Neat View on Abortion

Via Jack

When you recognize that a fetus is or will become in a short period of time a living person, and all living people have rights, being pro-life is VERY libertarian.

I see things this way, that baby or soon-to-be-baby (we can argue when life begins or when that fertilized egg becomes human, but no matter when “life begins”, its only a 9-month interval between sex and a birth certificate) has rights, and has done NOTHING wrong.

Of course my personal views end at the politics, as prohibitions ALWAYS end badly. You can’t eliminate ANYTHING, you just change who controls it. You ban abortion and you trade Planned Parenthood for a Doctor moonlighting at the veterinary clinic, or a junkie with a clothes hanger. Since so many pregnancies self-terminate, I see an abortion ban as a net killing of healthy mothers. That ain’t pro-life in my book.

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0 Responses to Neat View on Abortion

  1. Jack says:

    Hah! I was actually thinking on the libertarian view on abortion on the commute.
    I agree, enforcement logistics and consequences of prohibition will trump.

    It’s like the issue or Father Rights with Abortion. I do think the father should have some say (and that in and of itself is a thorny issue), but I can’t see a good way to actually go about it. Because in the end you can have a situation of the state ordering a woman, at the behest of an estranged man, to carry a baby to term. Good luck enforcing that.

    This is also why I can understand (if not agree) with the no exceptions ever pro-life camp. In those cases you are punishing someone literally for the sins of the father.

    It’s also why bans on sex selective abortions underscore much of the maddness, because of the idea that you cannot abort due to gender but you can becase, hey, you don’t want a baby at all.

    Or the nasty issue of trying to stop “repeat offenders” who use abortion as a contraceptive.

  2. Roadkill says:

    This sounds very reasonable. However, no matter the age of the fetus, I will always hold that abortions of pregnancies caused by rape are a form of justifiable homicide. Pregnancy is not safe and consider it a matter of self-defense against the possible harm to the mothers physical person, especially in minors, and even finances. Of course the baby isn’t at fault, but self-defense actions don’t always happen against people who are competent to even be charged for the crime they are committing.

  3. Boyd says:

    If prohibitions always end badly then we can’t disincentivize… murder? I dislike bans on objects/possession, I can see your point for that. And, for more esoteric or arguable behaviors then your target audience might not -understand- the behavioral goal or might disagree with it (for some polygamy etc). But I think we disincentivize murder 1 effectively.

  4. Daniel in Brookline says:

    I think part of the problem is over-legalization — the tendency to make everything compulsory that isn’t forbidden.

    What if abortion remains legal, but is heavily regulated and intentionally expensive? (Fair is fair. That’s how liberals want to treat smokers, right? And they claim that smoking kills. Plenty of people smoke and die of old age… but the aborted baby ain’t getting out of this alive.)

    I recognize that, for some pregnant women, an abortion is the least awful alternative. If a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape, I wouldn’t want anyone to tell her that she must carry the genes of that monster to term. So in one fashion or another, abortions should not be outlawed entirely.

    Still, people must face the consequences of their actions. This issue will not be settled so long as some people feel that they have a right to an abortion, no questions asked.

    It might be worth publicizing James Taranto’s “Roe Effect” — that pro-choice people have fewer children overall, causing populations to drift in the conservative direction. In other words, your right to choose is slowly causing your own extinction, folks… and the people you oppose are not only outvoting you, they are also having babies to replace you.

  5. McThag says:

    I’ve referred to a family I call “The Bartmids” on my blog a couple of times.

    There’s a family that needed about fifteen abortions.

    The world would have been a better place if they’d aborted the first kid Kevin could not afford. But they didn’t. The _FIVE_ kids they had have begat another _FIFTEEN_ since (and generation three starting soon). Guess how many are gainfully employed? Guess how many are in jail.

    Guess what that cost the rest of us since they are a net drain on taxes even where they pay a token sum; because they get more back in their tax returns than they paid.

    I’d be a lot happier being pro-life if I didn’t have to pay for the results of all this new life.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      I hear you. But also this all happened in an America where abortions are cheap and easy. They elected not to (and who’s to blame them, we picked up all the slack with our social systems), and that will always be an issue no matter what the laws are.

      Same goes for the irresponsible teens I know aborted pregnancies. Maybe those kids would have grown up to become social leeches, maybe not. And maybe if it was as illegal as murder they would have aborted anyway, and maybe died from the black market system.

      That’s why I stay the hell away from abortion when it comes to politics. Personally, I see it as infanticide. Politically, I see treating it as such as nothing short of a disaster.

