Tad Britch: The libertarian case for life

Written by Tad Britch, LPWV Secretary/Treasurer and candidate for West Virginia House of Delegates
Taken from tadbritch.com and http://www.lpwv.org/2009/07/07/264/

Abortion is a polarizing issue that appears to have no solution in sight. Some believe it is a minor side issue simply used to divide sides. I personally believe it is one of the most important issues we currently face. What could be more important than stopping the murder of an innocent human? This problem is currently reaching epidemic levels in the United States. In 2000, the United States allowed the execution of more than 1.3 million innocent lives. That means almost 3,600 innocent humans are killed on a daily basis. This should make everyone, not just those fighting for individual rights, stand up in protest.

The primary goal of libertarianism is to maximize and protect the rights of the individual. On that, I think we can all agree. However, the agreement on this issue appears to splinter when people begin to argue where life actually begins. Some approach the discussion from a religious by arguing the fetus has a soul from contraception. Others frame the discussion around scientific questions such as determining when the fetus has brain activity, or when it possess the ability to live independently from the mother I will approach this topic from neither point of view, as I believe both are irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

My belief is that a fetus is a human from the moment of contraception. This means the fertilized egg has the rights of all other humans. The logic behind this conclusion is quite simple. A fertilized egg, barring natural complications, is guaranteed to develop into a living human. If the progress of growth is not impeded by an outside source, a human will eventually develop from that egg. Thus, logic would dictate that ending the development of a fetus is ending a life. This seems like a pretty straightforward and easy conclusion to reach. Unfortunately, it seems many still do not have a firm grasp on this basic concept.

In addition to many libertarians, it seems the LP has decided against taking a firm stand for individual rights. Throughout the Preamble and Statement of Principles, the idea of individual liberty is discussed. Furthermore, section 1.0 of the platform titled Personal Liberty reads ”No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.” This seems to be a direct contradiction to the official stance on abortion.

The official stance of the LP is as follows:

1.4 Abortion -Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

This statement is extremely effective for sidestepping the issue at hand. It also displays a lack of courage to stand up for the rights of the individual on a controversial issue. I would hope the LP, as well as other libertarians, would want the party to adopt a more courageous stance on this issue.

So, what about the rights of the mother? When someone partakes in a sexual act, they are well aware of the potential risk of becoming pregnant. In no way does this mean a human should be murdered because it is an inconvenience to the parents. I accept and recognize the need for abortion in cases of the mother’s health or rape. Even though these cases account for less than 3% of the abortions. Killing a baby because it may add a little stress to your life seems irrational and disgusting by every stretch of the imagination.

Whether you are a (l)ibertarian, or a Libertarian, it is time we stood up for the rights of the unborn individual and say no to abortion. Until Americans recognize this disgusting act for what it is, more than one million innocent children will be killed every year. Their crime was nothing more than being conceived by parents who are not able to handle their responsibilities.

**The views in this article belong to the author and are not official positions of the LPWV.**

77 thoughts on “Tad Britch: The libertarian case for life

  1. Anonymous Bosch

    “Some approach the discussion from a religious by arguing the fetus has a soul from contraception.”

    You might want to rethink the wording of that sentence. Just saying…

  2. David

    Replace contraception with conception and this article makes perfect sense.

  3. volvoice

    …A fertilized egg, barring natural complications, is guaranteed to develop into a living human…

    The same can be said of a seed becoming a tree, but we don’t call it a tree from its contraception.

  4. Donald Raymond Lake

    We non marsupial mammals have the pregnant females carry the pre birth FETUS to term [baby hood, person hood, viability] with in their bodies. This process carries NO GUARANTEE and is often aborted.

    The only fair, logical, and hopefully legal process is to have the pregnant woman be the owner of her own body. This includes awkward moments of [usually male orientated] religious decention. Also late term abortion. Also, decention with the resident sperm donor!

  5. George Phillies

    “…A fertilized egg, barring natural complications, is guaranteed to develop into a living human…”

    Not on this planet, it isn’t, at least for reasonable readings of “complications”. The failure to implant and spontaneous failure rates are rather impressively high.

    Mind you, in my opinion ‘anti-abortion libertarian’ is not viable.

  6. tab

    “You might want to rethink the wording of that sentence. Just saying…”

    Wow, how did I miss that one? I read over that like 5 times before I posted it, and somehow still missed that mistake. Nice catch.

    “Mind you, in my opinion ‘anti-abortion libertarian’ is not viable.”

    I, as well as many other libertarians, have argued it from that position so it is clearly viable.

    I guess you could argue semantics between my use of fertilization rather than implantation but the point was clear.

    Yes

  7. tab

    Michael,

    The article gets into the irrelevant debate of when life begins. I argued from the point that a developing fetus is 100% guaranteed to develop into a human barring natural complications. Thus, it is a human and the scientific and religious debate doesn’t matter.

    However, I do agree solving the problem (which I see it as) is not easy. I would overturn Roe v. Wade since it is a states rights issue anyways, and see where to go from there.

