Pro-lifers come from a variety of different backgrounds and have different views on politics and government. Most opposed the 2016 Democratic Party platform, which was considered the most extreme pro-abortion stance in its history. In contrast, the 2016 Republican platform was considered its most pro-life yet. Republicans are typically associated with being in favor of small government, with Libertarians in favor of even less.
While there are Libertarians who consider themselves to be pro-life, the Libertarian Party itself chose to remind people of its official stance on abortion earlier this month in a Facebook post that directed Facebook users to the party’s platform on privacy. The party has a pro-abortion platform. Readers may remember that the Libertarian ticket included former governors Gary Johnson of New Mexico and Bill Weld of Massachusetts, both of whom are pro-abortion.
The party’s one sentence on the topic states, “Rthe Libertarian Party considers abortion “health care,” which is concerning, since the direct taking of innocent, vulnerable, and defenseless life is not health care.
“Why would you claim to be a small government guy and propose such a dramatic reach into people’s lives and personal decisions?”
It is true that to “prohibit abortion” would involve “literally more government,” but in the case of protecting life, is that really a bad thing?
As mentioned above, not all Libertarians feel this way on abortion. Jocelyn Fry has run for office as a pro-life Libertarian in Iowa, and she spoke to Live Action News about her thoughts on the Libertarian Party’s Facebook post, reminding us about the role of government:
I’m curious who actually penned this image. Was the 14th Amendment “literally more government”? I don’t see the difference really when it comes to unborn children. Government doesn’t grant Rights. Unborn children already have the right to life, it’s only being stepped on. Government needs to do one of its only actual duties and not make laws that deny people their rights.
She also spoke to the attention that the post received, saying that “[t]here was a bit of an uproar” about it but that she wasn’t “that bothered” since “the drama serves a purpose.” Fry is “glad the Libertarian Party is talking about abortion” but says she, “and a large number of other Libertarians, support deletion of the Libertarian Party’s abortion plank.” Ultimately, Fry chooses not to look solely to her party when it comes to abortion:
Ultimately, my job as an individual pro-lifer is to do my best to save lives no matter what my party’s abortion stance and no matter what laws exist or don’t. So let the LP start a conversation about abortion among thinkers and trend-setters and webkids. No politician, no judge, and no political party is going to win the war for us. I hope abortion politics shifts toward looking for general governmental policies that lend to fewer or no abortions.
Fry isn’t the only pro-life Libertarian. Many have taken a pro-life stance across media outlet sites and social media. This includes politicians like former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) and his son, senator and former presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-Ky).
It’s important to note that prohibiting abortion is not the same as enforcing commonsense regulations for the safety of women. Abortion was not prohibited by Texas state laws requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges and requiring abortion facilities to meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgical centers. Those facilities that closed did so because they could not (or would not) comply with the law. These, and other abortion facilities, have a history of unsanitary conditions. It’s not so much a matter of government involvement – it’s about patient safety.
When it comes to how much government should be involved in our lives, the government ought to have a role in protecting citizens in matters of life and death. This should include protecting preborn Americans, and it should protect their mothers from the dangerously unchecked and self-regulated abortion industry.