News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Government must guard liberty
Nov 4, 2012 - Ryan Jefferson Jones, Lander
A newspaper article may have misled some readers regarding my position on abortion. I present a transcript of the statement from which the remark was derived along with further clarification of that position.
"How important is your party's national political platform to your philosophy for House District 54?
There is one aspect of the platform, [Bruce Palmer] mentioned being pro-choice. The platform says that there is one area of disagreement among members of the Libertarian party so they chose not to state anything on that. I figure I should clarify my position on that.
If you're going to respect liberty, the foundation of that is that you're respecting life, you're respecting a person because they are a person, because they have value to you, they are just like you, they are your equals before the law and they have the same desire that you do to live. And restricting that based on somebody's age and because they just haven't been born yet or they don't have the capacity to survive on their own, I think would be reprehensible to me. I also do respect the rights of the mother. I don't think the government should have as much intrusion into a person's life as they have right now. And certainly conception and pregnancy and birth, I think they should be as far away from that as possible. So enforcement of course is a touchy subject."
Statement on abortion:
One of the vital functions of government is to defend against murder. If a government begins to make exceptions and allow innocent life to be discarded, they have entered on a dangerous path. When people voluntarily engage in the process that produces children, both father and mother should be expected to accept their parental responsibilities from that point on.
I do not know the scientific or spiritual details of when a human life actually begins, but I believe we ought to value life enough that we are not willing to risk destroying innocent life when we could give it the chance to continue. If a pregnancy is involuntary or presents a risk to the mother, she should not necessarily be required to accept that responsibility. I also recognize that mistakes are made and some unprepared to accept parental responsibility may enter into that path.
However, the threat of that responsibility should dramatically reduce these instances and a corresponding reduction in government red tape surrounding adoption should provide a ready alternative.
As with all crime, a person should always be considered innocent until proven guilty and never be subject to government interference in conception, pregnancy, birth, and other parental responsibilities. It isn't a perfect system, but a government must protect our liberty without diminishing its lawful exercise or it will become tyranny.
As voluntary groups and individuals, we can make up the difference in our own communities.