Saturday, August 23, 2008
Edelin is an OB/GYN doctor that works on behalf of keeping abortion safe and legal.
He points out that McCain is an avowed "pro-lifer," while Obama is "pro-choice."
Since abortions will continue even if they are made illegal, Edelin wants to keep them legal.
Abortion is one of the few controversial subjects on which the Libertarian Party takes no stand. The reason is the "non-aggression principle" and how to apply it.
A fundamental tenet of libertarianism is non-aggression. We do not believe in initiating force. (But we believe like hell in returning it if someone else starts it.)
The "pro-life" libertarians apply the principle of non-aggression in favor of the unborn baby. Aborting the unborn is an act of aggression against the unborn.
The "pro-choice" libertarians apply the principle in favor of the mother. Since it is her body, any law restricting her ability to control it is an act of aggression against her.
BlueCarp will play devil's advocate, because he does not have any way to solve this conundrum.
When and to whom one applies the non-aggression principle is a value judgment.
The "pro-life" faction, in general, wants to give the same rights to the unborn as we give to the born. Since we can not intentionally stop an infant from breathing, we should not be able to terminate life while it is still in the womb.
If we really believe that the unborn, at the moment of conception, have the same rights as the born, why do we not list miscarriages in the obituaries? Why do we not have funerals for miscarried fetuses? Should not the census takers count pregnant women twice? (Or more if they are carrying twins or triplets). If we truly value the unborn like we value the born, should we not give the unborn all the same accoutrements of death as we give the born?
BlueCarp does not pretend to know.
The "pro-choice" faction believes that it is the pregnant woman's absolute right to choose what to do with her body. If she wishes to abort a pregnancy, any government restriction on that choice is morally wrong.
BlueCarp asks that if we really believe in the right to chose, do we also not believe that the choser must live with the consequences of that choice? For better or worse?
If so, what about the woman's right to chose abstinence? Or birth control? (BlueCarp is specifically addressing only consensual sex. Rape is a different issue, since choice was not part of the equation.)
If a woman's right to choose what to do with her body is of paramount importance, how can we ignore her choice to have sex? The choice to have sex has consequences. One of those consequences is the chance that a future living person might be created and need a womb for nine months. That future person is not a trespasser in a woman's womb. That future person was invited in when the woman chose to have sex.
So, "pro-lifers" proclaim that all life - born or unborn - is sacred, but they do not treat it that way.
And "pro-choicers" proclaim that a woman must have absolute choice over her body, but ignore the choice - and consequences - of having sex.