    The number of abortions have actually gone down since it became legal so I wouldn’t necessarily favor criminalizing the action. Although, that’s like saying we should decriminalize murder because people still do it.

  8. Christian Prophet

    Look at an ultrasound and then tell me that a fetus is not a living human being. The argument for abortion is an argument for not taking responsibility for one’s choices and actions. An honest libertarian says, “You make the choice to have sex: you take responsibility for the result of your choice.” See:
    http://spirituallibertarian.blogspot.com/

  9. paulie Post author

    An honest libertarian says, “You make the choice to have sex: you take responsibility for the result of your choice.”

    So is a fetus which results from rape less human than one which results from concensual sex? That does not seem too plausible to me.

  10. Rufus T. Firefly

    So is Mr. Britch also calling for an immediate halt to male masturbation or female menstration? After all, eggs and sperm eventually form children!

  11. Rufus T. Firefly

    I’m also curious as to Mr. Britch’s views on eating meat, killing in self-defense, capital punishment, and euthanasia. Does his respect for life expand to all, or is it limited to fetal exceptionalism?

  12. Gene Berkman

    The platform of the Libertarian Party used to have a clear statement that a woman has a right to control her own body, including the right to terminate a pregnancy. That is a clear principled statement that is in line with the beliefs of many if not most Americans.

    Several years ago they adopted the current wording in an attempt to satisfy people who support limiting freedom for women. The new wording doesn’t satisfy anyone, and it has stylistic problems.

    Libertarian means being pro-choice on everything.

  13. Nate

    I liked the “contraception” bit as well, thought at that point the whole article might be satire. 🙂

    Following the “the fetus will become (in some cases, sometimes) a baby, therefore it already is one” logic, why don’t we force women to get pregnant and charge them with murder of an unfertilised egg (sorry, I meant an “INNOCENT BABY/CHILD/PERSON/HUMAN”) if they don’t oblige. Similarly we could obviously also charge men, although here we might consider the charge not murder but mass murder. Although to be fair a million sperm are never in a million years going to become a million people, so one count of homocide should do it.

    A condom (contraceptive for anyone who wants to see the word being used correctly) stops the egg from being fertilized, much as an abortion stops the fertilized egg from being hatched. Why not draw the line there?

    I understand that some people feel that a fertilised egg is a human. I disagree, but will not deny anyone the right to hold that opinion. What I don’t understand is why they can’t seem to grasp the fact that others may feel otherwise. Why at conception? Why not the unfertilized egg? The glimmer in the man’s eyes? Fetus at three months, six months, once it has fingernails, at birth? Any arbitrary line seems to me to be pretty much just as logical as the next.

    How about looking at it this way: if a woman’s period is a few weeks late, have a funeral, invite friends, hold a eulogy and tell stories of all the great times you had with that fertilized egg that died. If you don’t treat it as death then, how can you honestly expect others to believe you when you claim that an early term abortion takes an innocent life?

    Another problem I have is when people on the one hand claim it is murder, but on the other hand say it’s ok to “murder an innocent baby” if the mother was raped. WTF?!?!? Two wrongs don’t make a right. If you really think it’s murder, why in the world would you say it’s ok to commit murder. Sure, the woman has already suffered and you’d make her suffer even more by forcing her to carry the fetus to term, but do they really think murder is acceptable? I understand hardcore “no, no, never in a million years, no” anti-abortion people waaaaay more than these fence sitters.

    Just to make sure everyone understands: I believe a raped woman has the right to abort, but not just because she was raped. I believe any woman has the right to abort, as for me it doesn’t seem at all similar to murder whatsoever.

  14. Nate

    Ok, apparently I took too long to write that, most of my points have already been usurped by others. You smart people piss me off. 🙂

  15. Rufus T. Firefly

    I believe Mr. Britch, if elected, should also pursue all women with miscarriages as guilty of manslaughter. Though it may not be their fault their body rejected the ‘life,’ a murder was committed nevertheless (by Mr. Britch’s logic). We have to stop the renegade nature of our bodies! Only a strict protection of life from the State can accomplish this, naturally.

  16. Nate

    “I guess you could argue semantics between my use of fertilization rather than implantation but the point was clear.”

    No, it wasn’t. Is it a human (or “going-to-become-a-human-eventually-maybe-unless-not”) from conception or implantation? Is a woman allowed to take the morning-after pill or not? (Depending on the type of pill, this may either prevent conception or implantation.) Which, if any of those, would constitute murder in your mind? And should everyone else be forced to oblige by your opinion on the subject? I really am not trying to be rude (well, maybe a little) but you keep on saying how 100% crystal clear this all is and it seems to me to be an extremely cloudy crystal. Pretty darn murky once you start looking at it closely.

    “I argued from the point that a developing fetus is 100% guaranteed to develop into a human barring natural complications.”

    Or unnatural complications. Or drinking certain herbs. Or a coat hanger.

    Some questions for you on this subject: Is a woman allowed to throw herself down a flight of stairs? Drink strange concoctions? Ask a medical professional to perform a simple and safe procedure? Do any of the answers change because two random cells have become one?

