Debate on abortion in libertarianism

The libertarianism promotes individual freedom and seeks to minimize the role of the state. In the debate on abortion , some libertarians support legal access to abortion as part of their general defense of individual rights, especially with regard to what they consider the right of women to control over their bodies. 1

Other libertarians argue that principles such as non- aggression apply to all human beings from conception , and that the right to life also applies to the fetus within the uterus, so they oppose legal abortion . 2

Support to the legalization of the abortion

The philosopher Ayn Rand argued that the notion that the fetus has a right to life is “perverse nonsense” and stated “An embryo has no rights … a child can not acquire any rights until he is born.” 3 He also wrote: “Abortion is a moral right that should be left exclusively at the discretion of the woman involved; Morally, one should consider nothing more than his desire. ” 3

Theorist Murray Rothbard wrote that “no being has the right, without consent, to live as a parasite of the body of another person” and that therefore the woman has the right to expel the fetus from her body at any time. 4However, he also explained that “every baby has, from the moment he is born, and therefore is no longer contained in the mother’s body, the right to own property by being a separate entity and an adult potential. It must therefore be illegal to violate the rights of the baby and to assault his person through mutilation, torture, murder, etc. ‘ 5 Rothbard also opposed any interference by the state in the right of each locality to create its own laws, so it was against the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Roe vs. Wade case . He believed that states should be able to create their own abortion policies. 6 He also opposed tax funding from abortion clinics, writing “it is especially monstrous to force all those who abhor abortion to pay for what they consider a murder.” 7

Position of libertarian political parties

The United States Libertarian Party states : “Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can have views in good faith from all points of view, we believe that the Government should stay out of the The personal consideration of each “. Referring to Fig.

The Libertarian Party of Spain stated in its framework program that “the State must be neutral regarding the moral decisions of citizens that do not affect others. The P-LIB notes the lack of consensus in society regarding the nature of abortion and affirms the freedom of women to make such a difficult decision without coercion of any kind during the first stage of gestation. ” It also “demands scrupulous respect for the right to conscientious objection”, both of health personnel and their members and elected officials. Referring to Fig.

Opposition to legalization of abortion

The Libertarians for Life libertarian movement argues that humans have, in the states of zygote, embryo and fetus, the same rights as the newborns and later stages. Doris Gordon, belonging to this group, explains that the principles of the Libertarian Party of USA. UU. And objectivist ethics require a responsibility towards children, and resorts to the principle of non-aggression :

The principle of nonaggression is a continuing obligation: it is never optional for anyone, even for women pregnant . If the principle of non-aggression were not applied, there would be no moral difference between gaining money or stealing it, between consenting sexual intercourse and rape. This moral principle predates politics and laws. It does not emanate from a contract, from an agreement or from the law, but is a supposed premise previously. This obligation would exist even in a state of nature . This is because it proceeds from human nature , and this nature is acquired in fertilization. 2

Republican Senator Rand Paul identifies himself as “fully provided” and supports “any legislation that could end abortion or lead us towards the end of abortion.” 10


  • This work contains a derivative translation of Libertarian perspectives on abortion from Wikipedia in English, published by its editors under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License .
  1. Back to top↑
    • Doug Bandow, The Politics of Envy: Statism as Theology , page 280 , Transaction Publishers, 1994 ISBN 1-56000-171-2 , ISBN 978-1-56000-171-3 . Quote: “the majority of libertarians are pro-choice” …
    • Marc Jason Gilbert, The Vietnam War on campus: other voices, more distant drums , Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, page 35 ISBN 0-275-96909-6 , ISBN 978-0-275-96909-7 . Quote: «On the whole, however, centrist and conservative libertarians usually espoused expected libertarian views on such issues as abortion, where the individual’s right to be free from coercion by others (either individuals or the state) too precedent over questions of morality or religion ‘.
    • George F. Johnston, Abortion from the religious and moral perspective: an annotated bibliography , Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 page 160 , ISBN 0-313-31402-0 , ISBN 978-0-313-31402-5 . Quote: “Most Libertarians, on the grounds that a woman has the right to control her own body, support legalized abortion.”
    • John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge, The Right Nation : Conservative Power in America , Penguin, 2004, p. 252 ISBN 1-59420-020-3 , ISBN 978-1-59420-020-5 . Citation: “Libertarians support abortion as part of their general support for individual rights”.
    • Charles W. Dunn, J. David Woodard, American conservatism from Burke to Bush: an introduction , Madison Books, 1991, p 41, ISBN 0-8191-8069-6 , ISBN 978-0-8191-8069-8 . Quote: “[…] libertarians would say that the government should not regulate abortion since that is a personal matter”.
    • Mary Ruwart , Ask Dr. Ruwart column, formerly available at Advocates for Self Government website. Quote: “The predominant ‘pro-choice’ viewpoint, as expressed in the current version of the Libertarian Party platform, is backed by principled arguments as well. Libertarians believe that no one should be enslaved to support another, including a pregnant woman ‘enslaved’ to carry a fetus she does not want. A woman’s body is her property.
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Doris Gordon (1995, 1999). «Abortion and Rights: Applying Libertarian Principles Correctly» . Libertarians for Life . See also: McElroy, Wendy (2002). Liberty for Women . Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. P. 156. ISBN  978-1566634359 . OCLC 260069067 . ‘Libertarians for Life declare that abortion is not right but to’ wrong under justice. ‘
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b Ayn Rand, The Voice of Reason , extract from Ayn Rand Lexicon entry on Abortion .
  4. Back to top↑ Rothbard, Murray. «Personal Liberty» . For a New Liberty (in English) . Pp. 131-132. ISBN  0-930073-02-9 .
  5. Back to top↑ Rothbard, Murray. Children and Rights . The Ethics of Liberty (in English) .
  6. Back to top↑ “Making Economic Sense” (in English) . Ludwig von Mises Institute . Accessed August 18, 2014 .
  7. Back to top↑ «The Religious Right: Toward A Coalition» . (in English) . Accessed August 18, 2014 .
  8. Back to top↑ National Platform of the Libertarian Party, 1.4 Abortion (in English) . US Libertarian Party UU. May 2012 . Accessed May 30, 2016 .
  9. Back to top↑ “Framework Policy Program” (pdf) . Libertarian Party of Spain . September 25, 2010, amended on June 23, 2012 . Accessed May 30, 2016 .
  10. Back to top↑ Jacob Sullum (May 26, 2010). “Rand Paul on Abortion” (in English) . Reason Magazine .