On Abortion: Libertarians and Evangelicals Can Do Better

Libertarians and evangelicals generally favor private property rights and recognize individual persons as having dignity and value. Libertarians differ on the protection of pre-born children, and evangelicals differ on how best to address abortion. Evangelicals and libertarians should seek consistency and come together to establish justice for all human beings, most especially those in the womb.

To this end, both libertarians and evangelicals should:

Recognize Private Property Rights

Human life has intrinsic value as endowed by our Creator. As such, each individual has the natural right to life, liberty, and property. No individual has authority to initiate aggression against another individual. Any initiation of aggression against an individual is a violation of their natural private property rights. All libertarians recognize this principle is grounded in natural law, and Christians would go further to ground this natural law in God’s revelation. Thus, murder is immoral because it violates the individual’s property rights as inferred from Divine natural law prohibition against murder.

Recognize Abortion is Murder

From conception, all humans possess equal natural rights. That humans require 40 weeks of nurturement inside their mothers’ wombs does not negate their natural rights. That preborn children are dependent upon their mothers’ womb for survival does not negate their rights. That children may reside in the womb inconvenient to or against the mother’s otherwise chosen will does not negate the child’s rights.

In no circumstance ever does the child trespass or violate the mother’s own natural rights (Rothbard is simply wrong on this). Because both child and mother have equal rights, and the child is never an aggressor, the mother never has the right to violate the rights of the child. Both child and mother are made in God’s image, receive their dignity and value from Him, and live and move and have their being because of Him. As such, any aggression against the life of the mother or child is equally considered a violation of each one’s private property. To be sure, the mother does not own her preborn child, and does not have the right to dispose of him or her as a matter of convenience or otherwise.

Because murder is defined as the intentional taking of human life with malice aforethought, and because the preborn baby is a person from conception, abortion by definition is murder.

Treat Abortion as Murder

Libertarians should be consistent in recognizing that preborn children have equal rights and should treat them as having such. While the Libertarian Party (LP) does not represent all libertarians (by a long shot), it is still incumbent upon the LP to reform its platform. On 1.7 Crime and Justice as listed on the Party Platform, the LP rightly affirms:

Government force must be limited to the protection of the rights of individuals to life, liberty, and property, and governments must never be permitted to violate these rights. Laws should be limited in their application to violations of the rights of others through force or fraud, or to deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm.

Hypocritically and cowardly, however, 1.5 Abortion states:

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

The cognitive dissonance is palpable. If the LP truly believes in 1.6, it must revise 1.5 to include equal protections for preborn children, or consistency (and justice) be damned.

Evangelicals should be consistent in calling abortion murder and acting like it is. The Roe v. Wade decision was 46 years ago this week, and evangelicals in the prolife movement are still begging the federal government to defund Planned Parenthood and dreaming of a conservative Supreme Court to overturn Roe (by the way, Republican courts are responsible for creating and sustaining Roe). Evangelicals are still marching for life while one million children are still slaughtered every year. The time for marches is over; the time for justice is now.

The last couple of years, thankfully, have hinted at a paradigm shift where life-loving evangelicals are leaving the Prolife Movement Industrial Complex to become abolitionists of abortion. Bills are being pushed through states like Oklahoma and Texas to outlaw abortion outright regardless of the federal tyranny each faces. This movement is growing, as more evangelicals recognize the futility of incrementalism (and its prolife politicians who regulate abortion) and embrace the Bible’s standard of justice - immediate and complete criminalization of abortion without exceptions.

Conclusion

Libertarians and evangelicals must recognize the private property rights of all individuals, and must recognize and treat abortion as murder. Libertarians within the Libertarian Party must reform its platform, and evangelicals must not follow prolife incrementalism or hope for a conservative Supreme Court; no, they must persuade governing authorities in their own states to nullify federal judicial supremacy and end abortion now.

THE only way for abortion to end in your state is if your state establishes law recognizing that children have equal rights from conception and punishes abortion as murder. It's that, or it will be your grandchildren's grandchildren who are still "marching for life" decades from now. It's up to you.