-abortion

One can believe that a woman has the right to control her own body while at the same time trying to convince her to carry to term as a moral imperative. So in Rothbard's world, there would be abortions, but there would be the right to try to convince others to not have abortions.

My observation of our culture is that we place moral shame on getting pregnant by putting a halo on sexual purity and wagging the finger at sexual activity. Getting pregnant is proof of moral turpitude. We concoct reams of statistics 'proving' that out-of-wedlock childbirth is destroying our families, our societies, our country, through welfare and dependency. Is it any wonder, then, that when pregnancy happens the woman will be desperate to make it go away before anyone can wag their finger and call her 'whore?'

If we continue to portray sexual purity as the ideal (entirely unrealistically), then we virtually guarantee the continuation of abortions, legal or not.

If we celebrate sex, not as something furtive and riske and snickery but as something beautiful and natural, whether in wedlock or not, and we embrace the inevitable children, then women will have nothing to hide and everything to look forward to if they become pregnant.

I'm not holding my breath.

The foetus is not there by consent its there via nature.

Under natural law do humans have the right to defy nature and prevent a fellow human existing from having its right to life?

Could children be considered invasive and parasitic and be left on the streets to die by their parents? Do parents have a duty of care?

The law at present finds they do, would we want to change that?

Cyril's picture

Well, now if "humanity" finds in any way justifiable

Well, now if "humanity" finds in any way justifiable, "normal", at one's discretion, to kill not only fetuses, but even born babies with or without defects ...

... I might as well just go ahead and find someone to shoot me in the head.

I don't think I'd want to live in such a world.

It's like a 100,000 years step back for mankind.

Or ... I'm missing something, again.

This world doesn't make much sense anymore already, anyway.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture

I disagree totally with seeing the fetus as "an invader"

I disagree totally with seeing the fetus as "an invader".

This is really pushing the freedom-driven self-body-ownership thinking too far, IMO, just for the purpose of forcing the argument's conclusion (IMO, again).

This is really strange to me. Even : eerie.

However, I do reckon that other mammals sometimes kill their babies "with reasons" (so to speak), which raises an interesting parallel question on the validity of the pros- or cons- corresponding arguments for humans (who usually don't kill BORN babies, but "only" fetuses).

For instance :

My Simple View on Abortion

Pro-choice proponents may find clues about how my pro-life, or rather, LIFE-above-all views relate to the same Liberty they claim defending as well.

FWIW, anyway.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Would abortion (exist) in a Free-Society?

http://www.dailypaul.com/253079/would-abortion-exist-in-a-fr...

I think the answer is obvious -- YES!!!

As a free-society has NO Barriers to Entry

Would there be Brothels in a Free-Society -- YES!!!

Would there be Kidnapping Rings and Sex Slavery -- YES!!!

In a Free-Society you are "free" to defend yourself.

A fetus born in a free-society has greater value then born under Corporatism -- why?

Because in a free-society the ONLY profit-bursts are entrepreneurialism or innerpreneurialism (R&D Innovation).

So, the wealthy would fight to keep as many potential entrepreneurs alive as long as possible.

A free-society is a "more's the merrier" type of society.

Ayn Rand defines a human

Ayn Rand defines a human being as an living organism with a "volitional conceptual consciousness" which is certainly true of all the seven billion human beings walking the earth once they are born.

She considers a fertilized ovum or a human embryo or human fetus as a "potential" human being not an actual human being until it is born. In her response to the Pope's encyclical entitled "Humanae Vitae" she declared that a woman's whim was sufficient justification for the termination of her pregnancy.

There is a distinction between a potential human being and an actual human being by her definition but most thinking people make the distinction of "viability outside the womb." The vast majority of abortions are done long before that anyway. Most late term abortions are done because of concerns about the life of the mother who might be suffering with life threatening conditions at the time.

