Towards A Libertarian Theory of Abortion

Dear B:

Thanks for your kind words.

I don’t think that having sexual intercourse logically implies an invitation to a baby, to keep him inside your body for 9 months. At the time of coitus, there is no invitee; he doesn’t come into existence until some time after ejaculation…

I’ve written a lot about this. See below.

Best regards,

Walter

From: B

Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2019 1:32 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Evictionism theory/challenge?

Dear Professor Block,

I though of your airplane example but couldn’t wrap my head around the contract theory. Where was the “meeting of the minds”? Where was the offer and the acceptance? And who made the offer and who accepted?

This was what I came up with and I  think it’s an OK solution as well.

I propose that the act of sex was an invitation, which should be considered a legal offer. She is literally inviting pregnancy when she has sex.

A span of time does pass before she knows if her offer has been accepted. But at some point she will become aware that her dinner guest has shown up.

Under my theory, she could not continue to feed the guest without at that point making it doubly clear that the contract is now going to be legally enforceable. Feeding the child would be the same as sitting down and putting your signature on the contract making it “fully binding”. Any woman who willingly and knowingly entered into the contract would have to evict their guest as soon as physically possible after rejecting the final terms of the contract.  (The guest showed up and wasn’t who she expected)

I also suggest she wrote the contract (The child didn’t make the offer, so it must have been the mother) and that should matter because any ambiguity goes against the person who wrote it. Any Grey areas in the contract itself should not be allowed to favor the person who wrote the fuzzy contract.  Furthermore, it’s completely reasonable to assume both parties knew roughly how long this “dinner” was expected to last. The gestation period for humans is fairly consistent and well known, so are the other complications that typically arrive.

So what could the child do to brake the contract? How about threaten the mother’s life or threaten to severely damage her? That would do it for me. I don’t think making her uncomfortable would break the contract because the discomfort is not an unknown result of asking someone to show up for this particular dinner.

In the case of rape or where a woman was incapable of consenting for any of the various reasons, there would be no offer and thus no contract.

Now we can ask; What about birth control? I would say that she is still putting out the invitation and although she might not really have been expecting anyone to show up, she did let them sit down and stay. So again, she would have to evict them immediately after she finds out they showed up to dinner. If she sits them down to dinner then she has signed the contract.  She should have the option to use the day after pill which would effectively send out notice that the dinner party is canceled. If it’s possible to mitigate your damage you have to do it.

Now what if we hit a grey area where having the pregnancy is going to cause more discomfort than could reasonably be expected to happen? I think in this case since she wrote the contract, that she could break the contract, but only in a reasonable manner. If you evict someone from your house you can’t just out of the blue grab them and shoot them, before tossing them out. You would have to first make it clear you were planning on evicting them, which is going to be difficult considering you invited someone into your house who can’t communicate very well. But lets say you do manage to tell your guest to leave? How long do they have to take to get out? I would suggest that they must leave as fast as they physically can, you can’t force them out faster than that considering they haven’t done anything that threatens to do permanent damage beyond what you agreed to risk and since she wrote the contract she must pay a little more of the cost, so to speak. She can’t reasonably expect her guest to leave faster than they physically can under those circumstances, just as she can’t be expected to evict the child faster than she physically can after she finds out her guest isn’t the one she wanted to show up.

If the Child doesn’t leave as soon as it’s physically able then she could use deadly force to evict, but not so long as that child is making an effort to leave. The act of eating, taking in food is the evidence that the child is complying with the request to the best of their ability, they are trying to do everything they can possibly do to get ready to leave without it killing them.

Another thing that goes along with having personally written the contract, is liability. One way to run afoul of liability laws is on the grounds of what is called Detrimental Reliance, which goes roughly like this; You promise to give me your car, I rely on that promise and go out and purchase insurance so I can drive it away from your home. If you change your mind, you owe me the money I’m out because you have committed an act of fraud and I “Relied on your promise to my detriment”.

I would say that the child has definitely relied on the mothers promise to their detriment if that promise ends in their death. That would most certainly be a contract violation under my theory.

Best regards, B

ps, Thanks again for everything you do and I truly enjoyed kicking this around with my Son. It gave me a chance to talk libertarian theory on a whole bunch of different levels with him.

All: Akers, 2012A, 2012B; Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2010A, 2010B, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B, 2014; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Davies, 2012; Dyke and Block, 2011; Parr, 2011, 2013; Rothbard, 1978; Sadowsky, 1978; Shaffer, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.

