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VA rep Martin on women

2014-02-24 23:55:02.240133+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Virginia state senator Steve Martin:

... And, I don't expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the bearer of the child (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it to remain alive.

Via and Via and Via.

On the one hand it's refreshing, Martin seems to be one anti-choicer who claims to be not going after Griswold v. Connecticut[Wiki]. On the other hand...

There are a number of things I can point to as cracks in my formerly hardcore Libertarianism. However, part of the philosophy underlying that libertarian attitude, which was heavily steeped in the Objectivist philosophies of Ayn Rand, was that I get to make the decisions about when, and when not, to risk my own safety and well-being to help people. I've played in enough high adrenaline sports contexts that I've had, several times, to weigh the "how much risk am I willing to assume in order to help that person" decisions, where "risk" and "help" could be life vs death.

It is, therefore, inconceivable that anyone calling themselves "libertarian", or in any way holding up liberty as an ideal, could presume to impose that decision on someone else. Having had to make such decisions (often on the "I'll accept the risk" side) I will never judge someone who chooses to not assume risk, whatever their reasons.

Pregnancy has a huge cost and contains many risks.

Anyone against widely available easy abortion is, therefore, against liberty. Whether it's Ron Paul or any other politician. And, thus, it is my single defining issue: If I can't trust you to allow people their own decisions on that front, I cannot trust you to make any decisions for me.

What state senator Martin is clearly saying here is that he believes women are somehow not worthy of the responsibility to make decisions of their own sovereignty. He deserves only our scorn.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-25 13:52:11.693716+00 by: stevesh

Not even when you created the person and placed him/her at risk in the first place ?

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-25 16:41:05.648187+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'll have to do a little more thinking on this to give a full answer, but I have two immediate reactions:

  1. If you can't do it in that circumstance, do you have the right to do anything with any of the fruits of your labors?
  2. I believe that's a rather small proportion of abortions.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-26 13:13:02.582652+00 by: stevesh

I guess I was just suggesting that "am I my brother's keeper ?" and "am I my daughter's keeper?" are two different questions.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-26 14:57:02.688798+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, and I think the question of what our responsibilities to children are is a complex one: In many ways, I think that my notion of the parents' responsibility towards the child is more around not creating an imposition on society with that child than owing something to the child.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-26 15:51:26.546307+00 by: stevesh

And how would you know that the child would be an imposition on, rather than a benefit to, society during gestation ?

I don't usually engage in conversations about abortion online, but as a vehement libertarian, I was surprised by your original post. I'm thinking Ayn Rand doesn't get a vote on stuff like this.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-26 16:35:01.376368+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think where I was going with that is that the child not born is not a burden on society, so that's definitely the mother's choice to make. But in terms of "the rights of the child", I also don't have a good argument against infanticide (except that, much like animal abuse, it says something about the person doing it).

What matters is abuse of the child, which then leads to a later burden that we all have to solve. So, yeah, bring the kid to viability and then it's your responsibility as a parent to make sure that the kid isn't a burden on society. Pre-viability, the kid exists only because of the support of an individual who's free to withdraw that support.

Post-viability, it is parental responsibility to make sure that kid doesn't become a burden on the rest of us. Because, culturally, we have decided that we can't walk away from people, and economically realize that helping them is usually cheaper than excluding them.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-26 19:08:57.168831+00 by: meuon

Fairly well said. I've been close enough to a few women who have made some tough choices in their lives to only understand that I don't have much say in the matter. Men have an opinion, women make choices, and need to be able to.