Yes, There Are Atheists Who Are Anti-Abortion

Given how strong the ties are between religious conservatives and the anti-abortion movement, you might suspect that atheists are almost entirely pro-choice… and you’d be right. However, a vocal minority of pro-life atheists have been getting a lot of coverage lately as people realize we’re not as monolithic as we’re made out to be.

Marco Rosaire Rossi wrote about non-religious pro-lifers for The Humanist last fall (and one of the groups he wrote about offered a rebuttal to his piece here).

Now, Leslie Fain at The Catholic World Report takes another look at this group to find out how they justify being pro-life when God doesn’t factor into the equation:

According to SPL member Julie Thielen, who identifies as a gnostic antitheist atheist, the best ways to reach secular people with the pro-life message are through biology and an appeal to human rights.

“When the sperm meets the egg, a genetically complete human being is formed, and all that is required for maturation is time and nutrition,” Thielen said. “As complete human beings in the most vulnerable stages, there should be protections afforded. As a society we are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable — the young, the aged, the infirm, those who can’t speak for themselves. The unborn belong here.”

[Journalist Nat] Hentoff encourages anyone who wants to find secular information to support the pro-life argument to read works written by doctors who operate on babies in utero. “Read them in terms of what they do — surgeons who deal with the child before the child is actually a child, according to the law,” he said.

Being an atheist pro-lifer often can have its costs. Hentoff has lost lecture-circuit jobs and the opportunity to have a journalism school named after him and was delayed in getting a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Press Foundation because of his pro-life views. “Being pro-life has cost me a lot, but these are losses I am proud of,” he said.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the article was finding out that some Christians have shunned the atheist pro-lifers because the “sanctity of life” is their issue, not the atheists’.

Rossi’s article offers a far more nuanced take on the groups, though, and raises the questions that Fain never asks.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Revyloution

    Rule 34, I guess. If you can imagine it, it exists, and somewhere on the internet there is porn of it.

    My problem with this guy is the same problem I have with all pro-lifers. They don’t offer any realistic way to enact a prohibition. If they have an idea that won’t end up with back alley abortions and jailed doctors, I would love to hear it.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      the solution is education, birth control, and jobs for women. it works in norway, sweden and a host of other countries where the right wing doesn’t dictate policy relating to women’s health.

      i really can’t stand anti-choice people. and please stop calling them “pro-life.” it’s my life too, and like that poor dead woman in ireland, if i need an abortion i should be able to get one. if these people care so much about fetuses, and aren’t just using it as a cover for their desire to control women, well.

      they can adopt an unwanted child, shelter a runaway pregnant teen, and pay for the psychological counseling of incest victims made pregnant by family members.

      • Miss_Beara

        I call them forced birthers. They are the opposite of “pro life” since they are ignoring a huge part of a life, the woman’s.

        • TicklishMeerkat

          I’ve been seeing that term around a lot lately and approve entirely. The entire “pro-life” stance revolves around forcing women to give birth whether they want to or not and making abortion as shameful and inaccessible as humanly possible. There’s nothing “pro-life” about it. Let’s start a revolution in nomenclature!

          • nakedanthropologist

            I agree completely. I’m a big fan of Libby Ann’s blog Love, Joy, Feminism and she’s laid out entire articles about how the “pro-life” position is anything but – since it usually completely disregards the potential mother’s life. If the pro-life movement was really about “saving babies” then they would be advocating comprehensive sex education, subsidized contraceptives, and a better social safety net for women who get pregnant but can’t afford another child or any child at all. Instead the demonize women who don’t conform to their religious ideals and their ridiculous notions about “purity”, actively spread misinformation about contraceptives, and are completely against real sex education instead of abstinence only. Forced-birthers is an exceptionally apt term for them.

        • ConnorBehan

          Oh? And some ignorant people say that “pro-choice” is hypocritical because a young handicapped individual should choose whether his or her life support gets cut off. Both terms are loaded and I wish we could get away from these petty semantics altogether.

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

            Damn right a person should have the right to end their life on their own terms! If I am ever terminal, I want to die with some fucking dignity left, instead of wasting away on machines until someone decides to have a little compassion and pull the plug.

            Is there something wrong with that?

            And what does it say about American society, that we will have Fluffy and Fido “put down” to spare them a painful death, but Grams and Grampa get to suffer to their last breath?

      • Revyloution

        I just use the name that people give themselves. As much as I disagree with them, I feel that forcing a title on them is belittling them as a person.

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

          If the “label” is truthful (i.e. “Forced Birthers”) it’s not belittling at all. To call them “Pro Life” is inaccurate and a well-thought-out lie, because they don’t give one single solitary fuck about those “lives” once they’ve been born and require actual resources like money, shelter, food…

          • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

            I don’t think you’re getting Revyloution’s point. It is in fact belittling to say, “I know better than you what you should be called, so to hell with your self-identified label.” That’s not to say that a person’s chosen label can’t be criticized, but using a different term to refer to someone instead of the one they’ve chosen is definitely a jerk thing to do.

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

              Sorry, but the evidence says otherwise.

              When the chosen label is a deliberate manipulative lie, it must be called out and corrected. To not do so is to perpetuate the lie.

        • TicklishMeerkat

          I’ll remember that next time the white supremacists have their marches in my town. Or not. A big part of the Christian Right’s tactics is appropriating words and definitions. “Pro-life” is one of those words. “Pro-life” implies that anybody who isn’t forced-birth is pro-death; it also implies that such groups are actually *for* life, when really they aren’t–they’re just *for* forcing women who’ve had unapproved sex to have babies whether they want to or not. So I’m not going to call them by the term they’ve thoughtfully assigned themselves. They are forced-birth. If they don’t like the label, maybe the solution is to do something about it and not whine about being accurately represented.

          • Rageoholic

            Besides, they like to call us pro-abortion, as if our goal is to actively seek out and promote abortions and not simply the ability to choose. If they want to refer to us as pro-abortion I think it’s more than fair to call them forced-birth.

          • Rageoholic

            Besides, they like to call us pro-abortion, as if our goal is to actively seek out and promote abortions and not simply the ability to choose. If they want to refer to us as pro-abortion I think it’s more than fair to call them forced-birth.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      Yup. I once met an atheist who believed in reincarnation.

      • Bill M

        So you met a buddhist?

        • Reginald Selkirk

          No. Just an atheist who believed in reincarnation. You see, someone wrote a book about reincarnation, therefore it’s true.

          She never came back to our atheist meetups after that first time.

          • McAtheist

            Cut her some slack dude, she was probably too busy with crystal healing and astrology to attend your meetups.

  • C Peterson

    And why shouldn’t there be atheists who consider abortion immoral? It’s as defensible a viewpoint as most any ethical position.

    The sense that atheists should have a common view on this- or on anything- demonstrates one of the great harms that is coming out of the current “atheist movement”. It is very important that atheism not be associated with any social, political, or ethical positions at all. Doing so hurts atheists by making it more difficult for many to be open about their atheism.

    • Liz

      Indeed. I once sat at a meeting of my college’s secular society, and someone said the Pro-Life Club had suggested a debate with us. Unfortunately this was infeasible as the six atheists in the room had six different positions on abortion.

      • Calvin

        I would like to see a secular pro-life group debate a religious pro-life group as to whose reasons for their viewpoint is more viable.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      “defensible?” on what grounds, exactly? what possible right does anyone else have to determine my reproductive status? do i have a right to tell you when, how and with whom you must reproduce? how about all men?

      • C Peterson

        Slow down. I didn’t say that anybody has the right to determine anybody else’s reproductive status. I consider the pro-choice position highly defensible on rational grounds.

        What I said is that there are no reasonable grounds to challenge a person’s belief that abortion is immoral, and that associating that or any other ethical viewpoint with atheism is a bad idea.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          i will agree with you that atheism and abortion are totally separate issues.

          i will not agree with you that there is a “rational” or “reasonable” reason to defend the anti-choice position.

          it is about social control of women. it is about racism. it is about money.

          you can lecture me all you’d like, but i notice you fail to provide one of those “rational” arguments why my uterus is your business.

          please call me when it’s OK with you for me to tell you what you can do with your penis. because i will, and you won’t like it very much. just like i don’t like the Forced Pregnancy Brigade telling me what i can do with my female parts. because, it’s “rational.”

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

            and don’t ever tell me to “slow down.” thank you, i was a participant at Nationals, for track and field. i’ll whip you ass, on the field. just don’t go there. i still hold school records from the 80s.

            • C Peterson

              I’m quite certain that I’ve never said anything that should remotely make people believe I’m a misogynist.

            • Alexandra

              Don’t mind him. Seriously. I’ve made the mistake of engaging with him a couple of times, but he’s just incredibly wrapped up in, and completely blind to, his own male privilege.

            • innocent bystander

              wtf is wrong with you, seriously. You’re being extremely brash and making feminists in general look bad. I feel ashamed to share a title with you. This dude is trying to have a rational discussion and you’re blowing up at him with radically unfounded insults. You’re in far too emotionally to see he ACTUALLY has an incredibly similar view to you, and is against any kind of legislation that tells women what to do with their bodies regarding the choice to carry a fetus, C Peterson, I apologize and insist that not all feminists or “dykes” are as ridiculous. Believe it or not, I’m fairly vocal and strong about my opinions too, I just don’t hit people in the face with them.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

                Exactly – while I don’t agree with abortion unless special circumstance, I won’t force my views on them. I won’t let others do it as well. This is why I concentrate on prevention where possible and seek the help of the scientific community.

          • C Peterson

            But I didn’t say that there is a reasonable reason to defend the anti-choice position. In fact, I said just the opposite- that the pro-choice position is rationally defensible.

            I tell you to slow down because it is pretty clear you are firing off your responses without taking the time to pay attention to what I’m saying.

            • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

              it doesn’t take that much time to “pay attention” to the bullshit you’re spewing. my sense of smell is quite fine.

              • C Peterson

                Enlighten me. In what way does my view on this subject differ substantively from yours?

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000927943189 Robert Smith

                You’re are going to fast. You have to slow doooown, dyke.

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

              Er, yeah, you did say just that: “And why shouldn’t there be atheists who consider abortion immoral? It’s as defensible a viewpoint as most any ethical position.”

              • C Peterson

                Yes, because believing that abortion is immoral is entirely defensible. Every bit as much as believing the opposite. Do you not recognize that a personal belief about morality is entirely different from a belief that other people should be forced to adhere to your own views?

                Is the position of a Buddhist monk, who takes a circuitous path in order to avoid stepping on any ants, indefensible? Can you say his worldview is wrong? I certainly can’t. It isn’t my view, but unless that monk seeks to limit where I walk, or seeks to punish me for stepping on ants, I have no grounds to challenge his beliefs. Likewise, I have no grounds to challenge the beliefs of a person who considers abortion immoral, but who would not seek to impose those beliefs on others. And it is clear from reading other posts in this discussion that such people exist.

                I did not say, nor have I ever said, that the anti-choice position is one which is very defensible, or for which I’ve seen anything approaching a compelling argument for.

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

                  It isn’t fucking “moral” or “ethical” to require someone to give up their bodily autonomy for a fucking parasite, and it sure as shit isn’t a “defensible” position.

                • C Peterson

                  As I said, I agree. At least in this discussion, nobody seems to have made that claim.

                • ConnorBehan

                  A fetus is the body of another person who is topologically attached to the outside of a woman’s body. The view that it has a right to life is by no means unanimous but it is defensible. Judgemental responses like “how could anyone think that” sadden me.

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

                  1: It is inside the woman’s body.
                  2: Whatever rights it might have is entirely irrelevant so long as it remains 100% dependent on the bodily resources and processes of another person. The host has the absolute right to withdraw consent at any point, even if it kills the parasitic entity. A fetus has no more inherent worth than a tapeworm.

                • Foster

                  Newborns are 100% dependent on their mothers as well. Do they have more inherent worth than a tape worm? If so, why? Has not the child simply gone from being an internal parasite to an external parasite consistently with your view?

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

                  The newborn can be passed off to any adult to be cared for, and is not 100% dependent on the bodily resources of the mother.

                  Moron.

                • Foster

                  No need for name-calling, kitten.

                  I still fail to see a significant distinction between abortion and infanticide if we make the assumptions you’re making.

                  What if in the mother’s opinion the child’s life as an orphan being tossed about from foster home to foster home (when it will be “passed off” as you say) is worse than killing it after birth? Is the child not still the product of her body after birth and does she not have a right to do with this product of her body as she pleases? What is it that has changed about the “parasite”?

                  Furthermore, even if the child is passed off, it is still 100% dependent upon society’s resources. If the mother has permission to cut off her resources at any time because the child was just too much trouble, or would be happier dead in the mother’s opinion, or whatever; then why can’t society do so as well with the same moral justification? (Here I’m assuming you would say that societies that do not practice infanticide are morally superior to societies that do practice infanticide in that respect, but correct me if I’m wrong).

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

                  It will go no where … Cognitive dissonance. Look at how they term the unborn human life… with disgust and anger. I’m telling you – they are selective empaths.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  How do you feel about sex-selective abortion; aborting a fetus because it is female?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

                  So then you determine worth… I see. Extrinsic valuing has been the back drop to support slavery, rape , ethnic cleansing … and taking or hindering women’s rights. Odd that you then use it to do determine worth of an unborn human child and call it a tapeworm. Which it’s not a tapeworm or anything else you conjure … it’s a new unique life of the human species.

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

                  Doesn’t matter. My body isn’t a buffet for random fetii, and the human fetus IS, without doubt, a parasite. It feeds off of the woman’s body, makes her ill, can kill her, and you want us to be happy about hosting the disgusting little thing.

                  You’re sick. Woman-enslaver.

                • Foster Lerner

                  The fetus *can* unintentionally kill the woman, so your response is to allow the woman to intentionally kill the fetus on any whim? Angela and I don’t care how you feel about it, so much as we care that your position makes no sense. How can infanticide be wrong, but abortion is okay?

                  [copy-paste magic]

                  To repeat, you still haven’t made clear any significant distinction between abortion and infanticide if we make the assumptions you’re making.

                  What if in the mother’s opinion the child’s life as an orphan being tossed about from foster home to foster home (when it will be “passed off” as you say) is worse than killing it after birth? Is the child not still the product of her body after birth and does she not have a right to do with this product of her body as she pleases? What is it that has changed about the “parasite”?

                  Furthermore, even if the child is passed off, it is still 100% dependent upon society’s resources. If the mother has permission to cut off her resources at any time because the child was just too much trouble, or would be happier dead in the mother’s opinion, or whatever; then why can’t society do so as well with the same moral justification? (Here I’m assuming you would say that societies that do not practice infanticide are morally superior to societies that do practice infanticide in that respect, but do correct me if I’m wrong). The concept of parasitism is entirely relative to one’s goals and priorities.

                  (maybe you’ll address my concerns this time, as I am genuinely curious how it all works out in your mind, kitty.)

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

                  To repeat, you still haven’t made clear any significant distinction between abortion and infanticide if we make the assumptions you’re making.

                  It’s not my fault you can’t tell the difference between a blob of tissue and a living, breathing baby.

                  What if in the mother’s opinion the child’s life as an orphan being tossed about from foster home to foster home (when it will be “passed off” as you say) is worse than killing it after birth?

                  Killing it after birth is, yes, infanticide, and therefore murder. Why? Because at that point, the infant is its own, separate, autonomous being, and no longer dependent on another person’s body for its environment and bodily functions. (That is, the pregnant woman is feeding, filtering, excreting and essentially performing as a life-support system.)

                  Is the child not still the product of her body after birth

                  No, because it is no longer dependent on the woman’s bodily resources.

                  and does she not have a right to do with this product of her body as she pleases?

                  Again, no, because at birth the fetus becomes an infant, and is no longer dependent on the woman’s bodily resources.

                  What is it that has changed about the “parasite”?

                  Fucking hell, you’re dense! I’ve explained this thoroughly: NOBODY, NOT EVEN A FETUS, HAS THE RIGHT TO USE ANOTHER PERSON’S BODY WITHOUT THEIR EXPLICIT AND ONGOING CONSENT.

                  How fucking difficult is it to understand that?!

                • RobMcCune

                  Bounded by an enclosure counts as outside? Who’d a thunk it? Now that you mention it the placenta is quite like a backpack.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  1) How is the inside of a woman’s uterus “outside” anything? Except maybe the Fallopian tubes, and there are pregnancies that never make it out of the tubes.

                  2) Calling a fetus a person is a stretch of the word, at best.

                  3) Would you consider this view defensible if it were openly advocating for making YOU a slave to a fetus? I doubt it.

                • ConnorBehan

                  Anatomists often refer to stomach contents as being outside the body. But sure, technicalities like that don’t matter. The anti-abortion view would be just as defensible if men could get pregnant.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

                  A slave to an unborn human child? A child within you? What women thinks this about her unborn child? Why wold abortion then be such an emotional choice for women if they thought this way?

                  Sociopaths. Selective empaths.

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

                  Liar. Slaver.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Really? I would categorize someone who decides the life or death of a defenceless human being more akin to a slaver.

                • amorican Crowe

                  There is not an M.D. in the land that would lay his license to practice medicine on the table by hedging that, by scientific definition, a fetus is not a.) living and b.) human
                  Therefore, if it is a living human being, moral and ethical questions most definitely are in play. To say otherwise is to deny scientific truths.

                • Alex

                  No one is ever a slave to a fetus, more likely the LIVING HUMAN fetus is the slave to the will of its parents as to whether it will be butchered or not before it sees the light of day. You are an insane person and it makes me sad

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

                  Hmmm… if I am being forced to host an organism without my explicit and ongoing consent, then yes, I am a slave to that organism.

                  NOBODY has the right to use my body. NOBODY.

                • randomguest

                  Then what right do you have to create a body? By that stance, no one has a right to live, because we all “use” each other and depend on one another to survive in the first place. Second, if you believe the human life is a parasite inside the womb, then whether you consent to it living or not makes no difference; it’s still a parasite. Are you against human life? When does the “parasite” become a human being? When do you believe it can no longer be killed by the host? No human being can survive without 100% dependence on outside help. Your logice is flawed. Also, a parasite by definition is one which does not offer any useful return to the host it feeds off of and human beings inside the womb do provide useful returns both in the body and outside of it, so not only is it not a parasite, but parasites remain parasites, human beings grow up and give back.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Then what right do you have to create a body?

                  Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy, just like driving a car is not an agreement to forego medical treatment if a wreck occurs. That was easy! Got another?

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

                  Uhm… leaching the calcium from a woman’s bones, changing her center of gravity, placing extra strain on her heart, lungs, and joints… that’s not a “useful return”.

                • nakedanthropologist

                  No, it is not. The zygote/fetus/pharyngula is not an astronaut-like entity that “floats” inside a woman’s body – it is literally made up of and feeds off the woman herself. In order for that entity to mature into an infant the woman must donate everything that she is – her time, her body, her blood, her nutrients, the status of her health, and possibly her life. Libby Ann over at Love, Joy, Feminism has written extensively on this topic, and I would definitely recommend reading some of her posts for insight regarding the pro-choice position (I have included a link below as a starting point).

                  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/12/awesome-comment-award-emjb-on-how-fetuses-are-made.html

                  Even if I granted you the position of the fetus being a ‘person’ that should have the same rights as every other person walking around, that fetus’ rights would in no way trump the potential mother’s rights as a person with bodily autonomy herself. It is not legal nor ethical to force any person to donate their organs, blood, or any other tissues involuntarily to another, because that would violate any notion of personal freedoms that come with personhood.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

                  Its very sad that they have to devalue life in order to support a view. They way the discuss that life – with contempt… A malice even. It’s disturbing.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  It really is. I’m atheist and I can see the devaluation and yes, malice and contempt, directed towards what IS a genetically distinct human being the moment sperm and egg combine.

                • innocent bystander

                  BROSEPH SLOW THE EFF DOWN he’s not saying forcing a woman to carry a fetus is morally defensible, he’s saying the BELIEF of thinking abortion is wrong is defensible.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

                  You’re a parasite. So then can we kill you and it be justified?

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

                  Hmm. I breathe, eat, digest, and eliminate all on my own. I don’t require another living body as a host.

                  I do not, therefore, meet the definition of a “parasite”.

                  You, on the other hand, are a lying piece of shit. Woman-enslaver.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  You just called a developing human being a “fucking parasite.”

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

                  Because it is.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Well, at least you acknowledge that it’s a developing human being.

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

                  A developing human being that does not have the right to use my body without my explicit and ongoing consent.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Up to what point?

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

                  Any point, because it’s my body — again, there is nothing, at any point, that gives a fetus any right to my body.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  So even up until a day before it would have been born, for instance?

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

                  Typical fetus-fetishist. Late term abortions are done when the fetus is fatally deformed or the woman’s life is in danger. In the latter case, if the fetus is past viability, it can often be saved with expensive and often invasive care. In both cases, they are wanted, planned pregnancies.

                  Your scenario is one that never actually happens, and is therefore an invalid question.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  You stated that an unborn human being does not have the right to use your body at any point during a pregnancy. I asked you if that would apply even up to a day before it was born. Would it be acceptable, to you, to abort at that point, yes or no?

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

                  Again, irrelevant.

                  Ending the pregnancy at that point would entail delivery of a live baby if at all possible. It can, at that point, be passed off to willing caregivers.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Not irrelevant.
                  You stated that an unborn human being does not have the right to use your body at any point during a pregnancy.
                  At what point in the pregnancy can the fetus be killed and at what point is it kept alive to be passed off to willing caregivers during the “any point” abortion?

