Lately there has been 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. I couldn’t disagree more. Johnson and Weld are unacceptable for pro-lifers. Period. Johnson has said he supports abortion up until viability, while Weld supports unlimited abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth.
The United States is currently one of only seven nations to allow abortion on-demand after five months — more than halfway through pregnancy and a point at which research shows the unborn child can feel pain. Seventeen states have passed legislation to end the horror of these late-term abortions within their borders, but only federal legislation will get us off the list of seven extreme countries, which includes China and North Korea.
A majority of the U.S. House and Senate have already voted in support of this compassionate, popular legislation, but we are going to need to protect our pro-life majority in the Senate and elect a pro-life president in order to move this ball down the court.
There is no evidence the Libertarian candidates will do anything for pro-life voters hoping to advance this legislation.
Some have argued that because they support limited government, the Libertarians are the most acceptable option for pro-lifers because they will not interfere with our recent legislative successes at the state level. In response, I point to a Libertarian town hall event hosted in June by CNN: Weld referred to recent Supreme Court decision striking down health and safety standards for abortion facilities as “good government.”
Considering those remarks from his militantly pro-abortion sidekick, what’s the basis for asserting Johnson ‘probably’ wouldn’t interfere with states’ efforts to pass pro-life laws? What about the type of Supreme Court justices Weld says Johnson would appoint, judges in the mold of Stephen Breyer or Merrick Garland? Does anyone believe a high court like that would not interfere with states’ efforts to place limits on abortion? And what about America’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood — would Johnson sign any legislation like the reconciliation bill defunding Planned Parenthood that passed Congress this year?
As Ron Paul says, “If you’re going to protect liberty, you have to protect the life of the unborn just as well.”
To protect is to act, and that is something the current Libertarian ticket for president — Gary Johnson and Bill Weld — have no intention of doing.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization dedicated to electing leaders and advancing legislation to reduce and ultimately end abortion.