The Nonreligious Are Most Supportive of a Woman’s Right to Choose

While the percentage of Americans who are “pro-choice” is at a record-low, nonreligious Americans are still the subgroup most likely to support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, according to the latest Gallup polling:

Americans with no religious attachment (self-identified atheists, agnostics, and those with simply no religious preference) identify as pro-choice by a 49-percentage-point margin over pro-life, 68% to 19%. This represents the strongest propensity toward the pro-choice position of any major U.S. demographic (as distinct from political) subgroup. This group is also more heavily pro-choice than Democrats, but its views are similar to those of political “liberals,” 74% of whom are pro-choice and 19% pro-life.

It’s still a far cry from where it should be for our group, but if you want evidence that religion is bad for women, look no further.

Also bad for women: People with decreasing levels of education.

Also bad for women: People 55 and older.

Also bad for women: Other women, who are 46% (!) pro-life:

Oh hell, just about every demographic is bad for women. Nonreligious people are just less bad.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

    It seems religious people, less-educated people, and those who can’t get pregnant (men and post-menopausal women)  are the ones who most often support forcing women to bear children against their will.  

    • The Other Weirdo

       If that’s true, what do you think the future holds? They don’t need good arguments against atheism. They just need to outbreed atheists, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

      • Coyotenose

         It doesn’t appear to be working so far. Our numbers as a percentage keep increasing. As we become an accepted mainstream philosophy, those who are believers will, in the majority, become less religious simply because we’ll be seen as another type of normal rather than a fringe bogeyman, and the culture itself will become less religious. Less religion = fewer kids.

        • The Visual Meister

           This is one of those things we can’t see until after the fact.

  • Gwen

    It perplexes me that women (and men) old enough to remember women dying from illegal abortions, and old enough to have it personally affect their families, are the strongest proponent against keeping abortions safe and legal. I am a pro-choice woman of color over the age of 55. I remember what the lack of access to legal abortion and poor access to birth control did to my mom, and how it affected my childhood for her to have children she did not want. Dad wanted a big family, mom did not. Dad got the big family, mom fell into alcoholism and depression. The entire family suffered. 

    • Miss_Beara

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am not old enough to remember when abortion was illegal, but it makes me sad and scared to think that there are people who want to make it illegal again. Making abortion illegal will never make it go away. 

  • Miss_Beara

    I don’t understand how the Gallup Poll could say such a bold statement like “Pro Choice at Record Low!” when they only asked 1024 people their thoughts on the matter. Hardly representative of anything realistic.  

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Umm… that’s how polling works. Long story. Take a stats class :)

      • Prezombie

        Polling less than 1/300000 of a population is a sample size small enough to introduce major error bars, especially on the lower population demographics. Regional variations can also significantly affect results.

        Even the oft-criticized for small sample size Nielson Ratings operate with a sample size six times larger.

        • Hibernia86

          That is a good point. If we were polling the entire world on an issue, for example, 1024 people polled would not nearly be enough. Polls of 1000 people seem to be standard for many places, but you’d think that number would be better connected to the total number of people in the area being polled.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TLHIXVS2CHDJNWYPZJIZ5NNZ3A Robert

      The real problem with this poll is the way they just asked the “pro-life” vs “pro-choice” question. 

      If they ask: “Do you think abortion should remain legal?” or ask: “Do you think doctors and nurses who perform abortions should go to jail?” you get a totally different result.

  • Ndonnan

    Also bad for woman…science,irifutable proof what your aborting is a human being.

    • DealWithItBrah

       Good luck with that.

    • Miss_Beara

      Science. 

      I don’t think it means what you think it means. 

      • Baby_Raptor

        It means what he wants it to mean. That’s all you can do when actual facts don’t back you up–Twist it. 

    • Revyloution

      Not exactly sure what your’e getting at Ndonnan.   If your’e trying to say that a fetus is ‘alive’, then yes, it is.  That is a far cry from it being a person that deserves rights and protections under the law.  Cancer is alive,  so are my skin cells,  yet we don’t call it murder when we excise a tumor or get a deep exfoliation. 

      How we define ‘human being’ in terms of individual rights has to be connected to the conscious brain, not basic biology.  

      • Ndonnan

        Except given a few weeks those “cells” dont kill you,does have a brain and does feel pain.Google abortion videos and you all do the twisting of science to make it say otherwise.

    • Baby_Raptor

      I guess it’s good that no such thing exists! 

    • Coyotenose

       The argument is not whether a embryo or fetus is a human being, it’s whether it’s a person.

      THIS HAS BEEN CLEARLY AND REPEATEDLY EXPLAINED TO YOU.

      You are a very dishonest person. Disgusting.

      • Nordog6561

        Is Ndonnan sufficiently disgusting to you such that you would deny his/her personhood?

        Yeah, people with your depth of compassion for those with whom you disagree and who sit in judgement of who is and is not a person just warms the cockles of my heart.

        • amycas

          ” Is Ndonnan sufficiently disgusting to you such that you would deny his/her personhood?”

          What? No, nobody ever even implied this.

          People with your depth of compassion for women and who sit in judgement of how women use their bodies just warms the cockles of my heart.

          • Nordog6561

            Nobody implied?  There’s an awful lot o’ personhood denial going on around these parts.

            I’m less concerned by how women use their bodies than I am how thier doctors use curretes and vacuum cleaners.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

               Dude, THAT’S NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS!

              What a woman decides to do with her uterus is between her and her doctor. YOU don’t get a say.

