Latest Libertarian Party Positioning on Abortion

Excerpts from a statement yesterday by Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle:

Most who refer to themselves as pro-life believe that the fetus becomes an individual endowed with full rights at the moment of conception.  Most of those who call themselves pro-choice believe that an individual entitled to rights does not exist at least until there is a functional brain, capable of consciousness, which most scientists place somewhere between 22 and 26 weeks.

Regardless of one’s view on this matter, however, we should all be able to agree that a pregnant woman is an individual with rights.  And that includes the right to make often-difficult decisions concerning her own body.

One provision of the recent modification to Arizona law prohibits the termination of a pregnancy once 20 weeks have passed from the start of the woman’s last menstrual period before fertilization.  After that, abortion is permitted only in medical emergencies threatening the mother’s health.

This provision is more of an insult to women than a substantive restriction, since nearly 99% of all abortions already take place before the end of 20 weeks, while virtually all remaining abortions DO involve protecting the mother’s health.  Arizona might as well have passed a law prohibiting mothers from waterboarding their infant children for all its relevance to the actual behavior of these women.  There is no need to place any time restriction: pregnant women have historically shown they can be trusted not to engage in the apocryphal ninth-month abortion for convenience.

The LP National Convention will in early May consider its Platform Committee’s two proposed changes to the LP abortion plank:

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. We welcome both pro-life and pro-choice members into the Libertarian Party. [adopted 9-4-0] Taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions. [adopted 13-0-0]

The convention will also consider a minority report that would change the plank to this:

1.4 Procreation

Recognizing that when human rights begin is a sensitive issue on which Libertarians can disagree in good faith, we believe that government should not restrict, subsidize, or dictate the decision to begin or end one’s pregnancy.

92 thoughts on “Latest Libertarian Party Positioning on Abortion

  1. Brian Holtz Post author

    I was pleasantly surprised to see Hinkle describe the pro-choice position in terms of fetal development.

    This comment by Hinkle highlights why the abortion issue is not as controversial in America as abortion extremists would like: “nearly 99% of all abortions already take place before the end of 20 weeks, while virtually all remaining abortions DO involve protecting the mother’s health”.

    The ethical reasoning behind these two sentences is weak: “Arizona might as well have passed a law prohibiting mothers from waterboarding their infant children for all its relevance to the actual behavior of these women. There is no need to place any time restriction: pregnant women have historically shown they can be trusted not to engage in the apocryphal ninth-month abortion for convenience.”

    Would Libertarians argue that because infanticide is rare and contrary to parents’ default biological incentives, the government shouldn’t bother outlawing it? I of course agree that any legal protections for near-term fetuses should not include invasive procedures or other forms of prior restraint.

    I signed the minority report, as it is more inclusive of the evictionist position: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_perspectives_on_abortion#Other_positions

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m glad this article came out. I think it’s good to acknowledge that this is an area where Libertarians disagree “in good faith”, which hopefully indicates to any outsiders reading the article that there have been many heartfelt discussions within the party about this. I personally never talk about abortion to anyone. It’s simply a topic where no one’s mind will be changed. I think from now on I’ll answer this way “Taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions”. That sentence sums up the Libertarian position nicely.

  3. Jed Siple

    Much agreed Jill. Personally, I’ll admit to being a pro-life libertarian, but I respect both positions and welcome both views within the party.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    bh, I see your point. Hinkle may be suggesting that passing a law for an extremely rare phenomenon could be indicative of a kind of grandstanding. If so, I take his point, but I would not MAKE his point were I in his shoes, i.e., Chair of the LNC. Virtually no upside to exploring that issue…

  5. Roger Roots

    Jill, I disagree that no mind can be changed on this issue. I changed my own mind years ago. I used to be “pro-life” and now I am pro-choice. I recommend that everyone should read the text of the Roe v. Wade decision, which was based on extensive research by the majority. Roe v. Wade was really an extension of a previous case entitled Griswold v. Connecticutt, which held that there is a (natural, though unstated in the text of the Constitution) right to privacy in matters of contraception and family planning. I don’t know how any self-professed Libertarian could disagree with this. Why would anyone want teams of cops and investigators sniffing around asking questions about such matters?

  6. Feltan

    On the upside, the statement is clear and concise. It lets people investigating third parties know where Libertarian’s stand. On the downside, where they stand is firmly in the camp of those uncommitted — it all sounds like a great dodge.

    As one investigating third party options in the upcoming election, I can’t say such a statement is compelling. In our current times of great import, when we need leaders who will make tough decisions, is such a position indicative of a party that will go to great lengths to thread-the-needle to avoid conflict?

    I just have a difficult time envisioning potential voters rallying around leaders who advocate and embrace such milquetoast positions.

    Regards,
    Feltan

  7. Roger Roots

    In fact, I will go even further: In my opinion, the LP should be more avowedly pro-choice than either the above platform statements suggest. Of course, one can be “pro-life” and be a Libertarian in good standing, just as I suppose one can be pro-war in some circumstances and be a Libertarian. But the numbers of “pro-lifers” who have invaded the Party in recent years has swelled due to the same mission creep that allowed Bob Barr to be the LP presidential nominee. It was an embarassment all around and our Party has still not recovered from it.

    Being a “pro-life” Libertarian is like being a “Glenn Beck” Libertarian or even a Rush Limbaugh Libertarian. It is something of an oxymoron. Sure, they are welcome in the LP, but their pro-government agenda on that one issue is NOT LIBERTARIAN.

  8. Robert Capozzi

    feltan: I just have a difficult time envisioning potential voters rallying around leaders who advocate and embrace such milquetoast positions.

    me: For you, it may be “milquetoast.” For many, the idea that a party is thoughtful and non-dogmatic might be refreshing to some, perhaps many, perhaps even millions. This is especially so for a sensitive matter like abortion.

  9. Less Antman

    @Brian Holtz – Might you not be reading more into those sentences than was intended? After all, I’m pretty sure Hinkle opposes the waterboarding of infants, too, so the parallel seems to be that abortions for convenience after 20 weeks occur as often as mothers waterboard their infant children, which is a descriptive rather than a normative statement.