The mere possession of DNA or dividing cells is nonsense when one is talking about the will of the pregnant woman who is the victim of rape or incest. Those who declare that irrelevant are heartless and cruel to force a rape victim or incest victim to remain pregnant against her will in such cases.

Those of us opposed to government intervention in the marketplace should support the right of a pregnant woman to make such decisions for herself and get off ones high horse to be dictating self righteously sounding like inquisitors from the Dark Ages.

We are supposed to be about the rights of the individual and for individual freedom and Ron Paul sounds like an unthinking religious fanatic on this one conceding reason to the Democrats on this issue who advocate properly for a woman's right to choose.

I am a prochoice atheist for Ron Paul because he is correct on issues other than his abortion stand. Religion makes no sense as faith is a willingness to accept things as true for which there is no rational basis. You people don't seem to get it that there is no supernatural realm, no life after death, no meeting your dead relatives after you die to spend eternity with in some afterlife. You are like children who believe in a fairy tale. Grow up.

If you want a philosophy for living on earth read Ayn Rand's fiction and non fiction. She is an advocate of reason all the way and her moral standard is Man's Life on Earth. She holds that human beings are not sacrificial animals but have a right to their own lives here in the real world.

Read George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God, Christopher Hitchen's God Is Not Great, Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion and Sam Harris' The End Of Faith.

There are no contradictions in the universe. That is a restatement of the Law of Identity. Things are what they are. It is meaningless to consider that a microscopic fertilized ovum has a right to its life while the pregnant woman has no choice in the matter. Read Man's RIghts in either The Objectivist Newsletter or The Virtue of Selfishness or Capitalism:The Unknown Ideal.

Ron Paul recommended that we all "study." He is aware that the Democrats are mistaken with their theories of economics which justify deficit spending and government intervention in the marketplace. But in order to educate the youth we have to have rational arguments which means to learn in detail an entire economic theory of how the free market operates based in part on the concept of the rights of man.

That means studying the works of Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt and Murray Rothbard. All available for free at www.mises.org

Like it or not there is an ideological struggle going on and in order to help the cause of liberty each of us needs to read and understand. Admittedly advocates of interventionism may not be willing to listen to reason because they have an agenda. They think they are right.

Read the article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by a liberal on the op-ed page where he spells out all the good things the liberals have done over the decades including the Roosevelt New Deal programs. Of course people have benefitted by those programs because when some of us are sacrificed, meaning taxed, others will be the recipients of that taxation.

To the Liberals or Progressive's way of thinking those of us unwilling to be taxed or for others to be taxed are evil, selfish and greedy. They see us who advocate for reduced spending as evil because they think of all the good that can be done with the money they want to take from us or from the producers or the rich but including all who pay taxes. They are willing to tax and spend and to do all the good that giving money to the beneficiaries of this spending. Pell grants, food stamps, welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, disabilility etc.

Oddly enough it is the Christian ethic of Altruism which justifies their practicing human sacrifice. It is the idea that one should be willing to hold other's Needs above one's own which grants a moral sanction to the Democrats policies. Isn't it true that we are taught from childhood that we should hold the needs of others above our own. That the essence of being good is the willingness to hold the interests of others above our own.

Read The Objectivist Ethics in Ayn Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness.

The Ends do not justify the Means. We are opposed to the involuntary means the Democrats are willing to support in order to help others. Coercive charity is not good it is tyranny.

"Study!"

And see Atlas Shrugged part two on October 12, 2012. Better still read the book first.

No Man's need constitutes an obligation on the part of another man to fulfill that need.

"Ayn Rand defines a human

"Ayn Rand defines a human being as an living organism with a 'volitional conceptual consciousness' which is certainly true of all the seven billion human beings walking the earth once they are born."

How about retarded people? Or infants? In any case, Ayn Rand isn't God. How does her definition matter.