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

                  Asked and answered.

                  When the fetus has a reasonable chance of survival outside the womb, it can be delivered and passed off, however, at no point is the pregnant woman obligated to continue hosting the fetus.

                  The problem is, you “pro-life” asshats keep cutting spending for women and children and health care….

                • ceruleanblue777

                  So are you saying that up until a certain point during the pregnancy it can be aborted; past that point if it is viable it can still be removed from the mother but must be passed off to willing parents?

                • Tom_Nightingale

                  “Do you not recognize that a personal belief about morality is entirely different from a belief that other people should be forced to adhere to your own views?”

                  Isn’t that obvious what’s causing all the uproar over your post? Why do you wait so long to bring up this? Surely you understand not everyone has the same understanding of philosophic terminology as you apparently do? Do the comment section a favor and address this next time, please? I can’t read crap in this thread right now…

                • C Peterson

                  It’s precisely what I’ve been saying since my first post here. Very explicitly separating the personal view that abortion is immoral from the views expressed by those who seek to limit choice. You clearly have not read my earlier comments.

                • Tom_Nightingale

                  Bring philosophical and epistomological minutiae, play around with those who have no familiarity with the nuance and semantics, verbosity or vocabulary, pretty soon they’ll all be fed up and they’ll leave this silly organized atheism website. Must be important, or at least fun…

                • C Peterson

                  The points I’m discussing are hardly philosophical minutiae! I think they are fundamental to the public discussion. If we don’t separate the legitimate question of people’s moral attitude about abortion from the question of choice under the law, the fight will go on forever. I start by accepting that there is nothing wrong with believing that a human life, in utero, has the same value as that of a person. I don’t agree, but I don’t need to. Respecting the right of a person to have their own ideas about what is right and wrong is very important. Now we can move on and talk about the real issue, which isn’t whether abortion is right or wrong, immoral or morally neutral, but rather, how should we, as a society, deal with moral questions about which there is no consensus? Is it better to err on the side of more freedom or less when we don’t agree about the morality of actions? These are questions that can be approached rationally, in terms of what actually works, without getting bogged down in fundamentally unresolvable questions about morality. It also allows us to create a single solution to multiple issues- not just abortion, but gun policy, recreational drug use, secularism- all of these things involve fundamental conflicts in personal moral views, yet all can be addressed in terms of public policy by discussing the same question.

                • Tom_Nightingale

                  Obviously I’m frustrated. This is a fantastic comment from you, now PLEASE realize you begin your comments here with the most confusing aspects of this. It’s not confusing when read in the context of a paragraph like this one, because you build up your stance (“I start”). I understand and agree with everything you say here, but so many people aren’t caught up to all this. Please consider making some kind of preamble that shows where you “start,” because most people here don’t have an idea that you are discussing hypotheticals and nuance (sorry, they aren’t minutiae). It will lead to more people learning something rather than some getting so worked up they plaster the board with confused misplaced anger. Best way I can put this in 3 minutes. Thanks

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000927943189 Robert Smith

            Slow down dyke.

            • Patterrssonn

              You’re not trolling are you Robert?

          • ConnorBehan

            Suppose that researchers found a way of making all abortions non-lethal. Then any woman who wanted to no longer be pregnant could have the child removed but it would grow in a test tube and live and the parents would have to raise and support it. Would you support such a plan? Or is it not morally relative enough for you?

            • RobMcCune

              “morally relative enough for you”??? I know it’s an overused term, but that usage is just bizarre, Christians have distorted the term beyond any sort of meaning.

              • ConnorBehan

                Sure it’s bizarre but I’d like to see some answers to the question. What right do you really support? The right of a woman to do what she wants with her body (as I do)? Or the right to benefit financially by denying the fetus a shot at life?

                • nakedanthropologist

                  What do you mean by “the right to benefit financially by denying the fetus a shot of life”? Also, being pro-choice is exactly that: women should always have full bodily autonomy and the choice of how the decide to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.

                • ConnorBehan

                  Raising a child costs thousands of dollars. An abortion saves you that money. Fully bodily autonomy means having the right to remove a “parasite” no questions asked. If the parasite is still alive (and not in pain) after it is removed why should a woman or man have a right to kill it? After that point it is not about bodily autonomy anymore, rather about money, so that’s why I was wondering.

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

              Do you show that much concern for tapeworms, hookworms, and other parasites?

            • nakedanthropologist

              Firstly, being a condescending asshole does nothing for your position (which is tenuous at best). Secondly, what you are suggesting is still a medical procedure that you think should be forced on others for the sake of your personal religious beliefs – this would still violate the concepts of bodily autonomy and religious freedom. Any medical procedure comes with risks – that’s just the way it is. Forcing another person to undertake those risks, unwillingly, is (again) a violation of not only individual bodily autonomy, but also religious freedom.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

            There are reasons to not defend pro-choice for women if you’re pro-life and haven’t stopped to think of the greater outline. It’s just that those like myself, who hold the pro-life views and don’t wish to legislate our morals. We also treasure a woman’s right to not be subject to the allowances of others, mostly because you have value in of yourself, not to be determined by external forces. I accept it for rape, incest and to save the mothers life or extreme birth defects. I understand I can’t force my views or I’m no different than those trying to force religious indoctrination. I’d rather the mother decide on life on her own.So I don’t support choice, I support scientific intervention and campaign for chemical abortifacients, sex education, contraception & mental health for incest and rape perpetrators or victims. I fight for economic stability for women… Contrary to all the ‘save the mothers’ and so on and so on .. Most women have abortions over economic reasons. Anytime a life is being taken – it is our business. It’s everyone’s business or should be. I’d hate to live in a society where we don’t question the loss of life or discuss ethics and morality of our choices. After all what is all the ranting over war for? Protecting your right to control over your body is not saying we don’t care about life created within your body. It’s not saying we won’t discuss life and intrinsic value vs extrinsic value.

      • http://twitter.com/Gee_O_Pee GeeOPee

        You know what you do have a right to tell C Peterson how to live his life since the right to privacy has been gutted. Lets start criminal laws against male masturbation, vasectomies and Viagra because abortion isn’t mentioned in the bible, but masturbation and wasting the “seed of life” is a sin punishable by death. Turn around is fair play.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      And why shouldn’t there be atheists who consider abortion immoral?

      Most of the anti-abortion arguments are religious.

      It is very important that atheism not be associated with any social, political, or ethical positions at all.

      Not well thought out. The vast majority of atheist are associated with freedom of religion, and separation of church and state, which are political positions.
      A large majority of atheists also support gay rights and marriage equality, because the most of the arguments against are a) religious, b) stupid, or c) both.

      • C Peterson

        It doesn’t matter if most of the abortion arguments are religious. They aren’t all religious, and there’s absolutely no reason why a person with no religious views at all can’t consider the potential person represented by a fetus to have sufficient value as to make abortion an immoral act in their eyes.

        Neither does it matter if atheists are more likely to be associated with particular philosophical or ethical viewpoints than theists. That doesn’t change the reality that atheism doesn’t produce any sort of viewpoints, and when we create some sort of expectation that atheists will have certain viewpoints, we risk excluding those who don’t.

        • SJH

          Well said. I am a theist and I have always been curious why atheists make issues like this part of their collective agenda. I think it gives the impression that many atheists are along for the ride. It gives the impression that many atheists may not think for themselves or simply want to disagree with Christians for the sake of being against the Christian world view. I have seen many pro-life arguments that have nothing to do with religion and are very strong arguments. It would be very reasonable for a given atheist to accept them and choose to be pro-life.

          • Reginald Selkirk

            I have seen many pro-life arguments that have nothing to do with religion and are very strong arguments.

            I haven’t, and you don’t cite any examples.

            • C Peterson

              Well, here’s an argument that is irrefutable: “I believe that it is unethical to artificially terminate a human life at any point in its development”.

              That is not my view, and it is presumably not yours. But it’s as valid an ethical viewpoint as any other, and while we can disagree with it, I can think of no ethical grounds to challenge it.

              • Lime

                You still have failed to explain and providing examples. What you said is not an argument, it was a statement. So please actually explain using (non religious) reason and logic why this is irrefutable.

                • C Peterson

                  Of course it’s an argument. Any statement of personal ethics is. If you have the arrogance to tell another person that their personal views, which have no impact on yourself or others, are somehow “wrong” you will never succeed in changing minds.

              • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

                maybe you’ve noticed? this is the “atheist” blog. arguments from “belief” don’t go over well here.

              • RowanVT

                Actually, it is NOT a valid ethical viewpoint because it doesn’t take into account a termination required to save the life of a woman who is pregnant. In such, albeit rare, situations you have two main options: have a single dead not-yet-viable organism, or a dead woman *and* a dead not-yet-viable organism.

                To allow a woman to die because (generic) you feel that terminating a pregnancy for *any* reason is wrong makes (generic) you morally reprehensible and a horrible person.

                • C Peterson

                  You should consider studying some ethics. It is possible to face a decision such that there are no choices except ones you find immoral. When that happens, you have to weigh the options. Why do you think that a person who believes abortion is immoral cannot consider that inaction leading to the death of the mother wouldn’t be more immoral, or that they might not distinguish between voluntary and medically necessitated abortions? More to the point, it is the person who is pregnant who makes the decision, based on her own moral views. Whether or not somebody else agrees with her morals doesn’t matter.

              • kaileyverse

                What about self defense? I don’t think many people would think it unreasonable to artificially end the life of an attacker who was trying to rape, murder or harm the victim with deadly force.

                I am not contending that you support this position, but it is my understanding based on the people I know in my life (and political pundits) that many people who would not terminate a pregnancy because it is a “life,” don’t bat an eye when the state kills those convicted of crimes, or the deaths of innocent civilians as a result of war. I think most people who are pro-life do not hold this consistent ethical position, and therefore, they are hypocrites of the worst kind.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000927943189 Robert Smith

              Read Don Marquis

              • Patterrssonn

                Perhaps you could save us the time and come up with an actual example

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

              Actually the post itself listed a reason … “As a society we are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable — the
              young, the aged, the infirm, those who can’t speak for themselves. The
              unborn belong here.”

              Also there is the intrinsic value argument. This is where a person has value not determined by external forces.

          • nakedanthropologist

            ” It gives the impression that many atheists may not think for themselves or simply want to disagree with Christians for the sake of being against the Christian world view. ”

            I think that this may be your Christian privilege showing. For example, I was raised Catholic, by very loving (and moderate) parents, and I’m an agnostic. I have been told multiple times that the only reason for my beliefs (or un-belief, as it were) is that I’m angry at God, or the church, or Christianity in general. This is simply not the case. My very loving and supporting family aside, I just didn’t believe in a great deal of the RCC’s and Christianity’s teachings. As my moniker implies, I am an anthropologist – one who specializes in religion and linguistics. I’m not angry at God(s) because I don’t think of the divine in that sort of paradigm. Yes, I do find certain trends in Christianity (American Christianity in particular) disturbing, but that in way colors my perception of Christians, unless they themselves participate in disturbing behavior or support the same.
            However, I do think that American Christians are used to being in the majority, and thus are not used to people disagreeing with their opinions or actions publicly until fairly recently. As such, it is my opinion that they try to rationalize such behavior within their own religious paradigms, which leads to misunderstanding on both sides. For example, I have no qualms with Christians being “pro-life” themselves – it is my belief that any medical decision is solely the place of the person undergoing the procedure to decide. What I do have a problem with is another person trying to make medical decisions for me, based on their religious beliefs.

    • baal

      I disagree somewhat. Being pro-life would be an ethical position if the pro-life people allowed abortion when the life of the mother is at risk or if they allowed for say depo shots and other contraception that occurs pre-fertilization. I’m sure I could find additional cases where I find the ethics of prolifers to be highly questionable (chicago dyke’s equal dignity for women & women’s right to self determination for example).

      • C Peterson

        I do not defend the tactics or the arguments of most “pro-life” people, because most of them are, in fact what I’d call “anti-choice”. It is not sufficient that they simply consider abortion to be immoral and go about trying to convince others to accept that. Rather, they seek to change the law- in the absence of any societal consensus that abortion is immoral- to limit the freedom of other people. I don’t consider that strategy to be ethically sound. That is a very different thing than recognizing that a completely non-religious person or an atheist can quite reasonably consider abortion to be immoral.

        • Barbara

          Anti-choice is right. I’ll go one step further and call pro-lifers anti-woman. Abortion is a hard decision, one I would hope to never have to make, but not to have a choice at all is demoralizing. Isn’t it called slavery If a person doesn’t have the basic right to their own body?

          • Guestus

            Why is it a hard decision?

            • Fred

              Its a hard decision because you are purposefully choosing a future.

              Granted every action you take, every choice you make from what you eat, or what roads to take to get to work decides your future. But, 99% of them do not come with the sense of gravity and consequences such as the choice between two different jobs, who to marry, and when to become a parent.

              • Guestus

                If it isn’t a life it shouldn’t be any harder than picking your wardrobe.

                • LifeinTraffic

                  Electing to have a medical procedure of any kind can be a difficult decision. And, in the case of abortion, it can be made even more difficult by access (women in Mississippi may soon have to decide if they can afford the time off work and the expense to travel out of state, for example), ability to pay, and social pressure. None of these *should* be any more of an issue than any other medical procedure, of course, but they are.

                  Also, decided whether or not you want to be pregnant can, for some women, be a big decision (though I’ve never been in the situation of needing to make the choice, for me, it wouldn’t be difficult: I’ve never wanted children and I have a health condition that would make it dangerous for me to be pregnant; but, for other women it might be less clear-cut). This has nothing to do, I don’t think, with whether or not it’s a “life,” but what direction a woman wants her life to go at that time.

                • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

                  that is a load of crap.

                  nature, science, and reality dictate that millions of pregnant women naturally abort every fucking day. it just happens, because the human body is funky like that. some women don’t even feel it. it’s just another period.

                  there is no ethical or moral angle to a reproductive women’s health issue. if men got pregnant, abortion freedom would be the 1st amendment.

                  this is about control of women.

                • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.r.cross.9 Kevin R. Cross

                  I can’t agree, CD. There is an ethical point in that there is a difference between action and inaction – natural termination versus human induced termination.
                  To me, any rights that may be accrued by a developing fetus are instantly trumped by the absolute concept of bodily sanctity – any human has the last and ultimate decision regarding what their body does and may be used for. But denying that the moderate antis have a point on this aspect (especially if, as a good number are (and I really wish they’d be a bit louder about it), they are pro-contraception) does our argument no good. We need to show them that their position is ethically untenable because it denies the woman’s rights to make their own choices.

                • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

                  what is “the point” again?

                  hi, i’m a man. i can choose where to put my penis and ejaculate any time i want. i will make war and kill people and invent whole ideologies and religions to justify that. because i deserve to make babies when i want to.

                  hi, i’m a woman. are you a man? would you like to impregnate me? well, that’s just fine! please, let my uterus be the hostess for your sperm, because jeebus! or something. oh, wait, you’re an atheist? well that’s fine too. please, let me host your offspring because you feel bad about your penis and feel the need to reproduce with the unwilling woman of your choice. my life, career, financial situation make no difference.

                  you guys just don’t get it. and you’ve brainwashed some women to be like you. being pregnant is a Big Deal. it’s like being shot or bankrupt or having to work in a tannery and all sorts of other extreme situations i can think of.

                  making someone do it, because, well, you think it’s “right” is like making someone be a slave because they have a differently hued skin. it’s stupid and barbaric and ridiculous and if men had to do it, i guarantee you abortion would be a “sacrament.” and enshrined in Law.

                • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.r.cross.9 Kevin R. Cross

                  I agree. Making someone do something they do not wish to with their bodies is tantamount to rape.

                  But that doesn’t mean the opposition doesn’t have arguments that need to be addressed and shot down. The anti-choice crowd is regularly accused of not listening, and usually for good reason. But if we ignore their points instead of dealing with them, we’re doing the same thing.

                  We’re better than they are, ethically and humanly. And we can show it.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  “…abortion freedom would be the 1st amendment.”
                  That is an egregiously sexist comment, firstly because it cannot be proven (for obvious reasons), and secondly because it assumes that men as a class do not value life in the same way as do women.

                • Alex

                  That is such insanity I can’t believe it. If a woman has a miscarriage than that is what happened and it is very sad, however if a fetus dies by the choice of its parents that is brutally disgusting. 51% of aborted humans are female, to suggest this is about controlling women loses you all your credibility and shows you for the obviously unintelligent angry woman with a victim mentality that you are. If men could get pregnant, aborting their child would be an equally hideous thing to do. It is about the mass genocide of humans, not sexism you complete idiot.

                • Audrey

                  People die everyday, nature decides that in millions. Woman that doesn’t make it okay to go kill a bunch of people.

                  Do you understand the beating of a human heart that is stopped?

                  Do you know this baby when terminated late feels pain?

                  Where do you draw the line? Can you puncture the head of the baby before being born and tell me there is no ethical or moral angle to it.

                  My sister’s children were born pre-term at 25-26 weeks and are healthy teens today. Would you at least deem a pregnancy terminated at this stage to be a killing?

                  A 10 day baby can become really inconvenient, could this now become pro-choice thing then. Slitting the throat of this defenseless, crying, annoying thing!? As they say the mother’s situation could have changed, financial, personal and this child left to its own devices can’t survive.

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

                  And why should I be a slave to a parasite, again? It’s MY body, and NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO USE IT WITHOUT MY EXPLICIT AND ONGOING PERMISSION.

                  Not my doctor.

                  Not my parents.

                  Not my friends.

                  Not my partner.

                  And not a fetus.

                • Audrey

                  My gran was bed ridden and her son and daughter in law decided she was a parasite (I live & work in a different country and we can’t keep people over a certain age with us here).

                  I paid for all of gran’s expenses, including for a help and three times over. The son decided to starve his mother to death – literally. My gran died last week after they stopped feeding her – she wanted to live, she begged and cried for it….

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

                  And if she did, indeed, want to live, and did, indeed, “beg and cry for it”, they should have respected her desire to keep on living.

                  That has absolutely nothing to do with something USING MY BODY WITHOUT MY CONSENT.

                • C Peterson

                  If it isn’t a life it shouldn’t be any harder than picking your wardrobe.
                  You miss the point. The difficulty of the decision need have nothing to do with the future of the fetus, and everything to do with the future of the mother. The simple fact is, it’s an irrevocable decision that will profoundly affect every aspect of your future. Given that most women wish to have children, it may be very difficult to decide if this is the moment- better to have a child even though other conditions aren’t right, or better to wait? It’s a life decision, and like all life decisions, may be difficult, and may be accompanied by doubt.

                • Patterrssonn

                  Why

                • Fred

                  “If it isn’t a life it shouldn’t be any harder than picking your wardrobe.”
                  WOW that was totally dishonest of you. I guess replying to what was actually written was too difficult and you decided to go with the canned response you already had prepared.

                  What’s wrong with you? If you can’t even scrape up enough honesty to carry on a conversation with someone why bother even trying to communicate in the first place?

                  I guess for some uncaring inconsiderate morons like Guestus deciding to become a parent ranks right up there with deciding to wear jeans or slacks to a picnic. I genuinely feel sorry for any possible children you may have.

                • nakedanthropologist

                  Wrong – for some people it is a hard decision, as it can be a life-changing decision. Deciding whether or not someone wants to be a parent, if they have the resources (both financial and otherwise) to support a child, or whether or not they want to engage in the health risks of being pregnant (of which there are many) can be a huge thing for some people. Not only that, but the potential mother must also think about the path of her life and which direction she chooses it to go in – what about her partner(s)/husband/wife – will he/she want to be a parent as well? And will his/her/their opinions factor in the mother’s decision, a decision which is ultimately up to her? Depending on one’s outlook and circumstances, abortion can be a very hard decision. Additionally, there is the question of access – how much will either option cost? Pre-natal, birth, and post-natal care is expensive, and some states make access to healthcare (especially for women) extremely difficult. In one sense you’re right – it is a question of life, the potential parent’s life, to be exact.

            • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

              because it hurts. physically.
              because it costs money, often, a lot.
              because there may be relationship issues that are unresolved.

              i could keep going, but the better thing to ask is “why is it hard to keep getting kicked in the balls over and over?” maybe then some would understand why this is a deeply personal choice.

            • Barbara

              Why can’t abortion be a hard decision? My husband had a vasectomy and it was a hard decision for him to make. Took him nearly a year to finally make the appointment. He knew it was what he ultimately wanted and was in the best interest of our family, but the thought of the actual medical procedure made it a hard decision for him.

          • C Peterson

            Of course, many (probably most) “pro-lifers” are anti-women, although most won’t admit that even to themselves. But not all, as some of the comments in this discussion demonstrate.

          • Troglodyke

            I have firmly come to believe that most in the “pro-life” movement are not really any more invested in life. Rather, they seek to punish women for their carnal sins. It’s about control of women’s bodies, and sex. The fact that they don’t seem to care for the children once they are born, and the fact that so many are against birth control, is telling.

            To me, being truly “pro-life” means celebrating that birth control exists and is so widely available. If one is truly “pro-life,” one should be thrilled about birth control, as it prevents abortion (yeah, I know it fails sometimes; that’s not the issue).