    While we’re on the subject, is a pregnant woman allowed to drink and/or smoke? It wouldn’t (necessarily) be “murder”, but you could at least charge her with something, right? Can we put some laws in place that prohibit women from drinking of smoking until they can prove conclusively that they aren’t pregnant? (Preferably by turning their uteruses inside out so we can see.) Won’t someone please think of the “100% guaranteed to develop into a human barring natural complications”!

    I apologize for being somewhat rude, it’s late here and I should probably be sleeping. Instead I have insomnia and a need to insult. Pretty much anything I say can and should be held against me, but it’s also mainly for comedic relief so I’d appreciate it if noone took it all that personally. I also apologize for the image of an inside-out uterus that you will never be able to remove from your head even after years of therapy. You might find solice in the fact that I doomed myself along with you.

  17. Nate

    “I would overturn Roe v. Wade since it is a states rights issue anyways, and see where to go from there.”

    Why in the world is that a states’ rights issue? If it’s murder, isn’t the federal government entitled to take action to protect the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of the fertilized egg? Which brings us to another interesting question: If the mother doesn’t abort, can we throw her in jail for denying the fertilized egg its liberty? After all, she is holding it imprisoned in her womb. The monster!

    “Look at an ultrasound and then tell me that a fetus is not a living human being.”

    Been there, done that. Seen a ton of ultrasounds (mostly of fetuses, but also one of my heart) and I know how impressed people get once they can see the itty bitty fingers and toes. But take a look at this ultrasound I randomly got off the internet by typing in “ultrasound 4 weeks”):

    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1354/1468886879_8283002a7a.jpg

    My heart looked more like its own “living human being” than that thing. So no, conception does not a “look at the widdle toesies” make.

    “Libertarian means being pro-choice on everything.”

    I likesies.

  18. tab

    #14: That is honestly one of the worst attempts to connect the two that I’ve ever seen. A sperm and egg are not fertilized which means they have the potential for life. They are not guaranteed to become life.

    #15: Thank you for inquiring as to my views on other issues. If you would like, directly send me an email so I don’t take this thread off topic. I will answer all your questions. But my views are consistent across the board.

    #17: Nate, you are correct in pointing out that double standard. It is a tough issue to wrestle with because why should a baby be killed because it was brought into the world under unfortunate circumstances? However, there is a huge distinction between voluntarily engaging in a sexual act and becoming pregnant and having someone force the sexual act upon you.

    #19: Rufus, once again you make an awful leap in logic. If a miscarriage is natural then nothing impeded the process except natural forces. Which I’m pretty sure I directly addressed in the article.

    If the woman caused the miscarriage intentionally, then yes, she should be charged with murder.

    #20: Nate, internet insults don’t bother me. You may continue to throw out as many of them as you’d like. Attempts at insults are usually used to diffuse discussions when you have a weak argument. Hyperbole and platitudes have their place I guess.

    Your last post is full of so much hyperbole and huge jumps in logic that it borders on ridiculous. Really no point in even addressing it.

  19. volvoice

    I work with plenty of pro-life people in the freedom movement – they know my views. I work w/ pro-life Libertarians, C4L members, constitution party members, and one of my dear friends runs a bible book store. Rule #1 amongst us all….. STFU about abortion.

  20. Michael Seebeck

    Tab @10:

    The article gets into the irrelevant debate of when life begins. I argued from the point that a developing fetus is 100% guaranteed to develop into a human barring natural complications. Thus, it is a human and the scientific and religious debate doesn’t matter.

    Not even close to irrelevant, Tab. In fact, it’s the heart of the matter! You can’t end a human life if it hasn’t started yet, can you? Just because a group of cells called a fetus forms a certain way doesn’t make it a human any more than a collection of auto parts formed a certain way becomes a car. The fact that you claim it does flies in the face of anything resembling life science and biology. In fact, conception does not begin the human life in the slightest, because there are still steps that are necessary before fetal development can begin (cell division, forming the zygote, implantation onto the uterine wall, and the miosis to form the placenta, just to name a few that can fail and void your guarantee), as any junior-high biology student can tell you. Are the building blocks there? Sure, but so what? A pile of steel, plastic, rubber, fabric and paper don’t make a car until the external forces of development are applied to it to shape it into that car (and even then there’s no guarantee it’ll run correctly!). The same is true for the development of the fertilized egg into the zygote, into the fetus, and into a baby, child, adult, etc. It’s more than just a conception that determines humanity. It’s more than just a collection of cells arranged in a certain pattern, and as long as we possess our own consciousness and conscientiousness, it always will be.

    Besides, what’s a “natural complication”? For that matter, what’s its complement, an “artifical complication”?

    All you really did here was present a long spiel on why you think the abortion plank is wrong, and it’s based on one simple belief statement you made to lead off your third paragraph:

    My belief is that a fetus is a human from the moment of contraception.

    That assumption is scientifically and fundamentally incorrect, as shown above. For that, your whole position falls apart.

