Libertarians: Abortion is a matter for individual conscience, not public decree

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.

Alabama is the most recent state to pass newly restrictive anti-abortion laws in 2019, following Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio. Abortion remains legal at the federal level, so it is likely that as the new state laws are challenged, one or more cases will eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court as a challenge to the precedent set by Roe v. Wade in 1973. The Libertarian Party contains both people who may describe themselves as “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” but the party platform clearly states that these views should remain matters of individual conscience and not public policy.

“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,” the 2018 Libertarian Party platform states.

This position dates back to the earliest years of the Libertarian Party, especially the 1974 platform, which called for “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.”

Libertarians also oppose the use of taxpayer funds or other government resources for abortion. Like other matters of individual conscience, abortion should be kept out of the public sphere.

“The Libertarian Party calls for an end to government persecution and prosecution of the women who choose abortions and of the medical personnel who assist them,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “We also call for an end to subsidies, an end to prescription requirements for contraception, and an end to restrictive demographic adoption policies. Those who truly want to reduce abortions should consider that a culture of freedom, persuasion, and real individual choice can accomplish far more than a culture of prohibition and punishment ever has.”

2024 National Convention

May 23 - 26 | Washington, DC