    I like the minority plank on procreation, and think the closing paragraphs of this press release (which, unfortunately, were not excerpted in this post) are consistent with it. And they don’t strike me as milquetoast at all:

    “As libertarians, we favor the removal of all obstacles to the free flow of information about contraception, including attempts to censor Internet sites. We call for an end to the prescription requirement, which massively increases the inconvenience and cost of obtaining protection. We also support the removal of restrictions on adoption including laws against cross-racial adoptions and adoptions by unmarried adults and same sex couples. All of these changes will help reduce the number of abortions that take place. Indeed, abortion rates have dropped steadily in recent decades as women, including teenage girls, have faced fewer obstacles to learning about sex.

    “And we’re REALLY pro-choice: we also defend the right of a woman (or man) to choose NOT to pay for some other woman’s abortion or birth control. Keep the government out of abortions. No regulations, no subsidies. Choice for all, including choice for those who are pro-life.”

    “At the same time, denying the humanity of a pregnant woman is never acceptable, and the decision as to whether or not she will carry a fetus inside her own body must not be surrendered to the sophistries of over-bearing politicians and bureaucrats.”

  10. Tom Blanton

    Proposed plank:

    1.4. Abortion

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that women that don’t want an abortion should not get one.

  11. Tom Smith

    “Being a “pro-life” Libertarian is like being a “Glenn Beck” Libertarian or even a Rush Limbaugh Libertarian. ”

    Actually, not even close. Being pro-life has everything to do with the developing human having the ability to choose whether they want to live or die at some point in their life. It’s all about protecting individual rights. You know, the thing the LP claims to protect.

    I went from pro-abortion (quit calling it pro-choice because you simply sound retarded) to pro-choice after hearing the logic behind the developing human.

  12. Jed Siple

    Pro-choice libertarians believe in a woman’s right to choose. Pro-life libertarians believe in a child’s right to live. Both are based on the ideals of individual liberty, and neither is “big government”.

  13. RedPhillips

    Why doesn’t killing babies violate that whole non-aggression thingy? Non-aggression my ass. Babies being ripped from the womb is aggression any way you want to slice it.

  14. Brian Holtz Post author

    a descriptive rather than a normative statement

    Less, the second of those two sentences says “There is no need to place any time restriction”. That’s as normative as it gets.

  15. Brian Holtz Post author

    The Tom Blanton Memorial Infanticide Plank:

    1.4.1. Infanticide

    Recognizing that infanticide is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that women that don’t like infanticide should not commit it.

    Jill @2, I’ve changed my mind on abortion — twice. I went from viability-for-personhood to neural-development-for-personhood to evictionism.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    It’s not so much that nobody changes their mind about abortion.

    It’s that those who consider it a political issue of primary importance are a minority, and are further split into mutually opposed groups, each of which generally doesn’t want to hear anything from a politician or party other than “I agree with you completely and my number one priority in Washington will be to make your view the law of the land.”

    There’s not much to be gained by spotlighting it, and nothing at all to be gained by spotlighting it in a “well, you know, we’re kind of like yeah, but …” way.

  17. Tom Blanton

    Would Libertarians argue that because infanticide is rare and contrary to parents’ default biological incentives, the government shouldn’t bother outlawing it?

    Assuming one lives in a jurisdiction where the government has a law against murder, it would be redundant to have a law against infanticide. So, I would argue that the government should not bother outlawing infanticide.

  18. Robert Capozzi

    tk, if a minority are dogmatists on abortion, why do you believe that the majority would not appreciate a non-dogmatic, even ambivalent, stance on the issue? Please expand…

  19. Robert Capozzi

    tb: Assuming one lives in a jurisdiction where the government has a law against murder…

    me: Another way of saying “government, when instituted…”! Rothbardian circuitry seems to be in working order, a clear channel, in fact! 😉

  20. Brian Holtz Post author

    Clarification for the reasoning-impaired: The question wasn’t whether to have a redundant law against infanticide. The question was whether infants should be protected by laws against murder.

  21. Stuart Simms

    I’ve been in the LP for almost 20 years and before that I was a big-government, pro-fetuscide Democrat so I do not come to the LP from “the right”. It wasn’t until I rejected government omniscience and omnipotence, and accepted the logic of the non-aggression principle, that I became anti-fetuscide precisely by applying the principle. I oppose the initiation of force against all living, innocent humans irrespective of age.

    As a party we fight for freedom and we ask that people accept responsibility for the consequences of their own actions as the price of that freedom. Women have the right to choose to have sex (or not), one of the possible consequences of having sex is becoming pregnant. Yet those who are pro-fetuscide seek to grant a special exception from accepting that actions have consequences and allow women to violate the fundamental principle of our philosophy by permitting them to commit fetuscide at will.

    I believe that the pro-fetuscide members of the LP are in the majority. I am curious to find out if they are willing to vote to “welcome…pro-life” members. I guess I’ll find out in a couple of weeks.

  22. Tom Blanton

    The question was whether infants should be protected by laws against murder.

    Actually the question was:

    Would Libertarians argue that because infanticide is rare and contrary to parents’ default biological incentives, the government shouldn’t bother outlawing it?

    Clarification for the reality-impaired: Infants are already protected by laws against murder.

    That is why government shouldn’t bother with outlawing infanticide, or the killing of an infant,
    which is different from abortion in that a fetus is
    not an infant.

    The subject of infanticide is off-topic as this discussion relates to abortion, which should not be conflated with infanticide.

  23. Brian Holtz Post author

    Infants are already protected by laws against murder

    The question was not about what is. The question was about what Libertarians would argue should be.

    The relevance of the question was given when it was asked @1: “infanticide is rare and contrary to parents’ default biological incentives” — just like late-term abortion. If rarity and “trusting not to engage in” the act is an argument for one not being illegal, then it’s an argument for the other not being illegal either.

    You can run from the question, but you can’t hide. It will find you.

  24. Robert

    Disgusting. I suppose murdering people should just be up to our individual choices.

  25. Tom Blanton

    Holtz, you are pretending that infanticide and abortion are the same thing when they are not. Arguments for or against one or the other are not interchangeable.

    Now, suppose you support bombing children because you dislike or fear the political leader of their country, then it could be inferred that you support infanticide. Would you also support late-term abortion as long as you disliked or feared the leader of the nation where the fetus is located? Would it depend on the nationality or religion of the woman hosting the fetus?

  26. Brian Holtz Post author

    If you have an explanation for why Hinkle’s argument about late-term abortion (“women have historically shown they can be trusted not to engage in X for convenience”) doesn’t apply to infanticide, then give it.