  6. lucusloc says:

    In response to the video and brain-death:

    I sort of see the point he wants to make, but what if a patient with no discernible brain activity (as in totally brain dead), due to modern technology had a 99% chance of recovering that brain activity and coming back from brain-death? would it still be ok to pull the plug at that point? Is it valid to look at potential future recovery when making that decision? If you say yes then would it not follow that you would have to look at the viability of the baby to determine if it too would “recover” to being alive as well?

    As to the whole “prohibition is not prevention” issue, that is true, but, as said above, we prohibit murder knowing full well that it does not prevent it. We prohibit it because it is a violation of liberty, and is therefor a just prohibition. When considering liberty it is important to take into account *everyone* involved. Even mentally retarded people are entitled to the full measure of liberty. The only people who are not entitled to liberty are those in whom it has been proved that investing in them that liberty would prove directly detrimental to another’s liberty. That is the only reason to deprive liberty.

    The only really reason this is a contentions issue is because casual sex has become an acceptable pastime. In the past there was no easy and safe way to get rid of the consequences of your actions and sex was a social taboo except in vary specific circumstances. I basically see the pro-“choice” side as pretty much saying they just want to have sex with no consequences. I understand that is an over simplification, but ultimately that is what every one of their arguments boils down to in the end. Honestly if you really, really do not want a baby do not engage in activities that are likely to get you one. If you want to engage in those activities you need to be prepared to deal with the consequences, and the child you just made should not be the one to pay for it with its life.

    now how does rape fit into this? First off, pregnancy as a result of rape *is* uncommon. Honestly i see it like i see mass shootings, we don’t need special laws to deal with it, we just need a somewhat unique application of existing (or should be existing in this case) laws to deal with it.

    A few things to establish:

    1. The mother is a victim, obviously
    2. The child *is also* a victim
    3. The child has a guardian. In the absence of a father (a criminal) and a mother (a victim) that guardianship passes to the state, as it would with any child who lacked proper guardianship.

    now there is one thing to consider, the mother is going to continue being a victim for 9 months. It really cannot be any other way, as the alternative means propagating a murder. this is similar to a case where a criminal prematurely injures someone else, and should be treated in a similar fashion. In this case it is an injury that will take 9 months to heal. During this time the state will be responsible for the care of the mother and child as at this point they are inseparable, and all expenses will be tacked on to the fathers sentence, to be recouped by the state in whatever means are legally available. The mother will be the one to determine how she will birth the baby, weather it is c-section at a time when the child can be reasonably expected to live, or full term natural birth.

    Really, if we are talking about justice for all parties involved this is the only real way to do it. Anything else would simply add a murder onto a rape. It is the only view I am aware of that fully recognizes the right of all parties to the liberty that they are due. Does it suck all the way around? Yes, but on the flip side it it less permanent than spending a lifetime in a wheelchair, and does not involve the intentional killing of an innocent.

    The father will of course owe damages to the mother as well, but I will leave it to someone more legally apt than mo to determine the consequences of having the state pay those damages up front and recuperate them from the father. I believe that in this specific case it would be ok to do so, but I have no idea how that will affect other criminal injury issues.. I think a fair amount would be a years expected salary +damages to career advancement +50% or so, but that’s just my fuzzy legal understanding of how money is awarded in criminal injury cases.

  7. Eck! says:

    I’m from the other side of the equation, woman. I be pro-choice with the caveat that
    I fall to prolife. This is not an easy thing to arrive at. But choice is personal.

    I happen to have known a woman that had a pregnancy that ended with a hydrocephalic
    baby that was terminal, specifically she was born alive and had no brain activity above reflex and unable to suck or cry. The child was brought home and fed through tubes and died after about 5 months as expected by the medical community. It would be several years before the family would recover and try again, this time invitro testing also indicated severe likely terminal abnormalities. They would terminate thst time. They did try again and the child is a star college student now. But, the price paid was very high and to use a quaint line, her mother was never quite right after that. The timing of this was just after Roe, and even then getting an abortion where everyone hospitals and doctors alike agreed was in the best interest of the mother took two months to happen and was not without dissension. The first child exacted a high price, the second was worse because all the doctors and boards that claimed a vote on her and her husbands choice on should abortion be possible. They did extract a further price of
    an autopsy and the findings were that the fetus was never viable.

    I’ve also seen women that have developed all manor of serious life threatening conditions that can be both short and long term, simply by getting pregnant.
    One case the child was born but the mother would live the rest of her days totally
    unable to care or even know it was hers from the resulting stroke.

    I’m also old enough to remember when HIV from a drugged up rapist meant the child would likely die with AIDs along with the mother.

    I’m also old enough to remember when birth control was considered as something only “those bad people” did. But I still believe that abortion as a replacement for birth control is not good, but, not be my choice to say for others.