              • Nordog6561

                Dudette, IT IS MY BUSINESS!

                LOL.

                But you are right.  What a woman does with her uterus is between her and her doctor, and I don’t even care to have a say.

                Now, about that person living in the uterus, that’s a different story, and I’m going to have my say every day.

                The only way you can get me to stop having my say is to do to me what you advocate doing to the unborn.

                You know, I had a say in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.  Lot’s of men did.  Too bad you.

                And even more men had a say with it was upheld at the SCOTUS in the Gonzales vs Carhart decision.  Too bad for you.

                Ultimately, the pro-choicers will be shown to be on the wrong side of history with abortion, much like advocates of slavery have been shown to be.

                Too bad for you (but great for humanity).

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                   That “person” HAS NO RIGHT TO RESIDE IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION.

                  THERE IS NO RIGHT TO USE A PERSON’S BODY AGAINST THEIR WILL!

                  IF I DON’T WANT THAT FETUS IN THERE, I HAVE EVERY FUCKING RIGHT TO USE ANY AMOUNT OF FORCE NECESSARY TO REMOVE IT, UP TO AND INCLUDING DEADLY FORCE, AND YOU CAN’T DO SHIT ABOUT IT!

                • Nordog6561

                  “That “person” HAS NO RIGHT TO RESIDE IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION.”

                  Actually, there comes a point in every pregnancy where that statement is no longer true.  Too bad for you.

                  “IF I DON’T WANT THAT FETUS IN THERE, I HAVE EVERY FUCKING RIGHT TO USE ANY AMOUNT OF FORCE NECESSARY TO REMOVE IT, UP TO AND INCLUDING DEADLY FORCE, AND YOU CAN’T DO SHIT ABOUT IT!”

                  Actually, according to certain SCOTUS rulings such as Rov v. Wade and Gonzales vs Carhart, this is not true either.  You don’t have that right, at least in America.  And while it is technically true that I personally cannot do anything about it, certain law enforcement agencies can, though they seem loath to do so.  So, kinda too bad for you and good for you too.

                  I applaud your subtle yet succinct mode of expression however.  It’s that light compassionate touch with all the “SHIT” and “FUCK” and the upper-case-CAPS-LOCK-psychosis that instills such a warm feeling of trust in the depth of your prudential judgements.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                   You’re a liar. The Roe v. Wade decision affirmed a woman’s RIGHT to choose.

                  Fuck you, you woman-hating sack of shit.

                • http://wordsideasandthings.blogspot.com/ Garren

                   “If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.” — Roe v Wade

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                   And how often do women wait until fetal viability to go, “Oh, oops, I want an abortion?”

                  (Hint: NEVER.)

                • Nordog6561

                  You obviously have not actually read Blackmun’s majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. That, along with the Gonzales vs Carhart decision does indeed restrict abortion. Your right to kill the human child person within you is not absolute like you think it is. Too bad for you.

                  You need to school up.

                  You know, when it comes to liars and hatfule sexist bigots, you are projecting.  I have not lied, and I don’t hate women. 

                  If ever there were a phrase that demonstrated an utter, abject immunity to any sense of irony it would be the phrase, “Fuck you, you woman-hating sack of shit.”

                  Such bile, such hatred, such calumny, all marshalled in such a way as to suggest that the bile, hatred, and calumny were found in “the other” when in fact it is you.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  You’re a lying misogynist sack of shit BECAUSE you advocate forcing women to remain pregnant AGAINST THEIR WILL, and  then have the nerve to claim you’re not .

                • Coyotenose

                   You’ve been demonstrated to be lying several times in this thread. Too bad for you, lying dumbfuck.

                • Patterrssonn

                  Fuck you, you woman hating sack of shit!

                  Hmm, I think wmdkitty might be on to something.

                • Coyotenose

                   Thanks for admitting that you’re trolling, you lying sleazebag. You already know you lost, which is why you have to resort to just trying to make people mad.

                  Pretending that vehemence in debate defeats the debater’s points is just mot lying on your part. Whining about bad words is just, well, childishly whining. Too bad for you, dumbfuck.

                • Revyloution

                  Whoah, WMD,  lighten up on the all caps.  There is a reason they are hitting  your posts and not mine.  I have a clear logical argument that they can’t refute.  You have a strong emotional response they can ridicule to get a reaction.  

                  Stop, breathe, and remember that a fetus doesn’t have enough of a nervous system to have memories, or self consciousness.  In the first 20 weeks,  a common house mouse has more cognitive function, and the theists in this world have no problem setting out a trap to smash their brains out.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                   And what, pray tell, is so “illogical” about pointing out the fact that it is immoral and illegal to force one person to give up their bodily resources for another?

                  It’s perfectly logical. If I can’t force you to give up a kidney, you can’t force me to be a life-support system for a parasite.

                  I have every goddamn RIGHT to be ANGRY that some men — men who will never have to act as a life-support system — are trying to tell me that if I ever get pregnant, I have some kind of “obligation” to carry to term, regardless of how I feel about it, or how my life, and my physical and mental health will be affected. All because I have ovaries and a uterus.

                  It’s fucking OFFENSIVE.

                  I am NOT a fucking brood-mare, and I WILL NOT bow to those who will never be affected by pregnancy.

                  By the way, I’m assuming if I should ever need, say, a liver, I can just connect myself to Nordog’s body and use him as a life-support system for as long as I need to, regardless of whether or not he consents. That is, after all, the logical extension of what he is advocating.