    I oppose aiming bombs at children for any reason, so your hypothetical fails.

  27. JT

    I don’t think its a trivial matter, but abortion isn’t an issue that I’d focus on as a Libertarian candidate, nor is it one that I think other Libertarian candidates should focus on. There are many other issues that millions of Americans care more about & on which Libertarian candidates can clearly distinguish themselves.

    That said, I’m admittedly baffled by the following statement:

    Jed: “Personally, I’ll admit to being a pro-life libertarian, but I respect both positions and welcome both views within the party.”

    Now, if the term “pro-life” is taken to mean “I truly believe that abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent person & the state should outlaw it”–which is what the term is generally understood to mean in a political sense–then I don’t understand how someone who’s “pro-life” can respect the opposite position at all. That logically implies that the “pro-life” individual respects an alternative view that deliberately killing innocent people should be legal.

    I’m not & never have been “pro-life” (again, in the way the term is generally understood. People who don’t believe in having an abortion themselves but think that others should be able to decide for themselves are understood to be “pro-choice” in the political sense). However, if I honestly believed the “pro-life” premise, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to associate myself with any organization that holds that killing innocent people should be legal (but not subsidized or enforced). That’s a cognitive dissonance that they have to deal with, I guess.

  28. Roger Roots

    The recurring claim by some of you that you believe abortion is murder is nothing but a rhetorical device. It is a powerful rhetorical device I will concede. But none of you really believe abortion is murder.

    If abortion were murder, it would have to be 1st degree murder (because it is premeditated), punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment in every (American) jurisdiction. I doubt any of you really believe that women who have abortions should face life imprisonment. (If you say that you don’t intend this for the women who have the abortions, only for the doctors who perform the abortions, my response is that this is a very strange doctrine to apply to a murder prosecution; the “hit man” is prosecutable, while the person who ordered the hit is not?).

    Many of you who claim you believe abortion is murder (or that a fetus is a “baby” or a “child”) claim simultaneously that your proposals to outlaw abortions should be excepted by cases of rape or incest. This is inconsistent with a stated view that abortion is murder. Any person who holds such simultaneous positions is, in my opinion, deeply immoral. Also, what about procedures performed by fertility doctors every day, such as eliminating fertilized eggs, er, “babies/children” in your claimed view, when there are too many in a woman’s womb? Is this also murder?

    (Remember “Octomom”? She stood out only because she opted to carry her 8 fetuses to term–which was extremely unhealthy and risky; most women in her position wisely opt to have all but one culled, er, “murdered,” as you guys would put it.) She has recently gone on welfare to support all 8.

    Remember that murder has no statute of limitations. If you guys succeed in overturning Roe v. Wade and criminalizing abortion as murder, what then becomes of the millions of women who have had abortions?

    Perhaps 10 to 20 percent of all the women around us have had abortions (maybe more). The claim that abortion is murder is utterly inconsistent with the extreme moral weight our society has always placed upon the crime of murder. Many of these women are wonderful, loving women who go on to have children (or already have children) they care for deeply. You would identify them as criminal deviants and murderers?

    Also, Libertarians are supposed to support an equitable, fair criminal justice system, with protections such as jury nullification and nullification by grand jurors. Knowing that a sizeable proportion of the population are pro-choice (or at least don’t think abortion is murder) how are you going to be able to successfully prosecute, convict and imprison/execute all of the women who have abortions? You will need to strongarm the juries in ways that even the supporters of the Fugitive Slave Act were not able to do in the 1800s. And if you acknowledge that you are unlikely to be able to get many convictions of women for abortion/murder, how is this consistent with the notion that abortion carries the profound social taint of murder?

    In short, you don’t really believe abortion is murder; it is a useful rhetorical device.

    And in any case, your advocacy of your “pro-life” position is decidedly anti-libertarian; it is advocay of more government, plain and simple. More cops, greater jurisdiction for government to inquire into people’s homes, lives and personal affairs.

  29. Brian Holtz Post author

    RR, those (except for the last paragraph) are excellent arguments against the notion that first-trimester abortions are murder. Note that they don’t apply to the evictionist position at all.

    The last paragraph is an argument against any outlawing of aggression, and thus should not persuade libertarians who aren’t anarchists.

  30. Roger Roots

    Another point that really needs to be made: The vast record of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions over the past 2 centuries is overwhelmingly anti-libertarian. The Supreme Court has churned out thousands of authoritarian, pro-police-state, decisions, and only a few handfuls of truly libertarian decisions. When, after 200 years, the Supreme Court issued a truly rare libertarian decision, Roe v. Wade, the decision was rejected and spurned by people claiming to be “conservatives” and even many identifying as “libertarian.”

    I’ll say it again: the vast record of Supreme Court decisions has had the effect of allowing government to progressively intrude into almost every aspect of our lives. Roe v. Wade was one decision that actually carved out a narrow area of our affairs where government is not to inquire or intrude. And you guys rejected it.

    If only the Supreme Court decided every case like Roe v. Wade: beginning with the presumption of liberty, and then asking if there are any countervailing constitutional powers that could possibly operate as exceptions to the presumption of liberty. Instead, most (like 99.9 %) of Supreme Court decisions begin with a presumption of non-liberty, and place an extremely high burden on any litigant who advocates a libertarian argument.

    Shame on any of you who reject Roe v. Wade. One of the greatest libertarian Supreme Court decisions ever handed down.

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    rc,

    “if a minority are dogmatists on abortion, why do you believe that the majority would not appreciate a non-dogmatic, even ambivalent, stance on the issue?”

    It’s not that the majority aren’t dogmatic, it’s that the majority doesn’t consider abortion an issue of primary importance. Therefore, they don’t appreciate a non-dogmatic, even ambivalent stance on the issue for two reasons:

    1) They don’t care that much about it, and

    2) It’s always annoying listening to a politician or party bloviate when they have nothing of substance to say.

  32. Roger Roots

    Brian Holz:

    “The last paragraph is an argument against any outlawing of aggression, and thus should not persuade libertarians who aren’t anarchists.”

    In my view, the aggression occurs when cops come to your door and arrest you for having had a medical procedure. That is true aggression.

  33. Tom Blanton

    Let’s see now, abortion is first-degree murder unless the host of the fetus is an evictionist.