            Abortion gives women (in the occluded “pro-life” view) the ability to engage in sex without penalty. Why should the slut be allowed to continue being a slut? Why should she not have to raise a child as punishment for her actions? (Very rarely do “pro-lifers” give a damn about the male’s responsibilities in the making of the baby; it’s all the woman’s fault.) Being forced to bear that child is her punishment; how dare she try to “get rid” of her responsibility?

            If one is truly “pro-life,” then one should promote effective preventative birth control, promote more education of men to stop creating babies (truly, where is the outrage against the men who impregnate the women who seek out abortions? I hear the deafening sound of crickets), and learn to not be so judgmental about women and why they make the personal choices they do. These self-righteous hypocrites want to tell women what they are allowed to do with their bodies, but they’d never dream of legislating against men for their sexual habits. Both, however, are equally to blame for an unwanted pregnancy.

            Oh, and I hate the “why do so many pro-lifers support the death penalty?” trope. It’s not hypocrisy. At all.

          • The Mouse

            Funny…. I always thought feminist pro-choicers to be anti-woman and self-hating. What’s more self-hating than to kill your own children, pretend you are men instead of embracing what makes women unique? Why not force society to encompass that uniqueness? Why not force change upon corporations that refuse to accept pregnant women as employees who happen to have ovaries? The time spent on embracing abortion, feminists could have done more changes in this patriarchal society by making it so abortion is hardly ever needed, but they prefer to be on the same playing level as men; and turn into men. What’s even more hilarious is how feminists despise sex selective abortion collectively because it means less women are being born (and the inherent sexism involved in the practice) and yet embrace abortion when it has to do with their own bodies (even if it means killing off a potential daughter). Go figure. Deluded weirdos. Anybody interested in pro-life feminism, give it a good internet search. Their arguments in favor of real solutions instead of bandaid ones like abortion are more in line with true feminism than you’d think.

    • coyotenose

      It is very important that atheism not be associated with any social, political, or ethical positions at all.

      That is not possible. Pages like this one have to exist BECAUSE it is has those associations. Atheism does not exist solely as a shining academic ideal that is corrupted by practice.

      • CultOfReason

        Just my two cents, but atheism is not a shining academic ideal any more than it has to speak to any social, political, or ethical positions. The only position atheism has to speak to is the existence of a deity. The rest is just personal convictions, which can differ from person to person.

        • coyotenose

          it has to speak to them because of the world we live in, not because it’s inherent to atheism. The atheism movement is largely a pushback against traditional societal, political and ethical assumptions, and it was already permanently embroiled in those things before it even began. The word carries inescapable connotations, and we cannot change that. All we can do is push for better connotations.

          • baal

            thanks Coyotenose, I rarely like your comments but this one presents a really good argument.

    • Tom_Nightingale

      ” It is very important that atheism not be associated with any social, political, or ethical positions at all. Doing so hurts atheists by making it more difficult for many to be open about their atheism.”

      You’re living in a messy world, and trying desperately to keep it pure. Despite your qualms, atheism IS associated with many of these things, for better or worse, and your mission to cleanse the impurities is frankly ridiculous. The only hurt atheists are the ones who can’t deal with being asked about these associated issues simply after declaring their stance, and they should get over it! I’m sorry too that “atheist” doesn’t mean what it actually means to a large number of people out there, but it does more harm NOT to address these issues than to decline because of semantic misappropriation. It’s absurd! Get over your embarrassment that other atheists are addressing these issues AS atheists, we’ll deal with the minor problem of definition-messiness AFTER some REAL hurt gets prevented! I too wish people didn’t label issues as atheist issues, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to waste the opportunity we have as a united if misnamed group!

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

      There is nothing “defensible” about controlling women.

      • C Peterson

        I agree completely. Which is why I have never supported any ethical viewpoint that leads to that. It’s why I’m profoundly pro-choice. It’s why I’m opposed to any attempt to legally restrict access to abortions. And I’ve never said anything to the contrary, in this forum or any other.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          this is such, utter bullshit.

          look, my friend. i’ll make it simple for you. you don’t have a uterus. you’re probably white. and here’s the thing:

          there is NO good argument why people like you should decide if i reproduce, or not. not at all.

          i really hope you can understand, like atheists understand, the real ones, why no one should have the “right” to force a choice on other people, just because of allah or jeebus or whatever. you shouldn’t have to wear a blue triangle identifying you as an atheist, and i shouldn’t be told i can’t have birth control, because i have a vagina and there’s some man who thinks its wrong for me to have charge over it.

          even when it’s an atheist who thinks he can tell me what to do with my body, it’s wrong. do you get that? it’s ALWAYS wrong. just like it’s always wrong for me to think i can tell you what to do with your penis. you probably wouldn’t like what i might have to say. can you understand that? it’s your penis, so i know it’s important to you. do you really want to say it’s “reasonable” that i have some say about what you get to do with it?

          • C Peterson

            I don’t know who you are talking to here, and frankly, I don’t think you know, either. All I’m hearing is irrational, rambling vitriol. You appear to be in serious need of some professional help. I hope you get it.

          • Rose Rosales

            You lack reading skills. You are probably so fumed with anger that you can’t even comprehend a statement correctly. C Peterson NEVER said that he thinks we should force a woman what to do with her body. He is just talking about PERSONAL OPINION. Believe it or not, there are people who think abortion is morally wrong but would not impose that view in the law.

        • nakedanthropologist

          True. While I do think you are correct (having read many of your comments on this blog) I also think that your first comment regarding the issue could have used a little more clarity. Not necessarily because of you, but because the word ‘pro-life’ are strongly associated by both proponents and opponents of the position as being “anti-abortion at any cost”. This is not a fault of your reasoning (I’m fairly confident that I understood that you were merely commenting about an intellectual and/or personal ethical decision as opposed to advocating that all women adhere to that position) but because the pro-life position, as it is usually understood, has certain connotations regarding the lack of individual choice and bodily autonomy for women, that it behooves one to clarify their own opinions in regards to your initial comment. Just sayin’.

          • C Peterson

            Thanks for your input. However, I don’t think I’d change my initial comment. It wasn’t really ambiguous at all (and I didn’t use the term “pro-life”). Furthermore, I immediately responded to the suggestion that I was somehow supporting the anti-choice viewpoint (in my second comment, and many more).

            To me, the direction of this discussion simply reveals that many atheists are not as rational as we might like, and that those who support abortion rights are often as entrenched in their personal dogma as those who don’t, and are apparently incapable of actually standing back from that dogma and entering into a civil, rational discussion. Incapable, even, of hearing what other people are saying (or unwilling to actually read an entire position statement). In a few cases, it even elicits batshit crazy rhetoric that isn’t even topical to the discussion. That’s unfortunate, and doesn’t bode well for any resolution to a difficult societal problem.

      • WoodyTanaka

        But not everyone views the issue as one of controlling women.

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

          Whether or not they consciously admit it is irrelevant, the “Pro-Life” movement is 100% about controlling women and keeping us “in our place” (i.e. barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen).

          • ConnorBehan

            That’s like saying that vegetarianism exists for the purpose of controlling meat eaters.

            • Carmelita Spats

              Vegetarianism WOULD be about controlling meat eaters if meat eaters were obligated by the STATE to accept being force-fed a broccoli diet without their consent. Hell, if the STATE obligated them to insert a carrot in their nether parts and then view a sonogram of the unfortunate yet disgusting carrot, with creepy Jesus songs playing in the background, I’d say meat eaters were being controlled, violated and abused…If you couldn’t LEGALLY buy a sirloin steak in your Southern Baptist Scewyouland, you would be within your right to kick every vegetarian in the nuts. I’d help you kick them. I’d bring the steel-toed boots. Rape victim in Brazil…
              http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

              • ConnorBehan

                Don’t use the worst example to define what something is “about”. If a wave of vegetarianism swept over Republican politicians and they all tried to ban meat, I would say shame on them. But there would still be thousands of times more vegetarians out there who avoided meat for the right reasons and that would still be what the movement is about.

          • WoodyTanaka

            That simply is not true as an empirical matter. You might find it to be a satisfying to believe it is, but wishes don’t makes facts.

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

              Only a man could say something so blatantly false. The “Pro-Life” movement is about controlling women.

              If it weren’t, they wouldn’t be opposed to contraception!

              • ConnorBehan

                Opposing contraception is sadistic control. Whether pro-choice or pro-life, don’t most atheists agree that contraception should be used as much as possible? Ideally if it were completely effective, there would be no unwanted pregnancies and the abortion debate would be a non-issue.

              • WoodyTanaka

                Wow, you’re a fucking bigot. As if the truth of the fact depends on the gender of the person stating them. Not everyone in the movement views the issue the same way. You’re a fucking idiot not to see that. Some do, many don’t.

                And while some in the movement are opposed to contraception, again, most aren’t. At the very least, a very large segment isn’t. But I guess it’s easier for you to ignore the facts so you can wallow in your ignorance. Easier than thinking, I guess.

        • Carmelita Spats

          Forcing a nine-year-old rape victim to birth the spawn of her attacker IS an issue of sadism and control…If the STATE can legally obligate you to carry your rapist’s semen demon, you are being controlled…

          http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

          • ConnorBehan

            I would gladly help a survivor of rape get an abortion. I know most pro-life Christians wouldn’t but I hope that pro-life atheists approach this issue differently.

          • WoodyTanaka

            To the extent that the state can require or preclude any act, we’re being controlled. And I would not deny that for some in the pro-life movement it’s about controlling women, but not for all. Some simply have a different moral or ethical view of what humans owe other humans and when that obligation begins.

    • McAtheist

      The atheist shibboleth rears it’s ugly head again, don’t you know atheists must be pro abortion, pro vaccination, anti herbal medicine, deny the existence of Qi………. and I forget the rest, but don’t worry someone here will eventually explain to you what you are supposed to support or oppose as a non theist.

    • Amakudari

      Thank you. For all the inanity in some of the responses to this post, it’s absolutely true. Atheism limits your philosophical bases somewhat—you can’t argue from religious revelation—but it’s negligible. Atheism certainly heads off many popular arguments for positions like pro-life, but then against religion is not even a good basis for many of those arguments (cf. the ordeal of bitter water in Numbers 5).

      Side note: 48% of Americans consider themselves pro-choice, yet 80% of Americans think third trimester abortions should be illegal. 44% consider themselves pro-life, yet 61% consider think first trimester abortions should be legal:

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

      Abortion has a massive gray area. There is no irrefutable argument for when life exists, or the exact nature of dependency, or whether life should be protected at all. Is a third trimester abortion fine because a person has the absolute right at any time to terminate a dependent relationship (and should we apply that principle broadly to dependents in society like the disabled or unfortunate), or is there an implied agreement that accepting the development of a human life for two trimesters in typical circumstances indicates consent to a third? Is a fetus a life when it has a heartbeat, brainwaves, movement, sufficient likeness to a newborn, or birth? Is abortion of mentally or physically impaired children more acceptable?

      Can we oppose abortion morally and accept it over the alternative legally? The stereotypical stroller rolling off a cliff example is a good one; the child depends entirely on the onlooker for life, but can the onlooker legally and/or morally refuse? My best bet is that those yelling the loudest about this issue lack philosophical consistency. The impulse to cast the opponent as simply demonic is classic religious emotionalism. My birthmother, for one, is not pro-life because she hates women or wants to see them punished for sexuality—I’ll ignore the possibility of overwhelming self-hatred because I know it’s false—and I’m aware of the absurdity that if I had been in her place I wouldn’t exist today. The point is, for the most part, that views on abortion are on a spectrum rife with nuance.

      It’s complex. The attempt to boil this particular issue down to the absolutist pro-choice/pro-life positions and cast the opponents’ arguments as little more than thinly veiled hatred is irresponsible. It’s doubly irresponsible to claim that something wholly unrelated, atheism, demands a particular stance. Atheism qua atheism says nothing about a human’s philosophical responsibilities or what exactly a human is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

    When I read the headline for this post, I thought, “pro-life atheists probably fit a similar Then I read the poster: “Life is the first Inalienable right.” Huh. That sounds like Libertarian stuff too.

    “When the sperm meets the egg, a genetically complete human being is formed, and all that is required for maturation is time and nutrition,” Thielen said. “As complete human beings in the most vulnerable stages, there should be protections afforded. As a society we are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable — the young, the aged, the infirm, those who can’t speak for themselves. The unborn belong here.”mold to Libertarian atheists”.

    Complete nonsense. Thielen is arguing for personhood status of the zygote. Aside from the complete lack of care about the woman carrying the zygote, protecting the zygote would require us to deal with:
    – knowing the status of every woman’s eggs at all times
    – spontaneous abortion – where the woman has a menstruation cycle and the zygote is flushed out
    – birth control

    Thielen’s position sounds about as rational as the religious nut jobs arguing for personhood laws.

    • The Captain

      Exactly, a “genetically complete human being” is not the same as a grown person with a mind. The are changing the parameters of what a person is by adding the modifier “genetically complete”.

      What’s really wrong about this approach is it’s not something they follow in any other circumstance. An acorn is a genetically complete tree but I guarantee they would throw a fit if their home owner association finned them for the cutting down of a tree because they ran over an acorn with their lawnmower.

      • baal

        Your point is the right one but there is also a biological nit-pic @ “genetically complete”. The conceptus does undergo a variety of genetic changes in early development including x-inactivation (in females), DNA level gene editing (antibody genes), imprinting, and more.

    • CelticWhisper

      Pretty much. I give him credit for trying to argue the point rationally and appealing to rights and societal compassion for the vulnerable instead of “OMG ur killin BABEEZ” or blathering on about sanctity, souls, and the will of Lordy McJesusGod, but there’s still no getting around the fact that a pregnant adult is more of a person than a developing cluster of cells.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

        not to mention that a significant number of pregnancies naturally terminate early in the first trimester. we don’t lock up those women because they got a period.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      As a society we are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable — the
      young, the aged, the infirm, those who can’t speak for themselves

      But not women.

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

        Well, duh — that’s because women aren’t people, we’re just here to service Teh Menz and bear their heirs.

      • TicklishMeerkat

        Nope, we’re just the receptacles in this equation. I’ve heard anti-choicers try to get away with their blithe enslavement of women by saying “oh, it’s just nine months! Then you can just give it up for adoption!” Talk about cruising right toward Team Rape!

      • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

        Yup.

        I would like to meet a pro-life atheist woman’s argument against allowing women to choose for themselves.

        • TicklishMeerkat

          I know they exist because I’ve met a woman who claimed to be an atheist forced-birther. Her entire argument boiled down to “but babies are SO CUTE, you guys.” Oh, and some relative of hers had once taken a course from a suspiciously backwater medical college and his textbook said fetuses were all fully-grown babies, so there you have it.

    • The Captain

      Your comment also reminded me of how bad the libertarian rational against abortion is. True doctrinal libertarians believe you can kill people by withholding food, nourishment, good, ect. Hell many of the actual libertarian doctrines say a parent has the right to starve a chid to death. Yet they draw this arbitrary line at a fetus and say it has some “inalienable right” to nourishment that it somehow losses in three months after it is born. It doesn’t make sense, but then what about libertinism does?

      • Puzzled

        Citations please?

        • The Captain

          Citations of what part? You want to learn about libertarianism go educate yourself on the matter. You’re at a computer… use it! Nothing I said is false. Why is it libertarians are the least knowledgable about what their beliefs actually are?

          • J-Rex

            “Hell many of the actual libertarian doctrines say a parent has the right to starve a chid to death.”

            Citations for this part?
            I’m not a huge fan of libertarians, but that seems a bit far fetched to me.

            • The Captain

              Unfortunately it’s not far fetched. Librarians can be broadly broken in to two groups, Hard and Soft. The “hard” libertarians follow the nonaggression principle to the point of saying that to force a parent to give food or care to a child is a violation of the parents rights. Many libertarian “thinkers” spout this idea. The economist Murry Rothbard a central figure in the american libertarian movement was a leader in this school of thought.

              Here’s where he argues for it.
              http://mises.org/rothbard/ethics/fourteen.asp

              • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

                Rothbard’s book is hard to read. I disagree with his first premise about 100% ownership of Life, Liberty and Property.

                I tried not to sound too anti-Libertarian in my post even though hard-Libertarian thinking is about as bad as the worst religious fundies. I like the idea of hard vs soft Libertarians.

            • The Captain

              Here’s just one of the great quotes from his piece.

              “The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal rightnot to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die.[4] The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.[5] (Again, whether or not a parent has a moral rather than a legally enforceable obligation to keep his child alive is a completely separate question.) This rule allows us to solve such vexing questions as: should a parent have the right to allow a deformed baby to die (e.g., by not feeding it)?[6] The answer is of course yes, following a fortiori from the larger right to allow any baby, whether deformed or not, to die. (Though, as we shall see below, in a libertarian society the existence of a free baby market will bring such “neglect” down to a minimum.)”

              Real douche bag huh?

        • Raising_Rlyeh

          Libertarians are often very harsh and their attitude on many issues at times becomes frightening schizoid. Take for example when Ron Paul was asked if you should let someone without insurance die. Many in the audience applauded that idea.

    • Puzzled

      None of your responses here depend on the existence of God, which is the point – you’ve shown that you disagree with the pro-lifers (and for good reason), not that their position cannot be reconciled with atheism.

      • Nate Frein

        His original post (to which you are responding) is not in response to any comments here, but to the article itself, which is discussing Pro-Life atheists in general. Ergo, it is perfectly acceptable for him to make an observation regarding Pro-Life atheism. The post you are responding to here is not non-sequitor. Your response is.

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

      Yeah, that “genetically complete human being”? Doesn’t get to parasitize my body without my explicit and on-going consent, regardless of the circumstances.

  • Nathan

    There are also plenty of atheists that are pro-gun rights as well – to give another example of something where it’s typically not associated with non-religious individuals.

  • Alexandra

    “When the sperm meets the egg, a genetically complete human being is
    formed, and all that is required for maturation is [a woman's] time and [her body for] nutrition”

    Fixed that for you. She’s using the same tactics that the religious anti-choicers do, and Libby Ann over at Love Joy Feminism talks about so often: erasing women.

    • Patterrssonn

      I know it’s amazing that the lifers are completely incapable of discussing the fact that the fetus exists at a persons expense.

      • Puzzled

        Disclaimer: I’m pro-choice. That said: Suppose I invite you into my airplane, and halfway through the trip I decide I don’t want you there after all, and demand that you leave immediately. Is it reasonable to insist that I wait until we land?

        • MrMoto

          Analogies are fun! Let’s say you go to restaurant and order a cake, and the chef mixes the ingredients an a bowl and puts them on your table, unbaked. Are you going to pay for the cake?

          Analogies are often useful, but they don’t really prove an argument. You can only do that with logic and evidence, and analogies are neither.

        • RobMcCune

          What part of human reproduction involves a woman inviting a conscious entity to become dependent on her uterus?

          • Guestus

            When she consents to the act that leads to pregnancy?

            • RobMcCune

              Nope, she’s just consenting to sex.

              • Guestus

                And sex doesn’t often lead to pregnancy?

                • RobMcCune

                  It some times does, that in no way means she wanted to get pregnant or should be forced to remain so.

                • LifeinTraffic

                  Exercise often leads to injuries. So, I shouldn’t exercise unless I want an injury? Or, is it better to say I should exercise with reasonable safety precautions/equipment, and treat an injury should I receive one?

                • Patterrssonn

                  Um the vast majority of the time no.

                • RowanVT

                  Actually, isn’t the average of sexual intercourse encounters that result in pregnancy only approximately 5%? So ‘often’ is most definitely wrong.

            • Nate Frein

              We constantly take actions that risk unwanted consequences. I can choose to wait for the bus in the inner city knowing that I might get mugged. I’m not help morally responsible for being mugged if it happens.

              The only major exceptions to this rule, for some reason, are rape and pregnancy. When a woman gets raped, we say “you shouldn’t have worn what that” or “you shouldn’t have walked in an unlit parking lot”. When a woman gets pregnant, we say “You shouldn’t have had sex if you didn’t want a baby”.

              • RobMcCune

                ^This.

              • Guestus

                No, I say if you don’t want a baby, use contraception. Have all the sex you want.

                • Nate Frein

                  Because contraception has a 100% success rate! Oh, wait…

                • Guestus

                  So it shouldn’t be used?

                • Nate Frein

                  Are you being deliberately obtuse or are you JAQing off?

                • RobMcCune

                  How do you get that from the fact that a person using contraception can become pregnant?

                  Deliberately obtuse or JAQing off indeed.

                • nakedanthropologist

                  Dude, I think you’ll find that most of us here at FA are all about contraception. I’m a passionate advocate for evidence-based sex education and readily-available (and cheap) contraceptives. But, contraception is not without risk, and can fail. Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. Furthermore, is still illegal and immoral to violate another person’s bodily autonomy.

                • nakedanthropologist

                  Agreed. However, due to the deplorable state of sex education in this country, and the severely lacking healthcare for the poor and disenfranchised, this is so often the case. As others have commented, consent to sex does not mean consent to pregnancy.

                • Carmelita Spats

                  You are an idiot. I had an abortion after my husband’s vasectomy of EIGHT YEARS failed! My husband had to have a SECOND vasectomy done. I was pregnant with twins and 40 years old…Fuck you.

            • TicklishMeerkat

              1) Consent to an act of sex does not in any way, shape or form imply consent to anything else, especially not to something that will penalize her with pain and a host of complications that’ll last anywhere to 9 months to the rest of her life and possibly cost her her life. What kind of monster would do that to someone?

