The Libertarian Case for Being Pro-Life

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I first heard several months ago from a friend who is a registered Libertarian about Libertarians for Life.

Here’s the Libertarian Case Against Abortion from their website:

One popular misconception is that libertarianism as a political principle supports choice on abortion. And major elements within the libertarian movement (the Libertarian Party, for example) take abortion-choice stands. Nonetheless, libertarianism’s basic principle is that each of us has the obligation not to aggress against (violate the rights of) anyone else — for any reason (personal, social, or political), however worthy. That is a clearly pro-life principle. Recognizing that, and seeing the abortion-choice drift within the libertarian movement, Libertarians for Life was founded in 1976 to show why abortion is a wrong under justice, not a right.

We see our mission as presenting the pro-life case to libertarians and the libertarian case to pro-lifers. Among supporters of LFL, some of us are members of the Libertarian Party, some are not. Some are religious, some are not. (Doris Gordon, our Founder and Coordinator, is a Jewish atheist.) Our reasoning is expressly scientific and philosophical rather than either pragmatic or religious, or merely political or emotional.

Here are the points LFL uses to defend their case:

  1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.
  2. Abortion is homicide — the killing of one person by another.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally “de-person” any one of us, born or preborn.
  6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.

Kristen Walker Hatten, a libertarian, wrote a piece entitled, “Why Libertarians should be Pro-Life on Abortion.”

She wrote:

The s0-called “social issue” which is the glaring exception to this rule is abortion. It is not a “victimless crime,” as many argue prostitution, sodomy, and gambling are. All libertarians of all stripes – and in this I include Objectivists, though they might, well, object – should oppose abortion. Anyone who advocates any kind of government, no matter how minimal, should support making abortion a criminal act.

How do I justify this? It’s actually pretty simple.

If you advocate a small government, you must assign it limited goals. What are the most basic reasons for a government to exist? To keep people safe, from outside aggressors and from each other. Objectivism, for example, argues for a “night watchman” government: basically, the military, police, and courts. The military defends the people from outside aggressors, the police arrest and incarcerate criminals, and the courts decide guilt or innocence and hand down sentences, as well as settling civil legal disputes.

I mention the Objectivist ideal to illustrate that even the most bare-bones government would have laws against citizens killing other citizens. Libertarianism, unlike Objectivism, is based largely on the Non-Aggression Principle, which says – to put it very simply – it is morally wrong to initiate aggression. Force is justified only when combating force.

Libertarianism is also firmly based on a belief in personal responsibility. If every man is and should be free to make his own decisions, it follows that every man must own the results of those decisions. Which is to say: if a man and woman have sex, they both accept the risk that a pregnancy might be the result, and accept the obligation to care for the resulting child.

Another group espousing a similar philosophy to LFL is Secular Pro Life (SPL.)

Report: Burger King in talks to buy Tim Horton’s to avoid US taxes

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Business Insider:

The Wall Street Journal’s Liz Hoffman and Dana Mattioli report Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Horton’s to pull off a “tax inversion” that would allow it to avoid U.S. taxes.

The new holding company would be based in Canada, the pair report.

“One of the people said a deal between the two companies could be struck soon, though additional details on timing couldn’t be learned,” they write. “Together the restaurant companies have a market value of about $18 billion.”

The deal would create the world’s third-largest fast food enterprise.

While this is mainly for the tax implications, would it mean more Tim Horton’s in the US? (There are a small number in the US including some on military installations.)

Boko Haram leader says captured Nigerian town part of Caliphate

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AFP:

Boko Haram’s leader said a northeast town seized by the insurgents earlier this month has been placed under an Islamic caliphate, in a video obtained by AFP on Sunday.

“Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in (the town of) Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate,” Abubakar Shekau said in the 52-minute video.

The military however rejected the claim, saying in a statement that the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state is still intact”.

In a July video, Shekau voiced support for the leader of the Islamic State (IS) militants Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who in late June declared himself “the caliph” and “leader of Muslims everywhere”.

Shekau may or may not have been referring to al-Baghdadi’s caliphate, according to the AFP story. There was a separate Nigerian caliphate in 1800s.

