Sean Edwards

The American Resurrection

Why Pro-Lifers Can Vote For Gary Johnson (With A Clean Conscience)

8644584068_c7b4727ff0_o(Note: I am a Pro-Life libertarian. It has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with reason and logic. To learn more, click here.)

Gary Johnson is rising in the polls as a viable 3rd party candidate for the election.

Which is a good thing. Virtually everyone dislikes the two nominees.

Many people are voting primarily to stop the other candidate… not because they believe in their candidate.

As Johnson’s campaign points out, people want someone to vote for, not against.

  • He leads among young people, beating both Hillary and Trump.
  • He resonates with a lot of people’s frustration with the establishment.
  • And he appears to have a proven record as the Governor of New Mexico.

But many conservatives are having a hard time supporting him because of his stance on abortion.

His site states:

On a personal level, Gary Johnson believes in the sanctity of the life of the unborn. As Governor, he supported efforts to ban late-term abortions.

However, Gov. Johnson recognizes that the right of a woman to choose is the law of the land, and has been for several decades… Gov. Johnson feels strongly that women seeking to exercise their legal right must not be subjected to prosecution or denied access to health services by politicians in Washington, or anywhere else. (reference)

Translation: Personally, he believes life begins at conception. Politically, he is Pro-Choice, which, for many conservatives, is a non-starter.

For many, a person’s position on abortion determines their eligibility as a candidate.

The point of this article, however, is to explain why Pro-Lifers can–and should–support Johnson.

Six, One Half-Dozen, Or The Other

Let’s be honest for a moment… all three candidates are (most likely) pro-choice.

(Still wondering how an objectivist, libertarian is Pro-Life? Click here to read why reason, not religion, mandates we criminalize abortion.)

I know Trump states he’s Pro-Life, but we don’t really know that for sure. And we have it on good ground that he has been Pro-Choice in the past.

Has his position truly changed? Did he have an epiphany about the sanctity of life?

Possibly. But based on what we’ve seen in the media, we don’t really know where Trump stands on the issue.

I’m not calling him a liar. I’m just saying that prior to this election, he appears to have been Pro-Choice, and his “conversion” is in question.

Hillary is Pro-Choice. Enough said.

And Gary Johnson is Pro-Choice as well.


Not all Pro-Choicers are created equal.

Hillary will, undoubtedly, try to expand government to increase services–including abortions–to more people. Meaning more people will get abortions.

Johnson, however, will try to shrink government. Therefore, government access and/or funding for abortion clinics will most likely decrease, if not disappear altogether. Meaning, fewer people will get abortions.

Also, Hillary will undoubtedly try to expand regulations and health laws to make more types of abortion legal.

Johnson has proven that he will reign in abortion. He actively fought to ban late-term abortion in New Mexico. Hillary can’t say that.

And Trump… well, we just don’t know what Trump will do.

It is entirely possible that in order to pass a bill, Trump would sell the farm on abortion. Meaning he could do more damage than Hillary.

Or he could stick to his guns and fight for life. That, however, is unknown.

When you compare all 3 candidates, Johnson is the safest bet for Pro-Lifers.

Johnson’s presidency is the only presidency that will most likely decrease the number of abortions.

The President Is Impotent

But when it comes down to it, the president is virtually impotent to change abortion laws.

It’s all talk to get a vote.

The President only has 2 ways they can influence abortion policy (I said influence, not change):

  1. Support/Veto Laws that Impact Abortions
  2. Selection of Supreme Court Justices

U.S. Government 101:

  • Congress Writes The Law
  • The President Executes the Law
  • The Supreme Court makes sure the Law is Constitutional (and that Congress and the President are acting in accordance with the Constitution)

I know, I know, the Constitution doesn’t actually grant the Supreme Court that power.

But, the Constitution isn’t 100% clear on this point. We also have it on good authority that many of the founding fathers wanted it this way.

But since Marbury v. Madison (1803) this is how it’s been, and how it works today.

The President is only supposed to execute and administer the laws that Congress writes. Which means that the President can only encourage legislation they like, or veto legislation they don’t like.

This means that Congress holds the power to outlaw abortion.

However, since Roe v. Wade, certain legal precedents have been established that make it nigh impossible to criminalize abortions.

If Congress writes a law banning abortion, the President must sign it, and it has to stand up against any legal challenges.

I promise you this: If Congress passed a law banning abortion, there would be MANY legal challenges by Pro-Choice supporters and activists.

This means that any law involving abortion will ultimately go before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will decide the future of abortion, not the President.

However, the President nominates Justices to the Supreme Court.

Do You Want A Clinton, Trump, or Johnson Supreme Court?

Our next President will probably nominate several justices to the high court.

Out of our 3 candidates, who do you think will nominate good justices for America?

And who do you think is more likely to pick Pro-Life justices?

Hillary definitely won’t.

Under a Hillary presidency, we will see a fortification of Roe v. Wade, not a challenge to it.

Again, who knows what Trump will do.

He published his list of candidates, but we don’t know that’s who he’ll actually pick.

