What is the libertarian position on abortion? The answer is not so simple. Abortion is a divisive issue in pro-liberty circles: some are staunchly pro-choice while others are staunchly pro-life. Yet, the various libertarian positions on abortion follow a similar moral logic.
So why are some people pro-choice? The answer is actually very simple: they believe that the fetus in the womb is not yet an independent human life and thus the mother has the right to abort the fetus because it is an issue of her bodily autonomy.
And why are some people pro-life? Again the answer is simple; they believe that the fetus is a living human being with its own rights, thus aborting the fetus is a violation of the baby’s bodily autonomy as it results in the death of a living being against its will.
But many people reject the fact that this is the dichotomy and instead make it a personal issue by demonizing the other side. Those on the pro-choice side are often demonized as baby killers, satanists, murderers, etc., while those on the pro-life side are often labeled misogynists, sexists, authoritarians, etc.
But what we must understand is that the vast majority of people on both sides have good intentions. They do not want to murder or control someone’s body. Most people on both sides actually want basic human rights such as the right to life and the right to control their own bodies and make their own decisions.
This is also the reason why libertarianism is torn on the subject of abortion. Both pro-choice and pro-life libertarians believe their position is in support of liberty. While it may seem like both sides have nothing in common, they do have one very important thing in common, they are both pro-liberty.
And in reality we need more people that are pro-liberty. While many on the right and left often use religion or other personal views to support or oppose the right to abortion, libertarians don’t, they have a simple goal, libertarians want everyone to have the freedom to make their own decisions, libertarians believe that every individual is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
If science is able to prove that the fetus is not a living being, the libertarian position would be pro-choice. But if science is able to prove that the fetus is a living being, the libertarian position would be pro-life because libertarians want to protect life, liberty, and bodily autonomy.
And that is the moral and logical position.
Libertarians do not wish to use religious belief or personal views to control other people, Instead, libertarians want to know the truth and act according to facts and maximize liberty for all.
If the libertarian approach to abortion is applied on other issues, we would be able to solve our problems much better.
We can create a freer, more advanced and more just society by maximizing liberty and pursuing the truth.
If life does not begin in the womb, then abortion is justified, if life does begin in the womb, then abortion is wrong. This is the pro-liberty view. You have a right to life and bodily autonomy; libertarians want to defend your rights. They do not want to spread their religion, nor demonize anyone and cause division. Libertarians are pro-choice, pro-life but most importantly pro-truth and pro-liberty.
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This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.