                • Coyotenose

                   Of course you have the right to be offended. These woman-hating sleazeballs are very offensive. What he’s saying is that they’re TROLLS. They KNOW they have no good case, which is why they have to ignore ours. They do not care about the debate, and are aware they’ve lost, badly. They just want to get a rise out of someone so their little chubs can get semi-unflaccid.

                • Miss_Beara

                  “Ultimately, the pro-choicers will be shown to be on the wrong side of history with abortion”

                  So you want to make abortion illegal like it used to be in the “good ole days.” Except abortion never went away even when it was illegal. Women died getting illegal abortions. Women used coat hangers to give themselves abortions. Or do you not care about that?

                  Someone posted a heartbreaking story about growing up during a time where abortion wasn’t legal, women dying from illegal ones and poor access to birth control a few posts up. I, for one, would hate to go back to that time. 

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  And he has the nerve to ask why I called him a misogynist sack of shit. THAT, RIGHT THERE, IS WHY I’M ANGRY.

                • Coyotenose

                   Thanks for admitting in your response to me that you’re willing to lie about those who demand actual arguments. You’re a twisted little sack, Nordog, but I do appreciate you coming out and telling us that you can’t be trusted in debate and that everything you write can be dismissed as incompetent ranting.

                • Patterrssonn

                  Womens reproductive rights are on he wrong side of history? Not very familiar with earth history are you.

            • Patterrssonn

              Could you be a little creepier Nordog?

            • amycas

               yeah, that’s not how modern abortions are done.

        • Coyotenose

           So instead of refuting the point, you have to say that I’m violent towards those with whom I disagree? Your projection is noted. You’re one sick little piece of lying shit, Nordog.

      • Ndonnan

        suck it up princess,youve got your nose up your coyte

    • Patterrssonn

      We’re you drunk when you wrote that? That’s the only rational I can come up with for that garbled disaster of a post.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

         Nope, xe always posts like that.

  • CanadianNihilist

    Why are there many anti-choice nonreligious people?
    What is their reasoning behind it if not religion?

    • monyNH

       I think a lot of people are right when they point out the faulty wording of this survey. I know many people who are personally pro-life (i.e. would never, under any circumstances, consider having an abortion) who nonetheless believe that terminating a pregnancy is a choice between each woman and her doctor. (Why these people don’t consider themselves pro-choice is something I do not understand).

      As we learn more about fetal development, and as technology like 3D ultrasounds make the “babiness” (for want of a better word) of a fetus more apparent, it can change attitudes toward terminating a pregnancy. Add to this the survival rates of babies born extremely premature, and it muddies the waters even more. It’s not an issue that lends itself to certitudes. Back when birth control was difficult or impossible for women to obtain (my mom needed her mother to go with her to the doctor’s to get a prescription for the Pill–in 1966–when she was 19 and about to get married!), and less effective, I think the case for abortion rights was a bit easier to make. Today, when we have a myriad of choices for preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place…a pro-choice argument is not so monolithic. I can understand–to a point–how even the non-religious might be caught up in the twin notions of personal responsibility and the potential life of a fetus. (FWIW, I don’t share those notions.)

      • amycas

         The only monolithic pro-choice argument I use is that it is the woman’s body and nobody has the right to use it without her consent.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

           THIS!

          If it wants to take up residence in MY BODY, for ANY period of time, it had damn well better be paying rent!

          • The Other Weirdo

             It doesn’t want to. It’s not a process that it starts on its own, or has anything to do with. Let’s dispense with the notion that the developing fetus is somehow maliciously demanding the use of an unsuspecting uterus.

            Interestingly, you’re using the same appeal to emotion to argue your side as the religious use to argue theirs.

            • Coyotenose

               That you don’t grasp that metaphors will occur in an imperfect language doesn’t reflect badly on wmdkitty.

              Do you also argue that atheists who say “I believe in evolution” and theists who say “I believe in God” use the word in the same sense?  I’ll guess that you don’t, because in THAT case you understand the concept.

              • The Other Weirdo

                If it was meant as a metaphor, then I don’t think it’s a very good one. It’s a metaphor for nothing. The other poster makes it sound like it’s a chest burster from the Alien franchise. Even in its embryonic form, it’s far more conscious and aware and proactive than a human embryo. It wants to be in your chest, and it wants to literally rape your body to death, and it’ll kill you before it lets you take it out. Of course, it’s an equal opportunity killer: it doesn’t discriminate between men and women. Or, for that matter, even aliens.

                A regular, human embryo and later fetus, isn’t like that. It doesn’t want, it just is. That’s all I’m saying: we should dispense with all this emotionally overcharged language about parasites who want to use your body  without permission.

                Yes, English is an imperfect language, but as Shakespeare pointed out, it can be beautifully used nonetheless.

                • Coyotenose

                  The “parasite” thing is definitely an appeal to emotion. Sometimes it’s appropriate to the discussion, usually it’s not. I don’t disagree with wmd on its use here, though, for this reason: While objectively it is not an accurate description of things, the “Pro-Life” movement acts to move sentiment about pregnancy further away from its stated desires. By constantly attacking womens’ rights, they are invoking a Backlash Effects. They are strengthening the resolve of their opposition, and you know how that inflames rhetoric.

                  Of course the opposite is also true.

                  And because someone will think so, no, that is not saying that women are irrational about pregnancy. It’s saying that people become more active and aggressive in reaction to pressure.

