The Libertarian Party’s Intellectually Lazy Official Position on Abortion

The Libertarian Party platform establishes the following stance on the issue of abortion:
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.
While couched in libertarian language, this plank of the platform leaves much to be desired, particularly if it is to be used as a reference or even a premise by which libertarian policy should be pursued. The issue of abortion is obviously a contentious one, and there are indeed good-faith views on all sides of the issue. However, as the party of principle, it is imperative that the Libertarian Party offer a position on the issue that is grounded in principle, and from which reasonable libertarian policy can be derived. The wording of the platform with regard to this issue does not provide this guidance, instead, it seems to be content with side stepping an issue that the libertarian philosophy is uniquely qualified to address with clarity. The inability to directly address an issue through the platform encourages the false dichotomy of the “pro-choice/pro-life” divide to infect the party. The platform position does not address the issues of life or liberty that are fundamental to the abortion debate, and that the libertarian philosophy is perfectly suited to address. Finally, the libertarian position on abortion overlooks and dismisses an important issue for women. Continue reading