Phillies Reiterates Commitment to Keeping Government out of Abortion Question

From the Phillies 2008 campaign:

In a statement issued earlier today, Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies reiterated his commitment to keeping government at all levels out of the abortion question. “Government, no matter whether state, Federal, or local, has no legitimate right to interfere in your private life or your medical decisions,” he said. “You will not hear me talking about making abortion obsolete, banning abortion, or encouraging abortion.”

Phillies said that he completely supports a woman’s right to choose, but added that he believes the government should likewise respect individuals’ beliefs. “Remember, no matter your side on the issue: Once you agree that our government can intervene in these decisions, you have agreed that a future government that disagrees with your stands can compel you to take actions that you find morally repugnant.”

Phillies compared the position of those who believe abortion should be decided at the state level to that of segregationists in the last century. “All too often, Republican conservatives talk about handing decisions over to states… The Jim Crow southern conservative ‘state’s rights’ doctrine was wrong 50 years ago, and it hasn’t gotten any better since. Whatever powers states may have, one power they do not have is the power to take away your rights. The Federal government is constitutionally forbidden to take away a woman’s right to choose…

“Young people are turning their back on Republican social reactionaries,” Phillies added. “Those young people are the future and opportunity of our party, especially the young people who detest high taxes, invasive federal regulations, and perpetual Republican wars&but only if we show that we are a party that supports social liberty. To do that, we have to stand with our traditional libertarian position on abortion: Government should have no role in this matter.”

42 Responses to “Phillies Reiterates Commitment to Keeping Government out of Abortion Question”

  1. DrGonzo Says:

    I disagree with this. If we believe the government is there to protect the rights of citizens (defense), then government is not doing that job by allowing an abortion to take place. Essentially you are allowing one human to kill another.

  2. Karsten Says:

    I agree with DrGonzo. This is a STUPID argument, if you believe that a fetus is a person. It would be like saying that no level of government (federal, state, local) has the right to intervene if full-grown people are being murdered. When in fact, libertarians believe that the only role of government should be to protect LIFE, liberty, and property.

  3. Neddy Says:

    Not everyone believes that an embryo is a living and viable human. If it is, then why wont the government allow it to be used as a deduction just like a born child? The government does not acknowledge an embryo as a citizen, therefore it does not have the same rights as one.
    Just because you do not believe the same way someone else does, does not give you the right or responsibilty to trample on someone else’s beliefs.

  4. George Phillies Says:

    You can believe whatever you want, but don’t look to a real Libertarian to say that government should force your beliefs down the throats of your fellow Americans.

    Mind you, if you want an anti-abortion Libertarian, my honorable opponent, Congressman Barr, may serve your desires.

    As for me, I am not about to support anti-abortion dogmatism, which in practice means that rich people can fly to civilized Europe, and the daughters of the poor get to bleed to death on back-room pool tables and in dark alleys.

  5. DrGonzo Says:

    Not everyone believes that an embryo is a living and viable human.

    That is irrelevent to the argument. There is no doubt that embryo will become a human. So you are taking away that embryo’s right to life.

    As for me, I am not about to support anti-abortion dogmatism, which in practice means that rich people can fly to civilized Europe, and the daughters of the poor get to bleed to death on back-room pool tables and in dark alleys.

    If that is the actual reason you don’t support abortion then you should have said so in the first place.

    Supporting abortion from an issue of “rights” is completely hypocritical. There is 100% certainty that embryo willl develop into a human. Which means an abortion is taking away the rights of another human.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    If we’re going to have a monopoly government (i.e. a state), then that state is going to be involved in the abortion issue. It will:

    - Prohibit abortion as an unjustifiable form of homicide; or
    - Protect abortion as a medical procedure which women are entitled to procure without violent interference; or
    - Produce a mixture of policies in an attempt to balance those two evaluations of what the procedure is and entails.

    Frankly, abortion is also simply not an issue that’s going to boost a Libertarian candidate (or a Constitution Party candidate) to victory. It’s a marginal issue. Some small percentage of voters are “single issue abortion voters” on one side or the other, and another small percentage prioritize it highly.

