The Great Debate
Three recognized rights included in the Declaration of Independence are the rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As a Libertarian — as an American — these are some of the most important rights we can possess.
In these most trying times, with politicians in Washington having debated the imaginary Fiscal Cliff and the rabid desire to tax us all into fiscal oblivion, one issue rises and falls in importance in the national dialectic: abortion.
Roe was legally and constitutionally vacant, and the dissent in Roe was actually the valid argument
For most of my life, I labeled myself as Pro-Choice, but Anti-Abortion. I am still so, but believe that the choice in question should be framed in the context of personal responsibility. I did not make that decision from a religious standpoint, since I have no religious views. I made it based on my humanness, for this issue has little to do with religion and everything to do with humanness and personal responsibility.
In the Libertarian Party, we talk a big game about the subject of personal responsibility, but not when it comes to this particular matter. Shame on us! Why don’t we as a Party acknowledge the basic right of unborn humans to have a chance at life? How can we not even acknowledge their humanness? How can we condone their murder?
During the most recent election, “women’s reproductive rights” were placed front and center by the Left and used to distract us from the most salient issues and demonize those of us who sincerely value life. Unfortunately, the arguments from the Left were big on alleged rights and small on the aspect of responsibility.
You cannot deny that, given the opportunity, a fetus growing inside a human female will grow to be a human. It cannot grow to be a leaf, a mouse, a chimpanzee, a horse or anything other than a human. It will have its own unique DNA (unless it is a monozygotic multiple birth) and differ uniquely from every other person on the planet.
Abortion is seen as retroactive birth control. How selfish can we be as a people? If you are going to engage in sexual practices that can lead to pregnancy, and if you do not wish to be a parent, then you have an absolute responsibility to take vigilant steps to prevent pregnancy. If you fear that you haven’t taken sufficient precautions, there are after-sex birth control methods that can end the nascent pregnancy most times before implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus. Even former Congressional Representative, Ob/Gyn and celebrated libertarian Ron Paul admits that these methods are acceptable. And I agree.
The Left is fond of asserting that women have the right to control their bodies. I agree; they do indeed possess that right. These same women also possess the right, if I may utilize that term, to be responsible with their bodies and their reproductive activities.
To be clear: sex is not a right. Too many times I have engaged with people on the Left, mostly women, who assert they have the right to have sex. I concur, if that sex does not involve another person. The minute you involve another person in sex, you must ask for their permission. There is another term for sex where one person does not gain permission from the other before engaging in the activity. We all know what that is. Sex with another is a privilege.
So, since no one has a right to have sex — since it is a privilege — no one should engage in the act who is not also capable of managing the consequences of what can happen as a result. “If you can’t feed `em, don’t breed `em,” is an expression I heard recently, but I would take it one step further, though not so poetically: if you can’t afford ‘em, don’t engage in sexual practices that can lead to conception.
Let me state one thing regarding the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade: Roe was legally and constitutionally vacant, and the dissent in Roe was actually the valid argument.
The basic issue in Roe was that since the decision to have an abortion is one discussed between the woman and her doctor, and since such conversations are legally private, the law cannot broach the doctor/patient confidentiality. That is legal hogwash. If the doctor were discussing suicide — since current law states that a doctor cannot assist a patient in ending his life — there would exist no such doctor/patient privilege.
Roe should not have been the reason abortions became legal in the United States. It made no sense. This is something you can look up for yourself. I believe a future court, given the right case, should find it very easy to overturn the Supremes’ errant decision. But that may take some time, especially given the current administration and its proclivity for nominating jurists who have no problem violating their Constitutional Oaths of Office and replacing the US Constitution with their own liberal agendas. It is likely that, unless one of the States summons the moral strength to oppose the federal restrictions and nullify the ruling of the Court, Roe will be the Law of the Land for some time to come.
It is incumbent upon us to first work to change the hearts and minds of our liberation brethren and then take the veracity of our argument to the masses and do our best to find a way to change their hearts and their minds.
I know that this subject is contentious. But that is something with which we are not unfamiliar. Being Libertarians in a world that has forgotten what it means to be so renders most of our positions contentious.
If we are to be a Party that views personal responsibility as one of the cornerstones of our political and sociological philosophies, should we not also be able to see that this issue is one more about personal responsibility than reproductive rights?
As a Libertarian, I implore you to examine what I have presented here. Try not to immediately discount it and return to your old, stale paradigms. If you could not abort a human baby yourself, how can you advocate for someone else to do it?
Remember three of the rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the rights to Life . . . to Liberty . . . and to the pursuit of Happiness. Do you want to take that away from the smallest and most defenseless of us?
I do not.