By Tom Rhodes, 2/12/2012
Medical ethicists have confirmed that the Pro-Choice position on abortion is clearly not libertarian. Recently the Journal of Medical Ethics published an article which the authors concluded that there is no difference between abortion and killing a newborn. They re-term infanticide as "after birth abortion." These academics, associated with Oxford, argued that "The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual" saying "Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a 'person' in the sense of 'subject of a moral right to life'."
To redefine a person to "mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her." There is one thing that is in agreement with these "ethicists" and the pro-life argument; there is no moral difference between a newborn infant and a fetus. They differ in that the pro-live argument believes that all people regardless of what stage in their live they are, have a right to life.
Libertarians firmly believe that rights are natural, pre-exist our government, and are universal. Clearly and unambiguously stated in our Declaration of independence to being the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (sometimes termed property). Our Bill of rights, further established that our government is restricted from infringing upon natural rights. The basic libertarian ideology is that everybody has the liberty keep what they earn, acquire property, and to do as they please so long as their actions do not infringe upon another's right to do the same. We believe that rights are not granted by governments but unalienable. We established a government to protect all individuals equally from force or fraud of others. As Libertarians we believe that you are entitled to do even stupid stuff, but that nobody is obligated to bail you out when your choices prove to be foolish. Although in some ways libertarianism is harsh, the actual results of liberty when enacted and protected resulted in the highest standard of living for more people in the world's history. Libertarians believe that people are free to choose but accept that choices have consequences. The consequences of choices freely made are the individuals, whether or not the individual takes pleasure in the consequences.
The right to life: now some medical ethics authors conclude that that right doesn't exist until a person is "capable of attributing to their own existence some basic value". This is the same as saying if you can't take care of yourself you have no right to live. This concept should be a vile, gross, disgusting, and repugnant idea to any rational caring person.
"In truth, the right to life does not arise from these authors' convoluted notions, but from the facts of reality and the observable requirements of life. Human life is distinct from that of plants and animals in that it requires the application of reason in order to be sustained. Liberty to act upon one's own judgment is necessary in order for reason to be applied. Taking action to deprive another of the capacity to act upon their judgment - either by barring them physically, stealing from them, defrauding them, or harming their person - is an assault upon their life. Acknowledging these facts presents us with a moral obligation to refrain from assaulting others." ~ Walter Hudson
Pro-choice advocates attempt to make persons who not developmentally capable of taking care of themselves less than actual people. They refuse to accept that choices have consequences, and that rational people are accountable for their choices. What liberals, specifically feminist pro-choice liberals want is the ability to make choices to pursue happiness and not have suffer the consequences of those choices if the results are not as desired. This is the same thinking that bails out banks when they make bad investments or gives kids in school passing grades for substandard performance.
The ugly objective truth that pro-choice proponents do not want to acknowledge, and hate to discuss is that a child is the completely knowable and predictable outcome of the choice to engage in sexual intercourse. Sex is a gamble. Like betting on the Bucs, it's a safe bet to expect them to lose, but if you make that bet and they win, you have to pay the bookie. It is not right nor should you expect anybody else make that sacrifice. When people have sex, they implicitly accept the responsibility for the consequences of that choice. The consequences include the responsibility to a new life, a child, until it reaches maturity and can take care of itself (regardless of the legality that usually that takes around 21 years). Whether or not the people involved wanted or intended to create a new person and have a child does not matter, people are responsible for the choices they make.
The notion that the baby is a burden and infringes upon the mother's rights is a clearly bogus claim. The baby took no action, nor did anything to infringe upon anybody. The choice to exist was solely made by its mother and father when they choose to engage in an activity that is known to create life. Hence the parents are responsible for all the consequences of that choice. Birth is not the threshold for life, or for an individual's identity; birth is simply a point in the life cycle of an individual which goes from conception to death. A newborn is no less needy than a fetus and will die if not cared for, but compared to a toddler, pooping, jumping, crawling, climbing, running, and screaming, the burden of a fetus or newborn is far less. Addressing and taking care of the "burden" a new life brings is the clearly know consequence of making one of life's many choices. A new life did not and could not initiate any force against her mother, hence her mother has no right exact the death penalty.
The morally valid choice for a person who does not want, or for some reason can't, take responsibility for the consequences of their actions which resulted in the creation of a new person, is adoption; where they voluntarily transfer the responsibility to another who is willing to voluntarily take that responsibility. The death penalty for a child because parents don't want to accept responsibility for their choices is neither principled, nor morally acceptable.
Libertarianism is based on the moral principle that it is wrong to use force or fraud against others. Abortion is clearly not libertarian, because it is both force and fraud. Abortion is the legally allowable murder of a unique individual based the fraud that declares that an individual who is not yet developed to some arbitrary stage in life is not a person. Medical "ethicists" are now actively promoting the idea that infanticide is the moral equivalent of abortion. This, of course, is true. This is an ancient idea, we do not need to go back to the days of ancient Rome, where parents had the right to kill their children or sell them into slavery. Using pro-choice logic, selling a newborn or a fetus for body parts is acceptable because they are not people. Just like the newly born, the yet to be born, deserve to have their right to life protected. Protecting life is after all one of the foundational reasons we established the United States of America.
Libertarians are pro-liberty but shouldn't be pro-choice. Everybody has the choice to have whatever kind of consenting sexual relations they want, but the idea that people are free to choose to kill persons that result from the consequences of the choice to engage in behavior that is known to create new people is neither libertarian nor morally justifiable. If the Libertarian Party is the Party of Principle, and not just a pack of amoral adolescent anarchists, then minimally (as in the LPF platform) we should remove all abortion planks from our national platform, but to be true to our principles we should recognize the fact that abortion is force against another based on the fraud that that an individual must reach some arbitrary stage of development in order to have the right to life. We should hold to the principle that our government was established to protect unalienable rights, including with the right to life.