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The Evictionist Position on Abortion

A Logical Compromise

Walter Block at the Mises Institute at Auburn

Around 2 years ago I was pro-life. I believed simply that the fetus was an individual with human DNA independent of the mother, and that it is immoral for us as humans to judge when someone counts as a human being along their development. The gray area of whether the fetus is a human being or not must fall on the side in favor of the fetus, because if we are wrong we are committing murder. I still believe all of that.

However, Professor Walter Block changed my mind. He presented me with Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" and his thoughts on it. He told me that he too believed that the fetus should be considered a human being, yet that the fetus was trespassing on the woman's body. I now accept this viewpoint, and I feel that Professor Block's evictionist standpoint is not given its fair due because people simply do not like the man. I find that unfair to a wholly great position that I regard as solving the issue.

The evictionist position is this: you are allowed to evict the fetus from your body. That is, you are allowed to evict, but not to kill, just as you would evict a trespasser on your property instead of immediately killing them. If the fetus is one month old then it will die, but if it is eight months old we have the technology to save it. And so as science improves we will advance our technology to save the baby at an earlier time of development.

A woman has a right to her own body, this is the right to self-ownership. It is in my opinion the first, and by far the most important, right that we have as humans. I also care about what I regard as babies. I hope medical technology further advances, and doctors keep on doing their great work to save lives. But the fetus' right to take resources from its mother to survive does not exist, nor do I have the right to steal another person's spare, if you will, kidney to save my life if I have kidney failure. Rights do not contradict, if they do then either one or both of the rights you are supporting do not exist. And self-ownership is self-evident.

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