Politics

Pro-life voices take differing positions on candidacy of Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson

In the 2016 presidential election, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, formerly the Republican governor of New Mexico, has gained much attention for a minor party candidate.

As Adam Peters for Live Action News has highlighted before, Johnson believes in the “right” to abortion before viability. Calvin Freiburger also reported on Johnson’s interview with Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner, during which Johnson reaffirmed his stance on abortion. He also revised his 2012 view that abortion laws should be left up to the states and emphasized that Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe v. Wade, is “the law of the land.”

Pro-life political advocacy group Susan B. Anthony List last month released a Facebook graphic, calling Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, “an unacceptable choice for pro-life voters.”

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser also responded to “a flurry of interest in the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, including op-eds suggesting that they are a sensible alternative for pro-life voters disillusioned with both major parties,” writing for The Pulse.

One of those op-eds comes from Andrea Ruth for National Review, with “Why Pro-Life Conservatives Should Vote for Gary Johnson.”

“Is [sic] spite of the apparent incoherence on this issue, the Libertarian party is more unified than the other major parties this year, which speaks volumes about this election cycle,” Ruth writes. In a way, the party is united, with both men on their ticket supporting abortion, with Weld doing so up until birth for any reason.

“On Tenth Amendment grounds, he probably would not interfere with states’ efforts to restrict abortion,” Ruth begins her article with added emphasis.

Ruth focuses on not using taxpayer dollars for abortions and 20-week bans, the latter which she points out has failed at the federal level but passed in many states.

“Gary Johnson and the Libertarian party are generally pro-choice, framing abortion as an individual-liberty issue, but they staunchly support states’ rights as enshrined in the Tenth Amendment. Thus, it is highly unlikely that a Johnson administration would interfere with states’ efforts to restrict abortion within their borders,” she writes with added emphasis.

The key words are “probably” and “highly unlikely.” Ruth cannot be sure, especially since she’s more so talking about the views of a pre-2016 Gary Johnson.

The pro-life support comes not just from op-eds, but politicians. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) is set to retire from Congress, but not before endorsing Johnson over the weekend. He has a pro-life record according to National Right to Life Committee, and has co-sponsored numerous pro-life bills during his time in Congress since 2011.

Dannenfelser closes her response with a quote from pro-life Libertarian Ron Paul as a reminder. “If you’re going to protect liberty, you have to protect the life of the unborn just as well. In her piece for National Review, she adds that “[n[either Johnson nor Weld has embraced this viewpoint. In fact, all claims of their neutrality aside, the evidence suggests they will act against us.”

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