Trump is a cunning businessman. If he wants something bad enough, he’s willing to compromise on lesser points to get what he wants (which is some instances is a strength).

His commitment to Pro-Life policy is in question. Who’s to say that he won’t nominate a liberal justice in order to achieve consensus on something else?

Trump could be the Pro-Life savior, or he could be its anti-christ. We just don’t know.

But Johnson will undoubtedly nominate originalist judges to the highest court.

These are Justices who believe the Constitution means what it says and says what it means.

They reject the idea that the Constitution is a “living document”, and that we can reinterpret it however we like.

Yes, it is “living” in the since that we can change it through the amendment process, but it has a very hard meaning. The authors had a purpose behind it and we need Justices who will defend that purpose.

Fortunately for us, originalist judges are often Pro-Life.

What does this mean? Even though Johnson personally defends a form of Pro-Choice, the justices he would pick–who actually determine abortion law–will most likely be Pro-Life.

If we want to see abortion outlawed, the Supreme Court holds the keys.

And the Supreme Court is determined by the President.

Which candidate is going to supply competent justices who are most likely Pro-Life?

Gary Johnson wins hands down.

Hillary certainly won’t.

And who knows what Trump will do.

But we can be fairly confident that Johnson will select Pro-Life justices.

This means that Pro-Life conservatives (or democrats) can vote for Johnson with a clear conscience. And, when argued a certain way, they should vote for Johnson.

He may be the best option for Pro-Lifer’s in this campaign.

But beyond that, Johnson will:

  • Reduce the size of government
  • Reduce government spending
  • Reduce government taxes
  • Increase revenues
  • Balance the Budget
  • And select justices that will guard our Constitution for decades to come

Gary Johnson is the smartest choice for Pro-Life voters in this election.

No candidate is perfect. However, I encourage you to give Gary Johnson a serious look. In him, you may find a candidate you can support.

You can learn more about Gary Johnson here.

About Sean Edwards

Sean Edwards is an author and a communication strategist. He graduated from the Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in history. Sean has a passion for discussing philosophy and American politics.

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2 Replies

  1. Eileen

    Normally I like what you write. This post kind of ticked me off. On what basis are you so skeptical of Trump? Just because he did things in the past does not mean he will do the same things in the future. The average American changes focus an average of seven times in their life and even changes political positions more than that. Most polls that I’ve seen with Johnson have him behind Jill Stein and if the polls accurately reflect independents, have him behind Stein.

    Secondly, Johnson has said things that I don’t think represents libertarianism. For example, minimum wage, common core and free trade. If you actually look at the TPP, there are only 4 chapters devoted to trade. The other 29 deal with internet control, free speech, global warming. If Johnson embraces the TPP, which I think he does, then he is most likely NOT a libertarian and doesn’t even come close to representing libertarian opinions.

    I’d rather go with someone whose resume includes becoming rich through the free market, even if his or her political opinions are not that well known than someone whom the FBI says put our nation’s security at risk or can only say he hates Donald Trump because “he’s a racist”. Cmon, Johnson you can do better than that if you call yourself a libertarian. At the very least the person who got rich through the free market understands it and so far doesn’t appear to be afraid to use it to solve the nation’s problems. Johnson didn’t even say he’d reduce regulations, whereas Trump did several times.

    If you hate Trump and don’t wish to vote for him, that’s your right. However, to present Johnson as a libertarian does this otherwise insightful column injustice.

    1. Sean Edwards

      Eileen, I’m sorry my post made you upset.

      Let me clarify 2 points: I’m not calling Trump a liar. I’m saying that he’s a question mark. He’s an astute businessman and has many qualities that make him a good leader. But to answer your question as to how I can you be skeptical of Trump, because a person’s past gives you an idea of how they will act in the future. No one is bound by their past. People change their behavior and their attitudes. But your past is still a good indicator of how you’ll act in the future. You’re right, people change their positions a lot. I can attest to that. I’ve been a socialist, moderate democrat, conservative, and libertarian… all in less than 10 years. So, I don’t hammer on politicians for “flip flopping.” People’s opinions and perspectives change. And we should allow our politicians do that. In fact, I want politicians who change their minds. It means they are thinking, considering ideas, weighing pros and cons. If a person never changes their opinion, then I don’t want them as a leader. It means they don’t think, and they aren’t open to new ideas.

      So, I’m not hitting Trump for that. I am saying that we don’t really know what he’s going to do. If he wants to pass Law A bad enough, he may be willing to negotiate on abortion to do it. That’s all I’m saying. For Pro-Lifers, I’m not convinced we can trust Trump to make any positive changes in abortion law.

      My second point of clarification: You are correct, Gary Johnson is not a great Libertarian. But I think he’s the best candidate out of the 3. He has a proven record as the governor of New Mexico, and he’s far more libertarian than Hillary or Trump. Johnson supports a lot of things I don’t. But, like I said in my post, no candidate is perfect.

      Thank you for sharing your ideas. I hope you’ll keep reading.

      – Sean