                  I always thought Shakespeare’s main point was “Being on stage enrages people to the point of stabbing one another after three or four hours.”

            • Ndonnan

              Yep,its kinda embarrassing to read 

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

               Regardless of whether it “wants to” or not, it still does not have the right to use my body as a life support system WITHOUT MY CONSENT.

              And no, having sex is NOT “consent to pregnancy”.

              • The Other Weirdo

                 Then why is sex automatic consent to paying 18+ years of support?

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  False equivalence.

                  Paying child support is in NO WAY SIMILAR to enduring a pregnancy.

                  Pregnancy entails changes in the body, ALL of which are uncomfortable, some of which are permanent, some of which can be FATAL. Pregnancy puts a woman at higher risk of death, by both natural means (pregnancy complications) and via assault and murder (by angry men who don’t want to pay child support).

                  Paying a monthly sum of money has no effect on your body.

                  Quit whining “What about teh menz” and get it through your fucking head that WOMEN are the ONLY ONES QUALIFIED TO DECIDE whether or not to remain pregnant. Shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down — when men can get pregnant, you can have an opinion.

                • The Other Weirdo

                   9 months vs 18+ years? With ever-increasing demands? If you think that doesn’t have an impact on the body, you’ve never had to support 2 households, 1 of which they can’t be a part of.

                  That’s not even the point, though. It’s the no-choice that rankles. You routinely claim that it’s your choice only, you’re the only one qualified to decide, that biology is not destiny.

                  Abortion eliminates biology-is-destiny, but for women only, since only women can make the choice to abort. You can claim that the man made his choice when he unzipped his fly, but that’s a bad claim since it rebounds on you with the counter-claim that so did the woman when she spread her legs, and therefore no abortion is necessary, except in medical emergencies, cases of rape, and all the other usual disclaimers.

                  Your swearing at me like a sailor and shrieking in ALL-CAPS doesn’t alter the fact that you want to reserve all post-sex choice for women and reduce men to nothing more than breathing ATMs. And here I was under the delusion that it was all about eqeuality.

                  And no, I will not shut the fuck up, and no, I will not sit the fuck down. You’re the reason I will never accept an atheism welded inseparably to feminism.

                  Additionally, it’s a bad—extremely bad—argument that pregnancy puts women at higher risk of death due to assault by angry men who don’t want to pay support. While technically true, it makes all men out to be potential murderers which, in retrospect, is what feminist thought boils down to. But I will not allow you to claim that the potential actions of a few is reason enough to legislate rights from all men.

                  You want CHOICE? Be willing to accept responsibility and live with the consequences of that choice.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Oh look. More slut-shaming, with the “keep your legs closed” comment. Niiice.

                  18 years of financial support is still NOTHING compared to pregnancy.

                  18 years of financial support isn’t going to cause diabetes or eclampsia. It won’t make you bleed out and die. It won’t forever alter your body. It won’t require abdominal surgery. It won’t tear you from one hole to the other, requiring reconstructive surgery.

                  You simply CANNOT, in good conscience, claim that paying child support is in any way similar to pregnancy.

                  The fact that you are arguing that very point, and whining “What about teh menz?” tells me one thing: You are a misogynist piece of shit that only wants women to be brood mares. Fuck you AND your whiny bullshit.

                  And it is true that a pregnant woman is more likely to die at the hands of her male partner than in any other way. You know who can do something about that? MEN. You know, by NOT MURDERING PREGNANT WOMEN. Don’t you dare get upset with me for pointing out the rotten truth. If you wanna be upset, be upset at your fellow MEN for THEIR BEHAVIOR.

                • Ndonnan

                  Here Here well said, angry girl hates personal responsibilityShes all victim mentality .

                • Coyotenose

                   Several orders of magnitude difference there. Also, the welfare of a helpless person (not a bundle of undifferentiated cells or a brainless embryo) is involved. There’s also both a strong stabilizing motive for society, and a strong economic motive.

          • monyNH

            Allow me to play devil’s advocate…

            It’s not as if a clump of cells is going to walk up to a woman and jump into her uterus. Aside from instances of rape or coercion, a woman has to DO something to get that clump of cells in there. It’s not taking up residence; it was invited. I realize that birth control fails, and medical and other issues happen, which is why I support abortion remaining a legal medical procedure. But aside from the obvious exceptions, unwanted pregnancies don’t happen on their own.

            Here’s an idea: if you don’t want anything taking up residence in your body, either use reliable birth control or keep your pants on. It’s not that difficult.

            • Coyotenose

               A few counters:

              1. Therefore, men should be required to get snipped in advance of any sex (to be reversed when a couple wants children of course), because that procedure is simpler, cheaper, faster and more humane than forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term.

              2. Therefore, people must not be treated for communicable disease, because they chose behaviors like being around sick people that resulted in living cells taking up residence in their bodies.

              3. Likewise, many, perhaps most, other medical conditions should not be treated. If a couple is engaging in sex play and something gets stuck or torn, it’s their own damn fault and they can go home and deal with the consequences. If someone is driving and an accident slams his head into the windshield, then he should have had his seatbelt on. Oh, it WAS on? Then it should have been adjusted tighter. His own damn fault.

