9 votes

Libertarians and their abortion problem

How selfish are we to draw a line as to when life begins or when it is appropriate to abort a life? Most abortions are done because of burden. It is a burden when the mom or dad are not ready for various reasons. It is a burden when it is not planned. It is a burden when other methods of birth control fail. And yes, it is even a burden when it is a forced insemination.

You call yourselves freedom fighters. You come here to spout all your knowledge about Liberty. Tell me something...is it not Liberty for all? Why is a life in the womb...the most defenseless of all...not entitled to Liberty?

A wise man once said "how can we protect liberty if we can't protect life?"

If libertarians won't defend all life than I want no part of it.

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you can't expect people to be against War yet

be for killing innocent unborn babies for convenience reasons, when you devalue life, you devalue all life, either you are consistent or not.

jaseed's picture



“The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Pro-choice & libertarianism never jived with me - here's why:

The crux of the argument seems to stem from the notion that a woman's body is her property and a fetus is perceived as an unwanted trespasser within that property who can and should be evicted if she so chooses.

But yet if someone voluntarily initiates the causal chain which leads to someone else ending up on their property, the latter person cannot be considered a trespasser.

Consider the following scenario:
Person X asks person Y to go for a ride in his boat. They go hundreds of miles out into shark infested waters, and then person X tells person Y to get out of his boat immediately. Clearly, if person Y obliges he will die, but X forces him to jump overboard anyways. Surely any libertarian would agree that person X would be breaching contract and would be guilty of murder. But this isn't quite the case with a fetus.

A more relevant scenario is to consider that of person X finding person Y completely unconscious, dragging them on board the boat, driving hundreds of miles out into those shark infested waters, and then when person Y becomes conscious - person X forces person Y to vacate the boat into the waters, assuring his certain death.

To a fetus, the outside world is a lethal place, and if it is the mother who is responsible for bringing it into the safe haven of the womb (analogous to the boat) and it is the mother who now wants to expel it from that safe haven, it is also the mother who is taking upon herself the direct responsibility for the fetus's death (the mother is the crucial and indispensable element of every link of the causal chain in question).

This is in violation of the libertarian non-aggression axiom by initiating force. This principle trumps the right to evict trespassers from our property if it is us who are responsible for making someone a "trespasser" in the first place.

Now, clearly there are situations begging for further careful consideration, such as issues of rape - but we aren't really dealing with specifics here.

In your example

there is an implicit contract between X and Y, which becomes violated. There can be no contract with a fetus at conception, since the fetus does not exist at that point.

Dragging an unconscious person out to sea is kidnapping. A better example would be if you said you found someone floating in the water and rescued them. Then you asked them to leave your boat. Would that be murder if they were to subsequently drown? Not from a libertarian perspective. It would be highly immoral, but there would be no violation of property rights.

Also, consider this analogy. You are in my house and there is a gun battle raging outside. I ask you to leave. Am I entitled to kick you out? I say yes. I am speaking legally, not morally. Obviously it would be immoral to do so. But it would not, and should not, be illegal.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

You own your self and effects of your actions

That makes joint ownership of the baby. If you have joint ownership of something, all parties must have a say.


you do not own the baby as the mother

You can't own another human being. What you do own are the guardianship rights.

So, are you saying that the father shares the guardianship rights with the mother? That is true, I think. I am not an expert on this subject. But, again, guardianship rights of the father cannot violate the self-ownership rights of the woman for the woman's body.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

jaseed's picture

In the end,

no one "own's" their body. It is God's will

“The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.”

– Thomas Jefferson


You own the affects of your actions. If you build a house, do you own it. If you plant a seed, do you own it?

Do you own your hand, or your foot?

Is your physical property an extension of your physical self?

Do you own your seed before it becomes a child?

When I say joint ownership, I mean three owners. The mother, the father and the child(as the child owns itself and the parents own the effects of there action.

This is the only philosophically sound approach to the question. Creation of a human life must be treated different than every other case of creation, because it's creation of a life who has its own property rights. The concept can only be recreated using contracts.

If you have a contract declaring joint ownership of property can you destroy that property without the consent of all parties? Or do you think the child is ok with being murdered?


you can't own other people, period

Ownership of other people is slavery.

BTW, "affect" is a verb, "effect" is a noun. You own the effects of your actions, not affects. (I am not trying to be a dick. I want to make your writing more persuasive, so I hope you take this correction with the good faith with which it is given :)

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

I have written that post a dozen other times

Check em out if you dont believe me when I say that it was a typo.

