They justify their pro-abortion position by talking about things like personal choice and keeping government out of our lives. The former is straight out of the abortion industry’s talking points while the latter is an attempt to co-opt Tea Party language to justify the killing of innocent life.
In 1809, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Maryland Republicans: “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”
Let’s look at what Senator Rand Paul said at a speech just over a year ago (I witnessed it from the front row):
“Some have said to me that ‘you’re big on all this liberty stuff, why do you want to restrict a women’s right to choose?'” he said.
“And I say, you know what? The government does have some role in our lives. One of the main roles that government has is restricting you from harming another individual, which gets us back to the original debate. When life begins, there is a role for the state so it’s not that I’m against people choosing things. I’m in fact, one of the biggest believers in choice, in liberty. But you can’t have liberty if you don’t protect where your liberty originates from and that’s your right to life,” Paul explained.
Stephanie Slade has written at Reason.com about Sen. Paul and why she is a pro-life libertarian. Her story notes that the attacks on Paul for this position came from Salon.com, among other left-wing pro-abortion outlets.
I’ve written before about Libertarians for Life, which is a group within the national Libertarian Party. That group is based here in Maryland and they have some principles they wrote about that pro-Liberty Republicans who support abortion need to think about:
- Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.
- Abortion is homicide — the killing of one person by another.
- One’s right to control one’s own body does not allow violating the obligation not to aggress. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.
- A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother’s body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.
- No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally “de-person” any one of us, born or preborn.
- The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.
Kristen Walker Hatten of New Wave Feminists also wrote a great piece on “Why Libertarians Should Be Pro-Life on Abortion.”
The above arguments don’t rely on religion at all, if you’ll notice. Secular Pro-Life also does a lot of good work in this area as well.
Watch Rand Paul discuss Liberty and the Right to Life
I will be discussing this issue in-depth this week. I’ll name names and look at specific candidates and their supporters as well.