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Ep. 218 Kerry Baldwin Uses Property Rights to Correct Both Sides in the Abortion Debate

Kerry Baldwin is a Christian libertarian who advances a nuanced position on abortion that seeks to protect the fetus while respecting the bodily rights of the mother.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech, Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute, and co-host with Tom Woods of the podcast "Contra Krugman."

12 Comments

  1. Baus on 10/19/2021 at 1:58 AM

    Excellent stuff, Kerry. Great episode, Bob.
    It may be that the majority of those who affirm self-ownership and non-aggression will become more thoroughly consistent and embrace this libertarian pro-life view.

  2. Paul on 10/19/2021 at 2:05 AM

    I realize how pedantic this is, but I feel like a fetus should be referred to as “he or she” instead of “it”.

    In the case of rape, one thing that helped me with reasoning the punitive measures should go toward the rapist was considering an alternative crime. If the perpetrator beat the victim instead of raping the victim and the injuries were so bad that she is confined to a wheelchair and can only see out of one eye, it’s very obvious that there is no quick-appearing procedure to escape the condition, so the full cost of her pain must be repaid by the perpetrator.

    Is it possible there could be other ramifications? I don’t know libertarian theory on children whose parents clearly mistreat them, but if it is clear a pregnant woman is “mistreating” the unborn, would there be justification to “save” the unborn by “transferring” from the mother?

    • Paul on 10/19/2021 at 2:07 AM

      I just realized my comment looks a little out of context. The abortion is the quick-appearing procedure and the person paying for the crime is the unborn child.

  3. clort on 10/19/2021 at 5:19 AM

    She is on the right track, but would do better to emphasize the fact that the creation of the fetus is the result of a CHOICE by the mother and father.

    This is a choice with consequences given by god/nature — not consequences imposed by political whim.

    The individuals making that choice carry the responsibility for the consequences of creating offspring. From the moment of their creation of offspring, their parental duties kick-in.

    The denial of parental responsibility by evictionists is freakish. Their reasoning would excuse parents who set their toddler out in the middle a highway.

    • Not Bob on 10/21/2021 at 2:25 AM

      This. Unless it was rape, she 100% consciously chose to create a new life, and therefore chose the commitment.

    • Paul on 10/21/2021 at 6:07 PM

      While this applies to consensual acts, it does not apply to acts of aggression, such as rape.

      I find rape the strongest circumstance for evaluation. It forces a full reckoning of what humanity is and how we treat others in every stage of existence. Arguments in favor of life in such cases must find universal justifications to carry through.

      I do know if that is why Baldwin spends a lot of time discussing it, but I have observed others doing the same, including over at l4l.org.

    • Kerry Baldwin on 10/21/2021 at 8:32 PM

      Clort, the choice involved here is intercourse (or IVF). Conception itself is not a matter of choice. It is the potential consequence of choice. I say it this way, because the process of conception is not something that a woman (or man) can simply will. Ask a couple struggling with infertility if they have a choice to conceive, and they’ll let you know they don’t.

      So that I am clear: intercourse can initiate the involuntary reflexive process of conception which produces a natural limitation on the woman. Entailed in the natural limitation are certain positive obligations (responsibilities) on the part of the woman.

      • Paul on 11/06/2021 at 2:54 PM

        At what point has the discussion delved too deeply? Could I say: armed defense with a handgun against a violent aggressor is not simply will. The defender can initiate the process by applying 3.5 lbs. of force with the index finger, but the mechanical action that initiates the chemical explosive force sending the lead projectile through the barrel does not necessarily result in successful defense. Ask any victim who failed to achieve this success.

        I’m not saying this threshold has been crossed into with your explanation, just sayin’.

  4. Not Bob on 10/20/2021 at 5:03 AM

    Good episode. Very interesting discussion.

    I’ve always thought Block’s evictionism is total garbage. He’s been corrected so many times, and just won’t accept he’s plainly wrong. I can’t take him seriously because of this.

    If you throw somebody into a pool, and you know he can’t swim, or in fact is unconscious and will be for 9 months, it’s not a “positive right” if I insist you pull him back out. What you’re doing is murder. His argument is disingenuous.

    That being said, I also strongly agree with the view that creating a War on Abortion is going to make things worse, not better.

    Why is adoption so difficult? Because the government runs it. There are tons of people having abortions, and tons of people looking to adopt children. Total government failure matching these!

    My friend tried to adopt a child in Oregon, and the government lady didn’t want to let him adopt a non-white child because he was white and “wouldn’t be able to raise the child race-appropriately.” Of course, 90% of the children for adoption are not white, and 90% of Oregonians at the time (90s) and 85% now are white. So they’re condemning these kids to foster homes because of wokeness.

  5. Dusan Vilicic on 10/25/2021 at 7:29 PM

    I have a couple of comments that I’d like to maybe have answered and explained why they might be wrong. I imagine those have answer, because I find these pretty obvious, therefore I assume they have a counter. But so far, no one has given me those counters, for some reason.

    First, I don’t understand why it’s relevant where the person comes from to determine if it can or can’t be a trespasser. I had a discussion some time ago with someone that also held that position (origin is relevant) but the person couldn’t or wouldn’t explain why it’s relevant. As I understand it, trespass is not the act of entering to, but the act of being in the property of someone else who doesn’t consent to you being there. Even if B entered legitimately, the moment A starts wanting B to leave, A stops consenting to B continuing to stay and therefore B becomes a trespasser.

    Another thing is that I think it’s nonsensical to say that “the baby was brought into this world against it’s will”. This is like division by zero. It can’t be against its will if there is no “it” there to have a will (unless you think that babies have a previous “spiritual” or whatever existence AND that they don’t want to be “brought into this world”) . If there’s no will, there’s no possible consent or lack of it.

    • Tyler on 11/02/2021 at 7:17 PM

      I would also add that if we accept the idea that a fetus has a right to occupy the woman because it originated there, wouldn’t that apply to the woman’s house as well? If the fetus is born (or conceived) in the house? And it would seem like that claim would never expire. The parents could never evict the child from the house even when they grow into an adult.

    • Paul on 11/06/2021 at 3:58 AM

      The origin is relevant to demonstrate this is a unique scenario. If B entered with consent, it is not the same as the fetus. For the fetus, it is the origin point.

      “Against its will” could probably be replaced with “without permission”, so it is also without its consent.

      In regards to the baby having some right to a house, this might be the case were the baby biologically connected to the house in the same way it is with the mother.

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