              2) People are allowed to withdraw their consent to the use of their own bodies at any time, for any reason or no reason at all, whether the event in question has already begun or hasn’t quite yet. When people are not allowed to withdraw consent to the use of their own bodies, we call that “rape” or “slavery.”

              3) It’s beyond callous to imply that a person doesn’t deserve a full range of options for care because you don’t approve of how she ended up where she is. Do you also deny ER services to people who drive cars? I mean, they got into the cars and drove, knowing they might get into accidents. Dirty whores deserve their sucking chest wounds. But thank you for proving once again that the anti-choice position is largely based upon slut-shaming and penalizing women for having sex.

            • Baby_Raptor

              So my agreeing to have sex with my fiance means I agree to get pregnant?

              Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Consent doesn’t work like that. Those are two vastly different things. And when you claim shit like that, you’re reducing women to their uterus.

          • Super T

            The part called sex? Or have I missed the sarcasm?

            • RobMcCune

              No sarcasm, though you’ve entirely missed the point. And the point of sex as well if you only think of it as a baby maker.

        • Patterrssonn

          Sorry Puzzled, but as the plane isn’t your actual body, your analogy has no relevance.

          A better analogy would be if you woke up one day to find yourself attached to a person with renal failure, being used as an organic dialysis machine, and told that if you attempted to remove the person you would be charged with murder.

          • J-Rex

            But as long as Puzzled has had sex before, then s/he totally deserves it!

          • kaydenpat

            Sounds like a horror movie!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000927943189 Robert Smith

            Judith Jarvis Thomson isn’t too bright.

            • RobMcCune

              Neither are you apparently.

          • ConnorBehan

            Incidentally I find that this argument takes both sides in a way. If somebody was using my kidney and directly depended on it for survival it would be both legal and immoral for me to unhook the tube. So it is with abortion. You can condemn the procedure without actually trying to change a law.

            • Patterrssonn

              I’m hoping that you’re poeing or at least so stoned that you have no idea what you’re writing because that is one of the most mind numbingly bizarre things I’ve ever read. I think congratulations are in order because that is one amazingly freaky image, “unhook the tube.”

              • ConnorBehan

                Blood flows through a tube in a dialysis machine… did I miss something? Anyway I just said that I like the argument you made for pro-choice. Who cares if my interpretation of it is freaky? I try to remain objective about the abortion debate.

          • KJ

            Actually, wouldn’t the better analogy be if you woke up one day to find yourself attached to a person with renal failure, being used as an organic dialysis machine, and told that if you murdered the person and THEN removed them, you would be charged with murder?

            I’m pretty sure abortions are not simply where the fetus is removed, the result of which is its death. I’m pretty sure the fetus is killed and THEN removed.

            And yes, whether or not there is a difference between killing and letting die is a morally contentious issue.

            • Pattrsn

              No the analogy wouldn’t be better, as the person would still be alive for a brief period if disconnected from a dialysis machine. A better analogy would be if you were used as an artificial heart for someone else, and disconnecting yourself from that person results in their death.

              “I’m pretty sure abortions are not simply where the fetus is removed” I love how you guys like to pretend that the purpose of an abortion is to kill the embryonic organism, instead of ending the pregnancy. I guess it helps you maintain the fiction that you’re pro life while you do everything you can to increase the number of abortions and miscarriages by trying to limit people’s access to birth control.

              • KJ

                Nice quote mining. If you read the full sentence of mine you quoted, you’ll notice I wasn’t talking about the purpose of abortion, I was talking about the procedure. The fetus is first killed then removed, like I said. Pointing that out doesn’t mean the purpose is to destroy a life. I know you guys aren’t saying that’s the purpose. So perhaps you can extend me the same courtesy and not attack straw arguments.

                You also seem to assume I’m against birth control. Maybe you think I’m religious and that is what led you to that assumption. I am not religious, nor am I opposed to birth control.

                You should probably start addressing arguments I make instead of ones I don’t.

                • Pattrsn

                  So if the purpose isn’t to destroy a life, how is abortion murder?

            • Pattrsn

              PS if you read below Super T spells out the real reason for the anti-choice/anti-sex movement.

              • KJ

                Please don’t assume you can tell me the reasons I believe what I do. Must be really easy to debate when you assume all your opponents are stupid and you think you already know everything about what they think and believe.

                • Pattrsn

                  Sorry I didn’t mean to imply that you were stupid, just err dogmatically impaired in your interpretation of reality.

        • nakedanthropologist

          Ah, no. You see, your analogy doesn’t fly because its a false equivalency – who said that the fetus was invited in the first place? Because, by definition, an unwanted pregnancy means that the zygote was not invited. See how that works?

        • Nate Frein

          Yeah, it only really works if you yourself are the plane and the passenger snuck aboard while you were performing a mid air refueling.

          • Super T

            and under those circumstances it’s okay to through the passenger from the plane?????? HUH???

            • Patterrssonn

              He’s just pointing out the stupidity of the analogy

            • Nate Frein

              Why wouldn’t it be?

            • nakedanthropologist

              We’re not talking about a plane – we’re talking about a person’s body. As TicklishMeerkat commented, “When people are not allowed to withdraw consent to the use of their own bodies, we call that “rape” or “slavery.” “

              • Foster

                We might also call it conscription into the army, jury duty, or quarantine. All of these situations are times when people are forced to do something arguably to their own detriment and restricting their freedoms but for the good of society. Pregnancy could also be argued to be necessary for society and a justified sacrifice of freedom asked of women in the society.

        • Carmelita Spats

          Your analogy is screwy…A nine-year-old child was raped and impregnated by her step-dad in Brazil. She had an abortion. Should the state have obligated her to undergo a pregnancy and a C-section and thereby “wait until we land”? This is just fucking sick…
          http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

        • Baby_Raptor

          Where are you getting “halfway through”? Are you bringing up the old “women randomly decide to abort third trimester fetuses for convenience sake” strawman, or are you seriously saying that any woman who has sex is consenting to get knocked up?

      • ceruleanblue777

        So does a newborn.

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

          The newborn can be passed off to an adult who is willing to take care of it. A fetus can’t.

          • ceruleanblue777

            Right. So it shouldn’t be killed. It should be allowed to be born and given up for adoption to someone who is willing to care for it.

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

              Spoken like someone who has no fucking clue what that actually entails, and is ignoring the fact that her solution requires the woman to be enslaved to a fetus for 9 months.

              • ceruleanblue777

                Is nine months of enslavement worth the life of a human being?

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

                  No. Now stop reducing women to incubators.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Stop reducing the unborn to slave-masters and tape worms.

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

                  I won’t stop telling the truth. You’re the one saying that I have to give up my body just so a potential person has a chance. And yes, that is fucking slavery.

                  On the other hand, hey, let’s say I need a kidney. Don’t suppose you’d have a problem with me just up and taking yours, whether you want me to or not…

                • ceruleanblue777

                  You did not come about as a result of my decisions. I have no obligation or responsibility towards you unless I choose it.

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

                  Likewise, I have no obligation or responsibility towards a fetus unless I choose it.

                  And no, consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy or parenthood.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  A fetus comes about as result of decisions made to engage in intercourse with full-knowledge of potential consequences, including pregnancy.
                  Adults who choose to terminate a pregnancy negate their responsibility for the consequence of their own actions.

                • RobMcCune

                  Which is what it boils down to with pro lifers, punitive “responsibility” to make people pay the “consequences” for their misdeeds.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Or punitive measures inflicted on an unborn human being as a consequence of the negation of responsibility of another individual.

                • RobMcCune

                  Responsibility to whom? A lump of tissue with no capacity of consciousness or experience? What’s more you believe that it can dictate what must be done to a living,breathing, conscious person?

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Not a lump of tissue. A human being in its earliest form, with a full genetic profile distinct from either one of its parents.
                  It cannot dictate. It is helpless. That is why some advocate on its behalf.

                • RobMcCune

                  Correct, its a human being in an early form, a lump of tissue without any consciousness or capacity for experience. I’m glad you’ve made the admission that it is you who is dictating what should happen to women’s bodies, and not the fetus.

                  The rights of some “distinct” strands of dna don’t trump the rights of conscious human being to their own body.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  A human being in its earliest form, whether conscious or not, is still a human being, by your own admission. The rights of human beings to not be killed trumps the “right” of a human being not to be inconvenienced.

                • RobMcCune

                  It’s a right to bodily autonomy but oh well, toss that out the window for some future person that might one day be.

                  What happens if this distinct genetic profile threatens the life of the person it inhabits?

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Bodily autonomy of one human being does not trump the right of another human being to not be killed.
                  If the unborn human being is viable outisde the womb, an attempt should be made to save both mother and unborn. If it is not viable outisde the womb, it would die along with the mother. In this case, the mother’s life is the only one that can be saved. Therefore aborting to save the mother’s life is ethically sound.

                • RobMcCune

                  The bodily autonomy of the mother outweighs the rights of the fetus dependent on for the same reason you stated, the fetus can not exist apart from the woman carrying it.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  How does that negate the rights of the unborn to not be killed? Being dependent on the body of the mother does not give the mother licence to take the life of another human being.
                  The only question is, “What is the unborn?” If it is not a human being, then have all the abortions you like. If it is a human being (which you previously acknowledged), none of the reasons you provided justify killing him/her.

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

                  Self defense against a most intimate bodily assault.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  You are equating the unborn with criminals, who through no fault of their own are accused (in your words) of bodily assault.
                  Abortion, in your description is self-defense against a violent criminal.

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

                  And there it is. Gotta punish those sluts for daring to have sex.

                  My first responsibility is to myself. I will not give up my physical or mental health just to make some forced-birther happy.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Accepting the consequences of one’s actions is the first responsibility of adult human beings.
                  Killing another human being is disavowing one’s personal responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions.

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

                  And enslaving another human being is illegal and unconstitutional. If it helps you, hey, think of abortion as self defense against an unwanted intruder. Or do I give up that right the second I start ovulating?

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Are you making the case that the unborn are criminals?

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

                  Are you saying I don’t have the right to defend my body against assault and battery? After all, if the fetus is a person, it should be held to the same laws and restrictions. Since using a person’s body against their will is a crime…

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Assault and battery is the combination of two violent crimes: assault (the threat of violence) and battery (physical violence).

                  Let’s assume you are correct in your assertion that as human beings the unborn are guilty of assault and battery. Given that the unborn are younger than minors (in the legal sense, under 18 years old) and we do not enforce capital punishment against children accused of assault, why would it be justified to execute the unborn?

                  Again, are you making the case that the unborn are criminals and abortion is an act of self-defense?

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

                  Once again, you miss the fucking point.

                  A FETUS DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE MY BODY.

                  To use my body, without my consent, is, in fact, a criminal act.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  So are the unborn criminals?

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

                  Stop being stupid, forced-breeder.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  It’s a simple question. Why can’t you answer it? Are the unborn criminals?

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

                  I did answer, you woman-enslaving douche.

                  If it’s using my body without my consent, I reserve the right to use any and all necessary force to remove it, whether it’s a fetus or a grown adult. The continued occupation and use of my body is, yes, A CRIMINAL ACT.

                  Now stop being so deliberately stupid, you dumb fuck!

                • ceruleanblue777

                  But you haven’t directly answered my question. You have described an unwanted pregnancy as a criminal act.

                  I will ask you again as you have not answered my question:

                  Are the unborn criminals?

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

                  Asked and answered, next please.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  No. You haven’t answered it. You called the “continued occupation of my body…a criminal act.”

                  My question, clearly stated several times, which for some reason you are reticent to answer, is “are the unborn criminals?”

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

                  IF it is occupying a body without the owner’s explicit and ongoing consent, THEN it is committing a criminal act.

                  There’s your fucking answer, for the TENTH FUCKING TIME. If you can’t draw the logical conclusion from an if-then statement, then you are too damn stupid to live. How the fuck do you remember to breathe? (And dear gods, I hope you don’t ever have kids — we don’t need more mouthbreathing woman-enslavers with a single-digit IQ (like you!) running around!)

                • ceruleanblue777

                  You still haven’t directly answered my question. Are the unborn criminals? Yes or no?

        • Pattrsn

          But not a specific person. You see the difference? The fetus exists at the expense of a specific person whereas a newborn can be looked after by practically anyone.

          • ceruleanblue777

            So you are acknowledging that there is an obligation of care for a newborn but not for a fetus.

            • Pattrsn

              A fetus doesn’t require care it requires a host.

              • ceruleanblue777

                I will concede the point that scientifically speaking, the fetus or embryo *is* a parasite. However, it is not a parasite that turns into a human being. It is a human being at all stages of its development. It is a parasitic human being while in utero, but a human being nonetheless. Human beings, regardless of their stage of development, have rights against being killed (or ethically speaking, should).

                • Pattrsn

                  Well then as soon as science comes up with a safe easy method of fetal transplant that provides no risk to the pregnant woman then perhaps abortions will no longer be necessary. In the meantime if the anti-abortionists would lobby for the right of any individual to use the body of any other individual, whenever there is medical necessity, then they might appear as something other than hypocrites whose only agenda is control of women’s reproductive choices.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  If someone imposed their use of another’s body onto an individual, I would support the person being imposed upon to assert their rights not to be. In the case of the unborn, there is no imposition involved. The unborn come about as a result of the choices made by the parents. The unborn are human beings who have no responsibility in their passive development in utero.

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

                  You really don’t give a shit about the woman in the scenario, do you? You’re disgusting.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  I think adult human beings should take responsibility for their actions. I don’t think unborn human beings should be killed as a consequence of the choices adults make.

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

                  I DO take responsibility for my actions. And for me, the most responsible thing to do is to *gasp* NOT HAVE CHILDREN.

                  I am not willing to give up MY LIFE for something that only has the potential to become life.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  Choosing to kill a human being as a consequence of one’s choices is an abandonment of responsibility. You are not willing to give up your life, but willing to take the life of another as a consequence of your own choices. Choosing to not have children does not mean killing another human being. A zygote is not a potential life. The cells are living cells. Science confirms this. A zygote is a human being in its earliest form. It is alive.

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

                  Alive or not, human or not, IT DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE MY BODY.

                  Now shut up and fuck off, woman-enslaver.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  The unborn are alive and they are human. There is no “or not.”
                  Human beings, even in their earliest developmental form, have a right not to be killed. That adults fail to accept the consequences of their actions does not justify killing a human being.

    • MrMoto

      The mother also “corrects” the genetic information in the fertilized egg, which is incapable of creating a viable human being without imprinting, genetic regulation, and a variety of other processes that go on until relatively late in pregnancy. When anti-choicers say biology is their best argument, they really mean a biological narrative they have manufactured as evidence for their position.

      • Patterrssonn

        Eggsactly!

      • SJH

        Please explain this further. It sounds very interesting.

        Despite this, however, isn’t a new life just a step along a continuous path to death. A path that is a continuous development through various stages of dependency where each one of us rely on each other to sustain our lives. At what point do we declare that a person is significantly independent to define them as a person? Isn’t any point that we pick, other than the beginning, arbitrary? First it was the first trimester, then it was the second, then it was the third, then it was while the baby was being born. Some say it is as long as the baby has not taken its first breath. According to some Australian doctors we should have “post-birth abortions”. As I said before, any stage you choose to make this distinction is completely arbitrary. Dependance on another should not be a criteria in determining person-hood. If it is the criteria then many fully grown humans would not be considered persons.

        • Randomfactor

          “First it was the first trimester, then it was the second, then it was the third, then it was while the baby was being born.”

          You have that backwards. First it was birth, and that made sense. Most laws in the US, IIRC, define a legal person as a human being from birth onwards. (Hence the Roman Catholic dilemma in Colorado.)

          Superstition is trying to push it back further and further, in some cases pre-conception.

        • RobMcCune

          Dependence isn’t the criteria for determining person-hood, it’s the criteria for determining whether or not the fetus is subject to the woman‘s right to bodily autonomy.

          • SJH

            So dependence is the criteria for determining whether another person has the right to take another person’s life? so if you were dependent on me I have the right to take your life if it somehow conflicts with my body?

            • RobMcCune

              I have the right to take your life if it somehow conflicts with my body?

              Not “somehow”, I either uniquely depend on your body to live or I don’t. If I do you’re under no obligation to keep me alive and can withdraw whatever you provide that I need, even if it results in my death.

            • RobMcCune

              Just to clarify:

              1. The fetus necessarily depends on the mother.
              2. The can only depend on the mother, not any one else.
              3. Without support from the mother and only the mother, the fetus will die.
              4. Because of this the only options are for the fetus to develop using the mothers body against her will, or for the mother to terminate the pregnancy .

              Because a person has a right to bodily autonomy, it it wrong to compel someone’s body to be used against their will. So a pregnant woman can choose to terminate a pregnancy.

              That sort of dependency or that kind of binary choice doesn’t usually exist for dependent babies, children or adults.

            • nakedanthropologist

              That depends on what you mean by “dependence”. A fetus is so completely dependent on a woman’s body that up to a certain point it cannot survive outside of it – there is no artificial womb that could support a fetus until it becomes viable outside the womb. As I stated above, the fetus isn’t an astronaut inside a woman-shaped space ship; it literally feeds off of the woman’s body itself. If a pregnant woman doesn’t get enough nutrients (via food) then the fetus will siphon the vitamins, minerals, calories, and everything else it needs from the woman’s tissues. This is why so many woman are at high-risk for osteoporosis after they’ve had children – without the proper nutritional intake that is high in calcium and other nutrients essential for osteoblastic activity – and so it extracts those nutrients from the mother’s own bones. And of course, pregnancy has many risks itself – including the risk of death. Moreover, each and every one of us has an innate right to bodily autonomy – no one is allowed to appropriate any parts of our bodies for survival, pleasure, or otherwise without our express and continuous consent. Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy, just as consent to walking to the bus stop is not consent to being mugged. Is there risk? Sure. Are there ways to minimize that risk? Absolutely. But I have yet to anything in my entire life that is without risk whatsoever.

        • MrMoto

          If a baby is born, then it is on a path to death. Born means “capable of independent survival with help by any capable person”. This covers birthed babies and babies removed premature to birth but capable of sustaining life outside the womb. It covers the abortion of severely disabled babies with no chance at life aborted late term.

          But not before that, because we don’t consider a fertilized egg that does not achieve implantation on a “path to death” — even though it clearly dies. We don’t consider babies with only a basic nervous system on the “path to death” — they may never complete that process. We don’t consider zygotes with cell genetics that can’t possible do their job correctly without further modification by the mother to be “on the path to death”.

          There is still ambiguity of course, which is why use democratically determined laws to balance competing interests. These can change with more knowledge.

        • Baby_Raptor

          There’s nothing arbitrary about looking at a 2 celled clump of tissue that isn’t developed, has no body parts, doesn’t have a gender, doesn’t have a brain, isn’t capable of sentience or cognizance, ETC and saying “This isn’t a person.”

          Again, abortions after the point where personhood could reasonably be granted are banned barring fatal defect or injury to the mother. Fetuses are already protected likely before they’re even fully “person.”

          A first trimester pregnancy is not a person. A person without any bias can look at a blastocyst, embryo or early fetus and see that.

          • ConnorBehan

            The embryo does develop a brain late in the first trimester. Is there research suggesting that the brain is too primitive to feel pain yet? I think arguments based on “how far along the brain is” are the best for maintaining intelligent discourse :).

    • coyotenose

      Don’t forget the “genetically complete” qualifier. They know it isn’t anything close to a person, so they have to dance around that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706781030 Barry St. Denis

    As an atheist I do not believe that abortion should be used as a primary birth control method but, like all things, nothing is “black and white”. Even on the topic of abortion, there are many shades of grey.

    • Patterrssonn

      Nor should it be used as a primary weight control method either

    • Amy Dolphin

      As a man, you might not understand that the most expensive and invasive form of ‘birth control’ is the least likely to be used as the primary form, but, you know, keep that straw woman burning.

      • rainspren

        No kidding. The idea that any woman would deliberately use abortion as birth control instead of, well, birth control is ridiculous.

        Anyone tempted to use it needs to stop and think about what exactly the process entails before priming up their typing fingers.

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

      Nobody is using abortion as a primary birth control method! Christ, why do people keep bringing up that old line of BS?

    • Baby_Raptor

      Nice strawman. Nobody uses abortion as birth control. Abortion is a hard decision (speaking from experience here, I’ve had one), that causes a good amount of physical pain and potentially also emotional pain, is expensive and comes with a metric Fuckton of shaming and insulting.

  • Liam

    My sister-in-law and mother-in-law are both ridiculously pro-life and Catholic, but the subject of the penultimate paragraph resulted in huge arguments between them. My SIL, president of the pro-life group at her university, is strongly devoted to a big-tent approach and tries to avoid using theological arguments on those grounds. My SIL has gone as far to take down scripture-based arguments posted on the group’s website by big names in the local pro-life movement. Her mother is aghast that she’d do such a thing, and there were fireworks. My wife and I, being both pro-choice and atheist, find it quite interesting.

  • Adam Thorn

    Bad people in every group then I guess. Still they haven’t got any decent reason that trumps the rights of the woman, which IMO is the most important thing.

  • eonL5

    I seem to remember that when the Supreme Court legalized abortion, it did so on privacy grounds. That is to say, since the zygote/embryo/fetus is inside the woman’s body, the issue should be the woman’s private concern. If she goes to a doctor, it should be protected by medical privacy laws and patient confidentiality. Why can’t we get back to that point and keep it there?

    I really hate all these legislatures making laws about what doctors have to say and do (or not say and not do) in their medical practices. We pay the doctors for their judgment and medical training, NOT the legislature, whose only realm should be protection from malpractice and ensuring that the training is adequate. Stuff like that.

    • baal

      Roe was as much about protecting doctors as it was about privacy. Women were dying at terrible rates (like #1 cause of death for females in the child bearing age range) from abortion and doctors were performing (usually illegally) abortions to prevent those deaths.

      • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

        Something conveniently forgotten inthe 21st century is that women died from illegal or self-induced abortions, and it was not a rare occurrence.

        Estimates of the number of illegal abortions in the 1950s and 1960s ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year. One analysis, extrapolating from data from North Carolina, concluded that an estimated 829,000 illegal or self-induced abortions occurred in 1967.

        One stark indication of the prevalence of illegal abortion was the death
        toll. In 1930, abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost
        2,700 women—nearly one-fifth (18%) of maternal deaths recorded in that year. The death toll had declined to just under 1,700 by 1940, and to just over 300 by 1950 (most likely because of the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections that frequently developed after illegal abortion). By 1965, the number of deaths due to illegal abortion had fallen to just under 200, but illegal abortion still accounted for 17% of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year. And these are just the number that were officially reported; the actual number was likely much higher.

        Poor women and their families were disproportionately impacted. A study of low-income women in New York City in the 1960s found that almost one in 10 (8%) had ever attempted to terminate a pregnancy by illegal abortion; almost four in 10 (38%) said that a friend, relative or acquaintance had attempted to obtain an abortion. Of the low-income women in that study who said they had had an abortion, eight in 10 (77%) said that they had attempted a self-induced procedure, with only 2% saying that a physician had been involved in any way.

        These women paid a steep price for illegal procedures. In 1962 alone, nearly 1,600 women were admitted to Harlem Hospital Center in New York City for incomplete abortions, which was one abortion-related hospital admission for every 42 deliveries at that hospital that year. In 1968, the University of Southern California Los Angeles County Medical Center, another large public facility serving primarily indigent patients, admitted 701 women with septic abortions, one admission for every 14 deliveries.

        A clear racial disparity is evident in the data of mortality because of
        illegal abortion: In New York City in the early 1960s, one in four
        childbirth-related deaths among white women was due to abortion; in comparison, abortion accounted for one in two childbirth-related deaths among nonwhite and Puerto Rican women.

        Even in the early 1970s, when abortion was legal in some states, a legal
        abortion was simply out of reach for many. Minority women suffered the most: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 1972 alone, 130,000 women obtained illegal or self-induced procedures, 39 of whom died. Furthermore, from 1972 to 1974, the mortality rate due to illegal abortion for nonwhite women was 12 times that for white women.

        http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/06/1/gr060108.html

  • Liz

    I wonder what these pro-life atheists think about birth control? I hate the anti-woman and anti-science tactics of the pro-life movement, but on the other hand I know individuals who don’t like abortion but want to fight it through better access to birth control and making parenthood financially easier. I would hope pro-life atheists are in the latter camp.

    • coyotenose

      As someone noted above, these people tend to be Libertarians, which means they don’t want anybody getting taxpayer–funded birth control, even though that actually saves them money and makes them safer and more secure. It also usually means that they’re fine with state and local government banning abortions and/or birth control, and often support doing so. They just don’t want the federal government doing it.

      Seriously. This is Ron Paul’s position that he tries to downplay during his candidacies.

      • Puzzled

        Ron Paul consistently defined himself as a federalist, not a libertarian, at least in the last 2 elections. You are correct that libertarians are against taxpayer funded anything, but as to saving money, safer, and more secure, you may want to repeat econ 101.

        • Gus Snarp

          Are you seriously arguing that access to birth control does not save society money in the long run and lead to a safer and more secure society? You may want to repeat economic geography 301. Also history 301. See that’s the problem, you have to get beyond the 100 level courses to really learn anything. Econ 101 just makes a lot of people with a really bad understanding of real world economics.

          • RobMcCune

            People dying in the gutter is cheaper if you defund the coroner.

      • Amakudari

        It also usually means that they’re fine with state and local government banning abortions and/or birth control, and often support doing so.

        However much Puzzled was downvoted, it’s worth pointing out that this is federalism. Under a libertarian society, this would not save money, because taxpayers would not only fund birth control, they wouldn’t fund childcare or welfare or schools. Depending on whether we get off the bus at minarchism or full-blown anarchocapitalism, “taxpayers” might not even exist. There’s no libertarian position I know of, in any case, whereby a federal government’s laws are philosophically invalid but a state’s are kosher.

        In any case, there’s this:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_perspectives_on_abortion

        Rand, Rothbard, the Libertarian Party, and Libertarian presidential candidates Browne, Badnarik and Johnson all fall on the pro-choice side.

    • ConnorBehan

      Pro-life atheists are huge promoters of birth control. Naturally a lot of comments here will say the opposite so as to vilify them.

  • Gus Snarp

    how they justify being pro-life when God doesn’t factor into the equation:

    That’s easy, they don’t understand the science and willingly accept the inaccurate science and philosophy of religious people on this issue, instead of the advice and judgment of doctors and women.

    • Liz

      A day before birth, a fetus is pretty much the same as a human infant (which people generally are not okay with killing). A day after conception, it’s pretty much nothing. In between, it’s… something, and exactly what that something is worth and how its rights balance with a woman’s are really hard questions that reasonable people can disagree over.

      • Gus Snarp

        Yes, it’s a spectrum with no clear demarcations. But these people are pretending that fertilization is the demarcation of a human. That’s bad science.

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

          Hmmm… guess that means that Libertarians and Republicans don’t get to vote. Good!

      • Baby_Raptor

        That’s why abortions are already banned after 24 weeks, barring fatal defect or harm to the mother.

        Also, your comment does nothing to address the fairly large group of people who want all abortion banned, and birth control banned because it’s an “abortifacient.”

  • Patterrssonn

    “a genetically complete human being is formed,”

    Is that even true? And, I may not understand it properly I’m not a biologist and am basing this on one book on epigenetics I read a few yrs ago, but aren’t there a lot of genetic changes that occur during maturation?

    • coyotenose

      Yeah, anti-choicers (and their anti-gay fundie cousins) are universally ignorant of epigenetics. Explain it, show examples, doesn’t make a dent in their brains. I guess it’s a Dunning-Kruger thing. They were told about dominant and recessive genes in school, and assumed that Mendelian genetics were everything and they were now experts.

      • Calvin

        Biologically it isn’t until plantation where you could argue that it is “fully formed.”

        • Patterrssonn

          I know there’s a lot of changes between fertilization and implantation due to de-methylation and methylation but I think there’s also epigenetic changes that occur throughout gestation.

          • Calvin

            True. I took a medical ethics course and we spent a few weeks on abortion. Obvious only secular pro and anti arguments. We were trying to be as “biologically” lenient as possible in our critique of the argument (which is similar to the original post, only much more legalese and academic).

            • Calvin

              Basically, if you argue from a biological standpoint. You run into some unintended consequences ethically.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Not true. Not true at all. Go research what actually happens over the course of pregnancy.

    • Glasofruix

      Well technically speaking a zygote has the father’s and mother’s DNA, so it’s genetically comple the moment it forms. Now in reality, it’s a pair of cells that has nothing to do with a person.

      • Patterrssonn

        Technically speaking the zygote may have the DNA but it takes a woman’s body to take the raw material of a zygote and turn it into a human being, just as a novelists mind turns the words contained in a dictionary into a novel. This might be a little over the top as an analogy but I think it has some truth.

    • nakedanthropologist

      Not really. The woman’s body makes genetic changes on the zygote as it matures – a good example is the development of biological sex and/or anti-body production.

  • RobMcCune

    Perhaps the most interesting part of the article was finding out that
    some Christians have shunned the atheist pro-lifers because the
    “sanctity of life” is their issue, not the atheists’.

    Ironically it shows those christians don’t give a damn about the “sanctity of life”.

  • Bad_homonym

    I am probably in a very small minority. I am pro-choice, but anti- abortion. At least as primary birth control. I was adopted at birth and find this the best option. I am open minded enough to think that my preferences shouldnt trump someone else’s though! After all every single person who has had to make that sort of decision has had their very own unique set of circumstances to deal with!!

    • Patterrssonn

      “At least as primary birth control.”

      I very much doubt there’s a single pro-choicer who believes that abortion is the best form of birth control

      • Bad_homonym

        Fair comment, however I had a foster sister who’s mother had something like 7 abortions. I’m certain she was an exception, and in reality I believe she never gave birth control any thought until she was pregnant each time.

    • Baby_Raptor

      You can relax then, because the whole “abortion as birth control” thing is a lie. It’s a strawman set up by the pro-forced birth side to keep the money rolling in.

      There is absolutely no evidence that abortion is used as birth control.

    • kaileyverse

      Adoption is an alternative to parenting, not pregnancy.

      I think adoption can be a beautiful gift that a woman or couple can decide to do – but no woman should be forced to give birth because someone else wants a child, specifically an INFANT desperately – if they really wanted a kid, they would take an older one, as I don’t know, over 100,000 children are waiting in foster care for parents.

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

        This x1000. I’m utterly disgusted at the people who “want” to adopt, but will only take a perfectly healthy white infant.

      • Bad_homonym

        I’m sorry, did I advocate forcing people to give birth? I was simply stating my views as an adoptee. My parents also took care of over 30 foster children (not at once) and adopted one! I clearly stated that everyone who has faced these tough choices has their own circumstances! Have you ever raised foster children? It is a task I know I am not up to. Typically these kids have huge issues owing to their dysfunctional homes! My mom spent a great deal of time in court testifying about the awful state of the kids in our care! I’ve walked a mile in those shoes, and I am glad my biological mother opted to not try and raise me, so I could have a fighting chance! I am also glad she opted to have me though!

        Cheers!

        • kaileyverse

          I wasn’t trying to imply that you believed in forced birth, I just don’t like the premise that a pregnant woman can just place her child for adoption as an alternative to having an abortion.

          I have no interest in raising children – certainly because I understand the complexity, sacrifice and burden they can place on families – often mothers. A lot of children in foster care certainly have problems – but if people REALLY wanted to parent – they would accept these challenges, and children who aren’t perfect. That is what parenting is about – taking care of a kid and supporting/raising them the best way you can. I also believe that children are resilient – and many of the children in foster care, despite the problems they have, need a stable and supportive and permanent home to help them adapt and adjust. Most kids, if they have parents who care about them, will probably turn out ok. Sure they may still have problems – but NO kid is perfect, even one that is biologically the parents. (I mean, I’ve got mental health problems and I wanted for nothing as a child).

          I’m glad my mom chose to have me too – but again, she CHOSE me. If she had been in a position where she had been forced to give birth to me – because she didn’t have money or resources for an abortion (even if I was placed for adoption) – that pregnancy would have changed her life. I imagine my mom would have been emotionally devastated to have to place me for adoption – it might have killed her spirit completely. Fortunately my parents were together and both working when I was born – but that is a scenario that not all women have. They lack social and community support – including from the partner/father of the pregnancy. Many women can’t work or lose their jobs due to pregnancy, can’t get pre-natal care early enough, and pregnancy is just a hassle. Why go through all of that if you are struggling enough on your own to survive? What if being pregnant makes it practically impossible to take care of the children you already have? I don’t think adoption is an alternative to abortion – I think it is an alternative to choosing to parent – which is why I think that abortion should remain safe, and legal, for all women without ridiculous requirements for obtaining it. Some women cannot, will not and do not want to be pregnant at all – because it is too much of a burden to be.

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

            You are awesome.

          • Bad_homonym

            You need not like the premise, however, adoption is in fact an alternative! and if we want argue the logic of it all, abortion is an alternative to parenting too! It actually sounds to me like you hold your opinions to be of higher import than mine, and I have never once in these exchanges indicated that I felt my ideals were better than anyone elses! I did however state FACTS and then explained why they mattered to me! I also get a really negative ‘guys are the douchebags in all this ‘ vibe from your replys, but that may well be my own sensitivity on this subject. As I said before, I have walked in these shoes, my parents DID adopt a foster child. ( she wasn’t nearly as resiliant as we would have hoped, and now sadly has followed her mothers path of drug abuse etc.) All that being said, I still need to reiterate. I am first and foremost pro-choice! IF and only if , someone wanted my advice. And only if circumstances allowed. Adoption is the better choice in my books. My initial post here was meant to prompt conversation and not to be controversial. Hope I dint offend, but I do stand by what I have said for the reasons I have tried in my clumsy way to convey!
            cheers!

            • kaileyverse

              We may just disagree here – but my understanding is that a woman is pregnant or not pregnant. The state of being pregnant is the issue. Once a woman gives birth, she is no longer pregnant. Adoption is an alternative to parenting. Not being pregnant. Adoption is a great option for women who are ready and willing to undergo the health and social risks of carrying a pregnancy to term – but not ready to be a parent or to have another child – but are fine with being pregnant knowing that they do not want to parent. Not all women are fine with being pregnant.

              I think we have similar views in the belief that all women have the right to decide for themselves what the best option is for themselves aNd their families. So I hope that I have also not offended you as well. Thanks!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    … the best ways to reach secular people with the pro-life message are through biology and…

    And yet the people who use that argument are most often not biologists, and biologists, including myself, tend not to use those arguments.

  • Mario Strada

    I have been an atheist all my life and I am against abortion. Were I a woman, very likely I wouldn’t have an abortion except in the most dire circumstances (rape, incest, risk of death); being a man that point is moot. As a husband and father of a young adult daughter, I would do whatever is in my power to facilitate bringing to term the fetus should my wife or daughter be pregnant and thinking of an abortion. What I mean is that I would offer whatever help and sacrifice was in my power to offer so that they would bring the baby to term.

    My wife had an abortion, when we were first married and sometimes I think of the son or daughter I never met with sorrow, but she was too ill to bring that pregnancy to term and we both have no regrets. Prior to that a girlfriend got pregnant and I don’t know what she eventually decided to do. She went back to Germany and I never heard from her again. I suspect she either had an abortion or someone else raised my kid for me. Either way, I am not too happy about it.

    However, there is a big difference between a pro life atheist and me: I live in the real world, where people have to make real life decisions.

    I consider having an abortion a very personal issue that should be decided primarily by the pregnant woman. I’ll certainly give my opinion if asked but I am ready to accept whatever decision the woman makes.

    That’s why in my case the term “Pro Choice” is very apt. Given the choice between abortion and a live child, I’ll take the child. But I recognize the right of a woman to choose and that’s pretty much that.

    • rainspren

      Most pro-choicers feel the same way. I have a newborn cuddled up to my breast right now and could not imagine life without her, but would never take the right of choice away from anyone.

    • Sarah T.

      I think you make a great point, but I want to add a bit of my experience in relation to your first paragraph.

      Before I was sexually active, I used to say, “Oh, I am against abortions personally. I would never have one, BUT I support other’s rights to do so.” But after I started dating my now-husband and had my first ‘pregnancy scare, I realized that no one can really know what they will do until they are in that situation. I try not to speak in such rigid absolutes any more, because we literally and scientifically can’t predict our own behavior.

      • TicklishMeerkat

        Pregnancy scares are so terrifying! I’m glad you seem like you’re all right now. To add to your point, a recent study shows evidence that anti-choice men often change their tune fast when a partner’s unplanned pregnancy brings the issue home in a personal way. And there is that old joke about most anti-choice women being exactly one unplanned pregnancy away from being pro-choice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1232897361 Carry Tivity

    I’m fine with anyone, Christian gay, atheist, whatever, believing that abortion is wrong. I personally disagree with them, but they are entitled to their beliefs. The problem I have is when they decided that their beliefs should legislate what I do with my own body.

    This is my biggest problem with atheists who lobby against abortion. How can an atheist believe that their belief trumps another person’s rights and feel the need to legislate that belief?

    Simple dog head-tilt here.

    • ceruleanblue777

      How can you, atheist or otherwise, believe that your belief trumps another human being’s rights to not be killed and feel the need to legislate that belief?

      Another dog tilts its head back at you.

  • Gus Snarp

    At the risk of seeming repetitive to those who’ve seen this on other articles, with regard to this:

    “As complete human beings in the most vulnerable stages, there should be protections afforded.

    This seems apropos: http://www.thisismyabortion.com/

    Let me know if you can find the complete human being in those pictures.

    Having a full complement of genetic material does not make an embryo a “complete human being”. It’s not a complete human being until it’s born, and even that is questionable. It’s a spectrum, and the difficulty of finding demarcations on that spectrum indicate to me that the best course is to let the woman and her doctor decide what’s best.

  • http://twitter.com/Gee_O_Pee GeeOPee

    As per usual woman’s or girl’s life is never a factor “sanctity of life” only the fetus matters. Women and girls aren’t human so can be completely ignored in the equation by religious or non-religious “pro-lifers.”

  • SteveM

    A fertilized egg needs much more than nutrition and maturation to become human. It need the proper “environment” that provides those things, which is the woman. If she is not willing to provide that environment, then it’s game over.

    Also, if all it take is a genetically complete cell to equal a human, then I am committing genocide every time I scratch myself.

    • SJH

      Do you not need a “proper environment”? A proper temperature? Proper relationships? I guess if a country decides that it doesn’t want to support you anymore that nation can decide to kill you? Perhaps the homeless are a drain on society? After all, they seem to not be able to get along on their own. According to your logic, if the country does not want them then maybe we should kill them as well?

      • RobMcCune

        A fetus is necessarily dependent on one person only, the woman carrying it, an adult is not.

      • TicklishMeerkat

        False analogies for the lose! Got any more shitty metaphors you heard once and thought were neat?

      • Patterrssonn

        “I guess if a country decides that it doesn’t want to support you anymore that nation can decide to kill you?”

        This may come as a surprise to you but a country isn’t a person. But like TM says feel free to keep coming up with shitty pointless analogies if that helps make up for your complete lack of an actual argument.

      • Baby_Raptor

        An adult can survive in vastly less “perfect” conditions than a pregnancy can. The mother taking too hot a bath can kill a fetus.

        Also, adults and the homeless are human beings. A fetus is not. Adults and the homeless aren’t completely dependent upon one person, taking every single thing they need FROM THAT PERSON’S BODY AT THEIR DETRIMENT. If you can’t understand that, and why it matters, get the hell out of this conversation. You’re not mentally equipped to be participating.

  • Gus Snarp

    Also:

    Being an atheist pro-lifer often can have its costs. Hentoff has lost lecture-circuit jobs and the opportunity to have a journalism school named after him and was delayed in getting a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Press Foundation because of his pro-life views.

    Can he prove that? I mean really prove that those decisions were made entirely because he has and expressed pro-life views? And not for any other reason? And while we’re on the subject, how much of an entitled whiner do you have to be to lament that your Lifetime Achievement Award was delayed? You got a lifetime achievement aware. In your lifetime.

  • Randomfactor

    Given other brushfires currently raging in the atheist “community” I’m going to suspect that they’re not anti-abortion so much as anti-woman. Like the rest of the “pro-life” movement.

  • ortcutt

    I really don’t understand what supposedly makes a human zygote more morally significant than a dolphin zygote, a bovine zygote, or a sea urchin one. The argument you get is “Well, um.. humans are special” OK. Yes, we’re a different species, but why does that matter? It’s all quite bizarre. Is it just a form of tribalism and nothing more? At least religious pro-life people believe it based on their false belief that human zygotes have souls implanted by God. Secular anti-abortion people have no such myth to fall back on.

    • ConnorBehan

      In the case of a zygote which has no nervous system, I completely agree with you. I suspect that most atheists who are against abortion (whether it’s all abortions or abortions after the first trimester or whatever) oppose the killing of mammals in general.

  • Forrest Cahoon

    A “gnostic antitheist atheist”? That’s a new one. Is that someone who has had a supernatural revelation that there is no god? I thought the original article must have said “agnostic” but I clicked through and that quote is accurate. Weird.

  • nakedanthropologist

    Alexandra • 5 hours ago

    +
    Flag as inappropriate
    “When the sperm meets the egg, a genetically complete human being is
    formed, and all that is required for maturation is [a woman's] time and [her body for] nutrition”
    ^This^. Exactly. These arguments always erase the woman who will be carrying the fetus – and its not just “carrying”. As Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism (and others) have pointed out, this completely erases the woman who will have to allow the fetus to feed off of her body and in doing so make irrevocably changes. The birth is at best traumatic and at worst fatal to the woman that anti-abortionists clearly ignore. This is not just about “life” but bodily automy – the fetus feeds off the woman herself – she will have to provide all the blood, nutrients, physical rest, and so on for the zygote or fetus or pharyngula to physically mature into an infant. Not to mention the monetary costs associated with pre-natal, birth, and post-natal care.
    Why do these people do this? They complain about the “sanctity” of life or human rights for the undeveloped feotal component (that only has potential to become a human being, which it only has any opportunity to do so because the woman must donate all that she is for that to occur) and in doing so completely de-humanize and de-value the woman, again without any concern for the fact that she has bodily-autonomy. Tough shit if they don’t like it – then they can (by all means) CHOOSE not to have an abortion themselves. However, everyone else also has the same right to CHOOSE for themselves as well.

  • kaydenpat

    So the woman is held hostage to the fetus, regardless of her well being? Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy? Nothing else matters but the fetus, I guess.

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

    Sanctity of life, my ass. It’s all about controlling women.

  • Colin

    I am very passively pro-life, and I am an atheist. I am unconcerned with anyone else’s views on the matter, and I don’t try to convince anyone of anything. People must come to their own conclusions drawn from their unique experience. This talk of being pro-life and anti-woman are madness. Perhaps the anti-choice faction deserve to be called anti-woman, but it is inappropriate to make such sweeping generalizations.

    If someone is irresponsible enough to get pregnant when they don’t want to, they should at least have the decency to see their actions through to the end, and then give the child up for adoption. Abortion should not be used as birth control. And, if they were a rape victim or someone equally as unfortunate, then by all means they should abort. But, not just because an inclement child seems like it’ll be an inconvenience.

    • RobMcCune

      If someone is irresponsible enough to get pregnant when they don’t want to, they should at least have the decency to see their actions through
      to the end

      How is an involuntary biological function “irresponsible”? Why is remaining pregnant obligated by decency?

      And how do both sentiments not make you ant-woman?

      • ConnorBehan

        Because irresponsibility is not necessarily on the part of the woman. Suppose a man wears an expired condom and conceives a child as a result. Then the argument about having decency means that he should face the consequences and pay every expense for the child rather than convincing his partner to get an abortion.

    • allein

      “inclement child”? That’s a new one…a child is not a rainstorm.

      This “inconvenience” argument is so infuriating. 3/4 of a year with a small human growing inside you, using your body’s resources, is not a simple “inconvenience.” Even a healthy pregnancy usually involves morning sickness, fatigue, and other side effects (my cousin had morning sickness for the entire duration of all three of her pregnancies. It’s hard to live your life, let alone take care of your other children, when you feel like throwing up all day, every day). Even an uneventful birth requires weeks of recovery time, time off work, major medical expense (plus all the doctor visits during the pregnancy itself, meaning more expense and more time off). For someone without insurance and/or a good income, an unexpected pregnancy can seriously derail her life, even if she doesn’t keep the baby. Someone with a good job and insurance is at least less likely to end up struggling financially, but the pregnancy will still be a major event in her life. And giving up a baby for adoption, even one that you didn’t want, is emotionally very difficult. Giving up an unplanned baby you might have kept if circumstances were different, because it’s what you think is best for the baby rather than because it’s what you actually want, can be heartwrenching. Women who choose adoption are more likely to have mental health issues than those who choose an early abortion. None of this is simply an “inconvenience.”

      https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_impact/f_impact.cfm

    • SphericalBunny

      You think that pregnancy and child birth are a fitting punishment for having sex. You will of course acknowledge that said punishments can only be unwillingly inflicted on women. You imply that pregnancy and child birth and adoption are no big deal; merely an ‘inconvenience’. You suggest no sanctions applicable to males.

      You are anti-woman.

      Fuck you.

    • kaileyverse

      Adoption is an alternative to parenting, not an alternative to pregnancy. I do believe that adoption can be a wonderful gift that a woman/couple can give to adoptive parents – but it doesn’t negate the fact that some women cannot, will not or do not want to be pregnant. It doesn’t matter the reason – rape, fetal anomaly, non-viable pregnancy, don’t have the means to support a child or another child, are in an abusive relationship, had a birth control failure, have medical risks or mental health issues that make pregnancy difficult or dangerous to the woman, don’t have the desire to be a parent or undergo the medical risks that come with pregnancy….I can go on and on and list thousands of unique, and thoughtful reasons why women may choose abortion over delivery – and they are all valid and individual.

      I don’t like the idea of forced birth as much as I don’t like the idea of forced abortions. I believe each individual woman has the right to decide what is best for her, and her family when pregnant. Want to have a baby!? Great! I support you, I support government funding for pre-natal care, childbirth and health care of children. I support day-care and child care programs for women that make it possible for them to go to work and/or school. I support high school/college programs that support mothers and lessen the burden that a child has on obtaining or continuing an education (or even staying in the job market). I support food and public assistance programs that make it possible for mothers to provide for their children. I believe that every child should be a choice – and that each parent who chooses to give birth has all the support they need to provide for a child.

      Unfortunately, many of the same people that would force a woman to give birth – believe that once a child is born – it is her responsibility (and she is a shitty mother if she needs public assistance) – I mean, she made her bed and has to lie in it right? Too bad you can’t provide for your kid, you should have made better choices!

      Sometimes the right choice for a woman is to terminate her pregnancy – and that is OK.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

    I think there are plenty of atheists that think abortions are immoral, I’m one of them. But I also think it is immoral to force a woman to continue a pregnancy against her will. The only moral choice is to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Therefore, I am definitely “pro-choice” in terms of politics and I have a huge problem with laws that restrict abortions because they are really only meant to punish those “bad” women who *gasp* had sex(!) and don’t do anything to address the REAL problem of unintended pregnancies.

    The truth is I do believe life begins at conception, I do believe that tiny clump of cells, with its unique DNA , should be allowed to grow into a person if its at all possible. I find it appalling that anyone would “choose” to end that life in all but the most dire circumstances, but I find it equally appalling that anyone would treat a woman as an incubators and presume to make the most personal of health care decisions for her. The full grown autonomous woman must come first. She alone needs to be the one to decide if the health risk is too great to continue a high-risk pregnancy, or if the mental anguish of a rape makes continuing the pregnancy too traumatic. In the case of abortions used as a means of contraception, can’t we all agree that there are much better methods of contraceptives out there? If we had universal health care, affordable contraceptives for everyone, comprehensive sex ed, better maternity leave, and more support for women who want to keep their babies or place them for adoption, then there would hardly be a need for abortions in those circumstances. If you are anti-abortion, this is what you should be working towards, not passing stupid laws and shutting down much needed clinics.

    • allein

      “In the case of abortions used as a means of contraception, can’t we all agree that there are much better methods of contraceptives out there?”

      Who are these women everyone seems to think are using abortion instead of birth control? No one uses a surgical procedure that costs hundreds of dollars as a primary means contraception.

  • http://twitter.com/PirateFroglet Cathy McGrath

    Anyone else notice the article said he is an agnostic, anti-theist, atheist? Aren’t some of those incompatible?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Good for them. More power to them. So long as they don’t try and force everyone else to live by their beliefs, I don’t give two Fucks.

    Unfortunately, the pro-forced birth crowd rarely manages that.

    • ceruleanblue777

      Why does the pro-abortion side force so many to die by their beliefs?

      • newenglandsun

        why did he get four likes and you only one?

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Because ceruleanblue thinks women aren’t people, and around here those beliefs don’t get a lot of support.

          • newenglandsun

            Whoa now! He could simply turn around and say to you that you don’t think that the unborn are people. Don’t go using faulty logic.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              But that’s true. I don’t think the unborn are people. They’re potential people, and as such have significantly less moral and ethical weight than the actual people they’re taking resources from and living inside of.

              • newenglandsun

                As soon as the life starts developing, it is a living thing (SLED method). I believe that both the woman and her unborn child are co-equals. We need to do what’s best for both.

                I for one don’t even like to play the person game as I call it because the person game of deciding who is and who is not a person has historically resulted in anti-woman policies, pro-slavery policies, and eugenics.

                Now I ask you to define a person and explain why an unborn child is not a person.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I don’t think it matters. The personhood definition game is, as you say, a philosophical one that can go round in circles forever. I’m just saying, it wouldn’t be an unreasonable or untrue assumption about me, just as my interpretation of ceruleanblue’s post is not unreasonable and is unfortunately likely true.

                  Why don’t you answer me something- do you think legally mandated organ donations, or even mandatory blood or bone marrow donations, are ethical? I don’t. Our society doesn’t. We do not require any person to donate to any other person, holding that personal bodily autonomy (that is, control over one’s own body) is more important than the life of another. We hold this is such high esteem, in fact, that we don’t require corpses to donate. We respect the bodily autonomy of dead people more than the life of still-living people.

                  Being pregnant is a whole-body donation. There are hormone swings, the fetus uses the woman’s blood and nutrients and energy to literally build itself out of the woman’s flesh, it puts strain on the woman’s heart, kidneys, and immune system. It takes up space in her uterus, another organ. That is, by any reasonable definition, an organ donation. Shouldn’t a woman get to decide whether she wants to donate herself or not, just like any other person? Heck, shouldn’t we extend to living women the same respect and rights as we extend to corpses?

                • newenglandsun

                  I am largely anti-egotistic in philosophy. I believe that people in general are programmed for self-serving reasons. I think that at the same time, we should respect the religious decisions of others on the issue of dead bodies. It should never be the dead person’s right to decide but rather his family.

                  But in regard to abortion, we are still dealing with two living humans. They both have sentience. Again, the baby never gets to decide whether it ends up in her uterus or not. This happens in 100% of ALL pregnancy cases.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Uh, no they don’t. Fetuses don’t even have the brain structures to process pain, let alone anything else, until 22-24 weeks at a minimum. Sentience doesn’t happen until birth, as blood oxygen levels before that are too low to allow for any sort of consciousness.

                  I don’t get to steal your blood, even if I die without it. A fetus doesn’t get to steal my uterus and blood and nutrients, even if it dies without them. The situations are exactly parallel. Why do you think corpses have more right to control their bodies than women do?

                  EDIT: Oldie but goodie: you wake up to find yourself bound by IV lines to a famous violinist, giving him your blood. This violinist will die if you disconnect yourself. Do you have the moral and ethical right to disconnect the IV lines?

                • newenglandsun

                  You should look up the House M.D. episode “Fetal Position”. Toward the end, House starts referring to the fetus as “baby”. Not only that, the fetus also reaches out to him.

                  “The Hand of God” by Bernard Nathanson is written by a doctor who used to perform abortions and performed over 60,000 abortions.

                  Again, I am pro-life as a personal decision but because there are circumstances in which it would be better for the mother, I am pro-choice as an option.

                  Your arguments though are the ridiculous arguments based on selfishness that are often thrown out by the pro-choice movement. The fetus doesn’t choose you, therefore, it doesn’t actually “steal” your uterus.

                  If you keep making egotistic arguments in favor of abortion, then you will continuously rail on me for being anti-woman and constantly make false accusations against my position. I do not put up with egotists whether they be male or female. The fetus is a human. SLED.

                  “Why do you think corpses have more right to control their bodies than women do?”

                  Don’t make straw-men arguments. I said and I quote: “It should *never* be the dead person’s right to decide but rather his family.”

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So the family decides that a corpse’s dignity is worth more than a person’s life, and you’re okay with that? But you’re not okay with a woman deciding her own life and her own dignity is worth more than another person’s life? Inconsistent much?

                  You’re giving a fetus more rights than any human being has. I don’t have a right to live by stealing anyone’s organs or blood. Period. They have to choose to give them to me. Same goes for the fetus; it only has a right to live if the woman it’s inside chooses to let it live there. Every person has the right to decide who uses their body, how, and when. Women, shockingly, count as people, so they too get to decide who uses their body, how, and when. Fetuses shouldn’t get more rights than already-born people.

                  Would you disconnect the violinist from your body? Do you have a moral right to do so?

                  EDIT: Really, you’re using a fictional TV show as evidence? That’s just … sad. Really, really sad.

                  EDIT 2: I’m glad you’re pro-choice as a political option. That’s really all I ask. Your personal decisions are just that; personal. If you personally wouldn’t ever get an abortion, that’s a valid ethical decision to make. It is when pro-life people make the argument that women shouldn’t have the option of abortion that I have issues, because that relegates women from “person” category to “walking uterus” category.

                • newenglandsun

                  I’m not saying that they should get more rights. Your arguments are pro-egotism and are not worth my time any more.

                  “You’re giving a fetus more rights than any human being has.” Wrong – I’m giving it the same rights. The fetus never chose you. What if your mother decided she din’t want you invading her? What if I decided by letting you live, you were invading someone else’s free choices so therefore, you are not a person and should be offed?

                  “Same goes for the fetus; it only has a right to live if the woman it’s inside chooses to let it live there. Every person has the right to decide who uses their body, how, and when. Women, shockingly, count as people, so they too get to decide who uses their body, how, and when.”

                  What? The father never gets a say in whether he wants to keep the kid? It’s his kid too you know? Men, shockingly count as people too *gasp*! And I NEVER said that women don’t count as people. You are putting words into my mouth. I have specifically stated that the fetus and the women are BOTH equal human beings. What part of this denies the women her humanity?

                  It is painfully obvious to me that you just want to make pro-egotistic arguments as well as pigeonhole me into a group of people that I do not share views with it. Until you apologize for your false accusations and pro-egotism and make a better case for pro-choice viewpoints, you can consider this conversation closed. I do not put up with egotism whether it be in women or men. Ironically, I have never met an egotistical child, baby, toddler, or fetus so I do feel more sympathy for them than for others.

                • RobMcCune

                  What? The father never gets a say in whether he wants to keep the kid? It’s his kid too you know? Men, shockingly count as people too *gasp*!

                  If you’re going to argue that the mother’s desires are irrelevant and “egotistical,” (unless she makes the choice you want) then by what logic should the father’s desires play a role?

                • newenglandsun

                  All I meant was that the father’s desires do need to play a role in the decision unless in instances of rape. Since it’s his kid too. There is nothing egotistic about that since it’s the equality of all humans.

                • RobMcCune

                  I don’t see how on one hand you can believe a fetus is it’s own being whose needs should be considered apart from the mother’s, but also maintain that the father should be able to make decisions about it’s well being. The two are incompatible.

                • Cake

                  It’s about trying to stack guilt on the woman. It doesn’t need to make sense as long as the right emotional button gets pushed.

                • RobMcCune

                  That’s pretty much how it seemed to me.

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

                  And yet you keep reducing women to walking incubators.

                  Why do my rights get trampled by a blob of cells that may (or may not) develop into a human being? Why is it that my life, my health, and my needs and wants have to take a backseat to something that’s about as sentient as a tumour?

                  You keep saying you’re not anti-woman, but every other word out of your keyboard has been some variant of “force the sluts to give birth”…

                • newenglandsun

                  I’m not reducing women to walking incubators.

                  Is a person in a wheelchair a blob of cells? Your arguments are unconvincing and hold nothing other than a stab of vitriolicism, ad-hominem, and straw-man. I am not reducing women to walking incubators. I never have. What I do believe is that both the women and her unborn are co-equally humans. I haven’t been able to refute this position successfully.

                  “Why is it that my life, my health, and my needs and wants have to take a backseat to something that’s about as sentient as a tumour?”

                  They don’t. What we need is to provide support for pregnant women and improve the living conditions for all women and pregnant women in general. Why do your needs need to take a backseat to society? I am trying to offer you liberation here so that you do not have to come across a situation where you have to make a decision to end a human life.

                  “You keep saying you’re not anti-woman, but every other word out of your keyboard has been some variant of “force the sluts to give birth”…”

                  Okay, so I’ll make an anti-men comment. I hope those men who cause women to become pregnant die of horrible STD’s from having sex with men. Irreversible!

                  And yes, I “force sluts to give birth” which is why I wholeheartedly support the legalization of abortion as an option for women. Which is also why I seek to make the living conditions for women (including pregnant women), truly equal. I am so anti-women (sarcasm).

                  Again, please answer my question – if we were fused together mistakenly, then would you favor my option to consider you a hideous blob of cells that may not even be a human being and then have you exterminated because of it. I’ve been waiting for ages.

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

                  Like I keep saying, he’s anti-woman. He wants to force us to be brood mares. It’s all about controlling women…

                • RobMcCune

                  That’s exactly how it seemed to me.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  When a man has the option of going through the hormone swings, squashed bladder, elevated risk of heart attack and stroke, gestational diabetes, morning sickness, risk of hyperemesis gravidarum, weight gain, and restrictions on exercise, travel, and food, followed by the 6-65+ hours of agonizing pain with risk of hemorrhage, organ prolapse, pelvic floor damage, vagino-rectal fistula, and death, he can have the deciding voice. Since we don’t have that technology yet, he can have a say but isn’t the deciding voice. Only one person gets to make that decision, and that’s the woman who has to actually grow the fetus.

                  When you say women and fetuses have equal standing as human beings, you should back it up. You and I have equal standing as humans, yet I cannot commandeer your organs for my use. If I could, I would have more rights to your body than you do. You are saying a fetus can commandeer a woman’s body, so you’re actually saying a woman is less of a human than a fetus and has less rights than one. For obvious reasons, I’m not okay with that. If you truly thought the two were equal, you would have no more ethical problems with abortion than you do with keeping your kidney or not donating blood.

                  I don’t know what you mean by egotistical. If you mean I want to be treated as an equal human being and demand that my dignity as a person be respected, then I guess I qualify.

                • newenglandsun

                  This conversation is closed until you apologize for your egotism.
                  Egotism – selfishness; self-centeredness; egoism

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So you have no sense of self, then? Why should I apologize for thinking of myself as valuable- no more valuable than any other, true, but of worth?

                • Cake

                  “This conversation is closed until you apologize for your egotism.
                  Egotism – selfishness; self-centeredness; egoism”

                  An apology for seeing themselves as being more valuable to themselves than the other people around them?

                  What a strange thing for someone to demand. Maybe this just allows you to save face and think of this as a win for you. Thats just as sad as the TVshow as reality thing that was pulled earlier. Yay for you I guess.

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

                  You’re allowing the fetus to USE A WOMAN’S BODY AGAINST HER WILL, AND THUS GRANTING IT *MORE* RIGHTS THAN THE WOMAN IT’S PARASITIZING!

                  Fuck, you’re stupid!

                • newenglandsun

                  You don’t need to swear in your arguments. You are bullying the human (fetus).

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

                  You can’t “bully” something that doesn’t have sentience, sapience, or even a brain.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Your obsessive attachment to that word does not make it more relevant. It actually suggests a lack of intelligence and of competent arguments on your part. Might wanna work on that.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  “It was on TV, it’s true!”

                  Snerk.

                • newenglandsun

                  It’s a display of empathy. Dr. House is adamantly pro-abortion. But then he sees the fetus. And there have been cases like these with doctors in real life.

                • Cake

                  “You should look up the House M.D. episode “Fetal Position”…

                  You know that’s a TV show, right? If you’re going to use make believe to support your opinions just quote some random Bible verses and leave it at that.

              • ceruleanblue777

                When do the unborn become persons?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  When they’re independent entities who are no longer attached to another person’s body. We call this “birth”.

                  There are some arguments to be made for viability, which is when a fetus can theoretically survive outside a uterus on its own. If we put personhood there, we are at about 32 weeks. 22 weeks if we include modern medical technology. I think this is flawed for a number of reasons, but it is a position I understand.

                • newenglandsun

                  “When they’re independent entities who are no longer attached to another person’s body. We call this “birth”.”

                  Actually, we call it the cutting of the umbilical chord. Until then, we can still thrust a knife in it and kill it because it isn’t a “person” yet.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  You are wrong. Born infants don’t need the umbilical cord. They aren’t getting any nutrients or oxygen out of the placenta by the time they’re out; the placenta is already detached from the uterus at that point, which means there’s no interchange of nutrients or blood anymore. First breath or out of the birth canal is the marker of personhood in many cultures and religions, and I think those are good ones.

                  If you’re going to argue biology, at least have the decency to know what you’re talking about.

                • newenglandsun

                  “When they’re independent entities who are no longer attached to another person’s body.”

                  You said not I. And neither location nor dependence matter in determining personhood. Are you a person if you roll over in bed and depend on life support?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  /sigh.

                  There’s a lot of things that go into personhood. It’s not an easy question. There are arguments to be made that we can lose our personhood, and while I generally don’t agree with them, I understand them. We’re never going to settle this; it’s a hard philosophical question that, frankly, doesn’t matter a whole lot in this context.

                  A person’s right to control hir body supersedes another person’s right to life. Once those two rights are no longer in conflict (a baby has been born, for example, and is thus no longer feeding on the mother’s body as a parasite), life rises to greater prominence as a right to consider. A person on mechanical life support does not infringe on another’s bodily autonomy, so the same considerations do not arise. Would you say that a person connected by IV to another person has no right to remove the IV?

                  In other words, stop comparing apples to basketballs.

              • ceruleanblue777

                Living inside of and taking resources from passively and as a result of the choices that an adult made.

                Is a potential person still a human being?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Uh, you don’t know anything about pregnancy, do you? It’s not terribly passive and it is risky (moreso for some than others) and it’s a huge imposition on the life and body of the woman. If you’re not willing to say that you are required to donate your organs to anyone who needs them, regardless of your life circumstances, general health, or desire to do so, why would you say women have to?

                  It doesn’t matter if a fetus is a person or not. What matters is you’re saying that its life trumps the woman’s right to control who does what, when, with her body. We don’t use that standard for any other situation, so what you’re saying is that a fetus is more human and has more rights than any person. I say no.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  I noticed you didn’t answer my question on whether a potential person is still a human being.

                  You stated that you don’t think the unborn are people, rather that they are potential people. You’ve now stated that it doesn’t matter if a fetus is a person or not. How could a fetus be a person when you’ve already stated that they are not persons, but rather potential persons?

                  I’m unclear on what your position is on the personhood of the unborn and whether or not you consider them human beings as it seems unclear to you what you think.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I don’t think they are persons. I also don’t think that’s a relevant question. I called them human beings for your convenience, as you clearly think they are. My argument stands regardless of whether a fetus is a person or not; you’re still arrogating to fetuses rights no born human has.

                  I do realize that could be confusing.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  If persons have full rights as individuals, then of course it’s a relevant question.

                  Correct me if I’m wrong, but you didn’t refer to the unborn as human beings anywhere, only as “potential people.”

                  What I’m still unclear on is whether or not you consider the unborn human beings.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Not really. If a fetus is a full human being, abortion is still perfectly fine from a moral and ethical standpoint.

                  If you aren’t legally or ethically required to give me blood, I am not legally or ethically required to give a fetus blood. If you are not legally or ethically required to give me part of your liver, I am not legally or ethically required to give a fetus my uterus. The personhood or lack thereof of the fetus is irrelevant to this discussion.

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

                  It’s irrelevant, because we don’t allow one person to use another person’s body without permission. (Not even the dead!)

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

                  Still living inside a person, still taking their resources, still requires explicit and ongoing permission to do so.

            • ceruleanblue777

              Precisely.

          • ceruleanblue777

            I do think women are people, and as such I hold them to the same degree of responsibility for their choices as I would a man.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Oh. So if a man crashes his car into another person’s car, and that person needs a liver transplant, he is required to donate his liver lobe to the victim? That degree of responsibility?

              • ceruleanblue777

                No. We have organ donors for that need. In much the same way that we have millions of couples willing to adopt unwanted babies.

                If you cause a car accident, you are held legally accountable for your actions.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  If we had body donors for pregnancy, you might have a point.

                  Pregnancy itself is using a woman’s body. I’m not talking about parenting. Adoption is the alternative to parenting. Abortion is the alternative to pregnancy.

                  You are indeed held legally accountable for a car crash. You may have to pay to replace the other person’s car or to pay their hospital bills. You are not required to put your body at their disposal- you are not required to donate so much as one drop of blood towards their survival. It is considered unethical in the extreme to require anyone to anything with their body that they don’t want to, even should another die because of it. Control over oneself is the preeminent right in this country … excepting pregnant women, who apparently don’t count as people anymore according to this fucked up paradigm.

                • ceruleanblue777

                  You’re equating pregnancy to a car accident.

                  Both parties engage in intercourse with full knowledge that pregnancy is a potential outcome. Taking the life of the unborn who may come about as a result of that decision is a negation of responsibility.

                  Women do count as people. People take responsibility for their actions. Adults accept the consequences of the choices they make. That should not include killing another human being in order to avoid inconvenience or hardship.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So consent to get in a car is consent to get in a car accident? And we shouldn’t treat anyone who dared to get in a car accident, because it’s their own stupid fault anyways?

                  Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. It’s consent to a risk of pregnancy. To me, that meant for a long time it was consent to an abortion, not to pregnancy, should my birth control fail, as I already knew what my choice would have been. Abortion is taking responsibility for one’s actions- it’s saying that a woman doesn’t want to bring an unwanted child into the world and that she doesn’t want to/isn’t ready to be pregnant. Would you argue that getting your teeth drilled and cavities filled at a dentist is irresponsible, and you should’ve just brushed your teeth more often? No; you’d say that taking care of the problem, no matter how it arose, is the responsible thing to do. An unwanted pregnancy is a problem. Abortion is one responsible solution to it.

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

                  Abortion is taking responsibility for one’s choices.

                  You’re the one trying to enslave women, here…

        • ceruleanblue777

          Because what I’ve said is politically incorrect and does not follow the accepted atheist narrative.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Wah, baby. Wah.

            • ceruleanblue777

              If you take me out for a steak dinner and give me a blowjob, you can call me baby.

      • Dez

        Why do you want so many women to die for your beliefs?

  • rustygh

    Pro-life is a nice way of saying, “you should do.what I thinknis morally correct” its BS and its anti-women.
    I believe if you are an atheist and pro-life your worse then a religious person who is pro-life. Because you don’t even have the religious excuse to want to shove your ideas on the women. Just the way I se it..

  • Michael Perry

    Easy to see the partisans here. I don’t know why many assume that atheists have to qualify their pro life positions in any religious or political context as a means of validating their own points of view. I don’t care what either side says: I’m pro life. I have my reasons. I will be pro life till i die. My atheism has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  • Survivor Fan

    I am an atheist tea partier, so I love what pro-life atheists are doing.

  • Katerina

    I read this explanation at Heathen Scientist and I love it. Pro choicers please spread it around to people who claim life begins at conception.
    To equate a fertilized egg to a human being is the same as equating a death corps to a human being. They have exactly the same genetic material. So, what is the key difference between a living person and a death person? A theist would say a soul, but we were trying to find a scientific argument to equate a fertilized egg with a human. So, we are limited to substance monism to explain the mind. Three versions exist: behaviorism, functionalism, and mind-brain identity theory. Behaviorism attempts to explain mental states in terms of behavior. Functionalism holds that mental states are defined by their functional role, by the effect that they have on us. Mind-brain identity theory holds that the mind and the brain are one and the same thing, and that the mind arises from the interaction of nerve cells in the brain. Once enough interactions between the nerve cells stop, you are dead.
    A kidney taken out of a body for transplant does not have a life on its own, nor is the soul of the donor split and partially merged with the recipient. So, where is the soul/mind located? That location would be the brain. And as I indicated above, once enough nerve cells stop contributing, you are dead. The flip side of this argument is that you cannot have a mind until you have enough interacting nerve cells in

    the brain to generate a mind. For nerve cells to be able to interact, they have to form synapses. Synaptogenesis happens relative late during development, somewhere after week 20. This implies that scientifically speaking, you do not have a soul/mind before that happens, because the required nerve interactions are absent.
    http://heathenscientist.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&max-results=4

    • ceruleanblue777

      “To equate a fertilized egg to a human being is the same as equating a death corps to a human being. They have exactly the same genetic material. So, what is the key difference between a living person and a death person?”

      One is alive and the other is dead.

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

        A cancerous tumour is alive as well…

        • ceruleanblue777

          A cancerous tumour is not a human being.
          In an effort to justify your position, you have had to dehumanize unborn human beings. You have variously referred to the unborn as: tapeworms, slave-masters, alluded to them as criminals while being puzzlingly reticent to use that word when pressed, and now tumours.

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

            A fetus isn’t conscious, feels no pain, and will not “suffer” if it is aborted.

            I, on the other hand, AM conscious, FEEL pain, and I WILL SUFFER if I were to get pregnant.

            The fact that you think it’s okay to just reduce women to walking incubators is highly disturbing. Apparently you WANT women to die…

            • ceruleanblue777

              Again, you are de-humanizing the unborn. You are saying it is justifiable to kill a human being because the unborn don’t meet certain sensory criteria. I would also remind you that there is an ongoing debate based on scientific evidence as to the pain experience of a fetus. A fetus is an early form of a human being. It is a human being nonetheless.

              If you are concerned about getting pregnant, then as an adult it is your responsibility to make choices that do not risk pregnancy.

              I hold women to the same level of responsibility as I do men. I believe men and women are equal and women do not have a different or lower standard of responsibility because they are women when it comes to the consequences of their own choices.

            • newenglandsun

              so improve the living conditions for pregnant women. everyone suffers and everyone dies.

        • newenglandsun

          lol

      • newenglandsun

        lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

    It’s been a very hard issue for me. As atheists we constantly run up against people in discussion who cherry pick their religious texts… Who cherry pick science even, and we call them out for this. However this changes in a debate between atheists on the discussion of life… Suddenly science becomes cherry picked, and I’m not to say anything. It reminds me of theists.

    I get attacked (verbally) and called a closet religious fanatic routinely… I get a barrage of scientifically inaccurate definitions they got off some pro-choice site which I liken to Genisis for creationists … I try to support women and their rights; to not to make their body – my body, subject to the approval/allowances of another. At the same time I suffer mentally because I know I’m supporting the abortion in conjunction. It causes me a lot of turmoil. I get if from theists as well who act shocked to find out I’m pro-life. I used to be pro-choice. I even defended it – had a lot of cognitive dissonance going on. I look at regions in which women suffer greatly and children suffer greatly … I look at rape and I have all these criteria and qualifications for when I’d accept the ideal of abortion. But then it all comes back to not wanting to legislate morality. You can’t. So I decided to instead fight for the intervention of science and all possible junctions. I stay in that realm. I try to separate from the fight between two egos and instead fight for a solution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Long/100000655292146 Angela Long

    BTW – just a short read down the comments you can see why it’s volatile for a pro-life atheist in the atheist community. It wouldn’t matter the justification or argument – they dismiss it and without valid purpose.

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

      Because the pro-life position necessarily places the rights of the woman as secondary to the rights of the might-be-a-child. The subjugation of women does not mesh with atheist and secular ideals.

      Thanks for letting us know, however, that some atheists, and some women, are so self-loathing as to wish to enslave the rest of us.

  • jmillsintacoma

    It does not surprise me at all that some atheists are “pro-life.” Indeed, what’s surprising is that there are not many, many atheists opposed to abortion at any stage.

    “When the sperm meets the egg, a genetically complete human being is formed, and all that is required for maturation is time and nutrition,” Thielen said. Notice that God need not be present; it’s all understandable as mere chemistry.

    The core question involved in the abortion debate is: When, exactly, does a human life begin?

    The idea that a “Human” comes into existence “when the sperm meets the egg” is essentially an atheist or at least agnostic position. That reduces the creation of human life to a biological/chemical event, thus totally writing out God’s part in the creative process. Man creates man through biology and chemistry – it’s just a DNA thing.

    The alternative (and frankly, centuries long view of Christian thinkers) was that biology could not alone create human life, but that sometime along in the process, God breathed life into a hitherto clump of chemicals, thus imbuing the chemicals with a human soul. And, of course, that identifies the start of a “Human” life as occurring at a time that, while happening before birth, occurred at a time unfathomable to mere mortal man. It identified human life as beginning at a time and place of God – not man’s – choosing.

    The idea that God intervenes at a time and place of His choosing is consistent with the very common event we call “miscarriage,” which presumably is proof that conception is a necessary, but insufficient condition in and of itself to create a human. That’s so because, if a “Human” comes into existence “when the sperm meets the egg,” well then miscarriage is murder at God’s hand, which seems unlikely – at least if we are talking about the New Testament God, rather than the punitive Old Testament God of retribution.

    Science tells us that “when the sperm meets the egg,” there is a complete DNA package, and that neither the egg, nor the sperm has a complete DNA package, but rather each contributes one-half of the DNA. Sure, but every cell I scrape from my face shaving each morning has a complete DNA package, and with cloning technology, each could – if certain other events happen in the correct order, and with God’s intervention – well, each such cell scraped from my face could become a new human being . . . my twin. But, the complete DNA package alone does not imbue any of those cells I kill off shaving with being a “human.”

    In the end, the abortion argument exists, because the question of when life begins is – like the question of when life ends – complex. However, to say that a single fertilized egg IS a “human being” simply trivializes the majesty and mystery of the human experience. One might as well identify an amoeba as a “human being,” and indeed a dog has more of the attributes of what we call “humanity” than does a single fertilized egg. A brain-dead former human has more of the attributes of “humanity” than does a single fertilized egg, but we still – at some point – recognize that a “human” cannot be identified by biology; rather the complexity of “humanity” has to do with sentience, and with intellectual and emotional capacity – the capacity to love and laugh and to cry. That’s why a brain-dead body – even one that can be kept “alive” with extraordinary machines – isn’t a human and we can turn off the machines without being subject to murder charges.

    The reduction of God’s most improbable and majestic event: the Creation of Man, to a mere biological event, totally explained through modern chemistry, and totally devoid of any participation by God – just sperm meets egg – is really very, very Atheistic in its approach.

    It’s therefore not surprising to me that there are a fair number of Atheists who believe in the simplistic formula that “life begins at conception.”

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      People might care more about your post if you didn’t refute your premise more than once and thus end up writing gibberish.

  • Megan

    I’m an agnostic woman who is anti-abortion. When I first heard of abortion the first thought in my head was “no”. It had nothing to do with religion for me. It had to do with being sexually responsible and accepting of a life that was now scientifically conceived in a women’s uterus. I really hate how some pro-abortion people try to argue with me about rape, or the death of the mother, or complications with the child, etc. But in reality, if any of us did our research, these problems only add up to be under 20% of all abortion’s reasoning. The rest of abortions are preformed mainly because the baby would of been an “accident”. I’m sorry, but that is not a good enough reason to terminate a life for me. I hope to see more people being less selfish in the future. That means, more of us should adopt, more of us should think before we have intercourse,etc. I believe that in times of horrific events such as rapes, abortion is a more acceptable thought. But abortion for everyone? For whatever reason? Does not feel right to me.

  • newenglandsun

    After delving into this issue much more deeper, I think that it is wise when society is faced with a problem to look for steps to solve it. For instance, equality for pregnant women, better sex education, reducing rape, etc. After discussing this issue with my sister who is pro-choice “because of education”, I think I lean more toward pro-life. Especially considering her arguments were the stereotypical “What if the women doesn’t want to be pregnant” flaws that I find in pro-abortion arguments. Better sex education can solve this problem by helping women to understand that birth control methods do have failure rates and aren’t always a guarantee. The only time a women is actually forced to be pregnant then is when she is raped. Thus, I think I lean toward pro-life now. And I am an agnostic.

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

      You want to enslave women. Nice.

      • newenglandsun

        What part of

        “equality for pregnant women, better sex education, reducing rape, etc.”

        is enslaving women?

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

          The part where you don’t allow abortions.

          I have ZERO OBLIGATION to host a parasitic organism.

          If my birth control fails, and a pregnancy results, I have the RIGHT to remove the parasite.

          You would tell me that, “oh, well, sometimes birth control fails, tough shit, have the baby.”

          • newenglandsun

            It’s not that I don’t allow abortions period. All I said was I lean toward pro-life. Your arguments are stereotypical of those who argue against pro-life. They come out self-centered.

            Precisely, what are you doing having sex in the first place if you want to avoid pregnancy? That’s like arguing that drinking a few things of liquor and then going driving isn’t going to cause a car crash.

            “I have ZERO OBLIGATION to host a parasitic organism.”

            But the problem is that this organism never chose you and you only don’t choose it if you’re raped. Precisely though, where is the right of the father in your argument and where is the right of the unborn? The problem with your argument is that it starts and ends with you. What if I decided you weren’t a person and you were clinging onto me and I didn’t desire that? It’s my RIGHT to kill you in that situation. You’re not a person and you’re clinging onto me and I don’t desire that. Well-reasoned case for me having you killed.

            • Dez

              The reason why she has sex is none of your business. Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. Yet after a car crash the driver still has control of what their body and medical choices. The father has the right to determine what happens to his body only. He is more than welcome to voice is opinions only. Yes you have the right to kill someone that is using your body against your will.

  • BlackNRight

    I have always thought that it is atheists that should be the MOST pro-life, because I have a faith in an afterlife and that I will live beyond this life, my death is far less tragic. However, because atheists believe they only have this one life and no life beyond this, then it absolutely makes no sense that they would not be fighting hard to save every life and that no life should be snuffed out because someone is feeling ‘inconvenienced’ for nine months and cannot stand the thought of adoption. Really? I welcome atheists, heck I would work with Satan if it meant getting Roe v. Wade overturned and repent later. The lives of babies are worth it.

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

      But never mind the lives of the living, breathing women you’re so gung-ho on forcing to give birth.

      • BlackNRight

        Give me a break! Women have the capacity to make life-affirming decisions but not according to you pro-choicers, we are all a bunch of whores looking to screw anything that moves and looking to kill our children. If a woman is incapable of taking care of a child, she shouldn’t be having sex…period. Yes, it is that easy. Because I am not in the position to have another child, financially and health wise I remain celibate (and have been for nearly 7 years!) and guess what I have not gotten pregnant. Works like a charm. If women are unwilling to do that then they better be accepting of all the consequences that go with sex and that includes having children.

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

          So, you do admit that it’s not about saving babies, but punishing those “sluts” — after all, they should have just kept their legs closed if they didn’t want a babby.

          Fuck you, you woman-hating piece of shit.

          • newenglandsun

            No one’s a woman hater here. Sorry to break it to you but the unborn child is actually a life. Do you have a right to take a life? I mean, you can technically state that it’s not a “person” and that it’s all right but your arguments are the stereotypical pro-abortion arguments that are just spewed out of selfishness. I don’t believe we should use abortion in such a way to promote selfishness. We would just simply be abusing a thing that CAN be used for GOOD. It’s like the VCR. Before Mr. Rogers, it was used for pornography.

            • Dez

              No such thing as an unborn child. It’s a fetus. You can call your fetus a baby if you want, but that does not change what it is. You can use abortion however you want to your body. Stop forcing your personal beliefs onto others. Whatever reason a woman gets an abortion is simply none of your business.

              • newenglandsun

                I’m not forcing personal beliefs onto others. Are you an egotist too? Wow then! This conversation is over before it started!

                • Dez

                  Yes you are by trying to take away women’s right to abortion because of your personal views of fetuses.

                • newenglandsun

                  I am pro-life as a personal choice. I do support pro-choice. I am however anti-egotistic. So am I still taking over women’s rights? I’ll bash egotism until it dies.

                • Dez

                  And I’ll bash forced birthers that do not give a damn about women and would rather have them die from back alley abortions.

                • newenglandsun

                  I’m not forcing them to give birth. I support pro-choice at a political level. At a personal level, I’m PRO-LIFE! What don’t you get through to your head? Oh wait, you’re an egotist! You think about you and no one else.

                • Dez

                  Yea I’m selfish because I do not want women to die from back alley abortions. So selfish.

                • newenglandsun

                  When have I ever said I wanted women to die from back-alley abortions? I said: “I support pro-choice at a political level.” Stop putting words into my mouth. End of discussion.

                • Dez

                  Naw you are an asshole because you think a woman is selfish because she actually takes in account her life and goals. You value women less than a fetus. How sick is that.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Good lord, you don’t even see how obsessively you are projecting, do you?

                  Or is it that you just learned a NEW BIG WORD and want to apply it everywhere? That’s cute behavior… in a four year-old.

                • newenglandsun

                  You are a human. You are selfish. You look for ways to slander others. This is human behavior. I do not appreciate name-calling. By stating someone is an egotist, I haven’t name-called. I have identified them as a human.

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

              God DAMN but you’re stupid!

              Whether or not it’s a life or a “person” is irrelevant, BECAUSE IT DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE MY BODY WITHOUT MY CONSENT.

              Again, by your own logic, if I needed a life support system, or even just a new kidney, it’s perfectly okay for me to hook up to your body regardless of how you feel about it.

              • newenglandsun

                You are an egotist. Conversation over. I am anti-egotist. Again, the fetus never chose you so your analogy fails. End of conversation.

                • Dez

                  LOL. Aww can’t hold your own. Crybaby.

                • newenglandsun

                  No. I don’t like egotists whether they be men or women or just people who support egotists. You sound like the cry-baby saying that all people who are personal pro-lifers are women. I have seen way better arguments for pro-choice than the selfish reasons you poor out.

                • Dez

                  Never said that. Force birthers can be men and women. Still wrong. Reasons for abortions are private and none of your business.

                • newenglandsun

                  I know that they are private. But I am NOT a forced birther. All I had was an egotistic commenter calling me out as being anti-woman and so I responded to them. I do not support egotism at any cost whatsoever.

                • Dez

                  Who are you to determine what reasons a woman gets for an abortion as selfish?

                • newenglandsun

                  The reasons such as “my life and my body”. I NEVER said all reasons were selfish which is why I DO find value in the pro-choice arguments (some of them, not the egotistic ones I hear from you and other feminists on here). You would know that if you actually bothered to read my comments. End of discussion.

                • Dez

                  So you are no one then. I think your reasons for denying abortion to women is dangerous and murderous. The only one being an egotistic is you thinking your views are the right one and that women choosing abortion are selfish sluts. This is why you get no respect.

                • newenglandsun

                  I have never stated abortion is entirely wrong. In fact, in my initial comment, I stated:

                  “I think I lean more toward pro-life” and “steps to solve it…equality for pregnant women, better sex education, reducing rape, etc.” and “only time a women is actually forced to be pregnant then is when she is raped”.

                  I never said my views were the right one and I do see value in pro-choice arguments. Some of them at least. For instance, a dying mother. I view the women and her child as co-equals. I always have. Because they are both humans and I could care less whether the fact that is in the womb or not somehow makes it more human.

                  I think the arguments the original commenter made were entirely egotistic. That is a fact. I have never been egotistic. I have responded to egotists who have misrepresented me simply because they think I’m anti-women. I am anti-men too if this is the case. I respect the children, the babies, the toddlers, and the unborn because you know what, at least these people aren’t such assholes like adults are.

                • Dez

                  What you think about abortion is irrelevant to anyone but you. I see no value in the views of “pro-lifers.” I have seen what happens when abortion is not available. You have no valid agreement so you call anyone who has a different view from you as selfish. Grow up.

                • newenglandsun

                  No. I call the people who make arguments based on selfishness such as “my body, my rights” selfish. Since you defend these arguments from me, I see no reason to state that you aren’t selfish either. You grow up and look after all humans. I treat the woman and her unborn as co-equals. No religious influence, no enforcement on the women especially in cases of rape. I strive to make the situation better for pregnant women. I do not believe in abortion for senseless reasons. I see value in pro-life because I was once a fetus and I have read the testimonies of people’s whose mothers avoided abortion at all costs. I am not selfish at all.

                • Dez

                  Yea I’m for trusting women. How selfish thinking women are capable of making medical choices without you there calling them selfish sluts.

