Peaceful and Non-Violent Solutions to Abortion by Chris

Publisher’s Note: Chris has provided us with an insightful original essay on the thorny abortion problem in a voluntary society.  The introduction is heart-wrenching but poignant. I am opposed to all abortions except when the life of the mother is threatened because for a variety of reasons I believe it to be cold-blooded murder of the most innocent among us.  I also come to this conclusion in what I have discovered is an unusual tangent.  I am not a religionist of any stripe and most of my friends and acquaintances that are pro-life draw a Scriptural basis for their belief.  I would add that shunning and shaming of the practitioner and the users of the services of a baby abattoir are useful social prohibitions. -BB

“All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them.”~ H.L. Mencken

In my last post I talked about how the free market would be superior to the coercive system we have now. I would like to get a little more specific with how we could apply this to the controversial issue of abortion, but first I would like to tell you a very personal story.

A little over 5 years ago I received a call at work. I picked up the phone; it was my son’s babysitter. She was frantic, she informed me my son had stopped breathing, and the paramedics were on the way. I remember the time on the clock was 5:07; I was working late that day. I ran and grabbed the keys off of my toolbox, and drove as fast as I could. The babysitter was a healthy 20 minute drive away. Me being the gearhead that I am, my little four banger was up to the challenge. I don’t remember too much of the drive, but I do recall exceeding speeds of 125mph. Here in Virginia farm country, I could drive these back roads blind-folded. I made it there at 5:20. I was informed the paramedics arrived at 5:10.

I could see my son in the ambulance. It was crowded in there, but I could see my son’s little arm hanging off of the stretcher, it looked lifeless. Refusing to believe the worst, I was pacing, and praying. A paramedic stepped out of the ambulance with tears in his eyes. He said “I am so sorry, sir, we tried to revive him for 30 minutes”. At that moment, it was like someone had just removed my legs. I was on the ground faster than if I would have slipped on ice. I was speechless; I then looked to my right and saw my oldest son, Christopher. His babysitter, Dorothy, was holding him by the shoulders. She was like a second grandmother to my boys, and she loved them both very much. Still unable to use my legs, I waved him over. I held that boy as tight as I could, he asked in his three year old voice: “what happened to David, Daddy?” My son, David Ford, was pronounced dead at 5:39PM Oct 26th, 2005. He was six months old. He passed away quietly in his sleep. The doctors say the cause was SIDS. I am not a woman, so I will never pretend to know what a woman goes through when she has an abortion, but I have buried a child.

Very needless to say I am pro-life. I am in favor of all human life in all forms. Whenever I hear about children being harmed, or abortions being performed, it quite literally hurts my heart. I am also a firm believer in the non-aggression principle. I do not believe in the initiation of force, even to stop a woman from aborting her child. In a free and voluntary society, how could these two beliefs be rectified?

Government only makes this issue worse by passing laws to regulate it. Not to mention, it uses this very controversial issue to divide us. Have any of you ever noticed how these issues are brought off of the shelf around election time? It seems to me it would be a good way to fund campaigns. The politicians need only to mention this issue, and the money starts rolling in. The pro-choice left and the pro-life right shovel money at these politicians who probably don’t give a damn about abortion. As soon as the elections are over, the issue goes back on the shelf. If the government makes abortion illegal, or regulates it heavily, it does not take away the market demand for it. This only pushes women to find “illegal” ways to get abortions performed. These women now risk life, safety, and freedom. Since these abortions will be performed by “criminals” there is no telling how sanitary or safe the procedure will be. Making something illegal does not take away market demand; it only makes it more dangerous. This is why the black market exists. I believe the government is not interested in trying to solve the problem of abortion. Besides, once one has a firm understanding that the government has a monopoly on the use of violence; one quickly comes to the conclusion that the government cannot solve any problem.

How could the free market ever respond to such a dilemma? In a society where coercion is not a factor and reaching for the guns of government is not a choice, what can be done?

I believe that in an environment where individuals were 100% responsible for their choices, more rational decisions would be made. Without Uncle Sugar around to subsidize pretty much everything, consequences will have to be suffered. Maybe we will once again learn that actions have equal and opposite reactions. Without government around, natural law and the natural application of that law will come back. Perhaps parents will spend more time developing certain underlying principles their children should adhere to. Teaching them that all human life is sacred in all forms. Abortion can’t happen if there is no conception. We need to strike at the root of the problem. In order to change society, we need to change minds.

Of course, this will not and probably never will stop all abortion. So, how can these instances be handled? In order for free market principles to be used here, humans would have to trade something of value for something they think may be more valuable.

Let’s see how a situation might play out in a voluntary society. Say there is a young careless couple, and the woman ends up pregnant. The man wants to keep the child, but the woman wants to abort it. Perhaps a contract could be made to save the child. The contract might say upon safe delivery of the child, the mother would receive some kind of payment. The money or whatever object of value that was agreed upon could be held in escrow. The father values the life of the child, and the mother values the payment. Both of these individuals would be working within their own self interest. Let’s say the mother was not satisfied with the contract, and did not want to get “stuck” with the child. In the voluntary society I choose to envision, there would be many charities. With the government no longer around to be “charitable”, real humans that actually care will fill the void, and the void would be much easier to fill than most think. Perhaps this young man could get one of these charities to “co-sign” on this contract. Many different people or groups of people could co-sign on this contract to seal the deal with this woman. These contracts could be tailored to fit specific situations. I could picture people coming up with contract arbitration companies that specialize in abortion contracts.