    What a splendid little theory in that it allows one to be both for and against abortion at the same time without the cognitive dissonance.

    It’s so clever that Capozzi doesn’t even whine about Rothbardian absolutism. But, will those who are adamantly pro-life (for certain lives) buy it?

    They just might. After all they have decided that third-party abortions are acceptable in cases of regime change.

  34. Jed Siple

    “The recurring claim by some of you that you believe abortion is murder is nothing but a rhetorical device. It is a powerful rhetorical device I will concede. But none of you really believe abortion is murder.”

    Yes, I do.

    “If abortion were murder, it would have to be 1st degree murder (because it is premeditated), punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment in every (American) jurisdiction. I doubt any of you really believe that women who have abortions should face life imprisonment. (If you say that you don’t intend this for the women who have the abortions, only for the doctors who perform the abortions, my response is that this is a very strange doctrine to apply to a murder prosecution; the “hit man” is prosecutable, while the person who ordered the hit is not?).”

    Any woman who murders her baby should face life imprisonment.

    “Remember that murder has no statute of limitations. If you guys succeed in overturning Roe v. Wade and criminalizing abortion as murder, what then becomes of the millions of women who have had abortions?”

    They shouldn’t be retroactively punished. While I believe what they did is disgusting and immoral, it is also unreasonable to punish someone for something that, when they did it, was completely legal.

    Now was that so hard?

  35. Jed Siple

    With all that said, the abortion issue is NOT going to change in our lifetime. In order to reverse Roe vs. Wade permanently, there would need to be a constitutional amendment recognizing unborn persons as citizens, and that’s NOT going to happen in today’s climate. So the issue is a moot point on all sides until drastic societal changes occur. That’s why I really don’t talk about it that much.

  36. Brian Holtz Post author

    RR: In my view, the aggression occurs when cops come to your door and arrest you for having had a medical procedure.

    That assumes without argument that the medical procedure wasn’t aggression. When the following is done to a nearly-full-term fetus, it sounds like aggression to me:

    The fetus is turned to a breech position, if necessary, and the doctor pulls one or both legs out of the cervix, which some refer to as ‘partial birth’ of the fetus. The doctor subsequently extracts the rest of the fetus, leaving only the head still inside the uterus. An incision is made at the base of the skull, a blunt dissector (such as a Kelly clamp) is inserted into the incision and opened to widen the opening, and then a suction catheter is inserted into the opening. The brain is suctioned out, which causes the skull to collapse and allows the fetus to pass more easily through the cervix.

    TB, my position is that, around the 22-26 weeks of gestational age discussed above by Hinkle, a healthy fetus acquires rights and must if feasible be left unharmed by a termination of pregnancy. I’ve never said that the beliefs of the “host” are relevant.

  37. Tom Blanton

    I’ve never said that the beliefs of the “host” are relevant.

    Exactly. But, perhaps the beliefs of the host are the only thing that is relevant – certainly far more relevant than what you say, Holtz, as it applies to the host.

    Which goes back to:

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that women that don’t want an abortion should not get one.

  38. Brian Holtz Post author

    Still waiting for Blanton to explain why Hinkle’s argument about late-term abortion (“women have historically shown they can be trusted not to engage in X for convenience”) doesn’t apply to infanticide.

    perhaps the beliefs of the host are the only thing that is relevant

    Ah, like whether an African American in 1859 finds himself in a slave state versus a free state. Got it.

    The beliefs of a host can only affect whether the hosted entity is allowed to remain hosted rather than be evicted. The beliefs of a host do not affect the personhood status of the hosted entity. If Blanton believes otherwise, then guests should exercise extreme caution when attending anything he hosts.

  39. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Holtz: “I oppose aiming bombs at children for any reason,”

    Yet you’re all-too-willing to accept them as collateral damage.

  40. Brian Holtz Post author

    I invite you to 1) quote me saying something you disagree with about “children as collateral damage”, and then 2) explain how it’s morally equivalent to the targeted brain-suctioning procedure I described above.

    But of course you won’t, because making intellectually honest arguments is harder than smearing libertarians from behind a (transparent) pseudonym.

  41. George Phillies

    Hinkle’s claim that unborn infants are conscious “a functional brain, capable of consciousness, which most scientists place somewhere between 22 and 26 weeks” is completely bizarre. The far-right-wing-religious claim is usually that there may be a pain response.

    Actually, tests that infer consciousness are extremely difficult to pull off. The one well-known test arguably will give false negatives, but finds consciousness in people only some months after birth. It also finds a positive test in adults of some of the great apes, but not in smaller monkeys. However, it is plausible that in the newly born the visual sensitivity that is central to the test is not there, and the outcome at younger ages after birth is a false negative.

  42. Robert Capozzi

    tk: It’s not that the majority aren’t dogmatic, it’s that the majority doesn’t consider abortion an issue of primary importance.

    me: It would be interesting to see some empirical data on this. Yes, I could imagine that a person would be dogmatic about their view of abortion AND YET not consider it important. My guess is those 2 camps (pro-life or pro-choice but I don’t consider abortion important) are quite small. In fact, there’s probably at least 2 pairings of 3 positions among the dogmatists:

    1) Single-issue Litmus tests
    2) Can overlook an abortion dogma-violation if the candidate is “strong” enough on many other issues
    3) Dogmatists who don’t consider the issue important

    My guess is that the aggregate of these 6 camps still are not close to a majority of the electorate. Instead, I suspect there’s a lot of ambivalence on the matter.

    My sense is R candidates increasingly are 1s in most of the country. It’s one of the reasons I believe they are ripe to be toppled as a major party.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    Which ties back to a theory I have about why GJ did not gain any traction in the GOP field. He was the only one who is pro-choice. Even though some Rs are pro-choice or ambivalent on the matter, conventional wisdom is, at least, that the GOP will not nominate a pro-choice candidate for prez. The dogmatic pro-lifers won’t allow it.

    That became insurmountable for GJ to gain support, probably even among pro-choice Rs. Why write a check for a doomed candidate?

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    “It would be interesting to see some empirical data on this.”

    CBS News/New York Times Poll. Jan. 12-17, 2012. N=1,154 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.