              4. Demanding that humans not engage in sex is unrealistic to the point of delusional. We have hormones. We have brains. They conspire to make us feel attracted to one another. They reduce inhibitions and rationality. The Right’s abstinence argument is pure Fantasyland.  They themselves prove that, as they can’t stick to their own plan! And the RCC has plainly shown us the horrible consequences of demanding abstinence.
              This isn’t about whether individuals can refrain from sex or show total responsibility when copulating. It’s that the species, along with every other one, is geared primarily TOWARDS HAVING SEX. It’s arrogant, and I think demeaning towards women, to trivialize that.

              Isn’t it weird how men are never told to “keep their pants on”? It’s almost as if that phrase is used to shame women for being sexual creatures… Nah.

              • Miss_Beara

                 “Isn’t it weird how men are never told to “keep their pants on”? It’s
                almost as if that phrase is used to shame women for being sexual
                creatures… Nah.”

                YES!!!

                Birth control and condoms are not 100% effective. Men should keep their pants on.

              • The Other Weirdo

                1. You may not want to go there. If the default position is that men become safely-and-reversibly snipped, women instantly lose whatever social power they have now, and quite literally become completely at the mercy of men.

                2. I thought I was accused lately of not understanding metaphors.

                3. Bite your tongue. How many hilarious House episodes have we seen all due to patients being treated for the results of their coital shenanigans.

                4. I’m sorry, but did you just argue that biology is destiny? The species is geared toward procreation, not sex. If it was toward sex, it wouldn’t be that easy to get pregnant. Why is it only demeaning toward women?

                • Coyotenose

                   1. I was pointing out that if we’re to constrain peoples’ use of their own reproductive systems with laws, starting with men is the more reasonable choice by far. Both are still ridiculous.

                  2. Hmm?

                  3. Never seen House. I hear it’s good, but I’m gun-shy about television now because so many shows rope me in with four good episodes, then go to crap. I did see that one Scrubs where the guy got a lightbulb stuck in himself, and Turk, Cox and Janitor(!) got together to solve the extraction riddle. ^.^

                  4. Nope, I argued that abstinence doesn’t work as policy. Accepting that it doesn’t work is a rationalistic position.

                  Perhaps I conflated sex and procreation, but as the one requires the other, a lot of our wiring is designed to cause sex to occur. I realize that could be taken as a Naturalistic fallacy, but I intend it as an Is, not an Ought.

                  I feel it’s demeaning towards women because (a) abstinence arguments are primarily aimed at women, and are associated with sex shaming, which is also aimed at women, and (b) abstinence arguments treat women as being somehow above sex and disgraced by engaging in it, which is that whole Pedestal/Objectification thing.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      As I noted elsewhere, “pro-life” is not the same as “anti-choice”. I certainly think that you can be nonreligious and pro-life. There are reasons a person might adopt that viewpoint which do not depend on religious reasoning.

    • Nordog6561

      Maybe they figured killing unborn human babies was a bad idea.

      • Glasofruix

        A fetus is not a baby, it’s human sure, but NOT a person. Now the debate is closed (because it’s going to degenerate, AGAIN) and i will no longer respond to this thread.

      • Patterrssonn

        I think the subject is abortion not killing babies.

        • Nordog6561

           But abortion IS the killing of babies.

          • Patterrssonn

            No, I’m pretty sure the killing of babies is the killing of babies, abortion is actually abortion.

            • Nordog6561

              Yes, and you, in your stubborn obtuseness, fail again in realizing that the two are synonymous.

              • matt

                No one who is pro-choice wants to people to have abortions after a 9 month term or anything like that.  However,  if the “baby” you are referring to is no more than a grape-sized blob of cells, like in early pregnancies then sorry, it’s not a baby.  A fly has more sense of consciousness.

                • Nordog6561

                   “No one who is pro-choice wants to people to have abortions after a 9 month term or anything like that. ”

                  Well given that after a 9 month term the babies have usually been born, this is basically true.

                  But if you mean to say that no one wants to see extremely late term abortions “or anything like that” then you are wrong.  Just look at all the people who fought against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act before its passage, and afterwards in the courts.

                  A fly has more sense of consciousness?  I think the usually insect of choice around here is “tick.”

                • matt

                  Ok, people fought against it.  So?

                  And I didn’t realize people use the tick analogy instead of fly, but the point still stands.  You think that makes it murder?

          • The Other Weirdo

             So, how is an abortion different from a woman who doesn’t yet realize that she is pregnant who does something and unintentionally causes a miscarriage?

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              More to the point, what if Nature just decides “No babby for you”? Miscarriages are NOT the fault of the woman. Yes, we know some of the things that make a miscarriage more likely to happen, but the fact remains that a woman can do everything perfectly, and still miscarry. (All regardless of whether or not she knows she’s pregnant.)

            • Nordog6561

               Intent would be one difference.

              • The Other Weirdo

                 Well, we still throw people in jail for killing people, even unintentionally. So I’m still missing the difference.

                • Nordog6561

                  Perhaps you want to talk to a lawyer regarding the various levels of culpability and how the judicial system adjudicates such matters.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  So, this should be a judicial matter, with judges and lawyers involved? What about those cases where there is no choice but to abort? Is that just a case of justifiable homicide?

                • Nordog6561

                  What cases would those be?

    • http://wordsideasandthings.blogspot.com/ Garren

      A nonreligious person could be pro-life because they take human rights to apply to all humans.

      Or a nonreligious person could be pro-life after a certain point because they take personhood to begin with inner experience. I fall into the latter category, i.e. I take late term abortions to be the killing of human persons and would support using the law to protect such persons. Furthermore, I believe drawing the line partway through pregnancy would greatly reduce the abortion controversy in society.