    Either or both of those blocs may be enough to swing a close election in one direction or the other if mobilized, but even most voters who care about the issue to some degree are unlikely to abandon the mainstream soft pro-life major party (the Republicans) for a hard pro-life third party (the Constitution Party) or the soft pro-choice major party (the Democrats) for a hard pro-choice third party (which some Libertarians think the LP should be) on the basis of the abortion issue alone.

  7. Andy Says:

    “George Phillies Says:

    May 14th, 2008 at 12:22 pm
    You can believe whatever you want, but don’t look to a real Libertarian to say that government should force your beliefs down the throats of your fellow Americans.”

    This is not a legitimate arguement. This would be like if we were back in the 1700s or pre-13th amendment 1800s and somebody said, “I think that blacks are people and therefore should have equal rights and slavery should be abolished.” and then somebody came along and said, “Stop trying to cram your beliefs down my throat!”

    I’m not saying that George is right or wrong about abortion, I’m just saying that his arguement is flawed.

  8. C. Al Currier Says:

    I believe that marriage and reproduction are concerns of the church, not the state, and attempts to make them concerns of the state (at any level from federal on down) is basically replacing church-with-state. I want the church-to-be-the-church, and the state-to-be-the-state. When the government becomes ‘social engineers’, the church loses basic, fundamental roles in society.

    Keep Government out of Abortion Question

    (—said from a pro-life perspective—)

  9. DrGonzo Says:

    Frankly, abortion is also simply not an issue that’s going to boost a Libertarian candidate (or a Constitution Party candidate) to victory. It’s a marginal issue.

    I think you are right. Arguing over abortion really isn’t that big of a deal. Its more of a side issue.

    I believe that marriage and reproduction are concerns of the church, not the state, and attempts to make them concerns of the state (at any level from federal on down) is basically replacing church-with-state.

    Abortion doesn’t have anything to do with marriage and reproduction. It has to do with taking the life of another human being. Is that not a function of government to protect that life?

  10. Red Phillips Says:

    Yeah, we wouldn’t want government interfering in the “medical decision” of whether or not a woman kills her own kid for the sake of convenience. Medical decision alright. On a par with taking an aspirin, I guess. Non-aggression, indeed.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    I don’t think abortion is a “side issue”—political questions don’t get much more basic than “who deserves the protection of the law?”

    It’s a marginal issue for the LP, though. The “major” parties have already co-opted the “soft” single-issue vote on either side of it quite well, and the Constitution Party shows that the “hard” single-issue pro-life vote is miniscule. I suspect that the “hard” single-issue pro-choice vote is just as small, and aggressively courting it tends to alienate voters who just don’t consider it that much of a priority at all.

  12. Trent Hill Says:


    I’v always found the “Non-aggression Principle”, as applied by the Radical LPers, to be rediculously flawed—mainly as it concerns Abortion.

  13. Michael Seebeck Says:

    I think you all ought to read the lenghty comment I made on the issue over at the LPCO resolution thread for some perspective.


  14. Andy Says:

    “Trent Hill Says:

    May 14th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I’v always found the ‘Non-aggression Principle’, as applied by the Radical LPers, to be rediculously flawed—mainly as it concerns Abortion.”

    Trent, there are radical Libertarian Party members who are anti-abortion. I know people in the LP who are hardcore anarchists who are also hardcore anti-abortion.

  15. G.E. Says:

    Phillies - Has it been a week yet?

    How about the daughters of the poor keep their fucking legs closed?

  16. G.E. Says:

    Red - Phillies is not a libertarian, and as such, does not bide by the non-aggression principle. He’s no more a libertarian than George W. Bush is a conservative.

  17. Jim Lesczynski Says:

    “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for the others!” - Kang

  18. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    This is one of those rare occasions when I agree wholeheartedly with Andy.

    The core of the argument over abortion in non-aggression-principle-based libertarian theory is whether or not the fetus is a person with rights. That determines to a large degree how the non-aggression principle is applied.

