Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life; The Current Debate In The Libertarian Party


Now that the election for President is over, there has been debate around Libertarian circles about the party’s stance on Abortion. There is a huge voting block of Libertarians that identify themselves as Pro-life and are quite vocal about their opposition to abortion.

In a recent post on the Libertarian Party Facebook page, there was a meme added that suggested that the Libertarian Party is the party of pro-choice. This was the catalyst for all recent controversy surrounding the abortion debate.


Because of this post, there have been some that have suggested that the national party is attacking pro-lifers. The guys at Liberty Hangout have suggested that this type of post and push is a direct attack on Libertarians like them that believe in the concept of life.

However, it is not out of the blue. The party platform spells it out in simple terms:

1.5 Abortion

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.

This type of Facebook post is not an attack on Pro-Life members of the party. It was intended to inform followers of the position of the party which is pro-choice. There is a consideration to have the theme of the 2017 convention to be Pro-Choice everything. That again is not an attack on the Pro-Life members but rather highlighting almost every position of the Libertarian movement. As Liberty Hangout suggests, it is near the top for consideration as the theme.

Again from the Party Platform:

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

The party is consistent in this matter at all levels. Free choice is a fundamental principle of Libertarianism. The ability of a free person to make choices about their lives is not a new concept. Yes, there is a debate on whether or not that choice extends to the fetus, and that is a debate that can take days, weeks and even months! Currently, the consensus among many people in this country is that the choice of the women overrides the choice of a fetus. Is abortion horrible? Yes, it is! There is nothing to debate there. However, government controlling the actions of others is something the Libertarian Party fights against. They are consistent and principled in their platform and statement of principles.

This is not an attack on Libertarian voters but rather informational for people that are considering joining the party. No everything is some conspiracy to alienate people from the party.

9 replies »

  1. Well, to be really fair and consistent, you’d also have to keep government out of murder, theft, fraud…everything, right?
    And that ain’t happening as long as people demand government. …And they do demand government. Put three humans together and they won’t go ten minutes without picking a tribe, a leader, a king.
    And we can’t force freedom on people who don’t want it…right?
    Abortion is taking a life without asking. …Maybe not even asking the father. And as long as men have to pay child support and so on, there’s no argument about “women’s right to choose” as a fair concept. We’re saying that money is more important than life – and we sure don’t want politicians to have that as a moral standard!
    So, in my opinion, the best thing to do is strike the abortion plank from the platform entirely. It’s offensive to pro-life people, and does nothing for pro-abortion people.


    • “Well, to be really fair and consistent, you’d also have to keep government out of murder, theft, fraud…everything, right?”

      No, because those are an attack on another individual’s property and prohibiting them does not affect me and my property or self ownership. This is very, VERY simple to understand from a Libertarian (NOT conservative) POV:

      “So, in my opinion, the best thing to do is strike the abortion plank from the platform entirely.”

      False. This then makes it seem that Libertarians can hold two completely different stances on self ownership and property rights. This is like those claiming that “open borders” is only one possible Libertarian position but it is in fact the ONLY libertarian position.(

      “It’s offensive to pro-life people, and does nothing for pro-abortion people.”

      Then join a conservative third party; that’s what you want anyway, isn’t it? Abortion prohibition is NOT Libertarian. It has NEVER been Libertarian. You want the Constitution Party here:

      Should we also delete our planks on drug liberalization, non-intervention, immigration? That’s offensive to plenty of conservatives. Here’s the thing, though: there is only ONE Libertarian position on these issues. One. We are consistent and stand by our principles.


      • Dear Mr. Byte Me; you’re so obviously certain that you’re smarter than I am, that I’d be a fool not to seek out your answers to my questions:
        1. You’re granting politicians the power to decide who’s human, and who’s not. What are your criteria for human rights, and how do we make sure politicians agree?
        2. Obviously, you believe that men have no rights to their offspring. Are you then advocating we stop child support then? Or do men have accountability, but no rights?
        3. One point of disagreement is apparently all it takes to be dismissed from the LP. OK, fine. If you’re sure that I shouldn’t have anything to do with the LP (and I’m waffling on this myself), what percentage of agreement with another party should I be looking for? Is 100% always required in order to find allies?
        4. About allies… Aren’t some things more important than others? In other words, can’t one be allied with even a commy in fighting political corruption, or needless war, or prohibition of pot? Can’t we ally with Republicans to cut spending or taxes or new political interventions as agreement presents itself? Or must we, as you seem to exemplify…belittle and push away anyone who varies from your notions?


  2. The planks cited presuppose that an unborn child is not entitled to life. There is no scientific reason to believe that the fetus is anything other than a human at an early stage of life. Infants and toddlers are just as dependent on others as a fetus is.


    • Ditto people with various disabilities, the elderly, and politicians.
      It’s not the presuppositions and logical inconsistencies of giving politicians to determine who’s human and who’s not entitled to rights that bug me about this plank.
      It’s just that it’s completely ignorant of the other side of the argument, and offensive to those who’d otherwise be allies in all the other things we libertarians want from life, and want OUT, of government.


    • The issue as regards abortion has nothing to do with whether an unborn child is entitled to life. No one is entitled to a woman’s body, not you, not the government, and not the embryo. If you want to have any of your body in a woman’s sex organs, you have to ask, and if the woman says no, you do not have the right to have any of your body in there. Period. If you can’t continue to live without being parasitic on a woman’s body, you still have to have her permission to use it to continue to live. No one has the right to another person’s body.


      • Like I said, that position completely dismisses the other side of the argument, and is offensive to those who value life over money, for example.
        If men can’t abort child support payments (which require that men donate their body to others for decades…not just nine months), and if they have no say whether their child is born, or not, then your argument is abstract and arbitrary.


  3. Debate? What debate? Life begins at conception and depending on what state you live in becomes an adult at 18 or 21 as I recall. That’s my belief and if you don’t like it you can leave the libertarian party.


  4. Most “pro-life” libertarians want to keep the government out of the abortion issue. The abortion prohibitionists mainly wandered in from the GOP and are used to using abortion as a wedge issue or have other dubious or tacky political or personal motivations for wanting to force unwanted pregnancies on women. They don’t care about unintended consequences or the increase in government power outlawing abortion would bring.

    **A LOT** of libertarians would be delighted to see these people leave the LP and go to the Constitution Party. Just because you think you are just being paranoid doesn’t mean there aren’t people who are fed up with you and your special snowflake freakouts because we are pro-choice on everything.


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