Pro-abortion, but Not Pro-choice about Life in General

April 3, 2016

A left-leaning friend of mine explains in a recent Facebook post that he’s not pro-choice, he’s pro-abortion.

If he were talking about anything else, he would sound like a great Lockean libertarian:

“And if you don’t own your body, you’re someone else’s property. That is the only logical conclusion. That’s called enslavement. I thought we left that behind.”

Strong words!  But of course it’s not slavery if the government takes a third of what you earn, or dictates the details of your life down to what light bulbs you can use and how much water you can shower with.  Pro-choice—oops, pro-abortion—in this one area, but not pro-choice about life in general.

His full post:

Every time I watch yet another state enact yet another law tightening restrictions on abortion, it hurts me. It hurts to watch power taken. It hurts me to watch people be, as John Oliver once put it, “sentenced to motherhood”, or as the case may even be, forced to take matters into their own hands, and even die as a result.

Before I became a father, I was pretty darn pro-choice. And in fact, let me call myself not just pro-choice, but pro-abortion. Abortion is a social good (I’m not the first to make this point) because control of your own body is control of your own destiny. But becoming a father made me feel so much more strongly. Why? Because I saw (secondhand, it wasn’t my body) how hard it is to be pregnant, even if it’s a very smooth pregnancy. I watched my beautiful son enter the world, and now I’m helping to raise him. This is all great. But you know what? This is also really hard. It’s hard work that we both signed up for. You know what’s not ok? To make someone do this against their will. It’s too hard, it’s too much, for anyone to do this other than because they wanted it. How dare these legislatures, packed mostly with men, force this onto people’s bodies? How dare they?

And I’m not sympathetic to anyone making an argument that everyone ought to be forced to keep the pregnancy only to give the baby up for adoption, like that solves everything. Pregnancy warps the body – permanently in some ways. There are folks who, for mental health reasons, really can’t afford to be pregnant. The hormonal shifts are too hard. They cannot afford to go off their medications; they might become suicidal. But we shouldn’t fight the war based on these justifications. Because you either own your body or you don’t. And if you don’t own your body, you’re someone else’s property. That is the only logical conclusion. That’s called enslavement. I thought we left that behind.

Of course the libertarians at Reason have some fun with this (see video above).

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5 Responses to “Pro-abortion, but Not Pro-choice about Life in General”


  1. Wow. According to his logic then, if a woman did not want the child she still allowed to be born and consented to raise, she should be able to smother him after that first sleepless night.


  2. It’s amusing how statists suddenly become flaming libertarians when the issue is abortion… and then morph back into statists when the topic shifts to anything else.


  3. […] See also The American left thinks it’s pro-choice but is actually largely anti-choice. […]


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