    So yes on choice, that is the part of freedom and liberty we prize. However there is the responsibility of life for the two most closely involved (mother and a potential person). That responsibility means those that have or can have children have to make hard choices even if they elect life.

    There are too many people dictating what others can do in too many places and cases.
    While a hot issue I’d quickly add that I can think of many other things where people have too much say about others.


  8. Greg Camp says:

    In the book, Freakonomics, the authors make the interesting observation that the crime rate in this country started falling about twenty years after Roe v. Wade. They wonder whether that’s because fewer unwanted children are born. Now I understand that correlation and causation are difficult things to sort out, but it’s a point worth exploring.

    To me, the fetus acquires rights when it’s able to survive outside the body of the woman. Before that time, it’s effectively another organ of the mother. Once viability occurs–about the end of the second trimester, if I’m remembering high school classes correctly–we have a second being to consider. I’d still want a strong exemption for abortions that are medically necessary, and I’d want that decision to be made by the doctor and the woman, not some government overseer.

    If you’ll excuse me a Biblical allusion here, that’s how I split the baby on this question.

  9. Eck! says:


    Brain death by current standards is the irreversible loss of brain tissue due to trauma. In all case the brain dead cannot breathe for themselves as the lower limbic system of the brain is dead. To date it’s never been reversed and there have been enough very famous cases where the brain dead were kept alive to no good end. Medicine and science can detect any activity and if its there that means the brain is NOT dead.
    If there is a chance for recovery there will be measurable activity all efforts will be taken to preserve life.

    If the woman raped was your wife, or close family member, how would your comments go? Your future as you formally knew it? The reason is that until its first person your comments are opinion about others personal choices and their circumstances.


    • lucusloc says:

      Honestly if it were me an my wife we would probably adopt it as our own. It is an innocent life and is worthy of that consideration. I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to end the life of the person who did that to her, but that would be his fault, not the child’s.

      My point wasn’t about tissue death or medical definitions. I was arguing a hypothetical scy-fi situation that was worthy of consideration. The actual details of how you get to that point are irrelevant. Does the ability to restore life at some point in the future change our view of weather a person is currently alive or dead? I believe that it does.

      We all acknowledge that the mother has rights and liberty, but no one seems to consider the liberty of the child, and no one seems to remember when we talk about the unborn that we also rightfully grant liberty tho those who are not capable of acknowledging that liberty, like my point above about the mentally retarded. If we defend the granting of liberty to unthinking infants and the mentally retarded how do we justify not granting it to an unborn child? both are just as dependent on others for their survival, the only difference is they can be handed off. And even if they are handed off and no one will care for them we still recognize their right to not be actively murdered.

      This issue runs a lot deeper than just abortion. At its heart are fundamental issues about who gets liberty and who does not. That unborn child *is* a human-being. Given time most will develop into a fully formed and functioning adult, which is more than can be said of other individuals that we *do* acknowledge as having rights and liberty. How can you set an arbitrary time to kill someone “before they can think” and not have that allow you to kill someone who may never get past that stage at all?

      Honestly, if you can justify killing an unborn based on mental capability you can justify killing a retarded just born infant, because their mental structure is essentially the same. The same logic applies. And as stated in the above video, if you justify killing solely based on viability outside the womb you acknowledge that you are kilning a human who *is* capable of thinking on at least a very basic level, as the brain has already started to form well before the child could survive on its own. If you mark of when its ok to kill is based on them having *any* mental capability at all, them the question of future mental capability is supremely relevant, as demonstrated by my above hypothetical scenario. They will be bale to think if we just give them enough time. Would a doctor be guilty of murder if he maliciously unplugged as currently understood and defined brain dead patient if that patient could have hypothetically been saved with whatever hypothetical technology was on hand?

      I think the fact that the child has a life ahead of them means that they have liberty worth protecting, regardless of what stage of development they are currently at. Isn’t that what we protect when we protect liberty? My present *and my future*?

      To quote the bumper sticker, in a “pro-choice” world, the child has no choice. Who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves yet? Who will stand up for their inalienable right to *live*?

      • Kristopher says:

        We had a couple folks try to add a plank to the Wyoming Republican PArty Platform that would deny funding of abortions to rape victims.

        They were met with dead silence, and their plank proposal only got their two votes.

        You are part of a tiny minority with your position there. Akins did not get nearly enough drubbing for his decision to die on this hill and take his party with him.

        If you want to save them, then put your money where your mouth is. Offer folks money to carry the child to term and adopt it out. Don’t expect to get any traction whatsoever when you demand to make abortions for rape victims into a criminal act.

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