UPDATE III (1/1/021): Abortion And A Woman’s Title In Her Body

Abortion,Conservatism,Ethics,Feminism,Individual Rights,libertarianism,Liberty,Natural Law,Private Property


It is clearly untrue to say that a paleolibertarian is one who always opposes a woman’s absolute dominion over her body, as a poster on Wendy McElroy’s Facebook Wall has implied.

Abortion is one hill I do not care to die on; I’ve committed enough professional Seppuku over the years. However, I have repeatedly stated that, for a classical liberal (at least), “it’s [highly] problematic to say that by virtue of her fertility, a woman loses a title in her body.”

To repeat, for me, abortion is not the hill to die on. It seems prudent not to come out on this issue. Division of labor and all that stuff; I’ll leave it to Wendy McElroy, who, I am sure, agrees that “libertarians can agree that no state funding, local or federal, should be allocated to such a procedure.”

Otherwise, here is Wendy’s brilliant articulation of self-ownership. Watch Wendy on Stossel’s, 7:28 minutes in:

Wendy McElroy: As far as I’m concerned, this is my skin. Everything beneath this skin belongs to me, or I don’t own anything. I am a self-owner-

John Stossel: Even if there is a living being inside you?

Wendy McElroy: If there is a living being inside me, I’m glad you used the word “being” and not “individual with rights,” if there is a living being inside me, it exists on my breath, it exists by my, the blood pumping through my veins, by the food I eat. It is within my skin, and if you say to me that there, that I do not have jurisdiction over my body, that, in fact, society or someone else has jurisdiction, the, the word that describes someone else owning my body is slavery.*

UPDATE I: Glad people have remained civil on Facebook, so far. That’s the way. Always. However much one disdains the procedure, you can’t get away from the fact of self-ownership. You have no right to take custody of another person’s body. They either own themselves or don’t.

You can’t “own” your body in conjunction with other busybodies.

UPDATE II (July 21):

From the hopeless Facebook thread:

Your tortured analogy, MW, does not hold or even come close. Any reasoning about this fraught topic must proceed, at the very least, from a correct analogy. This is why this debate cannot proceed from logic. People lose their logic (or perhaps they never had the ability to reason to begin with) when it comes to abortion. Enough, now folks. The most honest position the anti-a-woman’s-right-in-her-body proponents can advance is this: a woman, by virtue of her biology, does not have total title in her body. As a propertarian, I find this position untenable, but agree that individuals who hold it will try to finesse it. So this is the final word. “Respek,” as Ali Gi would say.

JV: This is what I mean by a lack of reasoning faculties on the topic, and plain dissembling. What irks here is not only that I said, “enough,” and this is my Wall. But that you, JV, frame your “distinguishing” argument” as exhaustive. The initiation of force is most certainly not the only distinguishing feature between the mother and the fetus. (Unrelated: there is a prerequisite for Facebook Friendship.)

UPDATE III (1/1/021):

Libertarians view women as having dominion over their bodies! My comment, then, is on the cultural specter of females freed from men, morality and tradition: how quickly they turn into diabolical libertines. Most women need traditional strictures to balance exhibitionism and promiscuity.

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