Wednesday, February 08, 2006

 

Abortion

This is a touchy subject for a lot of people. Because of this, it would be interesting to discuss all the sides pro and con for the use of abortion in America and throughout the world. Is it really a choice? How are rights granted and allocated? Does the right of life outweight the right to choose?

Here is what Murray Rothbard said in "For A New Liberty":

Most discussion of the issue bogs down in minutiae about when human life begins, when or if the fetus can be considered to be alive, etc. All this is really irrelevant to the issue of the legality (again, not necessarily morality) of abortion. The Catholic antiabortionist, for example declares that all that he wants for the fetus is the rights of any human being - i.e., and this is the crucial consideration. If we are to treat the fetus as having the same rights as humans, then let us ask: What human has the right to remain, unbidden, as an unwanted parasite within some other human being's body? This is the nub of the issue: the absolute right of every person, and hence every woman, to the ownership of her own body. What the mother is doing in an abortion is causing an unwanted entity within her body to be ejected from it: If the fetus dies, this does not rebut the point that no being has a right to live, unbidden, as a parasite within or upon some person's body.
The common retort that the mother either originally wanted or at least was responsible for placing the fetus within her body is, again, beside the point. Even in the stronger case where the mother orginally wanted the child, the mother, as the property owner in her own body, has the right to change her mind and eject it.


Although I do not agree with Rothbard's position, I can appreciate the logic of his argument and the respect for individual rights of property and person.

Here are other opinions on the subject: Here and Here and Here.
And a collection of arguments.

Comments:
I have also posted this and little bit more on gather.com. Check it out and comment both here and there.

http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?
articleId=281474976728684

Yeah it is too long, so you gotta piece them together.
 
Is that Rothbard's official position? Does he ever say anything about the morality of abortion other than briefly in the beginning when he side-steps it?

"The common retort that the mother either originally wanted or at least was responsible for placing the fetus within her body is, again, beside the point."

At what point do children cease to be parasites? At 5, 10, 15, 18 years? It seems like Rothbard's definition of child as parasite could easily apply to small children too. Is it OK to "eject" them?
 
I dunno if that was Rothbard's official position, but that is exactly how it was published in his book(For A New Liberty).

My other concern is like an issue of voluntary action in a risky environment and acknowledging the effects of that decision.

It can also be taken from a contract approach and a matter of how the rights are allocated to the individuals (child, mother, father).

Also, does the man have a "right to choose"?
 
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