    If the fetus is a person with rights, then it has a right not to be arbitrarily killed. It might be killed in self-defense, i.e. if it threatens the life or health of the mother, but not “just because.” Some pro-choice libertarians try to slip a “right to evict an uninvited guest” argument in there, and that gets more complicated, but in my opinion it still resolves to a pro-life conclusion.

    If the fetus is not a person with rights, the abortion is nothing but an optional medical procedure. It has no more moral import than having a mole removed, and to forbid someone to have it done would itself be an act of aggression.

    I have an opinion on which of the above propositions is true, but I recognize that a difference of opinion on that question is not a litmus test for whether or not one is a non-aggression-principle compliant libertarian.

  19. matt Says:

    In a statement issued earlier today, Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies reiterated his commitment to keeping government at all levels out of the abortion question

    Let me take this moment to reiterate my commitment to keeping George Phillies out of all levels of the government question.

  20. Karsten Says:

    I think we should abort Phillies from this race. Let’s see how HE likes it!

  21. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Andy and Tom are right.

    The issue of non-aggression is separate from the issue of when does a being with 46 (more or less) chromosomes become a person.

    I don’t have an answer that satisfies me to the second question, though frankly (and mind you, I have no children and will probably never be allowed to adopt after writing this) I suspect it’s some time well after birth.

    Not that I’m condoning infanticide or anything. I’m just sayin’!

  22. Red Phillips Says:

    Even the most ardent pro-choice advocates quickly acknowledge how awful they think the procedure is. How it is a tragedy when someone has to resort to it. How they hope it is safe, legal and “rare.” They do this to avoid sounding like heartless monsters.

    But if the fetus is not something of intrinsic value and worth, then why do they care at all? Why is abortion of anymore consequence than a callous removal? Their argument really is not that the fetus isn’t human, but that it is sub-human. Entitled to some consideration, but not enough consideration so as to trump the mother’s right to have recreational consequence free sex by killing the “oops.”

    As a paleocon, I think framing the debate in terms of rights is not helpful. Abortion is not wrong because it deprives a baby of the “right to life.” Only a modern would babble such tortured language and logic. Abortion should be opposed not because someone’s rights are violated, but because it is abjectly wrong. If our society was at all decent, it would be considered worse than killing a stranger. It is the killing of your own child. Your own flesh and blood. A child that the mother has a non-voluntary obligation to. How disgusting and sick.

    Rights talk, and even to some extent “personhood” arguments, trivialize a vile act.

  23. Chris Bennett Says:

    I think George Phillies needs to retract a previous press release stating that us pro-lifers are the real domestic terrorists. I maybe pro-life but I don’t go bombing abortion clinics like George wants to believe. Besides, I am one of those pro-lifers who thinks that the abortion issue is way down on my issues list because we have bigger fish to fry.

  24. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Red, until you’ve lost a child and know what’s that like and can appreciate that personal hell, please STFU. I’ve been there and done that, and have the urn to prove it.

    Pro-choice people are not the “heartless monsters” you claim to be. That’s broad-brush painting in the classic kindergarten sense. It also denies medically-necessary abortions, which while rare, do happen.

    By extension, that implies all pro-life people are along the lines of kind-hearted angels. I give you Eric Rudolph as proof, thank you and goodnight to that.

    Pro-choice or pro-life, some are great people, and some are utter scum. It comes in all stripes. Welcome to life, starring everybody.

    So, too, goes the determination of the worth of a fetus. That worth is determined by the parent. Each parent determines it differrently and with different value. I’m not talking dollars and cents, here, but emotional meaning. In my case my sons both have priceless worth. We lost one through no choice of our own. In the case of an abortive parent, their determination was of less worth, and they made that decision based on that. Where you fail is the idea that YOUR determination of that worth, from whatever basis, should apply to EVERYONE, and that government should be used to enforce it.

    That’s statist bullshit.

    You state that abortion is “abjectly wrong”. Wrong by what standard? Killing a human? Then what’s a human? Go read the link I posted above.