"She considers a fertilized ovum or a human embryo or human fetus as a "potential" human being not an actual human being until it is born. In her response to the Pope's encyclical entitled "Humanae Vitae" she declared that a woman's whim was sufficient justification for the termination of her pregnancy."

Again, Rand or the Pope; neither is all-knowing.

"There is a distinction between a potential human being and an actual human being by her definition but most thinking people make the distinction of 'viability outside the womb.' The vast majority of abortions are done long before that anyway."

I do not doubt that in the future, we will have the technology to grow a fetus from day zero. So does that make "viability" outside the womb irrelevant? Again, you are using her definition, without detailing why Rand's definition is so important.

"The mere possession of DNA or dividing cells is nonsense when one is talking about the will of the pregnant woman who is the victim of rape or incest."

It may seem silly, it may seem like nonsense to you, but why is it nonsense?

"Those who declare that irrelevant are heartless and cruel to force a rape victim or incest victim to remain pregnant against her will in such cases."

Look, one could easily say that Rand was heartless for her belief that the will of the mother was all that mattered...a view that would cruelly permit the abortion of what many see as babies.

"Those of us opposed to government intervention in the marketplace should support the right of a pregnant woman to make such decisions for herself and get off ones high horse to be dictating self righteously sounding like inquisitors from the Dark Ages."

Ron Paul and others have always maintained that government has a role in the market. Preventing fraud, aggression, etc. Generally, it is only pure anarchists who believe that government has no role in the aforementioned areas. Many see abortion as an act of aggression.

"We are supposed to be about the rights of the individual and for individual freedom and Ron Paul sounds like an unthinking religious fanatic on this one conceding reason to the Democrats on this issue who advocate properly for a woman's right to choose."

But some people DISAGREE with your intepretation of an individual. They believe that a fetus has freedoms.

To be fair to Ron Paul, he has always defended his pro-life positions in a non-religious way.

"You people don't seem to get it that there is no supernatural realm, no life after death, no meeting your dead relatives after you die to spend eternity with in some afterlife. You are like children who believe in a fairy tale. Grow up."

I would applaud. Religion can be a frustrating thing.

But you seem to support this notion that if we get government out of all facets of life, we'll have a super utopia where everyone respects the rights of everyone else without compulsion, there is no poverty, and everyone takes care of each other because they are so good and nice and kind inside.

"If you want a philosophy for living on earth read Ayn Rand's fiction and non fiction. She is an advocate of reason all the way and her moral standard is Man's Life on Earth. She holds that human beings are not sacrificial animals but have a right to their own lives here in the real world."

My primary issue with Rand is that she bases her philosophy on ideals that themselves are not based on anything. Her fundamental logical building blocks are all arbitrary. She says things like "natural rights"....without ever really saying why those rights are objectively rights.

"Read George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God, Christopher Hitchen's God Is Not Great, Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion and Sam Harris' The End Of Faith."

Fantastic books

"But in order to educate the youth we have to have rational arguments which means to learn in detail an entire economic theory of how the free market operates based in part on the concept of the rights of man."

You call for rational beliefs...but what the foundation of those beliefs is is itself faith. Someone may simply choose not to believe in facts (presumably the basis for your concept of rational beliefs), and you will never get agreement with him.

"That means studying the works of Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt and Murray Rothbard."

von Mises and Rothbard were both praxeologists, a faily anti-scientific position in my view. Their views are interesting, but I do consider them flawed, since I do believe that human behaviour/economics can be understood with experimentation.

Of course people have benefitted by those programs because when some of us are sacrificed, meaning taxed, others will be the recipients of that taxation."

I've always maintained that even in 1796, all forms of government taxed at 18% of GDP. We're at 24% today (the numbers shift depending on the methodology used), and our government constitutionally has to spend more as a % of GDP than it had to back then.

"Oddly enough it is the Christian ethic of Altruism which justifies their practicing human sacrifice. It is the idea that one should be willing to hold other's Needs above one's own which grants a moral sanction to the Democrats policies. Isn't it true that we are taught from childhood that we should hold the needs of others above our own. That the essence of being good is the willingness to hold the interests of others above our own."