    You claim this logic:

    A fertilized egg, barring natural complications, is guaranteed to develop into a living human. If the progress of growth is not impeded by an outside source, a human will eventually develop from that egg. Thus, logic would dictate that ending the development of a fetus is ending a life. This seems like a pretty straightforward and easy conclusion to reach.

    Yes, that’s simplistic logic, all right. But it’s also incomplete and incorrect, and illogical on its face. Because fetal growth is dependent on outside sources acting on it, by definition (as is ALL life from the cellular level on up!), the determination of that growth is also dependent on those same outside sources. Those outside sources begin with the mother, all she ingests (or doesn’t), and all forces acting on her, too. The very state of pregnancy itself is in fact 9 months of the mother instituting force on the fetus, for its own development, or to its detriment!

    So let’s say that the mother ingests regular tap water over the term of her pregnancy, and that tap water is loaded with nitrates, unknown to the mother, and the result is in-utero blue baby syndrome and fetal death occurs from oxygen deprivation. That nitrate problem clearly was an outside source impeding growth, and it ended development of the fetus and in fact ended its life. Is the mother guilty of committing an act of force on the fetus because she drank tap water instead of filtered bottled water? Yes. Is she guilty of murder? No, but the straightforward reading of your position indicates a “yes” to both questions, the latter of which is patently absurd since there was no harm intended or even considered as a known factor in the decision.

    The point is that the standing up for individual rights presumes the foreknowledge that an act of force is A) considered wrong by some set moral or social judgement, and B) the individual in of themselves is capable of exercising those rights themselves. Both of those constructs require knowledge of the situation and the ability to be either free or oppressed (or sometimes both). A fetus certainly cannot do B) while dependent on the mother for its very survival. Even while viable to live outside the womb it still is dependent on the parents or similars to survive. The social, moral, political, and cultural environment that surrounds the mother determines A), as it does with all acts of force. The difference is that the libertarian philosophy draws the line in those surroundings based on denial of those rights to other individuals by force as being wrong, and allowing or defending those rights to other individuals by force as right. In other words, defending self or others by force is OK, but oppressing them is not. Your position is incomplete in that it fails to take in the factors that determine whether an act of force is defensive, oppressive, or simply neutral or negligent. That’s where the logic fails, because it attempts to divorce the factors surrounding the fetal development from the development itself, and that’s impossible. You can’t separate the action and its motivation and reasons, Tab. The law recognizes that now, which is why miscarriages are not criminally punishable, but willful terminations of pregnancy can be (depending on laws of the state).

    I’m not saying you have to be pro-choice here, just that your reasoning for being pro-life is deeply flawed.

  21. Nate

    “However, there is a huge distinction between voluntarily engaging in a sexual act and becoming pregnant and having someone force the sexual act upon you.”

    Of course there is. But that should really not have anything to do with the question of whether abortion is or is not murder. I can understand that if the life of the mother is in danger you could say “one life or the other, a choice must be made.” But otherwise shouldn’t life trump all other choices?

    “Your last post is full of so much hyperbole and huge jumps in logic that it borders on ridiculous. Really no point in even addressing it.”

    I write the way I do because that’s the way I talk. However, in person it is easier to differentiate between the playful teasing and on-topic discussion. And easier to see how receptive the audience is to fun in a serious discussion, enabling me to rein in my playful side. I apologized for insulting, not because I honestly felt I had insulted anyone, but because I wanted to make sure people understood my intention was fun, nothing sinister.

    However, I also want people to actually want to read and respond to my posts, so I will try to tone it down and focus on the points I wished to make:

    “I guess you could argue semantics between my use of fertilization rather than implantation but the point was clear.”

    No, it wasn’t. Is it murder after conception or only after implantation? Is a woman allowed to take the morning-after pill or not? (Depending on the type of pill, this may either prevent conception or implantation.)

    “I argued from the point that a developing fetus is 100% guaranteed to develop into a human barring natural complications.”

    What exactly are “natural” complications? Problems can arise because of diet choices. This seems to open a can of worms as to whether a woman should be forced to follow a strict diet or face potential consequences if the pregnancy terminates.

    Drinking alcohol very early in the pregnancy, before even knowing one is pregnant, can cause termination. Although this usually happens unintentionally, one could drink vast quantities of alcohol for a few weeks after having sex to try and cause termination if conception occurred. This would then, as it was willful, most likely be classified as murder according to what you have written (please correct me if I have read too much into your words.) Although it would be very hard to prove, as if conception did not occur no crime would have been committed. Again, this seems strange to me.

    “I would overturn Roe v. Wade since it is a states rights issue anyways, and see where to go from there.”

    Why in the world is that a states’ rights issue? If it’s murder, isn’t the federal government entitled to take action to prevent it? I thought protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was a federal thing.

    More to the point and more polite, surely. As fun to read? You decide.

  22. Nate

    Once again I took too long to post and Michael Seebeck beat me to most of the points I made. I tip my hat to you, sir.

