I came out of the gate, hard-core dead set against the legalization of abortion. I stumbled into the Libertarian stream and the concept of liberty hit me hard. Who is the drug user harming by using drugs? No one, until he starts stealing, cheating, or otherwise hurting someone, and then the crime is the harm he does, not his reason for doing it. Should driving be illegal because some speed, drive drunk and end up killing someone? Nope. Should Islam be illegal because some commit horrible terrorist actions? Well… maybe.. kidding, the crime is terrorism. Belonging to a religion which promotes it, is not terrorsm.
The religious opposition is no reason to oppose abortion. In fact, if you live in the God will punish you world, you believe that there will be a just reward coming from God, which seems to mean that legal or not, you will be punished for abortion and since it is your body in which the fetus resides, you should have the liberty to decide whether or not to allow that fetus to remain.
This is indeed liberty for the parent, and I can clearly see the libertarian reasoning behind it, however there are a few problems. Has the fetus/unborn child any crumblings from the liberty cake? Does it have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? One of my philosophical idols, Ayn Rand, said a fetus having a “right to life” is vicious nonsense. “An embryo has no rights…a child cannot acquire any rights until it is born.” I can’t help but wonder what gives her the right/liberty to make that determination.
Wherever the line is drawn, at any age, or even before that passage through the birth canal which constitutes for a huge number, the beginning of life, you are dissecting a line, which has led in my case, at 55 years, to skiing, guitar & banjo picking, mountain climbing, smoked salmon, hunting, fishing puttin’ around on rollin’ thunder and now, the writing of this article. Also, there is behavior going on before that passage. Things are learned, things, such as mom’s voice, music and more become familiar, reactions in what many interpret to be emotional ways to various stimuli.
Whatever your religious stance, there is absolutely no doubt that the process which begins at the very instant of conception ends at death, regardless of whatever the cause of the death might be. Abortion delivers the death at a very early point and is done by decision. Not the decision of the fetus. Liberty?
Even “Libertarians for Life”, who are opposed to abortion look at it from a weird perspective. “Non-aggression is an ongoing obligation: it is never optional for anyone, even pregnant women. If the non-aggression obligation did not apply, then earning money versus stealing it and consensual sex versus rape would be morally indifferent behaviors. The obligation not to aggress is pre-political and pre-legal. It does not arise out of contract, agreement, or the law; rather, such devices presuppose this obligation. The obligation would exist even in a state of nature. This is because the obligation comes with our human nature, and we acquire this nature at conception.”
Hmmm.. Agression? It has nothing to do with agression. It has nothing to do with sin. It boils down simply to liberty. What liberty is being exercised when a life is ended entirely by another’s decision to do so? Seems to me as far away from liberty as it is possible to get.