What do you call it when you strap a crying baby into a car seat when he doesn't want to be there.

So what you are saying apply always until someone is responsible for creating a human life?

Where do you stand on parents rights?

is there a correct way to raise your child where they wouldn't be enslaved?

Should the state get involved?
At what point is the child free?

How come you own the fruit of your labor but not the fruit of your womb.

Guardianship is a legal term. I advocate non-statism.
Is it ok if someone steals your child? What if I say "you are not a good enough parent? Would it be ok then?


Parent rights are guardianship rights,

not ownership rights. Big difference. Yes, it's a legal term. I also advocate non-statism. But I also advocate laws. Are you opposed to laws?

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

Your position is completely inconsistant

And to prove it you didnt answer any of my questions...

I understand now. You own everything you create, unless you create a human life, in which case you have no rights of ownership to your child.

A child is a human being and is therefore not subject to extra-self ownership. Therefore whenever you force your child to do something they dont want to do (ie. Brush their teeth) you are aggressing and should subsequently be subject to criminal punishment.


Totally missing the point.

Totally missing the point. The child who you are about to abort has ownership of their own life and you are about to impede on it. Doesn't sound very libertarian to me.

All pro abortionists leave

All pro abortionists leave out the one big fact and that is life. It's very convenient for them to ignore this fact.

as far as I can tell

No one here disputes the fact that the fetus has a right to its life. What the pro-choice crowd believes is that the right to life does not grant you control of another person's body, even if that body is necessary for the survival of that life.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

That's pretty twisted logic.

That's pretty twisted logic. Shows how much respect we as a civil society have for life.

So now after all this,

What do you think the

Life:choice ratio is amongst libertarians?


50/50 I suppose. That's 50%

50/50 I suppose. That's 50% people on the DP who will turn their cheek to genocide in our own country.

just because they think the

just because they think the govt should not be involved doesnt mean they are turning their cheek. thats like saying just because we dont support welfare means we are turning our cheek against the poor.

a couple problems with your analogy

first at the moment of conception a unique individual is created, eye color, hair color, intelligence, disease suseptibility, etc. etc. are all determined instantly, the DNA is no different than an 80 year old of the same person and there is no person on the planet that has that unique DNA sequence. In other words, a unique person has been created in the eyes of the law where DNA is concerned.

If you are in my car, and I'm driving 55 and I tell you to get out, but you refuse, then I point a gun at you and say if you don't I will shoot you, then you bail out the door and die, you are 100% going to jail for manslaughter.

If you leave a baby in a 100 degree car, and the baby dies, you will be convicted of murder. The baby cannot live without you, you are responsibe for it, it can not get out of the car with out you.

I consider myself pro-choice,

I consider myself pro-choice, but I greatly respect your unconscious person in a boat analogy.

Me too...

Finally someone who respects others' freedom.

Respects freedom? But not the

Respects freedom? But not the freedom of the unborn.

Isn't the bigger irony....

... I know it's no one on the DP, but a lot out there in the GOP, who are pro-life, but aren't concerned a bit about our country drone bombing Paki or Yemeni children.

Maybe their Jesus said only protect American life, because if Jesus or God meant ALL life then holy mac we're in trouble.

Stop it. That does not

Stop it. That does not pertain to anyone here on the DP. Why even bring that here? I'm advocating right to life for all!


Amen Spirit. You just nailed it...

ALL life

Definitely something we both agree on, kind of what I was getting at below, but you nailed it. +1

SteveMT's picture

We've drone attacked our own citizens, done by Obama.

Drone strikes: Four American citizens killed in drone strikes (+video)
Drone strikes: Four American citizens killed. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged Wednesday that US drones have killed four American citizens in Pakistan and Yemen, justifying the attacks under US and international law. President Obama is scheduled to address the subject in a speech Thursday.
By Brad Knickerbocker / May 22, 2013

Defend ALL life?

I hope you aren't part of a military family.

Or step on an ant when you walk outside.

I hope you run a foster home with 30 kids.
(Which you probably don't considering your post-count)

Want to be fully pro-life? Make those changes in your own life before preaching to others.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like abortion. Not a fan of single parenting. I despise teenage pregnancies.

Should all this be against the law? Or just the ones that you choose?

I'm sorry. Maybe I should be

I'm sorry. Maybe I should be more clear. I didn't mean to confuse you. I really was talking about all human life. I hope that clears things up for you.