A pro-abortion libertarian gets deliberately obtuse about why conservatives promote regulation of the abortion industry.
Anyone glancing at the headline or the blurb of this editorial at Reason.com would think that libertarian Jacob Sullum, the writer, believes that conservatives are inconsistent because they promote regulation of the abortion industry when they oppose regulation of other industries.
This false impression seems to be deliberately put there, though Sullum has to admit its inaccuracy in the body of the article.
Conservatives usually are not fans of arbitrary, heavy-handed, anti-competitive, counterproductive regulations. But as a case the Supreme Court will hear today shows, they make an exception for abortion.
That’s because these regulations, ostensibly aimed at making abortion safer, are actually aimed at making abortion rarer.
So let me spell that out for you, because Sullum won’t do it. Conservatives don’t believe that regulations are helpful or promote efficiency. They believe that regulations tend to hurt an industry. So, when it comes to a private (though often government-subsidized and promoted) industry that kills people for their customers, conservatives will do what they can to prevent homicides. Thus, conservatives promote regulation of the abortion industry to the extent they can get away with it.
Sullum’s admission (after his misleading headline) does not acknowledge the truth. Not only are the Conservatives being consistent, but they are being libertarian both in their economics and their ethics. They not only agree with libertarians that regulations are undesirable for an industry, but they are trying to get government to deter acts of aggression. The “non-aggression principle” is supposedly at the heart of libertarianism. But for many libertarians at Reason.com, human beings are nothing more than extensions of the mother’s biological tissue until magically transformed into human beings at the birth canal. Until birth, they have no more ethical value than the ends of a woman’s fingernails. At least, I assume that evaluation stops at birth. As soon as outright infanticide becomes cool, I’m sure the brave writers at Reason.com will start promoting that too.
Sullum nowhere lets the readers know what conservatives think about abortion. He never mentions “baby-killing,” “homicide,” “murder,” or even “aggression.” Instead he says that conservatives find abortion “morally abhorrent.” He is deliberately trying to confuse the issue and make conservatives look as different from libertarians like himself as possible.
Conservatives are different from Sullum and the Prog-libertarians at Reason.com on this issue. They are better libertarians.