You have a point. But I've always felt that so many libertarians like libertarian not as a philosophy, but as a means to an end. That "end" being that they get to keep all the money they make, and not share it with anyone. This whole culture of "me, me me", the idea that successfull people have no one but themselves to thank for their success...that IMO is what is fueling a lot of the passion behind libertarianism.

I personally like libertarianism because it addresses the role of the government FORCING individuals to pay tax dollars to take care of others and pay for non-essential services. But I think that individuals have an INDIVIDUAL moral responsibility to take care of the less fortunate, and Christianity is no doubt amenable to that.

Read The Objectivist Ethics in Ayn Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness.

The Ends do not justify the Means. We are opposed to the involuntary means the Democrats are willing to support in order to help others. Coercive charity is not good it is tyranny.

"Study!"

And see Atlas Shrugged part two on October 12, 2012. Better still read the book first.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

meh

im still a fan of his - but not the greatest argument.

at least it stirs conversation which is always worth exploring.

Agreed

This is a stretch from an intellectual.

I have never heard this argument before and am glad to hear it here but do not endorse this notion.

p.s. does this mean all children are parasites?

.....perhaps in China they do not have this problem ;) ...I think Leno told this joke :/

donvino

Not all dependents are parasites

A parasite draws its sustenance DIRECTLY from the body of its host, compromising the host's health and well-being and providing nothing but danger and loss in return.

An UNWANTED fetus is therefore a parasite, but a wanted or cherished fetus is a symbiont, because it does return value to the host in the form of joy and anticipation.

A four year (or four month) old independent air-breather is NOT a parasite, because YOU can feed it and care for it even if its mother does not.

ONLY host mothers are qualified to determine whether a fetal passenger is a parasite or a symbiont.

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
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West of 89
a novel of another america
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/161155#longdescr

Wondering?

Then should sperm be considered a parasite?

donvino

Reaching Too Far

Rothbard, God love him, is sadly mistaken on this issue. The fetus did not aggress against the woman's body, because it did not choose to be conceived. The fetus is the result of a human choice, and is not even sentient at the time of conception. To conclude that it therefore is an "invader" deserving of an "expulsion" that amounts to "murder" is simply illogical.

Rothbard is overplaying his hand here. Now, Rothbard is perhaps the greatest libertarian of all time. His contributions to political philosophy, history, and economics are monumental. "Man, Economy, and State" and "Conceived in Liberty" are two of my favorite books. "Anatomy of the State" changed my life. But nobody is perfect - except maybe Ron Paul ;-P

"Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors, but today we kneel only to truth." - Kahlil Gibran

Pregnancy is not

always the result of human choice, at least on the mothers part. Rape is a tool of control, a weapon in war and used in prisons to control and punish. Abortion is an aggression against a dependent living human, just as human as an elderly advanced Alheimers victim. However, the decision to abort a pregnancy is essentially a decision to sin or not, commit an immoral act. Legislating away peoples choice of whether to sin or not does not work. The rich/politically connected will get abortions, use illegal drugs, kill, steal, etc. all with impunity. When the state is used to control the peoples choice to sin or not, only the poor and powerless are bound by the laws. The focus should not be on what "we" are going to allow other people to choose to do, living by the sword of government aggression, but on minding our own affairs and supporting moral choices peacefully.

I want to agree with you, but

but when does life begin?

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

When did the Empire State building begin?

Was it when the architect first put pen to paper? Was it when the contractor began excavating the earth? Was it when the first foundation stone was laid? Was it when the final touches were made to the finished building? Was it when the inauguration ceremony was over and the building was opened to its first tenants?