    “In deciding who you would like to see elected president this year, which one of the following issues will be most important to you: abortion, or the federal budget deficit, or the economy, or health care, or illegal immigration, or something else?” Options rotated

    Economy 56
    Federal budget deficit 15
    Health care 14
    Illegal immigration 5
    Abortion 3
    Something else 6
    Unsure 1

  45. Robert Capozzi

    tk, thanks for finding that. I wonder if the results would change if R primary voters were asked, if Candidate A and B had the same views and experience levels, and you had a slight preference for B, but A was pro-life and B was pro-choice, would you vote for A or B?

    Or, say, for ex., Romney was still pro-choice, would he be the presumptive nominee at the moment?

    Or, if in 08, Obama was exactly the same except he was pro-life, would he have secured the nomination over Hillary?

  46. Tom Blanton

    Still waiting for Blanton to explain why Hinkle’s argument about late-term abortion (“women have historically shown they can be trusted not to engage in X for convenience”) doesn’t apply to infanticide.

    See my response at 9:56 pm above:

    Holtz, you are pretending that infanticide and abortion are the same thing when they are not. Arguments for or against one or the other are not interchangeable.

    Re-read the last sentence there a few times, Holtz. There is your answer. In other words, I don’t accept the false premise in your question. You’ll be waiting a long time before I jump through the many hoops of logic that you have erected. Your insistence on framing debates reminds me of a child that invents the rules of a game as he goes along so that he won’t lose.

    Infants and fetuses. Hosts and slave owners. Infanticide and abortion. Libertarianism and centrally planned policy wonkery. And apples are the same as oranges in Holtzville.

    The beliefs of a host do not affect the personhood status of the hosted entity.

    But, the beliefs of a third party (such as Holtz) do affect the personhood status, according to the great sage himself? In Holtzville, Holtz decides the meaning of words. But what about people who don’t live in Holtzville?

    Not surprising though when shock and awe bombing campaigns in densely populated urban areas that will certainly kill infants is a highly moral act that isn’t considered to include the murdering of infants (infanticide). Only in Holtzville. And Bizarro World.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    sorry, tk, I missed a few words:

    ***”…if Candidate A and B had *more or less* the same views and experience levels,”***

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    Well, you’re putting your finger on the problem.

    A very low percentage of Americans consider abortion an issue of overriding importance.

    But, those who do care deeply about it tend to be activist about it, which magnifies their power in party primaries. They make it an ISSUE in those primaries, which both makes them a swing vote and prompts those who care less about it to possibly put a bit more weight on it in candidate selection.

    I read somewhere once about 20 years ago — I don’t remember the source of the claim or the evidence for it — that about 10% of Republican primary voters were “pro-life above every other consideration” voters.

    10% is plenty enough to swing an election, especially if that 10% votes as a bloc in a primary with more than two candidates otherwise even roughly equally popular.

    And that makes it plenty enough to turn the issue into a primary “third rail.” That 10% has had fairly effective veto power over GOP nominees since the late 1970s. If you don’t e.g. promise to appoint justices who would overturn Roe, fuggedaboudit.

    That does not, however, make abortion a good wedge issue for third parties. Quite the opposite, in fact. Most of the population doesn’t consider it important, and the major parties are abject slaves to the few who do. The Constitution Party makes it a central issue, and doing so probably costs them twice as many votes as it gains them.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    tk: That does not, however, make abortion a good wedge issue for third parties.

    me: I agree. That’s why I like the LP making the issue neutral/ambivalent. Historically, the LP has been VERY pro-choice, to its detriment on the margin.

    De-dogmatizing the platform is a helpful step.

  50. Seebeck

    My own experience: http://muddythoughts.blogspot.com/2008/05/for-libertarians-on-abortion.html

    Whether a pre-birth entity is a fetus or a child or something else is a matter of personal interpretation, and the consequences of that interpretation, in action and belief, is the responsibility of that individual, both under the law and in their own conscience.

    To some, children are wanted and loved. To others, they are not wanted not loved. Individual choice and individual consequences.

    Roe v. Wade places that choice (at least partially) square on the individual. Others have the right to disagree with it, but those others do not have the right to initiate aggressive force on individuals to require them to conform to another point of view, through the state or otherwise. That is the true heart of the issue; the rest is a rhetorical sideshow.

    The LP platform plank as stated currently is fine. The minority report proposal is also fine. There really is not need to change it.

    But frankly, it is so much of a minor issue in current times that the excess pin-dancing here is meaningless.

    NAP only applies if one thinks the pre-born is the same as a post-born. Whether one thinks that way or not is a function of their individual education and theology. Mileage will vary.

  51. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Whether a pre-birth entity is a fetus or a child or something else is a matter of personal interpretation”

    Um, no. It is whatever it is, and “interpretation” doesn’t change what it is.

    “NAP only applies if one thinks the pre-born is the same as a post-born.”

    Once again, no. What “one thinks” about the answer to the question is not same as the answer to the question.

  52. Brian Holtz Post author

    Still waiting for Blanton to explain why Hinkle’s argument about late-term abortion (“women have historically shown they can be trusted not to engage in X for convenience”) doesn’t apply to infanticide.

    His answer so far: newborns and late-term fetuses are “not interchangeable” and “are apples and oranges”.

    Blanton can’t answer any of my arguments, and so he invokes the red herring of deposing Saddam. Does he dare claim that the validity of my arguments about abortion depend on my record on that issue?

    Then Blanton tries to pretend that because I take one of the available standard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_perspectives_on_abortion, I’m somehow setting myself up as a dictator of ethical principles and of word meanings.

    Blanton reeks of ethical relativism: whether an entity has rights depends on the whims of its host, and whether an argument is valid depends on the record of those advancing it.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    tk: What “one thinks” about the answer to the question is not same as the answer to the question.

    me: If that’s so, then what is “the” answer? And if you think yours is THE answer, and someone disagrees with our answer, does that make him or her incorrect?

  54. Brian Holtz Post author

    Walter Block explains evictiionism. Note that Block is behind on his science; the threshold for viability now around 25 weeks, not Block’s “seven or eight months”.

  55. Brian Holtz Post author

    Bob, what is “the” answer for infanticide or slavery? If you think yours is THE answer, and someone disagrees with that answer, does that make him or her incorrect?

  56. Robert Capozzi

    bh, evictionism seems to imply that non-evictionist abortions would be a crime, yes? Is it murder? Is the eviction procedure significantly more expensive than the current kill-the-fetus abortion technique?

