The Libertarian Party
(and Gary Johnson 2016)
Tier 4 - Personhood Never
• Libertarian presidential candidates favor legalized abortion: In five of the last six Presidential elections, the Libertarian Party nominated a presidential candidate that openly advocated the right to an abortion, including in 2016 with Gary Johnson. Specifically, Johnson's campaign website claims that, "the right of a woman to choose... must be respected and... that such a very personal and individual decision is best left to women." The 1996 and 2000 Libertarian candiate, Harry Browne rejected the notion that the government should protect the right to life of the unborn, writing in 1998: "In my view, an uncompromising Libertarian position on abortion doesn't have to offend anyone. Whatever we believe abortion is, we know one thing: government doesn't work, and it is as incapable of eliminating abortions as it is of eliminating poverty or drugs."1 Government nor the law eliminate murder or rape, either. Does that mean murder and rape should be legal? The 2004 Libertarian Presidential nominee, Michael Badnarik used logic that was even more tortured. Badnarik claimed to be pro-life and that "that children assume ownership of their bodies at the time of conception." Yet, his Presidential webpage in 2004 went on to say "Michael would NOT use government force to enforce this personal opinion" into law. 2 2012 Libertarian Party Presidential nominee and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson openly advocates abortion rights and rejects a right to life for the unborn until viablity. 3in an interview with CNS News Editor, Terry Jeffery, Johnson repeatedly refused to acknowledge an unborn child before the time of viablity was a human life, repeating the mantra repeatedly that a woman had a right to choice an abortion before viability. Johnson said in the interview, "My choice would be not to have an abortion. But my position, when it comes to you as a woman is, that is a decision that only you should be making."4
• Supports legalized abortion: Showing cowardice instead of true leadership on the issue of abortion, the 2010 National Platform of the Libertarian Party states the following: "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."5In April of 2012, Libertarian Party chairman Mark Hinkle released a statement making it clarifying the party's position on abortion prior to the 2012 elections, stating, "Regardless of one’s view on this matter, however, we should all be able to agree that a pregnant woman is an individual with rights. And that includes the right to make often-difficult decisions concerning her own body." 6Although individual libertarian politicians like Ron Paul have claim to be pro-life, the Libertarian Party's official positions reject a right to life for the unborn. The Libertarian Party's objective seems to be not to take a position that offends anyone. Yet, its open refusal to acknowledge the humanity of or offer protection for the unborn is abhorrent.
• Opposes outlawing abortion at any point in a pregnacy: Although wishing to avoid the issue, the Libertarian Party is so hostile to a right to life for the unborn, chairman Hinkle in his 2012 statement opposed an Arizona law banning abortion at 20 weeks. Hinkle wrote: “This provision is more of an insult to women than a substantive restriction, since nearly 99% of all abortions already take place before the end of 20 weeks, while virtually all remaining abortions DO involve protecting the mother’s health. Arizona might as well have passed a law prohibiting mothers from waterboarding their infant children for all its relevance to the actual behavior of these women. There is no need to place any time restriction: pregnant women have historically shown they can be trusted not to engage in the apocryphal ninth-month abortion for convenience. Politicians, on the other hand, have shown regularly that they CANNOT be trusted." 7Apparently, Hinkle is ignorant of the fact that women have gone to late-term abortionists like George Tiller to have late-term abortions for such "health" reasons as not wanting to miss the prom or hire a babysitter.8 Shall we trust women would never kill a toddler or infant because they find him or her inconvenient as well?
• Supports the right to commit suicide: In its 1996 party platform, the Libertarian Party endorsed the right of individuals to commit suicide, favoring "the repeal of all laws interferring with the right to commit suicide as infringements of the ultimate right of an individual to take his or her own life. 9 The party's 2000 Platform continued to oppose laws banning suicide.10 The Libertarian Party website has posted blogs in favor of assisted suicide laws. Dr. Mary Ruwart, whose sister was killed by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, in 2011 warned of the "unintended consequences of banning assisted suicide" in her blog at the LP website.11
• Is Ron Paul pro-life? Arguably the most prominent libertarian in the country is Texas congressman Ron Paul. Paul claims to be pro-life but as documented in Pro-Life Profiles' report on Paul, at prolifeprofiles.com/ron-paul-abortion, he opposes Constitutional amendment protecting a right to life for the unborn, believes states should have the right to legalize abortion and supports a right to abortion through use of the morning-after pill if a woman has been raped.
- 1. The libertarian Stand on Abortion, Harry Browne, December 21, 1998
- 2. Michael Badnarik's Poor Handling of the Abortion Issue
- 3. On the Issues/Gary Johnson
- 4. Gary Johnson on Abortion in America, YouTube, August 25, 2011
- 5. National Platform of the Libertarian Party
- 6. LP Chair: Not Pro-Life or Pro-Choice bu Individual Choice, April 20, 2012
- 7. Ibid , 2
- 8. Dr. Tiller's Abortion Record Exposed
- 9. 1996 Libertarian Party Platform
- 10. Libertarian Party on crime
- 11. My Sister's Journey to Dr. Kevorkian, June 14, 2011
Despite its desire to ignore the issue, statements made by the Libertarian Party in its platform, on its website and by its Presidential candidates indicate it is as opposed to a right to life for the unborn as the Democratic party is. In fact, the Libertarian Party is the only one nationally on record as opposing laws banning abortion all the way until birth.