I. Here are Walter E. Block’s publications and speeches on abortion, pro life, pro choice, evictionism, followed by critiques of his views, followed by his responses to these critiques:

Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Dyke and Block, 2011

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1977/1977_09.pdf

Block, Walter E. Undated (1997?).  “L’Aborto:  Una Legittima Difesa,” Claustrofobia, anno 1, n. 3, pp. 16-22.

Block, Walter E. 1978. “Abortion, Woman and Fetus: Rights in Conflict?” Reason, Vol. 9, No. 12, April, pp. 18-25.

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.” September 3; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdfhttps://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/03068290410518256https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/03068290410518256?fullSc=1&journalCode=ijse

Block, Walter E. 2014A. “Evictionism and Libertarianism.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 290-294; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/27/jmp.jhu012.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586;

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhu012?ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586&keytype=ref

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.  Vol. 35: 429-448;

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?

ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref ; http://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=78eaf87fd81ebaaa7a245cca600b15bba8497c2cfbf1284c08a0260ba068d4ad&cmpgp0811Ueh016=ICD20811TEH0PkRLpL1IFhttp://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=4b842f7f4697bce38422e0bfe03e6ccad53070377a9303d5#JAL1

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_26.pdfhttp://libertycrier.com/walter-block-terri-schiavo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29

Block, Walter E. 2012. “A Not So Funny Thing Happened to Me in Tampa.” August 30; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block208.html

Block, Walter E.  2014A. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.htmlhttp://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2014E. “Toward a libertarian theory of evictionism,” Journal of Family and Economic Issues. June; Volume 35, Issue 2, pp. 290-294; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10834-013-9361-4;

http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10834-013-9361-4http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/463/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10834-013-9361-4.pdf?auth66=1385583057_5dd1e3442d2db3f98c91dcf5a5d5fa43&ext=.pdfhttp://www.springer.com/home?SGWID=0-0-1003-0-0&aqId=2507833&download=1&checkval=feff928fe5dfc72bc210032f220ca40a.

Block, Walter E. and Roy Whitehead. 2005. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdfhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228125532_Compromising_the_Uncompromisable_A_Private_Property_Rights_Approach_to_Resolving_the_Abortion_Controversy?ev=prf_pubhttp://www.walterblock.com/publications/compromising-the-uncompromisable-a-private-property-rights-approach-to-resolving-the-abortion-controversy/

Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/38-dyke-block-conjoined-twins/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNTAmwUHcLM

http://conza.tumblr.com/tagged/evictionism

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?

ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref

https://hangouts.google.com/call/rubwfb4uhrdbdpstpiik5niljie

II. Critics of evictionism::

Akers, 2012A, 2012B; Davies, 2012; Feser, 2004; Goodwin, 2014; Parr, 2011, 2013; Mosquito, 2014, 2015; Rothbard, ; Sadowsky, 1978; Shaffer, 2012;  Rothbard, 1978; Vance, 2008, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.

Akers, Becky. 2012A. “Not My Definition — or Webster’s Either — of ‘Trespassing’” September 6; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120226.html

Akers, Becky. 2012B. “What if the ‘Fetus’ Could Shoot Back?” September 12; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120728.html

Davies, Jim. 2012. “Abortion.” September 24;

http://strike-the-root.com/abortion

Feser, Edward. 2004. “Self-ownership, abortion, and the rights of children: toward a more conservative libertarianism.” Journal of Libertarian Studies. Volume 18, no. 3 (Summer), pp. 91-114; http://www.indytruth.org/library/journals/libertarianstudies/18/18_3_5.pdf

Goodwin, Jonathan. 2014. “Libertarians and Abortion.” December 23;

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/12/libertarians-and-abortion.html

Mosquito, Bionic. 2014. “Libertarians and Abortion.” December 23;

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/12/libertarians-and-abortion.html

Mosquito, Bionic. 2015. “Walter Block, Specific Performance Contracts, and Abortion.” July 12; http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2015/07/walter-block-specific-performance.html

Parr, Sean. 2011. “Departurism and the Libertarian Axiom of Gentleness.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 34, http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-34.doc

Parr, Sean. 2013. “Departurism Redeemed – A Response to Walter Block’s ‘Evictionism is Libertarian; Departurism is Not: Critical Comment on Parr.’” Journal of Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 109-123; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/home/departurism-redeemed-a-response-to-walter-blocks-evictionism-is-libertarian-departurism-is-not-critical-comment-on-parr

Presley, Sharon and Robert Cooke (aka Morgan Edwards). 1979. “The right to abortion: a libertarian defense.” Association of libertarian feminists discussion paper

http://www.alf.org/abortion.php

Rothbard, Murray N. 1978.  “The editor replies.” Libertarian Forum. July-August, p. 3; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1978/1978_07-08.pdf