What if she liked to drink, and do drugs? Well, maybe the contract that was written went into specifics how these situations would be covered, but there might be other solutions. The health insurance company that covers the father might be able to offer some kind of pre-natal health insurance (remember that without government regulation, insurance will be much cheaper). Perhaps this insurance company could offer some form of payment if the mother stays clean. It would be cheaper for this company in the long run, because the child will run less risk of serious birth defects. The same way insurance companies now offer discounts to non-smokers. Maybe for every clean drug test she passes, she gets something of value. The mother could be a member of the same insurance company, and a deal might be struck. This is also an example of how humans can be governed using their own self-interest. The mother could choose to voluntarily enter into any of these contracts, and then she would be governed by her own doing. Of course, force could never be initiated to enforce these contracts, but there would still be consequences (think in terms of credit reporting agencies). I’m sure there are many more solutions to this problem. We will never know unless we try.

Some of you might be thinking how a price could be put on a human life. If you are, you are ignoring the possibility that a human life might be saved (hypothetically), and it was all done without force and coercion. When thinking in terms of a voluntary society, you have to employ the power of persuasion, never the persuasion of power.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
–Greek Proverb

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

Bill Buppert
thirdgun@hotmail.com
13 Comments
  • wrinkled weasel
    Posted at 16:31h, 17 March Reply

    All I can say is I am with you on this. To lose a son or daughter is something none of us with children dare think about.

    Abortion is murder. I would make an exception in certain extreme circumstances, but as a lifestyle choice it is obscene. I find it odd that in the UK we protect the rights of vermin, such as foxes, but not unborn people. I do sometimes wonder if I am living in a bad dream.

  • Kaiser Leib
    Posted at 06:37h, 18 March Reply

    I like the charity angle, Chris. My only struggle with that is that it incentivizes pregnancy by women who don’t want to keep their kids.

  • Chris
    Posted at 07:39h, 18 March Reply

    Hey Kaiser-I thought of that also. Perhaps the market could come up with some way to track those who would abuse charity. There might be a way to look at ones “contract history” like the credit history we have now. If a certain charity keeps giving to the same individuals without looking for patterns of abuse, I could choose to end my donations of that charity, and go elsewhere. I believe the free market might be able to remedy this problem.

  • Govtman
    Posted at 08:46h, 18 March Reply

    Tying up human emotions in nice little packages don’t work. We aren’t so black & white, good & evil. Someone who may be used to such incentives may be hard pressed to give them up. So the mother now holds the fetus hostage once the gravy train has ended. Give me my rewards or I keep having babies to abort until I get them. A “credit history” system won’t work simply because you can still have a child and abort with a really really bad credit history of any sort. In a very pro-life society, they may cave. In a pro-choice one… maybe not so much.

    Then there are so many pregnancy scenarios played out.. hundreds. It would be nice if at least ONE parent wanted the unborn child. What if neither wanted it? Father left town or died? Rape? etc.

    THen there’s the whole welfare baby subsidies. In a society that is very pro-life, are they still so once the child is born? Does the community as a whole raise the children voluntarily? Is it up to the sole responsibility of the parent(s)? It would be nice if every parent was responsible and intelligent, 2.5 kids, white picket fence, a dog and a cat. Father goes to work making bank, mother stays home and takes care of house and kids. Paints a pretty picture. Doesn’t always work. Thousands of babies are born to people who really have no business making babies. There’s no intelligence test, financial pre-reqs, skills tests, moral tests to making life.

    In a truly free society, how and when do we determine to take care of the kids of others? In the name of protection? Do we institute some kind of CPS? Isn’t that some form of gov’t? Rewards for good parents? Do we then, on the other hand, “punish” bad parents? Does that in turn punish the kids?

  • It's Me
    Posted at 09:54h, 18 March Reply

    Really like this idea.

    If neither wants the child the same thing could apply. Whoever finds out that the parent(s) are thinking about the abortion and wants to stop them, they could give personal money/goods and/or have charaties give money/goods to give incentive to stop the abortion.

    I don’t see a problem with people having “unnecessary” pregnancies. If they want to make money for it, why not, since no doubt there are people who want kids, but can’t or won’t for whatever reason (single males, infertile couples, etc).

    You could also find ways to give negative incentives. If you find out they’re thinking about having an abortion, appeal to that person’s employer; if the employer is anti-abortion they could tell them they’re fired if they have an abortion. You could publicize the person’s deciding to have an abortion in the paper.

    No doubt there’s other ways to go about getting them to stop, without needing to resort to government crime (laws) to stop abortion. There’s no “solution” to the issue, abotions will always happen, and certainly no government ban/law will stop abortion either.