      For a thorough discussion of the position I take, see: http://www.amazon.com/Defense-Abortion-Cambridge-Studies-Philosophy/dp/0521520355

      • Coyotenose

         The trouble there is that virtually all late term abortions are performed to save the life of the mother or because the fetus isn’t viable. There’s no actual controversy there, even less than there is when conjoined twins are separated in the hopes that at least one will survive the complications of their condition. The “Pro-Lifers” manufactured the late-term controversy, conflating it with early-term abortions because they needed the imagery of dead babies to wave at people, and most abortions don’t produce anything that looks like a baby. And they manufactured it dishonestly by ignoring the actual reasons for late-term abortions. Women do not carry pregnancies they do not absolutely want for that long.

        • http://wordsideasandthings.blogspot.com/ Garren

          Then it shouldn’t be a big deal to take the issue away from them by banning late term abortions that don’t pose a severe health risk.

          • Coyotenose

             Actually, it’s the same issue as with restricting earlier abortions: who gets to decide what is right for the woman, and how, even if they possess that fabled Solomonic wisdom in the first place, are decisions going to be made quick enough?

            One of the reasons why restricting abortion rights by letting some authority weigh in on whether a particular abortion is “valid” simply doesn’t work is that people are going to suffer and die waiting for a decision, and others are going to be arrested and given horrible treatment because the state makes an incorrect decision that those people cannot accept.

            It is not right, it is not humane to say that women have to turn their genitals over to a regulatory agency for inspection, that they have to hand over their records and sit around and wait to fucking justify and defend themselves like criminals not even considered innocent until proven guilty after making a decision like that. And that is exactly what any restriction amounts to.

            I despise that abortions have to occur, but there is NO ONE besides a mentally able pregnant woman who is competent to make that decision in her own case. There is not even anyone but that woman who is competent to decide whose advice should matter to her.

            • The Other Weirdo

               And where does the man fit it in all that? You know, that one man who was 50% responsible for that pregnancy?

              • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                He doesn’t, unless he has a legal contract with the women to produce a child. Otherwise, he may voice his opinion, but it should carry no legal weight.

              • Coyotenose

                Men aren’t superfluous to the discussion, but it isn’t their decision, just like it isn’t a woman’s decision whether or not her partner gets a vasectomy. Essentially, the woman needs to take his feelings into account IF they have a relationship. That doesn’t mean she has to do what he wants.

                If they don’t have a relationship, then to put it bluntly, it needs to be discussed about as much as one needs to discuss what to do with a used condom. It’s a lousy situation, but every alternative is lousier.

    • Ndonnan

      Its called scientific facts,less to do with religion.

  • Revyloution

    Yay for under 35, east coast, rich people!  They seem to be the only ones that have it figured out.

    Seriously,  how is the US slipping in this direction?  The polls confuse the heck out of me.  With more people dropping out of church, the growth of the ‘nones’, and the loss of credibility of the Catholic Church,  how could the numbers for pro choice be slipping?

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      I would guess the numbers might be slipping because most people are too young to remember what life was like before the option of legal abortion. Just as a new generation has to be reminded that AIDS can be fatal, because they’ve grown up in an era in which medical advances mean that it’s a chronic illness rather than automatic death sentence. Most people alive today haven’t personally experienced a reality in which women they’ve met/known/loved have died from illegal abortions.

      • MG

        You see this same effect with the anti-vaccination crowd.  People who think there was no world before they inhabited it. Not a clue as to the repercussions.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          And not a single shit given about those who could be fucking KILLED by something as simple as influenza. Their precious snowflakes are more important than the elderly, immune-compromised, disabled, and poor schmucks who are allergic to something in the vaccine!

          /angry

        • Sindigo

          It seems a peculiarity of the religious (and arguably, right wing in general, but I digress) mindset that gives people a misplaced sense of their importance in the universe.

          They seem to have the same trouble understanding that the world they live in has not always been thus, that not everyone has the same chances and choices in life and that a one-size fits all politics will not work when applied to the rest of the population as they do comprehending the vastness and age of the universe, the quantity of events it took to enable them to be here to spout their bile and their sheer insignificance on a universal scale.

          Just an observation.

  • http://www.SecularCensus.US/ American Secular Census

    Remove the religiously unaffiliated who believe in God and you get much more encouraging figures. American Secular Census registrants (atheists, agnostics, humanists, etc.) are 97.6% in favor of abortion rights. See 
    http://secularcensus.us/analysis/2012-03-30

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with people being opposed to abortion. While it makes sense to me that non-religious (and presumably more rational) people are less likely to have a problem with abortion, I understand fully that many people do believe abortion is wrong, and I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that they are wrong in that view (although I certainly disagree with them). The fact is, you don’t need to assume a soul, or any religious philosophy at all, to believe abortion is wrong. There are many aspects of a personal philosophy that might reasonably lead a person to that viewpoint.

    What this survey doesn’t tell me is just what people believe based on their self-identification as “pro-life” or “pro-choice”. How many people who are opposed to abortion call themselves “pro-life”, but nevertheless believe that the choice should legally exist? I certainly know people who are opposed to abortion and would be unlikely to ever get one, but fully support the legal choice.

    A more useful survey would be one which asks people whether or not they agree that abortions should be legally available.

    • Sam

      Someone who is “pro-life” who believes that the choice should legally exist is by definition, “pro-choice”. They have just chosen that they don’t want one.