    Remember the story about the man stealing bread to feed his family? The concepts of “wrong” and “right” depend on context and circumstances as much as, if not even more, than mere action. If you want to call that moral relativism, go ahead, because it is, but the fact is all morals are by definition relative. Aristotle and Aquinas proved that centuries ago. Murder is considered wrong unless the killing is done in warfare, while wearing the costumes of nation-states? By your defintion that’s murder as well, whether a political decision decided it to be legal to be killing another human being or not. Many so-called “pro-life” people support war and the killing it involves, and they are hypocrites. (I’m not saying you’re that way, Red, but I am saying others are.) They also swat flies, eat plants, drink chlorinated water, and eat animals, all of which involve killing life. They’re not pro-life purists in the slightest. We don’t disagee that killing another human is wrong in the moral sense. Denial of human life is The disagreement is what makes a group of cells a human being, as Susan pointed out above. And whether or not that organism is a human or not is not only central to the argument, but it is the argument.

    You call abortion “sick and disgusting”. That’s an opinion, and while I share it for personal reasons that are painfully obvious, and defnd your right to have it, that doesn’t give you the right or authority to require through the force of government everyone else to follow it. That’s where the anti-abortion movement is a threat to freedom, and why I for one am personally pro-life and politically pro-choice. I KNOW the emotion. I’ve lived it! And I cannot in good conscience, deny someone that hurt if they choose to go there, even while wishing they woudn’t, because nobody truly wants to go there when it happens involuntarily, and also because if people are going to commit actions, then they must accept the responsibility and consequencecs of those actions, no matter what they are. But you don’t deny the action on the front end, either. That’s freedom.

  25. G.E. Says:

    Abortion isn’t an issue on the federal level. The only issue is whether a candidate believes in the Originalist Constitution, or, if he/she—like Phillies—believes in the liberal inventions that have desecrated the Constitution and established an Imperial dictatorship seated in Washington. Saying “abortion is far down the list” is misleading—THE issue is “what is the role of the federal government,” and abortion is one of the most flagrant ways in which the federal government has imposed its will on the states. Therefore, even if you’re pro-legalized abortion, as a libertarian, Roe v. Wade and national abortion laws are inseparable from the quintessential question “what is the role of the federal government?”

  26. Michael Seebeck Says:

    G.E., one of the few legitimate functions of the federal government in terms of the states is to enforce and protect the rights of the People. That’s what Roe v. Wade, and the case it was built on, Griswold v. Connecticut, did. Remember that in the hierachry of powers of government vs. the rights of the People, the People win, because the government came from the People.

    But, outside of that constitutional principle, you are correct, it is otherwise not a federal issue.

  27. Hugh Jass Says:

    Since Phillies wants to keep abortion laws out of all levels of government, I suppose he would be willing to condemn his past support for the ruling of Roe v. Wade. (Last time I checked, the Supreme Court was part of the government).

  28. G.E. Says:

    Seebeck - Then you buy into the liberal inventions that the federal government has used to destroy the Republic. The notion that the federal government could police the internal affairs of the states comes from the 14th amendment, which was never even ratified. Your whole premise is based on a fiction.

    Yes, states should not violate the individual rights of their citizens. But do you want the U.N. invading your town and acting on your behalf? Would you like our government to invade China to defend the individual rights of the oppressed Chinese? It is a question of jurisdiction, and the federal government has none. If we only had to worry about our comparatively weak state governments as oppressors, with the freedom to flee one state for a freer one, trust me, we’d be home free.

  29. Michael Seebeck Says:

    No, G.E., the concept actually comes from the Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…” (emphasis added)

    People institute governments by consent to secure the rights of the People. When those rights aren’t being secured, the People alter the government to do so. They did exactly that with the 14th Amendment. It doesn’t matter whether that securing is from infirngement by foreign governments or parts of our own, or by other people. What part of Mr. Jefferson’s words do you not understand?

    Part of the federal government’s job is to protect the rights of the People from all oppressors, including the state governments. That’s what Equal Protection of the Laws in the 14th Amendment is all about. It’s what Establishing Justice as stated in the Preamble is all about.

    G.E., you make the mistake of asking if I equate national sovereignty and international sovereignty. I do not, and few libertarians do. The United States has no jurisdiction over China, nor the U.N. any over us. You brought it up in a large jump to a completely erroneous conclusion by asking those questions, when neither of those have anything at all to do with it!

