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Hopeful Response to John Stossel on Abortion

Response to John Stossel on Abortion | Kerry Baldwin and Doug Stuart

John Stossel on abortion

For the past 50 years, the abortion debate has been a polarized issue with common ground on either side. This polarization has created a perfect storm that suggests a deeply divided country.

A single data point gets twisted by both sides. 61% of Americans believe 1st trimester abortion (up to 13 weeks) should be legal. The pro-choice side twists this to say, “most Americans are support abortion rights.” The pro-life side twists the same data point to say, “most Americans support restrictions on abortion.”

I don’t see it this way. I think most Americans exist in a gray middle. They’re the ones who say, “I’m pro-choice, but …” or I’m pro-life, but …”. Most Americans intuitively recognize abortion is wrapped up in tangential issues. So, abortion is a concession, not an ideal, in the mind of most. Failure to imagine a life-affirming alternative to the status quo leads to this concession.

I was recently invited to be a guest on John Stossel’s show to discuss abortion, and was joined by Avens O’Brien; a pro-choice libertarian of feminists for liberty.

I have a great deal of respect for John Stossel and what he does. And I appreciate the opportunity to be featured on his show and alongside O’brien.

However, I think Stossel missed an opportunity. I hold that libertarianism is a true alternative to the polarized paradigm we’ve been stuck in.

In this episode, I sat down with Doug Stuart of the Libertarian Christian Institute to discuss some important elements of the interview with Stossel that didn’t make it into the final edit.

Join me, Kerry Baldwin, as we Dare to Think about libertarianism changes the abortion debate.

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Summary | Response to John Stossel on Abortion

For the past 50 years, the abortion debate has been a polarized issue with common ground on either side. This polarization has created a perfect storm that suggests a deeply divided country.

A single data point gets twisted by both sides. 61% of Americans believe 1st trimester abortion (up to 13 weeks) should be legal. The pro-choice side twists this to say, “most Americans are support abortion rights.” The pro-life side twists the same data point to say, “most Americans support restrictions on abortion.”

I don’t see it this way. I think most Americans exist in a gray middle. They’re the ones who say, “I’m pro-choice, but …” or I’m pro-life, but …”. Most Americans intuitively recognize abortion is wrapped up in tangential issues. So, abortion is a concession, not an ideal, in the mind of most. Failure to imagine a life-affirming alternative to the status quo leads to this concession.

I was recently invited to be a guest on John Stossel’s show to discuss abortion, and was joined by Avens O’Brien; a pro-choice libertarian of feminists for liberty.

I have a great deal of respect for John Stossel and what he does. And I appreciate the opportunity to be featured on his show and alongside O’brien.

However, I think Stossel missed an opportunity. I hold that libertarianism is a true alternative to the polarized paradigm we’ve been stuck in.

In this episode, I sat down with Doug Stuart of the Libertarian Christian Institute to discuss some important elements of the interview with Stossel that didn’t make it into the final edit.

Join me, Kerry Baldwin, as we Dare to Think about libertarianism changes the abortion debate.

Main Points of Discussion

01:52Background to John Stossel episode
07:02John Stossel on Abortion in full
12:42Opening commentary
14:03Where do we agree?
15:09The problem of enforcement and drug bans
16:51A person exists inside another person
19:02My hope and the missed opportunity
22:34Avens O’Brien’s nuances
24:15Initial reactions to Dobbs v Jackson
28:41Why even Christian women are worried about the overturn of Roe v Wade
31:08Militant anti-abortion abolitionists are supporting Joe Biden’s failed criminal justice legacy
32:16Women justified in the felt threat from the state
34:01Pro-lifers “work not done yet” – what does this mean?
35:27What I’d like to see libertarians do moving forward

Resource Links

Original episode of John Stossel on Abortion

Avens O’Brien, Feminists for Liberty

Restorative Justice

Libertarian Party Removes Abortion Plank from Platform

 

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B.A. Philosophy, Arizona State University. My writing focuses on libertarian philosophy and reformed theology and aimed at the educated layperson. I am a confessionally Reformed Christian orthodox Presbyterian in the tradition of J. Gresham Machen (1881 – 1937)
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