Libertarian and Pro-Life Too (A Word to Gary Johnson)


Why Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Needs to Know that there are many Pro-Life Libertarians

By Lee Enochs


“Choose life that you and your family might life” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well” (Psalm 139: 14)


A few hours ago, I saw current Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Gary Johnson being interviewed on CNN. While I agree with the former New Mexico Governor on a many things, I take great umbrage with the statement he made when he said, “Libertarians are pro-choice.”

This is simply untrue and greatly misleading. Gary Johnson needs to know if he is not already aware of this, that there are many pro-life Libertarians who believe in minimal government interference and maximum freedom who at the same time believe that life begins at conception and that if the government is to exist at all, it should protect the life of the unborn.  Ron Paul and His son, Rand are pro-life Libertarians to name a couple of famous examples.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks to supporters and delegates at the National Libertarian Party Convention, Friday, May 27, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

While the subject of abortion and the right to life is a very controversial issue, it is simply unavoidable for anyone who seriously cares about the important issues facing America today.

The fact is, since Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark United States Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, over 59,000,000 babies have died through the procedure.

For a pro-life Libertarian such as myself, this is simply unacceptable. Today I am choosing to exercise my 1st Amendment right to the freedom of speech and state without shame and reservation, that I believe life begins at conception and that every precious child conceived in a mother’s womb irrespective of what point gestation, has inherent worth and dignity.

I personally believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and that the United States government should protect the lives of the unborn at any stage of an unborn babies life from conception to birth.

While I have been a life-long student of Christian theology and have theological reasons for my belief that the lives of the unborn should be protected by the State, I believe there are irrefutable facts concerning the lives of the unborn.

As the Family Research Council points out:

At the moment when a human sperm penetrates a human ovum, or egg, generally in the upper portion of the Fallopian Tube, a new entity comes into existence. “Zygote” is the name of the first cell formed at conception, the earliest developmental stage of the human embryo, followed by the “Morula” and “Blastocyst” stages.[1]

I believe the fertilized egg, irrespective of how old is a human being with inherent worth, dignity and rights and should be preserved and protected by the full power of the federal government.

The zygote is composed of human DNA and other human molecules, so its nature is undeniably human and not some other species.

The new human zygote has a genetic composition that is absolutely unique from itself, different from any other human that has ever existed, including that of its mother (thus disproving the claim that what is involved in abortion is merely “a woman and her body”).[5]

This DNA includes a complete “design,” guiding not only early development but even hereditary attributes that will appear in childhood and adulthood, from hair and eye color to personality traits.[6]

It is also quite clear that the earliest human embryo is biologically alive. It fulfills the four criteria needed to establish biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.[7]

Finally, is the human zygote merely a new kind of cell or is it a human organism; that is, a human being?

Scientists define an organism as a complex structure of interdependent elements constituted to carry on the activities of life by separately-functioning but mutually dependant organs.[8] The human zygote meets this definition with ease. Once formed, it initiates a complex sequence of events to ready it for continued development and growth:


I am a pro-life Libertarian who believes in a minimal state the protects the rights of the unborn. As the current Libertarian Party platform states, “Government exists to protect the rights of every individual, including life, liberty and property.”

I believe the unborn should be protected since they are in fact human beings and individuals.

Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. We favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes, since only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves. We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

Please see:



[1] Marjorie A. England, “What Is An Embryo?” in Life Before Birth, Marjorie A. England (London: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996).


[2] Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1998): 77, 350.


[3] Ibid.


[4] Carl Sagan, Billions and Billions (New York: Random House, 1997): 163-179. See The American Heritage Medical Dictionary: “The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.” The American Heritage Medical Dictionary, reprint edition (May 7, 2008), s.v. “Life.”


[5] For more on the definition of an organism see MedlinePlus, the online health information service of the National Institutes of Health: MedlinePlus/Merriam-Webster Online, s.v. “Organism,” accessed January 21, 2011 , medlineplus/organism.

For the full article by the Family Research Council, please see:

Lee Enochs (B.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Editor-In-Chief of the Libertarian Shaman and author of the books, “The Case for Rand Paul” and,  “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism.” Lee is also currently a graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey where he is active in Libertarian politics on campus and in the community.


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