I was reading my own blog (I know, lame…) the other day and realized that I had made statements on the Dr. Kermit portions of the blog that would have people believing that I am anti-abortion and pro-governmental restriction on abortion, and that has prompted some to claim that I am a hypocrite and not a true libertarian.
I think I need to clarify a bit.
My stance on abortion is more nuanced than being strictly “for” or “against”. I will start by stating emphatically that I do not believe that the government should be involved in the decision at all, until 25 weeks. It is a valid function of the government to protect an individual from harm by another individual. At 25 weeks, the baby is viable and can live outside the womb, and so should be treated as an individual and protected against being murdered just as the government would protect any individual against being murdered. There is no issue with the baby trampling the mother’s rights at that point, either, because the mother is the one who made the decisions that got her pregnant, and is living with the consequences of HER choices, not the baby’s infringement on her rights.
Before 25 weeks, however, abortion is none of the government’s business.
My personal stance on abortion is that I think it should be avoided at all costs, whenever possible. There are other options, and I think that we could virtually eliminate it as a problem by teaching our children differently about sex and its consequences. The problem is that many people want to ONLY teach our kids about abstinence, and then we teach them about how their lives will be ruined – RUINED, I say! – by an unwanted pregnancy. This stuck with my wife for so long that we were thirty before she even wanted to try and have kids, because she was convinced that a baby would ruin her life by the after-school specials and the darkened-face “horror” stories told by her health teacher in High School.
If we were to throw out abstinence only education, and welcome an education that teaches that there are ways to keep from getting pregnant in the first place, and failing that, alternatives to abortion, like adoption, which are more upstanding and less destructive to life, then abortion may not be so prevalent. If we were to let our kids know that there is support, and a pregnancy won’t ruin your life (just change it), and it may be a blessing, well, then, abortion might just become quite a bit more rare. What I’m saying is that instead of scaring the hell out of these kids, lets educate them, so that they aren’t as apt to get pregnant (my wife and I lived together for 12 years without getting pregnant, and did not get pregnant until 4 months after we chose to do so – it is possible!) in the first place, and if they do get pregnant, they aren’t so scared by the prospect of it that their first reaction is to kill their unborn child.
My suggestion is that parents stop having these unrealistic expectations that their sons and daughters will remain celebate (did you at their age? Really?) until they are married, and take a more proactive approach, including helping them acquire contraception prior to finding out that they are sexually active, and also by talking with them about the parent’s expectations and what they would like to see the child do, while making it clear that they love them no matter what.
I think that the greatest crime of all is that we have 17 year old kids making life altering decisions out of fear or sheer terror instead of based on rational fact, because they have been taught some perverted version of the truth, and as a result, they will have to live for the rest of their lives with the horrible decision that they made at 17 years old, because they were scared shitless instead of informed.
And finally, no, I do not support any attempts by any governmental fiat, legislation, regulation, or otherwise, to prevent or regulate the provision of abortions to anyone who wants one prior to 25 weeks. It isn’t their place, and they need to be taught their place.