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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 8 months ago
    Did AR say something about the abortion issue? It is fundamentally anti-life to have an abortion, but it is also (arguably?) not appropriate for government to regulate this behavior. I am sure that AR would have opposed government paying for abortions.

    This is a classic example of what I mean when I say that I am personally conservative, but would govern like a libertarian.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 years, 8 months ago
      Ayn Rand supported the moral right of a woman to have an abortion for philosophical reasons. It was not a vague a-philosophical libertarian position that happened to come down on the side of the pregnant woman rather than the unborn (and in contrast to some libertarians, like Ron Paul, who declare the opposite).

      Rights are moral principles sanctioning freedom of action by individuals in a social context, and are a consequence of the more fundamental ethics based on the requirements for man's life to make choices guiding his action for his own life. The social consequences and a proper political philosophy are implied by a proper ethics. Morality does not begin with a presumption of duty to others, let alone to the unborn.

      The facts that give rise to the concept "rights" are not present for the unborn. The unborn are a potential, not an actual person, and have no rights or morality -- the unborn do not make choices to live, and will actualize their potential only by the choice and support of the pregnant woman. Moral concepts do not pertain to the unborn. You cannot ascribe human rights to a potential. Only people have rights, by which has always previously meant real people including both adults and children, not cells or developing aggregates of cells biologically containing human genes.

      Ayn Rand very much opposed the religious notion of mystically declaring that a fetus, embryo, and even a cell (!) have "rights" while demanding that real human beings be sacrificed to them in the name of morality and as religious doctrine imposed under law. The church doctrine ascribing rights to the unborn is a mystical decree without regard to the meaning and origin of the concept 'rights' , transforming them from freedom of action into a religious duty for the living to be sacrificed to a potential.

      She discussed this in her Ford Hall Forum lecture "Of Living Death" on the encyclical "Humanae Vitae", which forbids the use of contraceptives, in 1968. It was published in her journal The Objectivist. and reissued in her anthology The Voice of Reason The original recording of the lecture and Q&A, along with a written synopsis on the page, can be downloaded from

      She discussed the morality of abortion elsewhere in her writing, too, and it is important to read her non-fiction to understand her ethics and political political philosophy, and the reasons for them. A brief essay "Abortion Rights Are Pro-life " by Leonard Peikoff for a more general readership is at You can't get this just by reading the novels and there is a lot more to it than politics or libertarian pronouncements for or against abortion rights vaguely in the name of "life".

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    • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 8 months ago
      "but it is also (arguably?) not appropriate for government to regulate this behavior."

      Then it is not appropriate for the government to regulate murder.

      That is the issue, it has always been the issue.

      By creating the separate term 'abortion', rather than 'kill' or 'murder', the left have made it possible to deflect the issue.

      AR was, idiotically, on the wrong side of this issue, dismissing unborn humans as "a blob of tissue" and forgetting the requirement of her philosophy for personal responsibility, and the initiation of force to violate the rights (in this case, to life) of another.
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      • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 8 months ago
        This was part of the reason that I brought this question up, Hiraghm. This issue is a very difficult one for an Objectivist. Like you, I consider abortion an act of forcible violence on someone not old enough to be able to communicate effectively with us. You are not evil, Hiraghm.
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