Here is a consistent libertarian argument in favor of making abortion illegal. I do not pretend that this is the only way to arrive at the pro-life position, merely this is one way a libertarian can consistently arrive at a pro-life position. One can have many other reasons to conclude that abortion is wrong (ie. theological or other philosophical frameworks).
Please understand that this is a fairly philosophical argument from a libertarian perspective. Please note that when I say aggression/violence I’m referring to tangible violations of one person or property, such as stealing, killing, etc. Please note that when I say initiator of aggression/violence, I’m referring to the first person to act, namely the person who did it without justification and has no legitimate grounds to claim self-defense. When I use fetus, I’m not using it because I necessarily like the term, but because it is a common usage.
- Given that: The central libertarian non-aggression axiom states that it is wrong to be the initiator of aggression/violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another human, we must ask:
- Is the fetus a human? Yes, this fact is scientifically and medically indisputable.
- Does abortion kill the fetus? Yes.
- Is killing violence? Yes, killing is the ultimate expression of violence against a human.
- Is abortion the initiation of violence against the fetus?
- Yes. There is no way that the fetus can be construed to be the aggressor by developing in the womb. The fetus is passive–it did not make a choice to enter the womb, and therefore can not be rationally construed in any way to be the one that initiated aggression or trespassed. Aggression through trespass can’t happen where there isn’t a specific occasion of entry nor a conscious choice to enter.
- Even in the unfortunate and sad cases of rape where the mother did not consent to conceiving the child, it must be admitted that the fetus is still not an aggressor in any sense. The rapist would be an aggressor, but not the fetus.
- So then, in any case that can be possiblly presented, abortion is an unjustifiable initiation of aggression against a human.
- Since we could answer all those questions affirmatively, it is clear that abortion is the initiation of violence/aggression against a human.
- The government’s role in various areas of life are obviously highly controversial. That said, if you are not an anarchist at least, you likely believe that government has at least one role. Libertarians and non-libertarians alike would agree that, at the very least, the government has a duty to uphold the “non aggression axiom” (in other words, protect people from those who would initiate aggression/violence against them).
- It then follows quite logically that the government should uphold the “non aggression axiom” in regard to the the youngest people in its district. The government should protect humans who have not yet emerged from the womb from those who would initiate violence/aggression against (ie. kill) them.
What About A Woman’s “Right To Choose”?
- Under non-aggression axiom, women have the political right to choose when it comes to matters that do not initiate aggression against others. A women’s political right to choose isn’t applicable to abortion, since it is the initiation of aggression/violence against another human.