  • Govtman
    Posted at 10:14h, 18 March Reply

    Okay. I will go away. I honestly didn’t mean to troll. Perhaps devil’s advocate. Anyway, I’m all for smaller less intrusive gov’t. I just happen to work for the machine. I see and experience things where there is a need for gov’t, but I see many things in which gov’t should have no say in. I do hate, with a passion, those who quibble about smaller gov’t until they want over-reaching gov’t because it happens to work in their favor, thus expanding it for their own personal agenda (read: tea-baggers). Bye.

    • Bill
      Posted at 10:21h, 18 March Reply

      You know what, please don’t go away. Simply move the conversation to the Forum. I am sure that Chris can open a sub-board because this topic is vital.

      BTW, everyone works for the machine. Try to run a small business without complying with the legions of government interventionists regulating and taxing every facet of your commerce.

      We are gentlemen here.

      +1 on the Tea Baggers.

      Bill, Publisher, Zero Gov

  • Arctic Patriot
    Posted at 15:39h, 18 March Reply

    I agree with you that abortion is murder.

    From this premise, does your voluntary society allow for contracts to be drawn up between a murderer and his/her victim?

    In a voluntary society, how do you deal with people who walk into classrooms and kill fourth-graders?

    In a voluntary society, how do you deal with the child rapist/murderer breaking into your neighbor’s child’s room? You stop him.

    What about your child’s room? You stop him.

    No contract, no agreement. Murder must be stopped. If not stopped, punished.

    In your voluntary society, what about when the mother refuses to enter into a contract?

    And what about the so-called “doctor” who kills the baby? If abortion is murder, how can you treat him differently from a mob hitman? Should we negotiate with them, or those who hire them?

    You say abortion is murder, and I agree, then you go on to treat it like it’s not. If it is murder, then violence and force is justified to prevent it. Just like the sicko murdering psychopath entering your child’s bedroom at 3 am.

    If abortion is murder, treat it as such.

    Otherwise, you’re saying that what is legal to the state is also what is moral. That is a dangerous path to travel.

    The problem with the “pro-choice” movement is that everyone gets to choose…except for the baby.

    Arctic Patriot

    • Bill
      Posted at 15:46h, 18 March Reply

      From this premise, does your voluntary society allow for contracts to be drawn up between a murderer and his/her victim?

      How can a contract that harms a party be agreed to in good faith especially in this case?

      In a voluntary society, how do you deal with people who walk into classrooms and kill fourth-graders?

      Parents should ensure they retain a school that has armed teachers and staff to deal with the miscreants. Not cops, of course, because they would not exist.

      Otherwise, you’re saying that what is legal to the state is also what is moral. That is a dangerous path to travel.

      Are you confusing this site with another? I would think you would know that most of what the state does is evil by intent or practice because it is based on initiated violence. Period. The dangerous path to travel is the one where we think the government will do the right thing by individuals. It is simply…impossible.

  • Chris
    Posted at 04:35h, 19 March Reply

    Arctic patriot-

    Your children are your responsibility. Period.
    You better make sure the school you send your children are ready to deal with this threat should it arise.
    Schools now cannot be held responsible if some madman walks in and starts killing children. The state now is not held liable in any way if someone enters THEIR building, and kills THEIR attendees. Responsible parents would make sure the contracts they sign would be very explicit in this area. Private institutions that are charged with keeping your children safe will do a much better job than the state. If you are unsure of your childrens safety in a certain area, why would you leave them there?

    The system of “justice” we have now is sick. Free men could do a much better job devising a new system. Stay tuned, I will challenge this very system of “justice” in my next essay, if our gracious host will allow me.

    In a voluntary society, there will be great leaps in research and technology in all areas. Even in abortion. I don’t believe you will see many abortion clinics around. Then again I cant see abortion being the problem it is today. Women take “morning after pills” now. What should happen with those “murderers”? Should the man be charged with murder also? The woman that is pregnant is still a sovereign individual, and she could live without the fetus in her. This woman cannot aggress against her own body. I am unwilling to initiate force against women, even to stop abortion. I’m sorry if the principle I live by is one that you do not agree with.

    You ask, “what if the mother refuses to enter into contract?” Is abortion not happening today?

    I think the point was missed here. I was trying to propose non-violent alternatives to abortion. You cannot fight force with force and expect to win, at least on the battlefield of morals.

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  • Rand
    Posted at 20:00h, 25 March Reply

    @govtman, rather than throw cold water on people’s suggestions and questioning what they say as ineffective without offering any solutions (even if you’re playing devil’s advocate), I think the proper response is to note that the situation may not work in all cases because…., and here’s what I suggest to take care of the problem. Question the solution used, explain why you disagree, and offer your solutions.

    Libertarianism recognizes that one solution does not fit every situation. The only invalid solutions are the ones that don’t work at all or involve force or coercion of some sort. You don’t know what won’t work until you try it. Any solution that will work for some people is a good solution to place into a basket of proven options. Some women may respond well to the contract concept, some women may respond well to an adoption system where they are compensated for their expenses if they agree to give up the child. Other women may respond well to offers to sterilize them at no cost to themselves. Some women will not respond well to any solution, will just game the system, and you have to be willing to recognize that and not force them regardless of how strongly feel against abortion.

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