    And I don’t consider state governments to be comparatively weak. Any pet owner can and will tell you otherwise as we fight the property rights war against the ARistas like HSUS and PETA as well as overbearing ACOs. Parents are having the same problems with CPS nationwide. ESPECIALLY NOW, with the recent (April 23) Virginia v. Moore ruling that basically made very state a police state with every citizen able to be detained for nothing at the whim of the cops!

    Nope, no liberla invention there, just the rotts of the nation and a reflection on modern times.

  30. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Sorry, that should be “liberal” and “roots” at the end there. Damn fingers!

  31. Hugh Jass Says:

    Great, so Michael is a declarationist like Keyes. Also, the entire basis for both sides’ arguments is that fetuses are/are not people. If you are pro-life from conception, then protecting the rights of the people would constitute banning abortion. If you are pro-life from birth, then protecting the rights of the people would constitute keeping abortion legal. I don’t see any reason why the federal government had any right to decide a scientific question, and I didn’t see any power to do so in Article III of the Constitution.

  32. Michael Seebeck Says:

    HugeAss, study history. Go read Locke’s Second Treatise. Go read the link I posted above. Until then, STFU because you are not fit to discuss this issue with me.

  33. G.E. Says:

    Seebeck - Oh, so you’re a Declarationist now?

    You make the mistake of assuming that the United States was intended to have a nationalist government. The STATES were to retain sovereignty. Anything else is an anti-libertarian proposition.

    The federal government’s job is NOT to protect you, except from foreign invasion. The Constitution is the highest law of the land, not Supreme Court interpretations thereof, and certainly not the Declaration of Independence.

    You think state government’s are comparatively weak when compared to the federal government. You are not living in reality.

    Giving any power to the federal government is anti-libertarian, period. It is so obvious that it’s ridiculous it needs to be said.

  34. Clark Says:

    ...i recently had a discussion with some goddamned fool abortion prohibitionists, CON. Party cretins, etc. who would apparently jail, ?execute, etc., the !boyfriend of the abortive mother (if he knew about it) for not promptly reporting any abortion (what some single-issue, BIG-government idiots term ‘murder’) to the stinking ‘abortion authorities!’..

    (it appears many of these crazed, goddamned fool abortion prohibitionists are/were big supporters of crazed, goddamned fool drug prohibition, etceterot ad nauseam…)

    ...perhaps you goddamned fool abortion prohibitionists, Con. Party busybodies, etc. assorted creeps, can restrain your fool selves to administering what’s at the end of YOUR umbilical cord in YOUR womb and allow others the same choice!..

    (hint: do you suppose these republicrat creeps would turn in their own daughter/son for committing abortion ‘murder?’) ;o)

    LOL! ..and it appears many of the loudest ‘pro-life’ peckerheads are big fans of the stinking ‘war on terror’ which has resulted in the real murder of tens of thousands!

    !STFU, republicrats!.. ;o)

  35. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    You write:

    “You make the mistake of assuming that the United States was intended to have a nationalist government. The STATES were to retain sovereignty. Anything else is an anti-libertarian proposition.”

    You’re confusing libertarianism with (your mangled version of) constitutional original intentism. They aren’t the same thing.

  36. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Thanks, Tom, you beat me to it. :)

    States retain limited sovereignty. See Article I. et seq.

    States cannot infringe on constitutional rights. If they could then the Constitution really IS “just a G-D piece of paper”.

    The feds cannot infringe on state powers. See Am. 10.

    Two different spheres of influence, each occupying its own space in our system of governance, all encompassed by the rights of the People, who gave consent to those spheres, the People whose rights which no government may infringe.

    I’m sorry you can’t seem to understand that concept so simply laid out in our Founding documents.

  37. G.E. Says:

    Mangled version?

    I’m not confusing libertarianism with constitutionalism. Chuck Baldwin is a constitutionalist, but he’s also (presumably, based on his party’s platform) a protectionist. Protectionism is consistent with the Constitution. Aggressive wars, if declared by Congress, are consistent with the Constitution. And yes, constitutionalists can be statists, quite literally, at the State level.