Sadowsky, S.J., James. 1978. “Abortion and Rights of the Child.” Libertarian Forum. July-August, pp. 2-3; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1978/1978_07-08.pdf

Shaffer, Butler. 2012. “Of Children and Fetuses.” September 17;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer259.html

Vance, Laurence. 2008. “Is Ron Paul Wrong on Abortion?” January 29; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance133.html

Vance, Laurence. 2012. “Libertarianism and Abortion.” July 17;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance297.html

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010A. “A Critique of Block on Abortion and Child Abandonment.” Libertarian Papers Vol. 2, No. 16; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/16-wisniewski-block-on-abortion/

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Block’s Defense of Evictionism.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 2, Art No. 27; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-37.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2011. “Response to Block on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 1-6;

http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/6-winiewski-response-to-block-on-abortion-round-three/http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-6.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2013. “Abortion, Libertarianism and Evictionism: A Last Word.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 153-162; http://libertarianpapers.org/2013/6-wisniewski-abortion-libertarianism-and-evictionism/

III. Block responds to critics:

Block, 2010A, 2010B, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2014; forthcoming

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “Objections to the Libertarian Stem Cell Compromise,” Libertarian Papers 2, 34; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/34-block-objections-to-the-libertarian-stem-cell-compromise/

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Wisniewski on Abortion.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 32, No. 2; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/32-block-rejoinder-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-32.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Two.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 3, Article No. 4; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/4-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion-round-two/

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 6; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/37-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Evictionism is libertarian; departurism is not: critical comment on Parr.” Vol. 3, Article 36, Libertarian Papers;

http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/36-evictionism-is-libertarian-departurism-is-not-critical-comment-on-parr/

Block, Walter E. 2014D. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Four.” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST); Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 1-14;

http://www.fbim.meste.org/FBIM_2_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.html;

http://www.fbim.meste.org/FBIM_2_2014/4_01.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Rejoinder to Parr on Evictionism and Departurism” Journal of Peace, Prosperity & Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 125-138; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/current-issue.htmlhttp://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/5/5/14558572/journalpeaceprosperityfreedom_single.pdf

Block, Walter E.  2014. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.htmlhttp://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2017. “Abortion Once Again; a response to Feser, Goodwin, Mosquito, Sadowsky, Vance and Watkins.” Journal of Constitutional Research (Brazil); Vol 4, No. 1, pp. 11-41; http://revistas.ufpr.br/rinc/article/view/50328http://revistas.ufpr.br/rinc/issue/view/2292/showToc

http://revistas.ufpr.br/rinc/article/view/50328/31673

Forestalling: forestall: bagel: donut: forestalling

thought about your point about bringing the baby to the sidewalk

1.if it’s a private sidewalk, the owner would object

2.if it’s a public sidewalk, my bagel theory still applies, I think. The parent is still guilty of precluding others from homesteading the guardianship rights to the baby. the parent might as well leave the baby in a publicly owned forest; same objection

Block, 1977, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2016; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Epstein vs Block, 2005

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1977/1977_09.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.” September 3; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

Block, Walter E. 2003.  “Libertarianism vs. Objectivism; A Response to Peter Schwartz,” Reason Papers, Vol. 26, Summer, pp. 39-62; http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/26/rp_26_4.pdf Nambla, child sexuality, child abuse

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdfhttps://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/03068290410518256https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/03068290410518256?fullSc=1&journalCode=ijse

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1890872

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.  Vol. 2

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?

ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Van Dun on Freedom and Property: A Critique” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 2, No. 4; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/4-block-van-dun-on-freedom-and-property/

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_26.pdfhttp://libertycrier.com/walter-block-terri-schiavo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Forestalling, positive obligations and the Lockean and Blockian provisos: Rejoinder to Stephan Kinsella.” Ekonomia Wroclaw Economic Review. http://ekon.sjol.eu/category/22-3-2016-529

Block, Walter E. and Roy Whitehead. 2005. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdfhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228125532_Compromising_the_Uncompromisable_A_Private_Property_Rights_Approach_to_Resolving_the_Abortion_Controversy?ev=prf_pubhttp://www.walterblock.com/publications/compromising-the-uncompromisable-a-private-property-rights-approach-to-resolving-the-abortion-controversy/

Epstein, Richard vs. Walter E. Block, 2005. “Debate on Eminent Domain.” NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 1144-1169

http://www.nyujll.org/articles/Vol.%201%20No.%203/Vol.%201%20No.%203%20-%20Block%20and%20Epstein.pdf

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5:21 pm on April 23, 2019