Friday, February 24, 2012

Reader comment on my abortion post

This dissenting comment left on my libertarian pro-life argument post was so good I had to share it:

"What you miss - what you call evasive - is the fact that the fetus lives inside and is entirely dependent on the woman. So, even if the fetus does have rights, this is a clear case of a conflict of rights. Now, it's pretty clear that if we care about equality, we have to address the fact that women can have children. That can be a wonderful thing when you want it, but an oppressive experience otherwise. And this is where the conflict occurs. If you protect the rights of a fetus, you deny women a significant amount of freedom to choose the life she wants to live. This is why science won't help us here. If a fetus is fully a life and endowed with all rights, that just makes the resolution even harder. That's also why it is ridiculous to call it murder. I can't think of anywhere else in the world where you can find such a similar conflict of rights.

The thing is, there's a really easy way to resolve this conflict. We have contraceptives that are nearly 100% affective. By education people and giving them access to family planning, we can make abortion virtually unnecessary. But then I look at the pro-life movement and see that they are hostile towards even these common sense approaches. I see that the areas with the most pro-life legislation actually tend to have more abortions. That's not surprising because they are also neglecting other, less controversial means of family planning. Can you seriously justify a position against birth control based on life? If so, I doubt anyone will buy it. So what is the common factor here if it isn't life? And the only conclusion I can come to is that its about sex and control and about putting the government into your bedroom. If you can't see that you really shouldn't call yourself a libertarian."

As for the challenges that children pose to a consistent theory of liberty, I agree wholeheartedly and would say in fact, that I believe children are the most problematic and "gray" area for libertarian social and political theory. Even though I am still pro-life, this is one of the best dissenting comments I've yet seen on my pro-life article-- one that I can respect.

As for the easy and uncontroversial methods of decreasing the number of abortions that happen-- I am also in complete agreement and would like to see pro-life activists focus more attention here. Please note also, that I said nothing in my article against contraceptives and have no moral problem with them.





Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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