This is also from the email series that generated so many of the other posts here at SWGA Jeff so far…
Again, the LP-Ga position (under ‘Sexual Rights and the State’) first:
Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that libertarians can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept entirely out of the question, allowing all individuals to be guided by their own consciences. We oppose legislation restricting or subsidizing women’s access to abortion or other reproductive health services; this includes requiring consent of the prospective father, waiting periods, and mandatory indoctrination on fetal development, as well as Medicaid or any other taxpayer funding. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another’s abortion.
This was one of my personal sticking points, even after I joined the LP. I actually had a good discussion on the issue with a high-ranking LP official, and this is what he pointed out to me:
Some people believe (as I personally do – Jeff, not the official) that life begins at conception. However, in the absence of conclusive scientific proof either way, it is possible to also genuinely believe that life begins the moment you leave your mother’s body.
The LP position is that said life should not be terminated from the point that you personally believe it to have begun, and that the government has no right to dictate that decision either way. Nor should the government help you pay for it.
Note that I personally still have an issue with the LP-Ga position in that even as a minarchist, I believe that decisions such as abortion should have the consent of both the mother and the father. They both worked together to create that baby/fetus/whatever you want to call it, they should both work together to decide how best to handle its needs and their own. I believe an exception should be made for this in the case of rape or other actual, physical abuse. (If I haven’t made it clear yet, I believe mental/emotional abuse to be non-conclusively provable at best, and malarky at worst.) In other words, I wouldn’t force a woman to have an abuser’s baby simply because he wanted to continue to torture her, nor would I allow a male who conceived a child through force to have a say in anything that happens to that child. At the same time, I wouldn’t accept that the two simply couldn’t get along or couldn’t agree. HOWEVER, if the mother wanted to abort and the father did not, I would have them sign a binding contract saying that her parental rights would be terminated at birth, and that the father would have to accept full parental responsibility for the child. To my mind, in such a situation the female actually gets off easier in that she has to deal with the child for 9 months, and the male has to deal with it for 18 years. Yes, I know abortion-advocates will accuse me of making the mother nothing more than an incubator, but nothing could be further from the truth. One of the key components to Individual Freedom is its opposite, Individual Responsibility. In the situation where she would be a so-called ‘incubator’, she chose to have sex if nothing else. Clearly, sex has as a known product pregnancy, and she took that risk when she excercised her freedom to have sex. Therefore she bears the responsibility of the pregnancy.
But hey, that’s just one guy’s views. Like I said, I’m comfortable accepting the LP-Ga position, even though I have a few objections on the specifics.