Why Being Pro-Choice IS the Proper Libertarian Stance on Abortion
The most heated debate issue right now is abortion. No question about that. If you want the back and fourth view of both stances, you should read The Abortion Epidemic. This is a personal reflection of my own stance.
The democratic slogan “My Body, My Choice” is profoundly libertarian. However, we extend that principle to all instances such as drugs and prostitution. As most people know, I am strongly Pro-Choice and vehemently against abortion bans.
What does it mean to be Pro-Choice? Pro-Choice means that the decision lies within the individual. Not the government nor anyone else. Abortion is a personal decision that is between all parties directly involved, most importantly a woman’s family and doctor, but ultimately, it all comes down to her wishes. Forcing someone to do something against their will is immoral. Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term is an act of cruelty.
Pro-Choice is NOT a synonym for Pro-Abortion. That’s the first incorrect thing that people assume. Pro-Choice simply means you oppose forcing your beliefs upon others and respect their private decisions. It means someone has the choice to, or to not abort. Being Pro-Choice does not mean you condone abortion in every circumstance. It means “I have no right to tell you what to do.”
For me personally, I don’t think abortions should occur unless medically warranted, with exceptions for rape and incest. I say this because, we have so many forms of birth control for both men and women. Unwanted pregnancies are more preventable now than they ever were at any other time in history.
Where my opinion differs from Pro-Lifers, however, is that I will not guilt trip a woman, call her a murderer, or otherwise even give my input at all, if not asked. I see abortion as an obstruction of what a fetus can BECOME, rather than an obstruction of what IS. I do not equate a fetus to a baby post-birth. If it cannot live independent of the womb, it does not get rights that supersede those of the mother. Eventually, we know that a fetus will develop into a human child. That is the obvious point I make. I think about what it can become in the future. I do not focus on it’s present state nor do I deny science and compare it to a toddler. I don’t like the concept of ending life. Unlike many anti-abortion advocates, I apply this to ALL forms of life. I am vocal against the senseless slaughter of animals. I lecture those who kill living creatures for amusement — yes, that includes bugs. I try my best to apply my morals as consistently as possible.
Do I wish abortion would cease to exist? Absolutely. But at what cost? As Larry Sharpe has said, we should work towards creating a society where women don’t want to have abortions. That means focusing on alternatives instead of creating laws that will only cause negative impact. Comprehensive sex ed and health. Education is where everything begins. We need to end social stigmas surrounding women in all instances and stop victim blaming. Saying “you should have closed your legs” is not a valid argument. Not only that, but it is extremely rude, derogatory, and assumes you know the circumstances in which the woman was impregnated. Let’s face it — you don’t.
I like to take the position that pro-lifers can live under pro-choice laws because it gives them the choice to NOT have abortions. But it cannot be the other way around. Libertarians are all about choice. The topic is way more argued than it should be. Want to decrease abortions? Support alternatives instead of attacking women who seek safe medical procedures. Lets end adoption agency discrimination against same sex couples, single parents, atheists, etc. That’s a good place to start. But the religious right would rather a child be homeless than to have gay parents. Unfortunately.
My stance is very simple, actually. I would recommend each and every alternative and hope that abortion is someone’s last resort — not their first choice. In turn, I would never mock or ridicule someone who does decide to have one. My focus is with prevention, and systemic issues. In all honesty, a woman’s abortion is none of my business, or yours. If you want to see cultural change around this issue, you must accept that bans won’t work. Start directing your attention towards helping the women who are hurting.
Then, and only then, can we achieve change.