Blogs > Liberty and Power > Badnarik on the Road to Damascus?

Jul 28, 2004 9:35 pm

Badnarik on the Road to Damascus?

[cross-posted at Austro-Athenian Empire]

Badnarik’s website used to have an"issues" section which included, inter alia, a position statement on abortion. In it, Badnarik said that, after much wrestling with the issue, he was inclined to view abortion as a rights-violation. I can't remember whether he said explicitly that it should be illegal, but that would seem a plausible inference.

Shortly after he won the nomination, the"issues" section abruptly vanished from the Badnarik website. When the"issues" section reappeared a few weeks later, there was no longer any mention of abortion. (And there still isn’t -- I just checked.)

But today I notice that AOL's candidate information page carries a new position statement on abortion. Badnarik now says that"the decision to abort must remain the sole province of the mother, the father, and their own consciences," and is"not an issue for government intrusion."

That's a move in the right direction as far as I’m concerned. But I wonder what the story is.

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Roderick T. Long - 7/30/2004

I don't think Keith Halderman is quite right here. There's dispute about whether the early fetus is a person, but there's hardly any dispute about whether the later fetus is a person. The argument instead turns on whether aborting the fetus count as illegitimate violation of its libertarian rights or as legitimate libertarian self-defense against an unwanted use of one's body by an intruder. The abortion debate has never been merely about personhood, inside or outside of the libertarian camp. (In philosophy, the two most famous abortion arguments -- Thomson's pro-choice argument and Marquis' pro-life argument -- both agree that the question of personhood is not decisive.)

Keith Halderman - 7/29/2004

Abortion is an issue that can not be solved with the logic that libertarians usually apply. This is because argument is essentially about whether one person or two people are involved. The number of people that anyone individual sees in the situation is, I believe, largely a matter of religious faith. If you see two people than libertarian principles call for one course of action, however,if you see one person then those same principles call for different action.

Pat Lynch - 7/29/2004

My understanding is that the LP has never been particularly clear on abortion, and frankly that's been an attraction for me. I had thought that the party did not stake out a position because libertarians on both sides seem to find powerful arguments supporting libertarian positions