quarta-feira, 15 de novembro de 2006

The Libertarian Case Against Abortion

by Bill Barnwell (via LRC):

"(...) It’s about time that defenders of freedom and personal responsibility put more pressure on promiscuous or sexually irresponsible people to take proper measures to avoid a pregnancy. It is morally and intellectually unfair to make unwanted children bear the burden for the irresponsible actions of others. While libertarians would rightly say that the State has no business trying to correct the poor attitudes and behaviors of others, it also makes little sense for the State to sanction aggressive and anti-life laws which punish innocents for the mistakes of their parents. That is not libertarian; it is selective freedom which pushes aggression on defenseless unborn children.

This leads us to one final consideration in this essay; that abortion violates the principle of nonaggression. The mother (or parents), usually as a result of her (or their) own irresponsibility, makes a decision to end a life unilaterally. The child obviously has no say in the matter. The pro-abortion parents and the State make the decision for child, and prematurely end his or her life. Again, not a very libertarian concept.

Abortion supporters object. The government is telling a woman what to do with her body! I'm encouraged when left-leaning thinkers start talking like libertarians, but discouraged to see that it stops at giving mothers the "right of privacy" to get abortions. Back in his quasi pro-life days, Al Gore once said "abortion is arguably the taking of a human life." If those who argue that it is the taking of a human life are correct, then I think even the staunchest libertarian can agree that the state should not be in the business of sanctioning aggression and destructive anti-life policies. Unfortunately, the State seems mainly concerned with economic stagnation and the destruction of life and property through war, abortion, anti-capitalistic measures, etc. Abortion is another piece of that puzzle.

It must also be recognized that the process in which abortion became the law of the land was nothing short of statist aggression. The State, through the judicially abominable decision of Roe v. Wade, federalized the matter through convoluted constitutional reasoning. This was a pristine example of political and judicial aggression that denied the rights of individual states to decide the matter by federalizing it. All honest libertarians should see this as an assault on states’ rights regardless of their position on the moral, legal, or philosophical merits of the actual abortion itself.

Notice in this libertarian attack on abortion I have not sought to endorse all pro-life legislation that has been considered over the years. That is because some of the legislation has approached the matter in a big-government or statist approach and actually negates itself because of it. Yet all libertarians should agree that Roe v. Wade is a blow to libertarian philosophy, and the issue should be returned to the states. In the meantime, individual states, and personal consciences would do well to consider the real nature of abortion: an aggressive, irresponsible act which denies personal freedom, liberty and justice to a weaker and inconvenient class of people.

As a libertarian, I defend the pro-life cause not only on moral and spiritual grounds, but also philosophically on the nonaggression principle and upon the principles of freedom and personal liberty. As has been shown, a government that sanctions abortion sanctions aggression, and gives rights and privileges to some (mothers) while taking away rights and harming others (the unwanted children). This tradeoff of rights and State-sponsored aggression is not libertarian, as most "mainstream" libertarians would assume. It is the standard statist model of how society and government should function which is ultimately unfair, immoral and destructive.

Such a concept has much more in common with the philosophy of the Left than it does with the philosophy of freedom. And there’s nothing libertarian about that."

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