Has anyone else noticed a tendency among pro-life libertarians to be smug and self-righteous in their assertions that the libertarian platform is unequivocally pro-life? I don’t mind people being confident in their positions, but there’s an inherent smugness in saying something like this:
I always look dubiously at people who say things like “This group…” and follows it with a statement that they consider universally true, unless that statement can be demonstrated. For example, I’ve said that libertarians are against the use of force and violence to achieve political goals, and that’s a general statement about a ton of people. Yet I’m okay with it, because “being against the use of force and violence to achieve political goals” is quintessentially what “libertarian” means, so I basically just gave the definition of a libertarian by saying that.
It’s a matter of semantics to phrase the first statement so poorly, so let’s go ahead and rephrase that to add clarity to his statement.
Libertarians believe in abortion being illegal.
Except… they don’t.
The official party platform is explicitly pro-choice, as found here:
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.
Seeing as the state is the only institution capable of making something illegal, if the government is to be kept out of it then it is, ipso facto, a pro-choice position. The libertarian position is “You may not like abortion, but you can’t stop anyone from getting one, though you can refuse to get one and refuse to perform one.” In this way, people who are against abortions are not un-libertarian–they are merely exercising their right to act in accord with their own conscience.
The problem is that you certainly can make the case that the fetus is a person due the same rights as anyone else, and so it is wrong to initiate violence against the fetus by killing it. That’s not a position I have any desire to argue with, for the most part, except it forces us to ask a few questions that pro-life people can’t answer.
- What is the difference between a fetus and a tumor?
- If potentiality equals actuality, then people who fantasize about killing someone are criminals.
- If the difference between a fetus and a tumor is that the former is a living human, what is a human?
- If a human is life, what is life? How do you distinguish life from non-life?
- If you presume it’s okay to force a woman to donate her womb space to an unborn fetus, then you must presume it’s okay to force her to donate a kidney if that child later becomes sick, since both are ipso facto consequences of her decision to have a child.
These, honestly, are questions that can be asked period, except for the first two and last one, and that’s my point. We have no idea what life itself is, and we have no valid metric of distinguishing life from non-life. I would argue that this is because “living matter” is an illusion, and that there is no difference between life and non-life, that there is only matter and energy and one of the remarkable elements of matter is how it can interact with itself. But until you can show me how fire isn’t alive but people are, I have no reason to take you seriously if you claim that a fetus is a living person.
The biggest point of contention, though, is #5, because pro-life people assume that the fetus has the right to be inside the woman’s womb. It is well-established that a womb is part of a woman’s body. As pro-life people love saying, the fetus is a separate life, and therefore not part of the womb.
Think about a kangaroo and its pouch. Pro-Life people are arguing that the baby kangaroo has the right to be inside the mother’s pouch, and that the mother’s pouch is so much the baby kangaroo’s right that the mother can be forced to have the baby in her pouch whether she likes it or not. So you would force the woman to let the kangaroo into her pouch, because the kangaroo will die if it isn’t allowed to be in her pouch. In order to prevent an act of violence, you commit an act of violence.
Pro-Choice is no better, don’t get me wrong. In fact, that’s why I’m writing this, because there isn’t an easy answer, and there is no “objectively right” or “logic dictates” answer. The issue is the murkiest of murky murkiness. Pro-Choice chooses to allow violence to be done to what could be argued is a human being, in order to prevent someone from having their body forcibly used by another person against their will. That’s not a particularly great position to be in, either.
I am pro-choice. Worse–because this is almost certainly going to make you angry–because I don’t think that anyone with a penis has any right whatsoever to weigh in on the subject of abortion*. I’ve caught a lot of heat for saying this, but c’mon, let’s be realistic here. Pregnancy is the one fucking thing that women can do that men absolutely cannot, but men still can’t resist trying to dominate the subject and saying what can and can’t be done about it. When I said this two years ago, no one really minded. Most people didn’t agree, but I didn’t catch heat for it. Now, people act like I cut off their goddamned balls my saying it, and then they say “There’s no such thing as sexism in America.”