  23. mdh

    I’m surprised no one has brought up the whole evictionist theory thing. That used to be pretty popular when I’d troll abortion debates and other libertarians were around.

  24. Melty

    There’s no consensus in the LP over abortion. The current abortion plank takes no sides. That’s good.

  25. tab

    Michael,

    Sorry if I can’t give the appropriate response on here. It is quite difficult to give lengthy responses in this format.

    “You can’t end a human life if it hasn’t started yet, can you? Just because a group of cells called a fetus forms a certain way doesn’t make it a human any more than a collection of auto parts formed a certain way becomes a car.”

    Yes, but you are missing my point. That fetus will become a human. That it why I consider it a human.

    I also agree it is more than just cells that determine what is a human. It takes a functioning brain and certain life processes. Which is why I stated that the fetus will develop all of those if left to develop. Again, this is the reason I see that fetus as a human.

    An abortion isn’t just destroying blueprints (ie. sperm, or egg). An abortion is destroying the foundation after it has been laid.

    So at which point would you consider it murder?

    “Besides, what’s a “natural complication”? For that matter, what’s its complement, an “artifical complication”?”

    I put natural complication to indicate complications that naturally arise from a pregnancy. Not complications that arise from arise from the mother smoking or drinking during pregnancy. Or anything like that.

    “The point is that the standing up for individual rights presumes the foreknowledge that an act of force is A) considered wrong by some set moral or social judgement, and B) the individual in of themselves is capable of exercising those rights themselves. Both of those constructs require knowledge of the situation and the ability to be either free or oppressed (or sometimes both). A fetus certainly cannot do B) while dependent on the mother for its very survival.”

    If I follow the line of thinking in this paragraph it would also mean that a newborn, or even a toddler, really has no rights since it cannot survive without the care of a mother. I’m pretty sure nobody would say post-birth abortion is alright, but the same logic is applied to that situation as pro-choice people argue to defend their position.

    “So let’s say that the mother ingests regular tap water over the term of her pregnancy, and that tap water is loaded with nitrates, unknown to the mother, and the result is in-utero blue baby syndrome and fetal death occurs from oxygen deprivation.”

    There are extreme hypothetical we could all conjure up to try to make a point. Hypotheticals usually stay hypothetical for a reason though.

    I would say in this case the mother did not knowingly ingest a product that was meant to kill or harm her baby. In fact, the product she was drinking was supposed to be safe so it is more of an accident than anything. My article argues from the point of intentional and willful termination of the pregnancy.

  26. Steven R Linnabary

    This abortion debate should not be on a political website, but rather should be a debate amongst seminary students. Making this a “political” debate only cheapens life itself.

    I know when life begins. It begins at the moment of conception, and only ends with the last heartbeat.

    My wife felt the same way. She was adopted. You will find very few people who have been adopted that believe otherwise.

    My wife and I had two very healthy children, born at home.

    The third baby came along immediately after the second. Maybe we should have considered abortion. But it was out of the question for my wife, and I of course went along.

    The third pregnancy was hard, with several complications. My wife suffered a stroke during the hospital childbirth, and the baby died. She was as a result of the stroke totally comatose, or in a “persistent vegetative state” (re Terry Shiavo).

    She remained in a coma nearly five years. I was unable to “pull the plug” on her feeding tube. It would have been wrong, as well as illegal (the law did change during this, in the early 90’s the law was changed so that one could go to court to pull the plug).

    I know I made the right decisions. It was morally the right thing to do for us. But I am not everybody else.

    The bottom line is there are many reasons why a person may need an abortion, or may need to kill a loved one. I could never do it. But I won’t ever judge somebody that makes a different choice.

    PEACE

  27. tab

    Nate,

    “Of course there is. But that should really not have anything to do with the question of whether abortion is or is not murder. I can understand that if the life of the mother is in danger you could say “one life or the other, a choice must be made.” But otherwise shouldn’t life trump all other choices?”

    As I said this is a difficult scenario. I agree that it would appear abortion in the cases of rape could also be murder. Like I said though, forcing a woman to carry the kid from a man who raped her is somewhat inhumane. On the other hand, the baby should not be killed for how he was brought into this world.

    As I also mentioned in the article, instances of rape account for very few of the abortions. 97% of abortions happen because of convenience.

    I’m smart enough to admit I don’t have the answers for every issue. Most issues also aren’t black and white. There is a great deal of gray in between.

    “I apologized for insulting, not because I honestly felt I had insulted anyone, but because I wanted to make sure people understood my intention was fun, nothing sinister.”

    Thanks for the apology, but you never need to apologize for internet insults. It is like being drunk, you get a free pass for whatever you say. If I ever get upset about something typed to me on the internet then I know it’s time to take a break from my computer.

    “? Is a woman allowed to take the morning-after pill or not? ”

    This is another one of those gray areas that I have to do some more research on to develop an opinion. From my original opinions in the article, I believe it would likely be murder if a woman uses the same morning after pill to stop the development.

