The water’s warm enough

Even a New York Times columnist admits what many Republicans still deny:

Treating the issue as a civil rights crusade may be good for mobilizing some women, but this strategy alienates the public because it ducks the central issue. If you believe that life begins at conception, then protecting women’s rights means protecting the rights of females in the womb, too.

The abortion debate, unlike the civil rights debate, can’t be resolved by appealing to any widely held moral or legal principles. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court discovered a right in the Constitution for pregnant women to be left alone by the government. But that just ducked the question – what about the fetus’s right to be left alone? – and angered huge numbers of Americans.

There’s probably no group more eager to be left alone by the government than members of the Libertarian Party, but even they don’t buy this new right. They have bitter debates on abortion, with some calling the fetus part of the woman’s body, and others insisting it’s like a stowaway on a ship who must be kept alive. (A few hard-core believers in property rights say that even a stowaway can be tossed overboard, but they’re not in danger of being elected to anything.)

I just thought this was interesting because so many Republicans say that they’d join the Libertarians were it not for the party’s official stance on abortion. But given the de facto Republican support for it as well as the growing Libertarian opposition to it, I don’t see that this is a sound reason any longer.

The open borders thing, yes, that’s still a real problem, but then, at least the Libertarians aren’t trying to merge the country with Mexico. Borders should always and only be open one-way, namely, out. No society which does not permit people to leave at will can ever be considered free.