You’d think such people would gladly listen to what a transgender person who has lived as both genders has to say about sexism in the country. There is no one more qualified to discuss sexism than a transgender person. I’ve had girls tell me there’s no such thing as sexism, and call me a stupid cunt for suggesting there is. To me, this is like a black person saying there’s no racism just because they haven’t noticed it. There’s plenty of sexism, but my position on it is that it’s not automatically a bad thing.
But yes, one of the ways that the sexism manifests is in men believing they should have a say-so in abortion.
Guys, if you get a girl pregnant, it is one hundred percent up to her whether she wants to take your feelings into account. If she wants an abortion but you want her to keep the baby, if she wants to ignore your wishes, then she can, and she will. I’ve been there. I got the Vegas Chick pregnant, in fact. Unsurprisingly, she totally ignored my wishes on the matter; there was nothing I could do about it, and it never occurred to me that I should be able to force her to carry the baby.
Is that what you want, men? To be able to force your girlfriend or wife to see the pregnancy through? And you don’t see how that reeks of sexism? Sticking your dick in that girl didn’t give you any ownership claim of her. Her womb is still hers, and that’s the bottom line. Her womb isn’t your property, and if she doesn’t want something in that womb, then…
“Tough titty said the kitty.”
If you get a girl pregnant and she ignores your wishes, then tough shit. Find a better girl, one that will take your feelings into consideration. This holds true in the other direction, as well. If she wants to carry the child and you want her to get an abortion, it’s tough shit again for you. However, I’m obviously against the state forcing you to give her money to raise that child, too–or forcing you to pay for the abortion, either. If she wants to raise that child on her own, never even telling that child who the father is, then…
“Tough titty,” said the kitty.
Men have no perspective on the issue of pregnancy and abortion because, until very recently, men were utterly unable to be pregnant. This is something that only women can do, guys. This is the only area in human life that belongs 100% to females**. You are at their mercy here. If your girl wants to be a bitch and abort the baby, tough shit. If she wants to be a bitch and have the baby but keep you out of the life, tough shit. I know this bothers you. I know it angers you. And I know that having someone tell you this directly angers you even more.
Because men are used to being in control. You’re not used to being at anyone’s mercy. You’re accustomed to having the authority to tell people what to do, no matter the topic, and it drives you fucking crazy to have this one area where you rightly have no authority or say-so at all unless the woman wishes to allow it. Think about the long history of humanity and the countless areas where women have had no authority or say-so at all unless the man wishes to allow it.
You gotta let girls have this one, dudes. The issue doesn’t affect you.
And that’s why I’m pro-choice. I’m not “pro-choice” as much as I am “I don’t have a womb, so this issue can’t possibly apply to me, and thus I have no right to dictate one way or another.”
If your girlfriend or wife wants an abortion and doesn’t care that you don’t, suck it up.
If your girlfriend or wife doesn’t want an abortion but you do, suck it up.
You have no rightful claim to anyone’s womb, whether you want something to be in there or not.
* Said, of course, as someone with a penis. However, it’s impossible to point out that men shouldn’t have a say-so on the matter of abortion without being involved in the subject of abortion, and genitalia is irrelevant to that. I’m not arguing pro-choice or pro-life, really–I’m arguing that it’s not our damned place to say, because the issue, by definition, cannot affect us in any direct sense. If you want to argue that your feelings will be hurt, then you are also making an argument against outlawing hate speech and anything else that hurts feelings, so that’s a slippery slope we shouldn’t jump down. “Hurting your feelings” is not an injury.
** Actually, there is also breast-feeding, but breast-feeding reeks of its own sexist displays, doesn’t it? Rest assured that breast-feeding would not be illegal if men could do it. Why do I say that? Because this picture is totally acceptable:
But this one is not: