With 2012’s March for Life in DC approaching on January 23rd, I ask: Will many of my libertarian friends be there? A recent Cato Institute study says only 37% of libertarians are pro-life (versus 31% of Democrats, 45% of independents, and 68% of Republicans). I know many libertarians believe the impossible claim unborn babies are parts of their mothers’ bodies (from the moment of conception, unborn babies are genetically unique), and I share libertarians’ distaste for most government interventions in society. However, I believe two libertarian principles command that libertarians oppose all abortions.
For one, no unborn babies agree to abortion, violating libertarianism’s principle that individuals’ decisions about their lives should be voluntary. Of course, it’d be impossible for abortionists to ask eight- or nine-weekers to “Sign here,” but this absurdity’s the point. If unborn babies’ lives become unbearable after birth, these unborn babies could unfortunately commit suicide. The U.S. Libertarian Party’s platform says, “People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives…for the benefit of others[,]” including mothers.
Also, abortions can adversely affect others besides the consenting mothers and aborted babies, infringing “the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.” Abortions often result in health problems for the mothers’ future children. As the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’s The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion (2004) documents, relative to children of mothers who’ve never received an abortion, children of mothers who’ve received an abortion(s) are about twice as likely to die in utero and have low birth weights and up to three times as likely to have premature births. As another adverse effect to others, abortions (aside from rape cases) violate fathers’ natural right to be fathers.
While violating these libertarian principles dealing with voluntary decisions and adverse effects to others, abortions destroy unborn babies’ liberty: In the womb, unborn babies kick, yawn, play with their noses, smile, learn languages, recognize their mothers’ voices, and if twins, play pushing games. C’mon, libertarians! Ya’ll should be pro-life and are welcome at 2012’s March for Life.