DC to conduct streetcar emergency drill Sunday on H St NE

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From a DC Alerts email:

On Sunday, August 24, 2014, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), along with District first responders, will conduct a DC Streetcar Emergency Drill on H Street NE to prepare for real-world streetcar operations on the H Street/Benning Road corridor.

The purpose of the exercise is to test operational coordination and preparedness of DC Streetcar and first responder personnel in the event of an incident involving a streetcar. The exercise will simulate a streetcar derailment caused by a collision between a DC Streetcar vehicle with passengers and an automobile on H Street NE. DC Streetcar personnel along with Metropolitan Police Department and DC Fire and EMS will coordinate and practice their evacuation and emergency protocols for dealing with such an incident.

The exercise will take place on the 1200 block of H Street NE and requires a temporary closure of H Street NE between 12th Street and 13th Street in both directions, between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m.  In addition, there will be parking restrictions on 12th Street and H Street (see temporary closure map below).

During the drill, there will be significant emergency personnel on-site on the H Street corridor and residents are advised that this is only a drill and to use caution when traveling along the vicinity of the drill.

X2 bus stops in the 1200 block of H Street will be closed as well.

Here are detours:

  • Westbound traffic on H Street NE will be detoured south at 13th Street, then west at G Street.
  • Eastbound traffic on H Street NE will be detoured north at 12th Street, then east at I Street.
  • 12th Street NE traffic will be directed to I Street to travel east.
  • 13th Street NE traffic will be directed to G Street to travel west.

Union thugs threatened Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi with violence

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A RedState post by Labor Union Report has the details:

Some things never change. After nearly 15 years of trying to clean up a reputation marred with corruption, shake-downs of the film industry, as well as violence, Boston’s famous Teamsters Local 25′s public face turned very ugly earlier this summer when the popular Bravo network show Top Chef rolled into Beantown using non-union production assistants and drivers.

More from RedState:

In summary, when Bravo’s Top Chef began taping at Boston’s Steel & Rye in June, Teamster members from Local 25 greeted the crew and stars with picket signs, verbal abuse, alleged vandalism and even death threats.

Deadline.com fills in some more of the details:

The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you f*cking whore!”

[...]

Jenn Levy, Bravo’s SVP Production, wasn’t spared. Arriving at the restaurant in her black SUV, she soon found herself running a gauntlet of vitriol. “She got of her car in front of the location and quickly ran through the picket line,” a source said. “They were yelling, ‘You bitch! You slut! We’re gonna get you!’ It went on like that all day.”

[...]

There was a large film crew at Steel & Rye today filming a television program. During the course of the taping union picketers arrived and hassled members of the crew, pedestrians and a police officer who had been hired as safety detail. One passer by said the picketers were “aggressive”. Deputy Chief King stated that just under a dozen cars had their tires slashed at some point.

The RedState post notes that union shakedowns of film productions in Boston have been so bad in the past that many productions have avoided doing business in the city.

Nanny State: NYC might ban free Happy Meal toys

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Think Progress reports:

On the heels of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) infamous failed attempt to ban large sodas, New York City officials are trying their hand at nutrition policy again. This time, they’ve set their sights on a more specific target: the free toys that come with high-calorie kids’ meals at fast food restaurants.

New York City Councilman Ben Kallos (D) has introduced a “Health Happy Meals” measure that would ban toys in kids’ meals that fall short of strict dietary guidelines. In order for restaurants to give away free toys with kids’ food, they’ll have to offer meals that don’t contain more than 500 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium.

“It is difficult enough for parents to give their children healthy food without the fast food industry spending hundreds of million dollars per year advertising to children, and nearly half of that on toys,” Kallos said in a statement announcing his new bill. “If restaurants are going to incentivize children, they should incentivize them to eat healthy.”

Kallos also pointed out that an estimated one fourth of U.S. children’s meals come from restaurants or fast food places, and “those calories could be healthy calories.” Under his measure, restaurants that fail to comply with the toy ban would be fined.

A previous attempt in New York didn’t pass. Even if this were to pass, it has been noted that McDonald’s got around a similar ban in San Francisco by charging ten cents for the toys.

Georgetown prof, son of terrorist, compares Israel to ISIS

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Adam Kredo of Washington Free Beacon has the details:

A Georgetown University professor whose father pled guilty to terrorism charges is facing criticism for comparing Israel to the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) on Twitter.