    “This would then, as it was willful, most likely be classified as murder according to what you have written (please correct me if I have read too much into your words.)”

    Like I mentioned above, I used the words “natural” complication because I wanted to indicate scenarios that may arise which were accidental or just not known.

    I would say if you drink for weeks not knowing you are pregnant then it was not a willful and intentional termination of the pregnancy.

    “Why in the world is that a states’ rights issue? If it’s murder, isn’t the federal government entitled to take action to prevent it? I thought protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was a federal thing.”

    The federal government has no right to regulate abortion.

    I could definitely see the argument for government intervention to protect the rights of the individual though.

    I didn’t include this in my article, but I do not necessarily favor outlawing abortion. Simply because it would not really do anything to stop it. We need to make other options more attractive and quite demonizing women and teenagers who may become pregnant.

    Thanks for the polite discussions though. Much more enjoyable when it doesn’t turn into an insult fest like when you write an article criticizing Rand.

  28. Melty

    Abortion has potential to be divisive for the LP. Why let it? Instead, free up the words “choice” and “life” from this issue. These Left/Right buzzwords “pro-choice” “pro-life” are only repeated to the detriment of the LP. Use “choice” instead of euphemisms and unfree buzzwords. For example, say “sex-choice(s)” instead of “gender identity”, or “drug-choice(s)” instead of “War on Drugs”. Libertarians need to speak in libertarian terms.

  29. Rufus T. Firefly

    I don’t think Mr. Britch understands satire. Back in Freedonia, the penalty for such ignorance is post-natal abortion. Preferably done by the birth mother.

  30. Rufus T. Firefly

    I think with all the craziness out of Traitorous Virginia (“West Virginia” began as an attempt to betray the land of Jefferson) IPR should change it’s name to “Independent Political Editorials.”

  31. Steven R Linnabary

    I don’t think Mr. Britch understands satire. Back in Freedonia, the penalty for such ignorance is post-natal abortion. Preferably done by the birth mother.

    Wasn’t it Marvin Gaye, Sr that said “I brought you into this world, I can take you out”?

    🙂

    PEACE

  32. tab

    Rufus,

    Your lack of knowledge on West Virginia history aside, it seems IPR is open to posting editorials from just about everyone. Especially since it is really a slow time. So I’d suggest writing your own and then sending it to them.

    Or you can continue the awful attempts at internet gotch ‘yas if it makes you feel better.

  33. libertariangirl

    steve , thank you for sharing such a heartfelt , open/honest and painful story .

    All the political rhetoric and heated debate surrounding this divisive issue could never carry the weight that your story and others like it do.

    sometimes we forget their are real people in real situations living these debates .
    so thanks

  34. Rufus T. Firefly

    Mr. Britch,

    Traitorous Virginia was formed when a pro-union faction of Virginians decided to set up an ‘alternate’ Virginia govt. They were then later admitted into the union as a new state during the war. What part of that constitutes a lack of knowledge? That’s pretty basic historical fact.

  35. Michael Seebeck

    Sorry, tab, but you still don’t get it. I’m sorry, because it appears you never will.

    That “hypothetical” is one very probable scenario of a true event, where the baby lost was my son and the mother was my wife. Hypothetical, my ass! I fucking lived it!

    You have much to learn.

    Steve, I do understand on losing your child. I’ve been there too. My condolences on losing them both (your wife and child). I know how hard it is with a child. I can’t imagine how it is with a wife. I’ll know someday, but hopefully not any day soon.

  36. citizen1

    Why does the ‘law’ treat an unborn child as a person when it is killed by someone without the mother’s permission and not when it is killed with the mother’s permission?
    Mr. Britch why not think about joining the Constitution Party?

  37. paulie Post author

    one could drink vast quantities of alcohol for a few weeks after having sex

    This is the course I usually recommend for good looking women.

    That, and having vast quantities of sex after drinking alcohol.

  38. paulie Post author

    I’m pretty sure nobody would say post-birth abortion is alright, but the same logic is applied to that situation as pro-choice people argue to defend their position.

    Actually, there are in fact some pro-infanticide libertarians. Not as many as pro-abortion rights, since infants can be adopted.

  39. paulie Post author

    I think with all the craziness out of Traitorous Virginia (”West Virginia” began as an attempt to betray the land of Jefferson)

    If Virginia had a right to secede from the US, it should follow that the counties which went on to form West Virginia should also have had a right to secede from Virginia.

    If, however, the western counties had no right to secede from Virginia, then Virginia would have had no right to secede from the US, and the US would have had no right to secede from the UK.

    Any way you look at it, WV was independent minded, not traitorous.

  40. paulie Post author

    IPR should change it’s name to “Independent Political Editorials.”

    I think articles posted on state party websites by state party officers can be classified as news for those reasons rather than their content.

    Even if you disagree, it certainly hasn’t decreased the speed at which news items have been posted here lately, nor the speed with which they have been receiving comments.

  41. paulie Post author

    it seems IPR is open to posting editorials from just about everyone.