We must also remember that the complete design for every human being is present in every cell of the human body. So when the chosen sperm enters the ovum and fuses with the cytoplasm thus uniting the male and female genetic information forming the 46 chromosome genome of the human body and cell multiplication begins there is an instantaneous combination of all the processes described above in the making of the Empire State Building.

We describe this as conception but as we know the Empire State building was conceived in the mind of the architect before he put pen to paper and long before a single shovelful of earth was dug. In the case of the human being the entire design is already present in the sperm and the ovum and needs only to be fused in order for building to begin.

The process of construction and renewal never stops from that moment on and continues until death. Human life is a continuum from the moment of fusion of the sperm and the cytoplasm until death. To say that human bodily life begins and ends in any other manner is to deny the evidence. This is why anyone who is pro-life opposes abortion and euthanasia which are extraneous interventions in the natural design of a human life and therefore a denial of the right to life of that human being.

Finally we are not our own. We are created beings and we are owned by our Creator who has given us life. He has granted us stewardship of our bodies that He designed and prepared for us to sustain our short lives here on Earth. We therefore have a responsibility to care for these bodies and cooperate with Him to learn His Law of Spirit and Life the better to follow Him through the veil of this human flesh into the New Creation that He has also designed and prepared for us.

In other words this human life we are leading has as its purpose the formation of the new creation, the new man in the image of God who will live forever. This means to abort an unborn child is to cut short this process with unknown consequences for that human being and for humanity as a whole since we are all part of the macrocosm which is contained in each of us, the microcosm, just as the design of the complete human body is contained within each cell of the body.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

Conception Makes Most Sense

Ron Paul's definition - at conception - is the least arbitrary and makes the most sense.

Honestly, how abortion has become a religious issue is beyond me. Sure, Christians believe that life is sacred and must be protected, but ask them that when the almighty State of Israel comes calling. Abortion is wrong because it is murder, and murder is wrong - period. It has absolutely nothing to do with any religion, although most religions share the belief that murder is evil.

"Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors, but today we kneel only to truth." - Kahlil Gibran

I can certainly appreciate

I can certainly appreciate that RP's position is comparatively the least arbitrary and most sensible. But I'm a bit surprised that you would find the religious nature of the question mystifying.

"Honestly, how abortion has become a religious issue is beyond me. Sure, Christians believe that life is sacred and must be protected, but ask them that when the almighty State of Israel comes calling."

What I find far more mystifying is the way Christians will fall all over themselves in defending, and knee-jerk supporting, the modern Jewish state no matter its behavior or importance to our own interests. I have been in Christian circles long enough to understand where this sort of thing comes from. It is simply a misdirected trust from a Christian theological perspective. So in that sense, the abortion question having religious dimensions is far more comprehensible than is a misdirected belief that modern day Israel is the equivalent of biblical Israel - and then subsequently treating it like some type of spiritual "lucky" rabbit's foot.

Rothbard assumes rights out

Rothbard assumes rights out of thin air. He starts with a presupposition of an absolute right, then makes an intellectual argument based on what is a blind faith presupposition.

The language is a bit suspect as well. We have a developing fetus, doing what is in its nature to do - and, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the mother's body doing what is in it's nature to do. The relationship is not equally symbiotic, to be sure. But to call the unborn a "parasitic invader" is to make the child a criminal worthy of death, apart from any malice or cognition of wrong doing. The language itself is over the top and labors too hard to make the point. It reminds me of the old story of the pastor's sermon. In the margins he wrote, "Point weak, shout louder here."

If I find a deaf mute, retarded stranger lost in my home, I would not call him a parasitic invader, much less kill him for sticking around too long. And if I did, many of the same folks who want abortion on demand, would be demanding my head on a stick.

What an effing idiot

But you do make a good argument for the wicked burning in hell forever. Unfortunately you will just burn up but at least we will be done with your idiocy on that fine day.

the fetus as a beautiful tiny human being

... with an already-developing unique spirit and a little shining soul of joy :)

... 'jus sayin