The issue that keeps people out of the Libertarian Party (LP) is abortion. This is obvious to anyone who has actually tried to grow this party. The pro-life compulsion to immediately dig into this issue with new potential members and shout down anyone who is not pro-life brings a quick end to their desire to get involved in the LP.
The pro-life position on abortion is like dogs chasing cars. They can’t resist, and they can’t ever catch them, but what would they do if they did?
What would happen if the government could actually outlaw abortion? Here is what it looks like to those who reject the LP because of this issue. I would ask our pro-life activists to please try to see this issue through their eyes. They are not pro-abortion, they are anti-government involvement.
Would Plan B pills be outlawed? They almost certainly would. Would that be effective? Yes, of course… just kidding. Once outlawed, Plan B pills would be directly marketed to schoolgirls by an amazingly well organized network of criminals, the same people who are so effective now at marketing drugs to children in every city and hamlet.
Every teenager would have a stash of them, resulting in more teenage sex, not less.
Would a large number of people start offering illicit abortion services? Yes, without a doubt. Any EMT or nurse could do them. But never fear, the same government bodies which are so effective at stamping out prostitution and drug use would create huge expensive task forces to find and prosecute them.
However, like all other government programs, those working in them would soon realize that if they really found ways to stop abortion, their high paying jobs would end.
Would mandatory pregnancy testing be implemented in high schools? With Plan B and illicit abortion providers everywhere, it would have to be. Would these testing programs result in mistakes and false positives? Yes, lots of them, with the accompanying disastrous damages to innocent lives.
Would doctors be required to report all pregnancies to a government agency so the unborn child could be properly protected? Obviously yes, the same people who had a large enough majority to outlaw abortion would not let this loophole go unblocked. Would this government agency screw up almost constantly? Would it be corrupt? What do you think?
Would pregnancy self-tests be outlawed? They would have to be. Potentially pregnant women would have to be forced into the medical system so their pregnancies could be reported and their unborn children protected. Even though outlawed, the tests would still be available from the same people selling Plan B, making them look like heroes. Dangerous hormonal overdose drugs would also be marketed by these people to induce abortion.
Would organized crime come into possession of lists of Plan B purchasers and those who had provided or undergone illicit abortions? What do you think? A new blackmail industry would spring into being.
Lists and videos of those buying Plan B, those providing and having abortions, and large numbers of totally innocent women, and potential abortion providers such as nurses and EMT’s, would be sold like lists of stolen credit card numbers are now.
Prosecutors would be selectively fed information to keep the blackmail going. Hugely expensive government stings would be run, complete with S.W.A.T. teams and no knock raids, many on wrong addresses.
Thousands of innocent pets would be shot as they barked and growled at the helmeted and body armored intruders. The worst of the blackmailers would be given immunity as they helped in the prosecution of thousands of women and a few token criminals.
How would miscarriages be handled? What would women be forced to do to prove that it was an innocent unintended event? I don’t even want to think about it.
Even if, as the pro-lifers say, only the abortionist would be punished, women would be jailed in contempt of court for refusing to disclose the abortionist.
How many millions of prison cells would be needed to lock up all the girls and women caught up in the new War on Abortion? Would there be mandatory minimum sentences like in the Drug War? Probably – how else to prevent judges from taking pity on those before them and issuing large numbers of suspended sentences?
Would there be any limit to tax money spent on counselors and support for pregnant schoolgirls? Would teenage pregnancy become another untouchable entitlement?
There is a win-win alternative. Leave the platform language as it is and stop demanding that new adherents state their position on this issue. We all know who in our local party organizations are doing this, and need to tell them to stop. Refer all questions on the issue to the platform.
I personally have spent years and lots of money trying to grow the LP, only to have new potential members and potential candidates drop out after being shouted down by pro-lifers. Both our national candidates for 2016 were pro-choice, and the endless agitation by our pro-lifers on this issue only makes the LP look juvenile.
To our pro-life members, discussion of this issue seems to be just active debate, to newcomers, it looks like fanaticism, and they don’t want to be associated with it.
Our pro-lifers have no idea how intensely they come on when discussing this issue and how they appear to others.
What would happen if our pro-lifers realized that this issue only serves to divide us, and declared this issue off limits, and really meant it? They don’t have to give up their pro-life beliefs, but being pro-life and demanding that abortion be outlawed are not the same.
If that happened, a large number of independents, and many Democrats, no longer threatened by the scenarios above, would be freed to express their true libertarian beliefs and become active in the party.
We should always be prepared to discuss the Non-Aggression Principle and Jefferson’s statement in the first inaugural address, “restrain men from injuring one another… leave them otherwise free.”
Plant the One Big Idea!
On a larger societal level, if the danger of what government would do if abortion were outlawed went away, it is likely that abortion would suddenly be seen as immoral by a large majority.
Private support and adoption services would experience explosive growth. Millions of unwanted children would have life and good homes.
The result would be far fewer abortions, a more moral and self reliant society, and a huge surge of LP growth in 2016 that will help bring an end to the insane progressive/liberal era.
It can happen. Being pro-life and wanting to outlaw abortion are not the same.
The anti-abortion faction is a very noisy part of the LP, and it is the huge unmentionable issue keeping people out of the party.
The anti-abortion faction is in total denial of what would actually happen if it got its way, and the damage it is doing by trying.
It is time to think about what would happen if the dog actually caught the car. What always happens when government is given power?
The cure will be much worse than the disease.