    Not exactly. Generally speaking, you have to be a candidate, recent candidate or party official of some sort. Or at least have a fancy hat.

  42. paulie Post author

    steve , thank you for sharing such a heartfelt , open/honest and painful story .

    All the political rhetoric and heated debate surrounding this divisive issue could never carry the weight that your story and others like it do.

    sometimes we forget their are real people in real situations living these debates .
    so thanks

    Yes.

    Mine is far less dramatic but it has made me ambivalent about the abortion issue.

    When I was a teenager I had an on again/off again relationship with a girl who had a lot of sex with many boys and men (and one girl) for fun and profit. She also drank and fought with two fists, broken whiskey bottles, sawed off shotguns, pool cues and whatever else was handy.

    Given the amount of unprotected sex she had and the vast variety of partners she had it with, we did not think she could get pregnant, but eventually she did.

    At that time money was no object for either of us, but it so happened that I had some on me and I convinced her to have an abortion and paid for it.

    It was a horrible experience for her and she flat out said that if she ever got pregnant again she would have the kid no matter what. That made me feel guilty for talking her into it and that feeling never went away entirely.

    So some time later she did get pregnant and claimed that she knew that it was mine, although I don’t know how this would have been possible given that she was usually with several different men on any given day.

    But nonetheless we tried the monogamy for about a month. She also stopped drinking, and I stopped using and distributing illegal and dangerous drugs. We even got a “marriage license” under fake names (we were underage). We watched 1950s TV shows to learn how “normal” people are supposed to live.

    After about a month though I had an “invasion of the body snatchers” sensation that I could not shake, as if we were just playing at being someone other than who we really were.

    At this point she left for Mexico and I never saw her again except in my dreams.

    I don’t know what happened to the pregnancy.

    I hope she (they?) are doing OK.

    Anyway, I don’t know about abortion.

  43. paulie Post author

    Traitorous Virginia was formed when a pro-union faction of Virginians decided to set up an ‘alternate’ Virginia govt. They were then later admitted into the union as a new state during the war.

    This was when Virginia seceded from the US. So how could one be traitorous and not the other?

  44. Nexus

    My 2 cents, for what it’s worth (which is probably two cents).

    Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that the purpose of government is to protect the rights of the individual. This is a mandate that I think most libertarians can agree on. It doesn’t say only protect the individual if he or she is in the 3rd trimester or older. So to me, the issue boils down to this simple question: how do you define ‘person’? Is a fetus a person? Is a fertilized cell a person? Is a sperm cell or an egg cell a person? All are very good questions. For myself, I work in a hospital. Specifically, I work in the labor & delivery department. I also work in the newborn ICU and maternity services. I have seen babies go full term and die (fortunately this is rare these days). I have seen babies born after only 28 weeks of gestation fight like hell to survive. If I’ve learned anything in my years in this field it’s that I am not smart enough or wise enough to decide what constitutes a person. I don’t know if there is anyone on earth who is smart or wise enough to decide that. Given all that, I think we need to err on the side of life and draw the line at the beginning, meaning moment of conception. A fertilized cell has only one purpose; to grow into a human being. I say give it the chance to do so. No one has the right to end a human life except in cases of self-defense. If a mother’s life is in jeopardy then an abortion is self-defense. Other than that, it is not the baby’s fault how he or she was conceived. Don’t make an innocent life pay for something not their fault.

  45. mdh

    Steve, I’ve always had a lot of respect for you, and I’m really touched by your story. I can only imagine how terrible such an experience must have been.

    @45 – Mike, men are statistically likely to die first in a marriage, so… 😛

  46. Rufus T. Firefly

    “West” Virginia decided the tyranny of the union and killing its brothers was a better idea than protecting the rights of Virginia. We only accept what it did as ‘normal’ or ‘ok’ because it was with the victors. Funny how Missouri and Kentucky didn’t split in two, given that they also tried to form separate govt.s.

    There were constitutional grounds for secession (no matter what school teachers say to the contrary), but there was no constitutional right to divide a state without approval of its legislature. Especially in the name of killing your neighbors for simply yearning to be more self-governing – for simply wishing not to live under the tyranny of the fedeal govt. and the northern states ill-advised and forcibly-implemented trade tariffs that harmed the South.

  47. paulie Post author

    RTF

    Look beyond the constitutions to the Declaration of Independence. Secession is a natural right at all levels.

    West Virginia wanted to be more self-governing. Nothing wrong with that.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    Not sure how this careened into Civil War revisionism, but the Constitution EXPLICITLY gives Congress the power to put down an insurrection. The elites of VA and the rest of the CSA states were doing just that.

  49. Rufus T. Firefly

    I’m not getting into an ideological discussion about self-governance, because that will undoubtedly lead to an anarchy debate. The fact of the matter is that inhabitants of “West” (Traitorous) Virginia violated the law (the constitution – the basis of then American governance) in the name of killing their neighbors. We only accept this as ok today because they sided with the eventual victors. They broke the law – they violated the agreement among the states, the constitution – and they killed their neighbors.