  57. Robert Capozzi

    bh, mine is definitely NOT the answer. It’s only my perspective. I’ve been incorrect too many times and changed my mind too many times to fall for the trap of believing that mine is the One True Way!…

    Now, for those who’ve never been incorrect or never changed their minds, I would like to hear how he or she pulled that off and how that’s working for him or her…

  58. Seebeck

    Tom, don’t confuse objective science and law with subjective interpretation. According to the law, my first son was a fetus until birth, at which time he would have become a legal minor, but in the eyes of me and my wife, he was our child. The former was objective science and law. The latter was how we perceived it. My point was that the facts and interpretations can be entirely different, and that the interpretations vary by each person, their emotional involvement, and personal experience.

    You clearly either didn’t read the original link or missed the point entirely.

  59. Roger Roots

    Jed Siple:

    Regarding your statment that “Any woman who murders her baby should face life imprisonment.” (to mean a woman who aborts her fetus.)

    You are now on record. Most politicians who claim they believe abortion is murder will never actually state what punishment should be applied. Ron Paul (whom I greatly admire), for example, will always say “it’s up to the States,” or some such. (If he truly believed abortion was murder, he would say what you, Jed said: such women “should face life imprisonment.” Of course, any politician who openly said this would be unelectable.

    Incidentally, Jed, you have staked out a position that is far more extreme than anything that has ever applied anywhere in American history. The Founding Fathers lived in a period when there were no laws against abortion (although abortion by various means had been practiced for eons). The first laws against abortion were enacted in the 1830s–and they did not punish abortion as “murder.”

    The most extremely punitive states during the late 1800s up until 1972 punished abortion doctors via SECOND-DEGREE MURDER. Thus, Jed, you are taking a position far more extreme than any previously taken in American history.

    I guess I can’t blame you if your goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade. You must take such an outlandish position to do so. Such notions as the claim that abortion is murder, a fetus is a person, etc. are NEW-FANGLED ideas, which barely circulated at the time of the Roe v. Wade decision. Such claims have grown substantially in the 40 years after Roe v. Wade.

    The notion that “abortion is murder” is relatively new, and has been generated as part of an orchastrated backlash at Roe v. Wade. In my opinion, most people who state it don’t really believe it.

    In any case, the LP is the party of choice. There are other parties that cater more favorably to bible-thumpers and people seeking to control their neighbors and police other people’s “irresponsibility.”

  60. Tom Blanton

    Bob, what is “the” answer for infanticide or slavery? If you think yours is THE answer, and someone disagrees with that answer, does that make him or her incorrect?

    How ironic that Holtz would ask anyone this question. His answer to the same question would have to be YES. It would seem Holtz is quite certain that he is entitled to control the behavior of others, regardless of their own beliefs.

    Perhaps this deep thinker can enlighten us as to why the same arguments that apply to abortion also apply to infanticide. So far, he has failed to acknowledge that abortion and infanticide are two different things.

    The problem with the Block view of evictionism is that it is not persuasive to those who belief personhood begins at the moment of ejaculation. Second, the idea that one can “homestead” a human reduces the human being to mere property – that would be slavery.

    Now, in the event there is no one to “homestead” the viable fetus, it is acceptable to kill the fetus under the theory of evictionism. If there is someone to “homestead” the viable fetus, then the fetus is not killed and the third party adopts the living fetus.

    In jurisdictions outside of Blockistan and Holtzville, a person lined up to “homestead” this living fetus would probably be just as happy to adopt a full-term baby and the birth mother would probably agree to carry the child to term if the “homesteader” is ready, willing and able to take the baby after delivery.

    In practical terms, an abortion would become unnecessary where the “homesteader” is prepared to take custody at the time of birth. If there is no “homesteader”, then presumably the host of the viable fetus would have to pay a great deal to keep the fetus alive in an incubator at the hospital. That is unless the League of Ethically Superior Evictionists would provide grant money to pay these expenses.

    In Holtzville there is the free rider problem. So, I suppose Holtz would have the expenses for keeping the viable fetus alive while waiting for a “homesteader” be paid for by the fetus. Perhaps a government loan program could be established to pay for post-womb care and later rolled over into the student loans of the fetus, all in accordance with geo-libertarian principles, of course.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    I don’t claim to have “the” answer. I just know that whatever “the” answer is, that answer is not dependent on my feelings for validity.

    It’s a knowledge/information problem for which insufficient information/knowledge is available to plug the question into usual libertarian theories (e.g. some variant of the non-aggression principle).

    Unfortunately, the urge to have a pat answer on matters of “personhood” and so forth leads to perverse consequences, including (for example) otherwise usually rational libertarians endorsing government-licensed spousal homicide pursuant to insurance fraud, so as to protect a status quo they’re comfortable with.

  62. Tom Blanton

    I think Roger Roots has it right. The “abortion is murder” crowd (including the “abortion is infanticide” bunch) are full of shit.

    If in fact they do believe their own rhetoric, they certainly fail to apply their high-toned morality to many other issues.

  63. Robert Capozzi

    bh: Bob, what is “the” answer for infanticide or slavery?

    me: So, just to be clear, I support laws prohibiting these behaviors, probably for similar reasons that you, Blanton or Knapp might. Lacking omniscience, I simply can’t say that my position and reasoning on these matters is indisputably correct. Nor can I say whether a late-term abortion is or is not “infanticide.” I can, however, see how another could conclude that it is, or something approaching infanticide.

    I also find the military draft to be a form of slavery even though there are some differences. So draft registration feels like a slippery slope, so I oppose it.

    And yet I’m OK with driver’s licenses… 😉

  64. Robert Capozzi

    tk: I just know that whatever “the” answer is, that answer is not dependent on my feelings for validity.

    me: “I just know” sounds an awful lot like “I feel.” At least that’s how I feel about it! 😉

    You may ASSUME that there are answers that don’t require you to have a sense that they are true or not true. But somewhere beneath that neutral-sounding “assumption” is a feeling that the assumption is correct.

  65. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    —–
    “I just know” sounds an awful lot like “I feel.”
    —–

    I stop short of declaring an objective reality necessarily being knowable.

    However, what we can “know” is that if reality is not objective, knowledge itself is not possible.

    Therefore any pursuit of knowledge necessarily relies on the assumption, as axiomatic, of reality being objective rather than feeling-dependent.