    But for a “libertarian” to assert individual rights that should be “protected” and “enforced” by a central government, a particularly central government that has been the greatest violator of individual rights in the history of humankind, and to cede it the necessary power to do so is literally the stupidest thing I can imagine, and completely inconsistent with libertarianism.

    It’s very simple. Should the federal government have more or less power? You say more.

  38. G.E. Says:

    Seebeck - Your assertions are LAUGHABLE. There is no such thing as “constitutional rights.” Your liberalism is mind boggling.

    Rights are not granted by the Constitution. Rights are inherent. But you are a STATIST so you can only see rights as being granted by the state, and protected by the state.

    The Constitution was created to limit federal authority. To say that it was intended at the time of its adoption to allow the federal government to protect the individual rights of the citizens of the sovereign states is just as inaccurate as saying Hitler was an African-American (not even German) who did not gas Jews, but instead, played euchre with Zoroastrians.

    You are a flaming moron, and I don’t know why I bother. There is literally NO historical basis for your comments. The 14th amendment was “ratified” at gunpoint in order to grant the federal government the powers you say it reserved for itself at the time of the Constitution’s adoption. Why the need for this power grab if the federal government was, as you say and wish, all powerful from its inception?

    You are a liberal statist, and like most of your ilk, you bend history to fit your hideously mangled ideology. You are either an idiot or as deluded as Robert Milnes. Either way, you’re a waste of my time.

  39. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    You write:

    “The Constitution was created to limit federal authority.”

    So much for originalism. The Constitution was specifically and explicitly created to EXPAND federal authority beyond the authority allowed it under the Articles of Confederation.

    Let’s see just how originalist you are: What do you think the framers meant by the term “Republican Form of Government?” And what do you think their intention was in enumerating a specific power/obligation of the federal government, in Article IV, Section 4, to guarantee such a form of government to each of the states?

  40. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Folks, it’s time for me to do a George Burns and step out of the set and address the audience here.

    G.E. calls me a statist.

    Pardon me while I laugh.

    He then reverts to namecalling, in his usual modus operandi, calling me “a flaming moron.”

    Pardon me while I chuckle.

    He then seems to think that I think that “constitutional rights” are rights granted by the constitution, when I never said any such thing. Anybody who has read my posts on here knows perfectly well that I think humans have rights by their very existence, by the very state of being human. “Constitutional rights”, then, are those ENUMERATED (EE-NOOM-UR-A-TED for G.E.) in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, versus the non-enumerated rights that are accounted for in the Ninth Amendment. If G.E. understood the Constitution then he would understand this concept.

    He then makes the laughable claim that the Constitution was created to limit federal authority. Thomas addresses that one quite well, and I’ll only add that the Constitution was designed to give the federal government the necessary powers it needed to be effective, unlike the more limiting and ineffective Articles it replaced.

    He also seems to decry that the Constitution and the underlying statutes protect our rights. I take it then that he is in direct opposition to 18 USC 242-244, which does exactly that. I guess G.E. likes the states ignoring rights guaranteed by the federal Constitution and running roughshod over us. That to me sounds like a statist.

    He then goes into the old “14th Amendment never properly ratified” argument which is an irrelevant red herring and only detracts from his credibility beyond his rant. It is accepted law that it is ratified whether G.E. likes it or not.

    He then goes on to suggest that I “say and wish” that the federal government was “all powerful from its inception”, words I never said or wished, except inside his own head. If he knew his history he would know that the real power grabs by the federal government coincided with the Civil War and 1913 Worst Three (16th and 17th Amendments and Federal Reserve Act). Not the 14th Amendment.

    He then concludes his rant with more namecalling.

    Pardon me while I smile. When he falls to that level, he is lost and everybody knows it.

    This has been been a public seervice mesage brought to you by Team Seebeck, who encourages you to support your local third party with a clear mind and calm demeanor.

    I’ll now jump back into the set and we return you to your regularly scheduled deporgramming…

    Thomas, you rock!
    We no

  41. Michael Seebeck Says:

    P.S. “We no” was a edit error and means nothing.

  42. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Make that “an” edit error. Damn fingers!

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