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This page was adapted from a membership application received by the Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League on 1 March 2000; the text was the answer to Question 6a): "Which of the following describes your pro-life position?"
Copyediting, HTML coding, and formatting were performed by Matt Wallace, AAPL founder/webmaster.
Copyright 2000 by Doris Gordon. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author.
Please note: Doris Gordon is also the founder of Libertarians for Life.

Doris Gordon's Pro-life Position in Brief

I didn't check either Complete Abolition or Allow Exceptions. Here's why.

The purpose of abortion is not merely pregnancy termination; its purpose is to kill, to take the life of prenatal human offspring. Under justice, however, there is no such thing as a ~right~ to kill innocent people -- no exceptions.

In cases where the mother's life is in danger, the obstetrician has two patients to consider -- the mother and her prenatal offspring. This medical problem can be a lifeboat-type of situation. In such a situation, we have to make the distinction between justice and enforcement. It's not an exception ~in principle~ for rights (the survivor in the "lifeboat situation" has presumably committed wrongful homicide), but there may be grounds in a particular case to make it an exception ~in practice~ (the law doesn't automatically favor one of the endangered parties over another, and it doesn't punish the survivor). Nobody has a right to prevent people trapped in lifeboat situations from saving their own lives. But the trapped people have the obligation under justice to use the least amount of force necessary to save their lives, and there should be some legal oversight of individual cases.

There is no medical condition for which the recommended treatment is to kill the fetus. Pregnancy termination doesn't necessarily have to entail direct lethal force against the preborn. Premature deliveries result in intact and often alive removals. It's important to recognize the removal/killing distinction and to note that the lesser means of force against the fetus must always be used. But even lesser means of intentional pregnancy terminations aren't "rightful."

For my views on the problems of pregnancy due to rape and incest, please read John Walker's article, "Abortion in the Case Of Pregnancy Due to Rape" on the Libertarians for Life web site.


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