  66. Brian Holtz Post author

    RC: evictionism seems to imply that non-evictionist abortions would be a crime, yes?

    It implies that in the case of a healthy full-term fetus, killing it during or right before delivery has the same legal status as killing it right after.

    TB: How ironic that Holtz would ask anyone this question. His answer to the same question would have to be YES. It would seem Holtz is quite certain that he is entitled to control the behavior of others, regardless of their own beliefs.

    I indeed believe that the behavior of slaveowners and infanticiders and aborters of healthy viable late-term fetuses is subject to control by libertarian laws against aggression.

    TB: The problem with the Block view of evictionism is that it is not persuasive to those who belief [sic] personhood begins at the moment of ejaculation.

    And the problem with the 13th Amendment is that it is not persuasive to those who believe blacks should be slaves.

    TB: the idea that one can “homestead” a human reduces the human being to mere property – that would be slavery.

    (What, a slavery analogy from Blanton? Self-pwn!) Evictionism isn’t about homesteading ownership of a human. It’s about homesteading the rights and responsibilities of guardianship.

    TB: enlighten us as to why the same arguments that apply to abortion also apply to infanticide

    The answer, obviously, is that both “abortion” and “infanticide” can be plugged into the Hinkle statement you keep running away from: “women have historically shown they can be trusted not to engage in X for convenience”.

    TB: a person lined up to “homestead” this living fetus would probably be just as happy to adopt a full-term baby and the birth mother would probably agree to carry the child to term

    Yes, and most mothers are probably uninterested in drowning their kids in a bathtub, so there’s no need for that to be illegal, either. (Face-palm!) That a given form of aggression hardly ever happens is not a good argument that it should be legal.

  67. Robert Capozzi

    tk, I agree with your putting quote marks around “know.” There may well be something we might call Objective Reality. But, given our constraints as imperfect perceiving machines, I don’t see how we get away from feeling being our basic, core capability. Knowledge may well be beyond our grasp (highly likely) and may or may not exist (highly likely to be unknowable).

  68. Jill Pyeatt

    Wow–all this talking, and no one has been convinced of anything different than what they started with. This is the reason I don’t discuss abortion any more.

    I originally said that was because I couldn’t change anyone’s mind, and I still believe that. I appreciate those of you who said you changed your mind about the topic, but it seems that for those of you who said that, it was more of a personal evolution. In fact, I would say that is what happened to me. There was a day when I held a strong view on abortion, and I’ll say now that what I believe today is the opposite of that. That has to do with my maturing, and seeing things in a larger view. I became pregnant and raised a son completely alone (the boy’s father’s choice, not mine.) He’s currently a sophomore at UCLA, and may people would say I did a pretty darn good job with him. But, as those of you who have children know, parenthood is utterly life-changing. I also had a whole lot more resources that other women who do it alone (I hate the the term–excuse–of “single parent”.)

    What I will also say that, as distasteful as the topic is, it’s nobody’s business except the woman and her doctor. I know THAT will ruffle some feathers. She is the one who may have to accept consequences at a later time.

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jill,

    “What I will also say that, as distasteful as the topic is, it’s nobody’s business except the woman and her doctor. I know THAT will ruffle some feathers. She is the one who may have to accept consequences at a later time.”

    The only one who may have to accept consequences at a later time?

    If it’s nobody’s business except the woman and her doctor now, how does it become the business of the biological father — for example, to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in mandatory child support payments — later?

  70. Tom Blanton

    Yes, and most mothers are probably uninterested in drowning their kids in a bathtub, so there’s no need for that to be illegal, either. (Face-palm!) That a given form of aggression hardly ever happens is not a good argument that it should be legal.

    Who is arguing that murdering an infant should be legal? Drowning kids in a bathtub constitutes murder and is already illegal. Most people don’t confuse this with abortion. There seems to be no movement lobbying for the legal drowning of kids in bathtubs.

    It is impossible to know how many bathtub drownings have been deterred because of laws against murder, but considering how many murders take place despite the law, it is probably very few. Perhaps a decree from the establishment rulers prevents you from killing your children, but I doubt it is a law that prevents most mothers from drowning their children.

    By equating abortion with infanticide you demonstrate that you are as ethically challenged as the degenerate demagogues that inhabit Washington. You are incapable of even having an honest debate as you insist on redefining language and framing the debate.

    You claim that abortion is infanticide and should be illegal, unless one calls it evictionism, which allows for killing the fetus up to some particular time limit. Who is to set this time limit? Walter Block? Brian Holtz? Certainly it couldn’t be the pregnant woman herself because the law must be specific and there must be one law to control everyone. There must be a centrally planned edict, a one-size-fits-all decree handed down from one possessing superior ethics, morality and intellect – like Brian Holtz himself.

  71. Jill Pyeatt

    TK, good point. I guess I don’t know anything about that child support thing, since I never asked for, or received, a dime. I know there are many men who faithfully pay, however.

    Most of the conversation here has been about the morality of abortion, and that was what I was addressing.

  72. Tom Blanton

    If it’s nobody’s business except the woman and her doctor now, how does it become the business of the biological father — for example, to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in mandatory child support payments — later?

    Men aren’t supposed to notice they have NO rights prior to full-term delivery of a child. They can’t prevent an abortion of their offspring and they can’t compel an abortion. They certainly can’t escape legal responsibility for child support.

    It would seem the fair thing to do would be for the man to request that a fetus be aborted and if his request is not granted, the man would then have no parental rights or responsibilities.

    This would also require that women give men a notice of pregnancy within some statutory period to allow time for possible paternity testing and for the man to serve the woman with a request for abortion notice if he wishes to opt out of parenthood.

    To be fair, the man should have to pay 50% of the cost of an abortion in the event the woman agrees to terminate the pregnancy.

  73. Brian Holtz Post author

    Blanton, you draw a line at birth, and offer no more justification than that the laws of the State currently draw the same line. How libertarian of you.

    Evictionism draws no line, and just says that ownership of one’s property and body authorizes you only to evict entities from them — and does not authorize you to slay anything you find in or on them.

  74. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jill,

    I was just bringing up child support as an example to demonstrate that the consequences of choosing abortion or not do not fall entirely on the woman.

    They also fall on the fetus, should she choose abortion (whether or not the fetus has rights in the matter is the subject of the debate, of course).