      • Stephan

        However, when polled, a majority of Americans (while calling themselves pro-life) say that abortion should be legal.  

        That shouldn’t be surprising, given that the less educated you are, the more likely you are to 1. be “pro-life” and 2. due to lack of education, not understand what it means to be pro-choice. 

        • The Other Weirdo

           The majority of Americans polled, not necessarily the majority of Americans.

          • Gus Snarp

            It seems you don’t understand how polls work. Gallup and other legitimate polling organizations are actually pretty darn good at constructing polling samples that pretty accurately reflect the population.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              True, but the sample size in this case seems too small to get low-noise data, given the huge regional and cultural variations across the country. I think you’d need somewhere between a few hundred and a few thousand samples per state, not across the entire country.

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        I agree that virtually everybody who calls themselves “pro-choice” is likely to think abortion should be legal. But I don’t think the opposite is necessarily true for those who identify as “pro-life”. In fact, I know several people who call themselves just that, and still believe that abortion should be legal.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

      The problem – referring to your first statement – is that people in power who are opposed to abortion are shoving their beliefs and their opinions on the matter down the throats of everyone who is not opposed to abortion rights and not opposed to letting women decide what it is they want to do with their own bodies. It’s the story with abortion, contraception, rights for gay men and lesbian women to get married, and so many other things.

      If people in power opposed to abortion merely said “I don’t agree with it” and yet still guaranteed the rights to women to determine the course of their own lives – then it wouldn’t be a problem, but they don’t do that, and women suffer and die because those sorts of people pass disturbing, despicable laws.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    George Carlin was right. “Pro-Life” is just code for “ANTI-WOMAN”.

    • Coyotenose

      I think it’s more “Pro-Keeping-Women-Ignorant-Scared-Poor-Suffering-And-Or-Dying-So-We-Can-Feel-Righteous”, but that’s hard to fit on a bumper sticker.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Not even if you made it the size of the whole bumper, man. (At least not if you want it to be readable.)

        • The Other Weirdo

          Well, you can, if you drive a normal car.

        • Coyotenose

          Now I want one of those Darwin Fish for my car, but one that is eating a baby.

  • http://twitter.com/headphase Tim Brown

    As free-thinkers, a lot you have shown the term to be bullshit they way you approach this debate.

    • Coyotenose

       As someone who refers to abortion as “murder”, thereby making an appeal to emotion without any addressing of the arguments as to why it is not murder, do you understand why your vague, dismissive, XKCD-#-774ish comment won’t be taken too seriously?

      • http://twitter.com/headphase Tim Brown

        Fine, I’ll bite.  Personally, I do not think abortion, at least in the early stages is murder, but I don’t think there is a clear cut line to when terminating the organism could be defined as such.  I think comparing a developing fetus to cancer cells is ludicrous generalization.

        • amycas

           I’m willing to grant that it’s killing something (a developing fetus) but not that it’s murder. Murder has a very specific definition.

          • The Other Weirdo

             Just like “atheism” has a very specific definition. It doesn’t stop people from tacking on feminism and all sorts of others things to it.

            • The Other Weirdo

               Should’ve said, “feminism and reproductive rights”

            • Coyotenose

              Pretending that atheism doesn’t have logical consequences for positions on morality and social ethics doesn’t make it true.

              • The Other Weirdo

                 Neither do I do that. I don’t pretend anything, and I don’t want to keep people from marrying their atheism to other ideas: feminism, gay/lesbian rights, abortion rights, what have you.

                What I object to is the de facto welding of these ideas to atheism, which in its purest form is nothing more than a rejection of religious claims, and then claiming people who don’t subscribe to the exact version of atheism that you hold aren’t real atheists or they are misogynists or whatever.

                And I don’t necessarily mean you, as in personally you, either.

                You know, as an aside, I never really thought about this until a couple of years ago when Daylight Atheism said in the blog, “Atheists must be feminists.” Well, you know what, fuck him and the high horse he rode in on. He doesn’t get to tell me what to think or believe. This isn’t China or North Korea or the Soviet Fucking Union.

                • Coyotenose

                   The point DA was probably making (didn’t read that particular one, but I’ve seen it enough other places to make a reasonable guess) is that atheism is not something that stands in a vacuum. It is welded to Humanism, and Humanistic philosophies necessarily coincide with Feministic ideals. A horse by any other name…

                  You know those people who claim they’re “Spiritual” and not “Religious” while showing every behavior of the religious, because they think being “religious” is stigmatic and easily attackable? We don’t let them off the hook so easily.

                  And speaking as a member of an Internet group possibly more reviled than Atheists, I quite often see people who claim they aren’t Furries, even though the draw Furry Art, read Furry comics, go to Furry conventions, have accounts on Furry forums, sell their Furry art to Furries, post pictures of their Fursonas…

        • Coyotenose

          You indicated that you do in the “Do Rape Victims Have Too Many Rights” thread last week.

        • Patterrssonn

          That doesn’t mean it isn’t valid for a woman who has just found herself with an unwanted pregnancy to think that way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roccim Marlo Rocci

    But if women don’t have unwanted children, we won’t have any babies to eat!

    • Coyotenose

      Think outside the box, Marlo. Wanted babies will be better vaccinated and fed on average, because their parents more often waited until they were stable enough financially to have kids. That makes them healthier and meatier. There’s also the side effect that you’ll be more likely to be eating a Quiverfuller’s $100,000 investment, AND before it can breed!  Num num num.