    The constitution is the basis of the country the traitors decided to side with, and yet you think the Declaration, which is not a matter of law, is more pertinent? I think not. It’s a double standard to say a group of traitors has certain rights outside the constitution while they willingly joined the govt. which used the same very constitution.

  50. mdh

    Also, Lincoln was a tyrant and the civil war was about indu8strialization and economics, not slavery.

  51. paulie Post author

    Not sure how this careened into Civil War revisionism,

    RTF called West Virginia “treasonous” for seceding from Old Virginia.

    As I told you on our discussion at Next Free Voice

    http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/lincolns-legacy/

    Given a choice between Lincoln and Davis, I’ll go with Lysander Spooner.

    Perhaps RTF would wish to add thoughts to what has been said in the comments there thus far?

  52. paulie Post author

    I’m not getting into an ideological discussion about self-governance, because that will undoubtedly lead to an anarchy debate.

    LOL, don’t go complaining that we are hijacking your Old Virginia plantation aristocracy version of 19th century events to talk about the actual implications of the concept of self determination.

    After all, we are in an abortion thread, are we not?

    So, we’ll friggin’ talk about anarchy, 9/11 truth, the progressive alliance, bitter veterans homes, LNC drama, and any other crap that comes up.

    That’s just what we do.

  53. paulie Post author

    Also, Lincoln was a tyrant and the civil war was about indu8strialization and economics, not slavery.

    The war had more than one cause. Slavery was one of the issues.

  54. Rufus T. Firefly

    I have been trying to keep this discussion within its realm of argument – you cannot seem to do this, which is why it appears you are trying to draw it into something else. What “West” Virginia did was traitorous and unconstitutional, regardless of your feelings towards 19th century politics, self-governance, etc. It is within the parameters of its own actions (aligning with the U.S. govt. of same said constitution) that it is being judged. The Declaration was not a matter of guiding law, the constitution was. Besides, the traitors didn’t cite the Declaration as the basis of their betrayal. They did what they did out of a misguided sense of loyalty to a tyrannical union which was crapping on the very constitution they were claiming allegiance to.

  55. paulie Post author

    I have been trying to keep this discussion within its realm of argument

    And here I thought you went off on a tangent that has little or nothing to do with abortion

  56. paulie Post author

    The Declaration was not a matter of guiding law, the constitution was.

    I answer to a higher authority

  57. Rufus T. Firefly

    You obviously have no intention of defending “West” Virginia on its own stated grounds of action.

    Those that can’t rebut within the context of an argument often resort to other statements, so I understand if you’re conceding. If you can’t win, argue other points, right?

  58. paulie Post author

    LOL. You go off on a tangent, don’t want to consider the actual implications of self-determination, and then claim that I conceded within paramaters I didn’t create or agree to?

    Thanks for agreeing that I’m right, then. Montani semper liberi!

  59. Donald Raymond Lake

    It is more than that Firefly: We adults are trying to change the world, and the ‘Room Temperature IQs’ are ‘funning us’……

    IRP is taking the appropriate path on free speech! The Kiddie Corp is free to expose their childish ness! They are literally ‘known’ for it! Too much time for too little brains?

  60. Rufus T. Firefly

    “West” Virginia didn’t commit its betrayal based on your arguments, hence they are not relevant to its lust for bloodshed and tyranny.

    If you were to say this has nothing to do with some idiot’s editorial on abortion, I’d say you’re right. If “West” Virginia used the arguments you’re using, maybe I’d care to respond to those. The point is that I made a historical assertion about “West” Virginia’s unconstitutional path in supporting tyranny and war. You couldn’t respond within the context of why the traitors did what they did, so you’ve been trying to draw this out into a theoretical debate where you’re more comfortable. The facts at hand suggest you know little to nothing of the history of these traitors, and your attempts to argue other points more than suggests a concession on this point.

  61. paulie Post author

    RTF

    Apparently, you are unable to debate within the parameters I have set, and are trying to deflect the discussion to some irrelevant parsing of history and some constitution which no one ever followed, including the people who wrote it, at the same time willfully ignoring the larger issues of self-determination.

    You say:

    I’d say you’re right.

    Thanks for the concession to all levels of my superior logic and argument style. This tangent should hereby be aborted and flushed.

  62. paulie Post author

    If you can’t win,

    Already won. Now we are just explaining why the win was not just practical, but also righteous.

    OK, now you can have your post-natal abortion.

  63. Les

    Food for thought:
    If a female should have the right to abort a pregnancy based on the inconvience it would cause then why should the male involved not have the right to sign off on his obligations to provide for a child even if the female wants it.

    Just so there is no confusion I believe abortion is MURDER. I have two beautiful children. I saw both on the first ultrasound at 2 months into the pregnancy and I saw my little girl put her hand up at that time.

    Also notice I used the terms male and female.
    It takes a woman to have and raise children even when it is “inconvenient”. And it takes a man to father those children and to provide and protect them. A male who doesn’t provide and protect isn’t worth the bullet to shoot him.

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