Georgetown University History Professor Abdullah Al-Arian, the son of Sami Al-Arian, a controversial Israel critic who pled guilty to conspiring with a terror group, tweeted out his take on a common nursery rhyme by comparing Israel to the terror group ISIL, which recently beheaded an American journalist on film

Al-Arian quickly deleted the tweet, but not before a screenshot was taken and retweeted by the Washington Free BeaconCritics immediately deemed the tweet offensive, inaccurate, and over the line for a professor at Georgetown, which itself has come under fire for hosting a 9/11 Truther and a member of Egypt’s Nazi Party.

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Kredo got no response to request for comment from Al-Arian or from Georgetown. Al-Arian is a professor at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service on the Qatar campus. As Kredo notes, Qatar has been the principle source of funding for Hamas.

Police union steering donations to Darren Wilson legal defense fund #ferguson

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To sum things up, a FOP lodge in Anne Arundel County, Maryland wanted to send donations to provide food for police officers working long hours in Ferguson, Missouri due to the protests, rioting, and looting. However, the national FOP asked them to send the money to a legal defense fund for Darren Wilson instead.

Baltimore Sun has details:

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 70, the union that represents officers in Anne Arundel, has donated $1,070 to an online defense fund for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. That’s the largest donation listed for the campaign on the website gofundme.com.

O’Brien Atkinson, an Anne Arundel County police officer and president of the lodge, said his members wanted to send money to help feed police officers working long shifts during the protests and unrest that have erupted since Wilson shot Brown on Aug. 9. But the national FOP suggested contributing to the legal defense fund instead.

Atkinson said the donation is intended to make sure Wilson has adequate legal representation as the shooting is investigated.

“It’s not about anything more than making sure that our fellow officer has due process, which sometimes is hard to come by when you have a media stir and a lot of political attention,” Atkinson said.

15,000 voters registered in both MD and Fairfax County, VA

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Watchdog.org

An election-integrity group is challenging the status of nearly 15,000 voters reportedly registered in both Fairfax County and Maryland.

Virginia Voters Alliance on Wednesdayurged Fairfax’s electoral board to do what state officials have so far not done across the commonwealth: Purge those duplicate voters.

VVA President Reagan George complained the state Department of Elections is classifying all duplicate registrations as “inactive voters.”

That means 43,896 voters alleged to be registered in both Virginia and Maryland would stay in Virginia’s statewide database — and remain eligible to vote — until 2019.

Election fraud is a felony in Virginia, but only a misdemeanor in Maryland according to the article.

Pro-Abort: “I Want You to Eat a Taco, Drink a Beer, and Fund Abortion”

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Andrea Grimes of RH Reality Check admits she started the challenge as a Twitter joke in response to the Ice Bucket Challenge that is ubiquitous right now. She should have left it as one.

Grimes summarizes it:

The Taco or Beer Challenge couldn’t be simpler: You eat a taco and/or drink a beer, and you donate to an abortion fund. The only ice you’ll need for this challenge is the ice in your cooler, or maybe the ice in your water if you get a particularly spicy taco.

Everybody stays dry—ideally—and somebody gets help paying for a legal abortion.

Then she goes into further detail:

What do ice buckets have to do with ALS? I don’t know. What do tacos and beer have to do with abortion? I don’t know that either.

What I do know is that eating tacos and drinking beer is more pleasurable than getting doused with ice water, and that lawmakers around the country are passing increasingly restrictive anti-abortion access laws. Which means abortion funds are now more necessary than ever as legal abortion becomes harder than ever to access—especially for those of us who don’t live in major urban centers.

Tacos and beer, of course, remain as vital to our human happiness as they ever were. The solution is clear: Eat tacos, drink beer, and donate to abortion funds.

She admits abortion is “common” and “normal” but then talks about how you need to participate in the challenge and then closes with this:

The only way to fail the Taco or Beer Challenge is to not donate to an abortion fund. I believe in tacos, I believe in beer, and I believe in you.

I’ll gladly fail. I’ll drink beer (good craft beer – I bet Grimes drinks Coronas with her tacos), eat tacos, and pray the rosary for the innocent unborn that Grimes makes jokes about the killing of.