In the “Freethinker” discussion group of which I am a member, the subject of libertarianism/liberalism, and abortion, has arisen again. This is too complicated to spell out completely for now. But I responded to one of our discussants with the sequence of abbreviated arguments listed below, and am sharing them with visitors here.
Anyone interested in the full version of my philosophical and moral arguments against abortion can find them in a number of my books – especially in my last book, The Great Divide, where there is a whole chapter on this anguishing topic.
The starting point for me is to get agreement from my opponents, in this order:
1) What a pregnant female human being is carrying is alive
2) It is a human life, and not the life of an animal like a turtle or a puppy. So if you are pro-abortion you have to admit you are in favour of killing human life at some stage
3) What gives modern pro-abortion thinkers (and especially libertarians) a presumed “right” to abort this life, is the conversion of this unborn human life into property ( via the so-called “born-alive” rule – supposing it is not “human” until it leaves the mother’s body).
4) but the conversion of what all must admit is life, into property, is just the old slavery-manouevre. It is exactly the same legal trick used to convert living black people (or greeks, or romans, or jews) into chattel slaves.
5) ergo: our modern liberal-democratic abortion regimes are therefore in fact slave-regimes of a new kind.
6) the modern paradox (“I once was blind, but now I see…”) is that most liberals and libertarians who utterly and even violently reject slavery of any kind, accept abortion on demand. Still blind.