By Jack Parkos | United States
Abortion has been in the news a lot lately. President Trump recently started taking action to cut funding to any birth control clinics that provide abortions. This will likely force Planned Parenthood to lose federal funding. This action both helps to reduce federal spending, as well as attack the abortion issue.
One the other side, Ireland’s abortion referendum vote was released on May 25th. A heavy majority of people support removing the 8th Amendment from their Constitution. The amendment guaranteed that an unborn child’s right to life was equal to that of the mother. Abortion was only legal to prevent a medical emergency.
If you’re a libertarian, Trump’s actions should please you, while you will be hoping Ireland keeps its 8th amendment. Despite the Libertarian Party’s stance on the matter, true libertarianism has deep ties with the right to life. The Natural Rights John Locke put forward were the rights to life, liberty, and property. The only duty of government is to protect those rights. Thus the government should protect the life of the unborn.
Perhaps you believe in the NAP (Non aggression principle). By killing her baby in the womb, the mother has initiated force, thus violating the NAP. A fetus cannot initiate force against a mother, so in all instances of abortion the mother violates the NAP.
The common argument for abortion is that it violates the rights of the woman, thus the government should not get involved. However, this is an outrageous claim. No one has the right to commit such an atrocity against another human – and yes, a fetus is a human. It has human DNA separate from the mother, making it an individual human with the same right to life. Unless you are an anarchist, you would believe in murder being illegal, and abortion is the murder of an innocent unborn human. A common saying in libertarianism is “Your rights end where my rights begin!’ This statement is the very truth of liberty. You are free to live your life so long as you don’t harm others.
Those who believe the mother’s right to an abortion trumps the right to life miss a big part of libertarianism, and that is equality under the law. The fetus has the same rights to life and liberty that you or I have. Some may say that it’s not a true human, but it has the DNA of a human. Maybe you say its not fully human. Yet, that idea has been the fundamental idea behind some of the worst atrocities of man-kind. None of these claims are true, of course. So why is this logic applied to a fetus in the womb?
If you still do not believe it’s fully human I must ask you “When does it become a true human?”. Certainly birth cannot be your answer. There is no change in the development of a child after it leaves the womb. If you want to pinpoint a certain stage in the development of a human, then I must ask why a certain characteristic makes a certain fetus have a greater right to life than another human?
I always hear the argument “A fetus is only a bunch of cells!” There are a few problems with that. In fact, cells are a characteristic of life, so by saying a fetus has cells, you admit it is living. If it is living and has human DNA, and its life ends, a human dies.
Also, once a baby leaves the womb, it is still made of cells. All humans are. If someone murders another person and on trial, says “They are just a bunch of cells, therefore it is not wrong” should they be let go? Using the logic behind the argument “A fetus is only a bunch of cells”, they have not committed a crime. Abortion is a crime, however, our current justice system is corrupt and does not understand crime.
If you truly believe in libertarianism which includes the inalienable right to life, and believe in equality under the law, then you should be against abortion. Will it be hard to change these laws? Yes, but that is no excuse to sit back and watch this cruelty exist in an allegedly civilized society.