2012’s March for Life: C’mon, Libertarians!

Pro-life Libertarians

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[1] 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.


[1] After abortions, mothers can endure such complications as cervical scarring and Post-Abortion Syndrome.

Original image – “Libertarians for Life”

Comments

    • Daniel Smyth says

      Awesome question. Aside from passing a constitutional amendment protecting the unborn, one could make the following two constitutional arguments that the Supreme Court could command states to protect the unborn:

      1) The 14th Amendment’s due process clause prohibits states from depriving persons of life and liberty without due process of law. See http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/276303/abortion-and-14th-amendment-michael-j-new

      2) The Constitution’s preamble secures “the Blessings of Liberty to…our Posterity,” with posterity meaning future generations and thus the unborn. See, e.g., James Lynch, “Posterity: A Constitutional Peg for the Unborn,” Am. J. Juris. 40: 401-04, 1995, and Raymond Marcin, “Posterity in the Preamble and a Positivist Pro-Life Position, Am. J. Juris. 38: 273-295, 1993.

      Conservative/libertarian lawyers often use Argument #1, but I believe Argument #2 has more sway. Unfortunately, as far as I know the Supreme Court rarely if ever uses the Preamble’s text as a basis for its decisions. However, nothing in the Constitution says to ignore the Preamble. I’m waiting for a good originalist “argument” for Argument #2.

    • says

      @Tony Escobar Awesome question. Aside from passing a constitutional amendment protecting the unborn, one could make the following two constitutional arguments that the Supreme Court could command states to protect the unborn:

      1) The 14th Amendment’s due process clause prohibits states from depriving persons of life and liberty without due process of law. See http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/276303/abortion-and-14th-amendment-michael-j-new

      2) The Constitution’s preamble secures “the Blessings of Liberty to…our Posterity,” with posterity meaning future generations and thus the unborn. See, e.g., James Lynch, “Posterity: A Constitutional Peg for the Unborn,” Am. J. Juris. 40: 401-04, 1995, and Raymond Marcin, “Posterity in the Preamble and a Positivist Pro-Life Position, Am. J. Juris. 38: 273-295, 1993.

      Conservative/libertarian lawyers often use Argument #1, but I believe Argument #2 has more sway. Unfortunately, as far as I know the Supreme Court rarely if ever uses the Preamble’s text as a basis for its decisions. However, nothing in the Constitution says to ignore the Preamble.

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