      Just wish I could figure out how to get the baby smell out of the “ham”.

  • Hibernia86

    I think it would help to emphasize that pro-life policies hurt everyone, both men and women, because it decreases the ability of people to choose how many children they want to have and increases the number of children born into poverty.

  • Hibernia86

    Also, did America really go from 42% pro-choice in 2009 to 49% pro-choice last year to 41% pro-choice today? That is a lot of jumping around. Could it just be bad sampling technique?

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

    Is that the actual question asked? “Are you pro-life or pro-choice?”

    That’s a terrible question, and it’s why I put little interest in polls like this. They word them badly and that can skew the meanings of the polls in peoples’ minds to a level that it changes the results.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Also, Gallup is stuck in the past. They do nothing electronically. It’s all landline phone or paper. That skews the numbers greatly as many people my age (almost 30) and younger probably don’t participate since most of us use cells and computers. I can count on one hand the number of people my age with landline phones that they actually use/answer. So it was a poor question asked of (likely) an older, more ridgid demographic.

  • The Other Weirdo

    It’s still a far cry from where it should be for our group, but if you
    want evidence that religion is bad for women, look no further.

    Because we’re all required to think alike, believe alike and do alike? How does that make us any different from the religious blocks?

    • Patterrssonn

      It’s not too much of a stretch to think that atheist wouldnt want to be part of the religious push to control reproduction through the control of women’s bodies. Perhaps though some are anti-choice out of sheer chauvinism.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Or perhaps some take a more nuanced view of things and don’t want to be pigeonholed. This black-or-white, with-us/against-us, thing is very reminiscent of something. Can’t for the life of me think of what it is, though. Couldn’t be connected to atheism, though.

        • Patterrssonn

          Seems to me that believing that god doesnt exist is pretty black or white. Or am I not taking a nuanced enough view of atheism?

          • The Other Weirdo

             Belief in god is a pretty basic idea, which can be called black-and-white. All-atheists-must-also-subscribed-to-the-following-conditions is not a basic idea; it is a societal one, and thus it requires a more nuanced approach.

            • Patterrssonn

              There’s some kind of weird disconnect, you seem to be arguing with someone else’s posts but replying to mine.

        • Coyotenose

           Did you just try to sneak in a passive-aggressive argument from Hitler/Stalin/Mao?

          • Patterrssonn

            The “with-us/against-us, thing” claim seems to be the default stance these days when you don’t have an argument.

            • The Other Weirdo

               And I’m not the one making that claim. I’m not the one claiming that all atheists must support ideas X, Y, Z, AB, QD, BD, RF and ZQ. Otherwise, those who do not support it are not real atheists. Not a new concept, either. Daylight Atheism tried it a few years back.

              • Patterrssonn

                I didnt make that claim either. I just wondered as to he motives of someone being anti-choice if they weren’t religious, suggesting that it might be due to chauvanism. I don’t know where you got this “with us or against us”/”black and white” stuff from.

          • The Other Weirdo

             Not really.

  • Nordog6561

    Wow.  I must be over Berlin to be taking this much flak.

    Must respond latter as time allows; time for work right now.

    • Coyotenose

       More accurately, hiding in a bunker and declaring victory while plaster rains down from the ceiling.

      • Nordog6561

        More Bizzaro World on your part.  I’m not the one advocating the wholesale slaughter of millions of people each year.

        • Coyotenose

           You’re the one who keeps using the same refuted claims over and over while demanding that people turn over their lives to your beliefs. Since you wanted to Godwin up things, it’s YOUR Hitler fantasy. Enjoy.

          Too bad for you, you proven lying fuckwad.

          • Nordog6561

             Classy.

            Oh, and exactly what is this lie I’m supposed to have told?

        • Patterrssonn

          Nobody is, just advocating the right to abortion.

  • Nordog6561

    ROFL!

    Do you also oppose slavery, but advocate the right to have a slave?

  • Shell

    I notice how everyone on this page is voting for pro-choice, which they should…especially for cases such as rape, incest, or the fetus threatening the life of the mother, (shouldn’t destroy the factory over one car) but I’m pro-choice for that tiny creature, in the case of the woman who didn’t choose to pay for birth control (which in most cases is cheaper) or abstinence, or my personal favorite, jack-rabbit sex; and I think that, whether or not we consider it a parasite, an animal, or a nuisance that has to be destroyed, we should also think for both sides that this animal is compositionally a human, and the choice should be in the hands of the mother. But don’t keep saying that the people who are pro-life are not as smart or more primitive than pro-choice. The battle is not a matter of who is what, but of simple opinions that we all have rights to. We can only hope that our government keeps our freedom.

    • amycas

        “but I’m pro-choice for that tiny creature, in the case of the woman who
      didn’t choose to pay for birth control (which in most cases is cheaper)
      or abstinence, or my personal favorite, jack-rabbit sex”

      In other words: how dare those slutty women express their sexuality.

  • amycas

     Not must “should,” there’s a difference.

  • amycas

     The Other Weirdo: The problem is that biology is inherently unfair in this regard. I’ll give you that. But to force a woaman to have or not have an abortion is a gross violation of her bodily autonlmy

  • amycas

     What social power are you talking about? How does not being able to impregnate a woman make her lose social power?

  • amycas

     Sex is humans is also used primarily as a social interaction. most of the sexual experiences people have are not for reporduction.

  • amycas

     none of my replies are showing up under the comment to which I replied. hmmm


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