    And they fall on the child, should she choose to continue the pregnancy to term.

    In the existing course of things, they also fall on the taxpayers who will or will not be expected to subsidize another child’s education, etc.

    Notice that I’m not making any particular argument as to the import of those possible consequences with respect to abortion. All I’m saying is that “the consequences fall only on the mother” isn’t the case.

  75. Jill Pyeatt

    Fair enough, Mr. Knapp. I understand fathers have lifelong consequences.

    Let’s not forget, however, that, in most cases, the vast majority of consequences fall on the mother. I’m not making judgements or posing an opinion, but, realistically, the mother, if she mothers properly, cannot get beyond the tremendous responsibility of rearing the child. Whether it’s right or not, we all know that many men successfully walk away from their child and/or children. Of course, many women do, too. All I can tell you is that from the moment I found out I was pregnant (which was wonderful news to me, actually), I have never for one minute or one hour NOT acted in what I thought was the best interest of my child, and I doubt that I ever will. I’m sure that’s true for many men. But men can and do walk away, and reasonably assume the child will turn out okay. Because of the physical bond of carrying and nursing the child, I believe it is a rare woman who can.

    That is the basis for saying that the consequences fall on the mother. I should have said “by far, the vast majority of consequences fall on the mother, due to my experience.”

  76. JT

    “The recurring claim by some of you that you believe abortion is murder is nothing but a rhetorical device. It is a powerful rhetorical device I will concede. But none of you really believe abortion is murder.”

    Jed: “Yes, I do.”

    So then you think that an abortion is the murder of an innocent person, but you respect the view of most Libertarians & the Libertarian Party as a whole (as stated in the LP Platform) that murdering innocent people should be legal? Yikes.

  77. JT

    Jill: “Wow–all this talking, and no one has been convinced of anything different than what they started with. This is the reason I don’t discuss abortion any more.”

    I don’t blame you. But I know that I for one wasn’t trying to change anyone’s mind. I was just saying how it baffles me that anyone who honestly thinks abortion is deliberately killing an innocent person would want to associate with an organization that thinks it should be legal. I don’t get it. I don’t respect the view of anyone that killing innocent people should be legal. But then again, I don’t think abortion is murder, so I don’t have that problem. Oh well.

  78. JT

    Jed: “With all that said, the abortion issue is NOT going to change in our lifetime. In order to reverse Roe vs. Wade permanently, there would need to be a constitutional amendment recognizing unborn persons as citizens, and that’s NOT going to happen in today’s climate.”

    In all likelihood, there won’t even be a constitutional amendment recognizing embryos or fetuses as “unborn persons,” nevermind “citizens.”

  79. Phillies for Treasurer

    I don’t argue the point a great deal, but I have found it is a highly effective but imperfect filter for sorting out the REINs who are infiltrating our party. A person’s take on the abortion issue is not, however, a perfect filter.

    REIN Republican Except In Name

  80. June Genis

    Getting back to the proposed amendments to the platform, as currently worded I will have to vote against the added sentence simply because I find the term “pro-life” to be highly insulting. The implication, of course, is that anyone who would allow a woman to choose abortion is “anti-life”. On the other hand it IS fair to say that anyone who would prohibit giving a woman that prerogative is “anti-choice”.

    Libertarians are all about choice, regardless of when they believe that a fetus becomes a human being. I don’t think we should allow those who appose abortion choice to gain the moral high ground by acknowledging the usurpation of the term “pro-life”. I suppose I am somewhat of an evictionist myself. I just wish that all of those putting their time and money into making abortion illegal would instead direct their efforts to research on such things as fetal transplant and artificial wombs.

    Until the above are possible we are operating outside of anything that can be resolved in the political sphere. When there is no consensus on the morality of a situation libertarians should always opt to allow personal choice. Put another way, when reasonable people can reasonably disagree, the government should stay out of it.

  81. Phil Collins of IL

    June, I disagree. I’m pro-life, but I’m not anti-choice. I think that a woman can choose to abstain from sex. If a lady chooses to have sex, she can choose to use birth control. If she chooses to use birth control, she can choose to use a pill, IUD, form, or norplant. I support any of those choices, but I don’t think that anyone should be able to kill an unborn baby, unless the mother’s life is in danger.

  82. Roger Roots

    I’ve had some time to think about the two proposed amendments and to compare them with the current platform. I have changed my mind and now support the second proposal (the minority proposal).

    The current platform contains a suggestion that, upon reflection, I do not fully support:

    “Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides . . .”

    As my remarks above illustrate, I do not regard recurring claims by some so-called libertarians that “abortion is murder” or that a fertilized egg is a “baby” or a “child” are “good faith views” (as they are so ‘pregnant’ with illogical and nonsensical suppositions). Most people who say such things do not really believe them and are not prepared to follow such ideas through to their logical conclusions.

    Accordingly, I do think the current platform plank needs amending and I support proposal #2 (the minority report) until better language can be identified.

  83. Roger Roots

    By the way, does anyone have the names of the LNC members who voted for the majority and minority reports?

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    RR@87,

    The phrase “people can hold good-faith views on all sides” does not imply that all views held by all people on all sides are held in good faith.

    It merely states that it is possible for people on all sides to hold views in good faith.

    As far as the particular views you cite as not being so held for the reasons you cite, “people who oppose abortion just hate and/or want to control women” seems like a worth addition.

  85. paulie

    Phil Collins,

    Not all sexual activity is consensual, and not all women who are raped want to prove it in a court of law where they have to relive the experience, confront the rapist, often have their own conduct questioned, etc. Even the ones that want to go through that may not want to wait until the ever so slow legal system finds that they were in fact raped before expelling the rapist’s fetus from their womb. This is even worse in cases of underage girls where the rapist is their father, stepfather or legal guardian, or in many other cases where he is a family member, friend of the family, teacher, religious leader, police officer or any kind of authority in the community.

    A woman can only choose to abstain from sex if she is given that choice, and many women are not. If accept the premise that a fetus is a baby it is not that child’s fault that his or her father was/is a rapist, but then clearly you aren’t pro-choice in that circumstance.

    Roger,

    As I understand it platform committee members voted, not LNC members.

  86. Brian Holtz Post author

    Platform Reports come from the Platform Committee.

    This minority report is from Richard Randall, Joe Hauptmann, Debbie Schum, and Brian Holtz.

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