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The Libertarian Party’s History on the issue of Abortion

The following is a list of the Libertarian Party’s history on abortion from its inception up until 2022. This information is sourced from LPedia, which is a good source for historical data and documents pertaining to the Libertarian Party. I took the pertinent sections regarding abortion from each platform so you could see how the party’s stance has changed over the years.

The Libertarian Party Platform on Abortion from 1972- the present

Libertarian National Platform 1972

3. Overpopulation

We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. We further support the repeal of all laws restricting voluntary birth control or voluntary termination of pregnancies during their first hundred days. We shall oppose all coercive measures to control population growth.

Libertarian National Platform 1976-1980

5. Population

We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. We further support the repeal of all laws restricting voluntary birth control or the right of the woman to make a personal moral choice regarding the termination of pregnancy. We call for the elimination of special tax burdens on single people and couples with few or no children. We shall oppose all coercive measures to control population growth.

Libertarian National Platform 1982-1992

20. WOMEN’S RIGHTS

We hold that individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. We call for repeal of all laws discriminating against women, such as “protective” labor laws and marriage or divorce laws which deny the full rights of men and women. We oppose all laws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property or to widen tyranny through reverse discrimination.

Recognizing that each person must be the sole and absolute owner of his or her own body, we support the right of women to make a personal choice regarding the termination of pregnancy. We oppose the undermining of that right via lavx s requiring consent of the pregnant woman’s parents, consent of the prospective father, waiting periods, or compulsory provision of indoctrination on medical risks or fetal development. However, we also oppose all tax funding for abortions. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another’s abortion. We also condemn state-mandated abortions.

Libertarian National Platform 1994

19. Women’s Rights and Abortion

We hold that individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. We call for repeal of all laws discriminating against women, such as protective labor laws and marriage or divorce laws which deny the full rights of men and women. We oppose all laws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property or to widen tyranny through reverse discrimination.

Recognizing that each person must be the sole and absolute owner of his or her own body, we support the right of women to make a personal choice regarding the termination of pregnancy or regarding voluntary surrogacy arrangements. We oppose the undermining of the right via laws requiring consent of the pregnant woman’s parents, consent of the prospective father, waiting periods, or compulsory provision of indoctrination on medical risks or fetal development. In addition, we oppose all restrictions on the sale of menstruation-inducing contragestive pills, such as RU 486, which block fertilized eggs from attaching themselves to the womb. However, we also oppose all tax funding for abortions. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another’s abortion. We also condemn state-mandated abortions.

We oppose the fetal protection doctrine under which the state could require prenatal testing, require Caesarian births, require fetal surgery, require force feeding of the mother, jail pregnant substance abusers, bar home births, and bar pregnant women from working in unhealthy places and which would hold a woman legally liable — because of her diet or personal behavior — for having a damaged or deformed child. Under this doctrine, women could also be held liable for not aborting a damaged or deformed fetus.

Libertarian Party Platform 1996

20. Women’s Rights and Abortion

We hold that individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. We call for repeal of all laws discriminating against women, such as protective labor laws and marriage or divorce laws which deny the full rights of men and women. We oppose all laws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property or to widen tyranny through reverse discrimination. Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that libertarians can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept entirely out of the question, allowing all individuals to be guided by their own consciences. We oppose all restrictions on the sale of RU 486, and on the sale of menstruation-inducing contragestive pills, which block fertilized eggs from attaching themselves to the womb. We oppose legislation restricting or subsidizing women’s access to abortion or other reproductive health services; this includes requiring consent of the prospective father, waiting periods, and mandatory indoctrination on fetal development, as well as Medicaid or any other taxpayer funding. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another’s abortion.

We also condemn state-mandated abortions.

It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements, and/or home births.

Libertarian Platform 2000 

20. Women’s Rights and Abortion

We hold that individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. We call for repeal of all laws discriminating against women, such as protective labor laws and marriage or divorce laws which deny the full rights of men and women. We oppose all laws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property or to widen tyranny through reverse discrimination.

Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question.

We condemn state-funded and state-mandated abortions. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another’s abortion.

It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements, and/or home births.

Libertarian Party Platform 2002-2004

20. Women’s Rights and Abortion

Individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question.

Libertarian Party Platform 2006

I.8 Reproductive Rights

The Issue:  The tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are aggravated and sometimes created by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition.

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

The Principle:  Individual rights should not be denied nor abridged on the basis of sex, age, dependency, or location.  Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for other people’s abortions, nor should any government or individual force a woman to have an abortion.  It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman regardless of age, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements and/or home births.

Solutions:  We oppose government actions that either compel or prohibit abortion, sterilization or any other form of birth control.  Specifically we condemn the practice of forced sterilization of welfare recipients, or of mentally retarded or “genetically defective” individual.  We support the voluntary exchange of goods, services or information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control or related medical or biological technologies.  We oppose government laws and policies that restrict the opportunity to choose alternatives to abortion.

Transitional Action:  We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing or child prevention built into our present laws.

Libertarian Party Platform 2008-2020

1.4 Abortion

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

Libertarian Party Platform 2022

In 2022 we voted to remove the party’s plank on abortion entirely as the majority of delegates believed that the best position for the Libertarian Party to have is no position at all.

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