                • newenglandsun

                  The reasons I have been given for favoring abortion in this comment section hasn’t given me really great ease unfortunately.

                • Dez

                  Who cares. Then don’t get one.

                • newenglandsun

                  Hi, I’m a guy. But I support helping pregnant women understand that this is a human life that is in them. Men can be for pro-life and not be anti-women. If this is too hard for you to believe, then you can consistently call me anti-women. I don’t take into account opinions that don’t matter.

                • Dez

                  And you have every right to make medical choices regarding your own body. Sorry but I do not need you or anyone else treating me like a child and making choices for me. Yes you are anti-woman because you treat women like idiots that do not know what is going on in their bodies. I could say that your opinion means shit because you are a man but that would be me on the same low level as you.

                • newenglandsun

                  “Yes you are anti-woman because you treat women like idiots that do not know what is going on in their bodies.”

                  I never treated any one like an idiot. Do you think alcoholics are treated like idiots for being told that drinking while driving can cause accidents?

                  I never came off as anti-woman and I do not deserve to be called anti-woman. By you or any other person who is making an arrogant, unconvincing argument in favor of abortion. I am not anti-woman.

                  I could say that you should just be forced to give birth to the child in every instance, but this is not my belief. I could just go and say every abortion doctor is an evil psycho-maniac, but that’s not true either. I could say that the only reason women have for getting an abortion is because they just don’t want to be pregnant and make them feel like idiots. If you don’t know that heterosexual intercourse can cause pregnancy, you should learn that before having sex. That’s all I am saying. Better sex education needs to be taught to women, rape reduction, better environments for pregnant women, etc. These things are the important things.

                  Maybe you’re anti-pregnant women and that’s fine with me. I want to look for ways to improve the situation so that abortion can be used as last resort method only. That’s my utopian worldview. Is that anti-women? NO! You can harp on me for being anti-women all you want, I think men need to also do better in regard to sex education. After all, it’s our semen that’s putting you into this situation where you would even need to consider abortion.

                • Dez

                  Yup. Women understand what happens in pregnancy and abortion. Stop acting like we do not. Some of us disagree with your views of fetuses as people. Unlike you I trust women. Whether it’s pregnancy, abortion, parenting, or adoption women can make up their own minds without your help. I agree that comprehensive sexual education is very important to prevent abortions and unwanted pregnancies besides preventing STIs. But I realize that nothing will stop women from getting abortions.

                • newenglandsun

                  “Unlike you I trust women.” Wonderful, another false accusation against me.

                  “I realize that nothing will stop women from getting abortions.” Wonderful, so do I.

                  We’re on agreement on a lot of stuff.

                  “Women understand what happens in pregnancy and abortion. Stop acting like we do not.” This, unfortunately, by some of the comments I have seen here, I am not sure I can actually agree with. When a woman’s only reason for getting an abortion is because she just didn’t want the pregnancy (except in cases of rape), I cannot understand why she chose sex in the first place. And most of your fellow pro-choice extremist friends haven’t really been giving me too much hope about this.

                  Look, I’ve been beaten up by pro-life extremists too so I really don’t like picking sides. Unless you’re still reading into what I am saying, then we’re not going to get far and this conversation is over for all I care.

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

                  Gee, because maybe sex is pleasurable? It’s a way of bonding with one’s partner? There are many many reasons to “choose sex”, and very few of them have anything to do with actually reproducing.

                  I am neither obligated to remain celibate nor obligated to host a parasite.

                  I have the right to make medical decisions for myself — including termination of a pregnancy.

                  You are trying to take that right away from me.

                • newenglandsun

                  “Gee, because maybe sex is pleasurable?”
                  I am fully aware of that. Make sure you actually consider what those you disagree with have to say. I am not taking a right away from you as I have stated numerous times that even though it is a tragedy, because there are times when it cannot be avoided, it should be legal.

                  And you never answered my question in regards to what if we were attached. You just keep rambling on and on about how my position is somehow anti-women and have never actually addressed any of my concerns nor have convinced me that the unborn child is not a human life.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I hate to tell you this (not really), but women know what being pregnant means. They don’t need you to edify them; ladybrainz are perfectly capable of figuring that out on their own.

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

                  No. The “pro-life” position is inherently anti-woman because it denies us the right to absolute control over our own bodies.

                • newenglandsun

                  It does not. You can choose to have safer sex or you can choose to have sex aware of the natural consequences. There are things you cannot do in life without expecting consequences. All types of sex are some of them. For instance, I have an option to have sex but sex can cause AIDS. AIDS is a natural consequence of sex. This does not mean AIDS is a punishment for sex any more than pregnancy is a punishment for sex. They are natural consequences though. Ironically, a victim of AIDS can’t reverse this by “aborting AIDS”. So I guess you are diametrically opposed to people who have STD’s right?

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

                  You clearly cannot comprehend reason and logic.

                  Go fuck yourself.

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

                  “Senseless reasons”?

                  You mean reasons like my mental and physical health? Those aren’t senseless….

                • newenglandsun

                  This goes back to my original point about bettering the living conditions for women in general (especially pregnant women). There are responses to maintaining mental and physical health. The problem is that society is too focused on this whole reproductive rights dilemma to see clearly on this issue. If we work to give pregnant women financial benefits and health benefits, then you wouldn’t even have to be making an argument like that. Thus, your cry seems more to be in favor of what I already proposed from the start of this conversation. A cry for equality rights between men and women. I agree.

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

                  The fetus, baby, whatever, does not have a right to use another person’s body against their will.

                  You are a forced-birther, in that you would force women to remain pregnant and give birth against their will. That is enslavement, and that is categorically wrong. You are anti-woman.

                • newenglandsun

                  *sigh*
                  That does not make me anti-women. And again, how am I a forced birther when I view the need to legalize abortion? Abortion is a tragedy. You are coming out as nothing more than a selfish tyrant. You can choose not to get pregnant by not having sex. I’m not taking away your legal right to kill but I would rather work towards a solution in which unborn lives are not being killed for any reason other than the woman who chose to have sex in the first place feels she is being held hostage.

                  Again, you never answered my question other than to scream and curse at me. Do you believe if we somehow got fused together that I could make a legal excuse to nullify your personhood and then free myself by having you exterminated? I’m not anti-woman at all and it is straw-man to simply just regurgitate that back at me. I believe the women and the unborn child are co-equals. You can disagree with me but do so politely. Not arrogantly. You sound like a moron honestly.

                • newenglandsun

                  It doesn’t matter who I am discussing this with. If I discuss with a pro-lifer, I get beat up by them for still allowing the legality of abortion. If I discuss with a pro-choicer, I get beat up for valuing the mother and the unborn as equal human beings. Not much you can do when you’re in the middle.

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

                  And I never chose the fetus, so what the hell is your point?

          • newenglandsun

            BlackNRight said: “If a woman is incapable of taking care of a child, she shouldn’t be having sex…period.”

            This has nothing to do with punishing “sluts”. This is simply referring to the natural consequence of sex. You can’t just simply cut yourself and expect not to bleed. Neither can you can just have sex and expect not to get pregnant.

            We’re not calling these people sluts at all. They do need to be informed of better sex education. Again, the baby doesn’t pick your body. So if you don’t want it there in the first place, then you need to avoid situations that might put it there. (Note: No woman chooses rape so these are really the only cases where the women becomes pregnant under unavoidable causes, thus, the woman DOES have a case there.)

            I understand you’ll just rail on me for being anti-woman, but based on your comments, your version of womanhood is more of a brutal and selfish type any way so I’m not certain why anyone would want that.

            For me, pro-life means acknowledging the woman and baby are co-equals. And pro-choice means allowing that option for times of dire need. I do not believe the two are mutually exclusive and I have always held this view. I do not support abortion that comes from selfish reasons such as “I just don’t want that baby to be there”.

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

              Yeah, actually, I CAN have sex and expect to not get pregnant. It’s called CONTRACEPTION.

              You really are stupid if you think consenting to sex is consenting to pregnancy, because the two are completely separate issues. I DO NOT, NOW OR EVER, CONSENT TO HAVING MY BODY USED BY A FETUS.

              Additionally, by your logic, if I needed, say, a kidney, I should just be able to waltz on up and take yours, regardless of your feelings on the matter.

              • newenglandsun

                Again, contraception has failure rates.

                http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/UnintendedPregnancy/Contraception.htm

                “by your logic, if I needed, say, a kidney, I should just be able to waltz on up and take yours, regardless of your feelings on the matter”

                Um, no. That’s according to *your* logic because the unborn doesn’t get a say in the matter. A better analogy would be if I were somehow stuck to you because I went into an area with you that had a 2% chance of gluing us together. Could I make a legal case that you weren’t a “person” and then use it as an excuse to free myself from you by having you killed?

                • Dez

                  Yes you would. No one can be forced to donate their bodily resources to keep someone else alive.

                • newenglandsun

                  Yep, you’re an egotist. You know what, why don’t you go do us a favor and bury yourself. At least, you’ll be fertilizing the land for the beasts. The fetus NEVER chose you. Why don’t the egotists actually interact with the arguments presented? Oh, that’s right, they like them and no one else.

                • Dez

                  Very “pro-life” of you. Are you going to shoot an abortion doctor after this to save the “babies?” Yup I am selfish and that is my right to determine what happens to my body. Too damn bad if you don’t like it.

                • newenglandsun

                  No. Yes, it is very pro-life of me. Imagine a world without egotists. You know how life would thrive so much better.

                • Dez

                  Yea the world would be better without people like you that think women are walking incubators.

                • newenglandsun

                  Ha ha what?!? No. I do not think that at all. Why are there so many egotists in the pro-choice movement ranting against pro-lifers? You realize that it’s people like you that make me lean toward pro-life in the first place, right?

                • Dez

                  Yes and people like you make me more pro-choice. I actually trust women as adults capable of making their own choices unlike you.

                • newenglandsun

                  I do the same. You use false accusations. Your arguments are unconvincing. For the record, I DO see valid reasons for being pro-choice. But I do NOT see egotism as one of them. I do not need egotists telling me that I am anti-woman because I believe in making them give birth and enlightening them to the consequences of sexual activity. These are underhanded and deceitful tactics! I do not put up with egotists. I believe they should be put to use somewhere other than this Earth. I am a misanthrope and a cynic. But not an egotist.

                • Dez

                  I’m not trying to convince you of anything. I could care less about your personal beliefs as long as it stays out of others lives. I do not need a force birther using emotional manipulations to guilt women into pregnancies they do not want. You are most definitely an egotist in the fact that you think your personal beliefs are the correct one and cannot comprehend others may believe differently than you.

                • newenglandsun

                  “I do not need a force birther using emotional manipulations to guilt women into pregnancies they do not want.”

                  Good, we’re in agreement.

                  “You are most definitely an egotist in the fact that you think your personal beliefs are the correct one and cannot comprehend others may believe differently than you.”

                  I never said I was adamantly opposed to abortion. I am pro-life at a personal level but do not agree with the egotistic arguments that have been hurled out in favor of it and in response to me. Get through to your thick skull.

                • Dez

                  You are the only one not getting it. No one cares if you think women are selfish for getting abortions. The reasons are hers and your opinion is irrelevant.

                • newenglandsun

                  I never stated women were selfish for getting abortions. I stated that the reasons listed by wmdkitty were selfish. You would contend against those arguments too if you disfavored selfishness. But I forgot, you are a human!

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

                  How is it “selfish” to assert my RIGHT TO BODILY AUTONOMY?

                • newenglandsun

                  Because you’re still not considering the unborn’s right to bodily autonomy. Again, in order to convince me of the radical pro-choice position you hold, you would have to explain to me how an unborn child is not a human. I have yet to see a good argument for this. BUT…neither have I seen an effective argument for stating a women is not a human. Which is why advancements need to be made to improve the living conditions for women in general (especially pregnant women).

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

                  The fetus doesn’t have rights. Certainly not the right to my bodily resources.

                • newenglandsun

                  You’re really making this difficult for us both. As I have stated before, I am fully convinced that the unborn child is a human life and I believe all human lives in general do have rights. Do the elderly not have rights simply because they cannot wipe their own butts? In the end, playing the person game isn’t going to solve the problem. Playing the arrogance game is going to make the problem worse.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  You fail to see wmdkitty’s point. A fetus doesn’t have a right to anyone’s bodily resources- not blood, not nutrients, not organ space, nothing. They can be donated, but there is no right to have them. An elderly person can be cared for by family, by paid caretakers, by volunteers. They are not hooked to another person and sucking energy out of that other person in order to stay alive. Your analogy fails on its face.

                • newenglandsun

                  No. My analogy does not fall on its face. It acknowledges that the issue of abortion is a human rights issue. When will humanity see that all people are humans even if they are fetuses? I see their point and it is arrogance. Unconvincing arrogance. That’s why I do not favor all types of pro-choice arguments. It would have to play the person game that has been played. I wish that you and wmdkitty would acknowledge those who held different opinions than you as being equally human, intellectually honest, and pro-women when we tell you why we believe what we believe. This conversation is over. I will not respond any more because every time I do I keep hearing the false accusation that I am anti-women which has never been the case. It is unfair to accuse those who acknowledge the unborn child and their mother as CO-EQUAL humans as anti-women. It is intellectually deceitful on your part and ad-hominem. I will not take being called anti-women because of my view on abortion differs from someone else’s. I have never called you a murderer, now, have I?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  If a fetus was CO-EQUAL to a woman, it could never commandeer her body to its own benefit, will she or nil she. You are saying that a fetus has more right to a woman’s body than she herself does, which is a “right” no human being has over another.

                  It is not unfair to call you anti-woman. It is merely accurate.

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

                  He just wants to control women. Typical douchey pro-slavery asshat.

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

                  The elderly person is an autonomous human being, and is not relying on another person’s bodily resources to live.

                  The fetus, because it is parasitic, has only the rights a woman decides to grant it. It does not have the right to use a woman’s body against her will.

                  It’s not that difficult to understand!

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  What are unselfish reasons to get an abortion, then?

                • newenglandsun

                  A) If the mother is going to die
                  B) If the women is raped
                  C) If the baby is too much financial trouble (which means we have to work to lower financial costs for the women in general)
                  D) If there is no one to adopt the baby
                  E) If the baby’s right is going to be a life of suffering

                  Basically, why are we only talking about reproduction rights for women? Women simply have no rights in general as it is. People have just sought to make their lives miserable. Abortion is a tragedy. Ending a human life is a tragedy but sometimes ending a human life is the best choice available. What needs to be done is not bicker over pro-life and pro-choice but to make the world more suitable for pregnant women and women in general so as to only have to use abortion as a last cause. This is why abortion should remain an option but I do not support the selfish reasons most people argue for it.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Those all seem pretty selfish to me by your definition, except the last one. Wouldn’t it be unselfish to die for one’s offspring? Or to bring forth a new person from a horrific event, no matter how psychologically traumatizing? Wouldn’t it be unselfish to burrow further into poverty for the sake of a new life, or to keep a baby no one else will take off your hands?

                  Really what it comes down to is a woman should get an abortion if and only if she wants one. Her reasons are irrelevant. She should never be shamed or yelled at for her choices, nor should she be asked to justify them. We do need to make the world a better place for all pregnant women, all women, and all people, that’s absolutely true. But “I don’t want to be pregnant and gestate a baby” is no more or less selfish a reason to get an abortion than “I’m going to die”. What matters is recognizing that women have the basic human right to control their own bodies.

                • newenglandsun

                  These are all issues where the women should definitely be given a choice and where there is validity in the pro-choice movement. If there were not arguments like these in favor of pro-choice, I would no doubt be opposing and classifying all abortion as murder. You do what you have to do in times of dire need.

                  “She should never be shamed or yelled at for her choices, nor should she be asked to justify them.”

                  No. I agree with this.

                  “But “I don’t want to be pregnant and gestate a baby” is no more or less selfish a reason to get an abortion than “I’m going to die”.”

                  Times of dire need force people to make judgments. Simply toting around your arguments for abortion would make no better than Al Qaeda. Why should I just kill someone because I feel it makes me feel better?

                  “What matters is recognizing that women have the basic human right to control their own bodies.”

                  I agree wholeheartedly with this. Which is why I believe that women who seek to have sex do need to be aware of the natural consequences. And that men should just not seek to have sex with women of all types. You should not call me anti-women or opposed to women’s rights simply because I disagree with you on the validity of the human life of an unborn child. It is intellectually dishonest of you.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  No, it’s not. I can agree with you that a fetus is a person and still call you anti-woman, because you don’t actually think women should control their bodies. Abortion is taking responsibility for an unwanted pregnancy- it’s ending it. You seem to think that consensual sex means women are obligated to spend the next nine months of their lives risking said lives and health for another person, no matter their personal feelings on the matter. That is not an ethical stance to take.

                  You still haven’t answered my question from many posts back: If you were connected by IV to another person, giving them your blood, and you knew disconnecting the IV would kill that person, would you have the ethical right to disconnect the IV?

                • newenglandsun

                  “I can agree with you that a fetus is a person and still call you anti-woman, because you don’t actually think women should control their bodies.” Um…sorry. You can only call me anti-women if I am actually anti-women. Hey, what if the fetus was a girl? Would I be anti-women then? In fact, human life starts out as female. I believe in the equality of all people and cannot justify declaring that a woman has power over her unborn child. That would be like a master having power over his slave. Sorry, but I simply cannot justify calling any life (women, men, or otherwise) non-human. I refuse to play the person game. Call me anti-women if it makes you feel any better. FYI, I believe rapists should die of STD’s.

                  No. I would not be able to justify killing another person.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Do I have a right to take your kidney to save my life without your consent?

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

                  He must be okay with it, after all, he’s okay with taking over women’s uteri….

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

                  Of course you have the ethical right to disconnect the IV — nobody has the right to use of another person’s body.

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

                  “What matters is recognizing that women have the basic human right to control their own bodies.”

                  QFT!

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Thanks for admitting that you base your ethical positions on whether or not you like a given person. I’m sure Jesus loves you even though you’ve admitted to being okay okay with robbing and murdering people you don’t like.

                  Oh, you didn’t mean it that way? You’re just incredibly bad at writing for comprehension? In that case, thanks for admitting that your dimwitted tirades can be dismissed as probable gibberish.

                • newenglandsun

                  So you assume I am a Christian? I am an agnostic. I hate people because people are selfish. Whether they be male or female, red or or yellow, black or white, they are revulsive in my sight, I believe that humans are selfish pigs.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Why do you have such a low opinion of human beings? Humans can be incredibly selfish, of course, but they can also be incredibly altruistic. We’re a pretty strange mishmash of conflicting impulses and ethical desires, but I think calling people selfish pigs (a very Randian/Hobbesian idea) is just as silly as calling people altruists (a very Marxian idea).

                • newenglandsun

                  You see the bombs going off around the Middle East right now, the wars being caused? Destroy the human filth parade.

                • Dez

                  What about the babies you keep harping about? Brown babies don’t matter?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Uh huh. But have you seen the grieving parents in the Middle East on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, gathering together to mourn together and try to sow the seeds of peace from their joint losses? Have you seen the young in Egypt, taking to the streets to proclaim their humanity and inherent dignity, and overthrowing a dictator by their bravery?

                  For every selfish or destructive act humans do (and there are a lot of them), someone else is doing a good act. Humans aren’t nearly so simple as to be reduced to selfish, evil brutes. That’s a horribly flawed way of thinking about the world.

                • newenglandsun

                  It is a realistic way of thinking about it. It prevents me from putting the specific blame on a political group or religious group for all the evils of the world.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  That’s nice. I manage to avoid “putting the specific blame on a political group or religious group for all the evils of the world” too, with my view that humans are complicated.

                  Did you have a point?

                • newenglandsun

                  Humans are evil. You’re not convincing me. Every single atrocious deed has been done by a human.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Why then do some people do nice things?

                • Guest

                  You hate humans but not babies. Right……

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

                  Congratulations, you just demonstrated that you are incapable of understanding. The fetus uses a woman’s body as a life-support system, hence the comparison with organ “borrowing”.

                  Like I said, your logic necessarily dictates that a person in need of a new kidney, liver, lung, heart, whatever, is perfectly justified in just taking what they need from a random person. If you’re not okay with that, you have no reasonable basis to be against abortion.

                  Unless, of course, you’re all about punishing those filthy sluts…

                • newenglandsun

                  The fetus is a life and it never chose you. Your arguments are 100% egotistic. I do not support egotism.

                • Dez

                  A fetus is life, but not a person. Once it is born than it is a person. And I do not support egotists like you that would end up killing many women and leaving kids without mothers.

                • newenglandsun

                  It is a human life. Are you saying that some humans are not “persons”? I noticed that your black. Did you know that blacks used to not be persons? And this was argued to promote slavery? Again, I do support SOME pro-choice arguments. I am NOT 100% pro-choice though. Your argument fails to take into account adoption though. I am not an egotist. I am against egotism. You know what I believe and have “read” the comments. You just want to read into them and create a binary.

                • Dez

                  No shit it’s human life. It sure isn’t a puppy or a kitten. LOL. Are you really that stupid? A seed is not a tree. A egg is not a chicken. The difference between a slave and a fetus is that a slave is not attached to another person or else it will die. Adoption is an alternative to parenting. Abortion is the alternative to pregnancy. Get a damn education.

                • newenglandsun

                  I have two years of religious studies. You definitely will be a misanthrope after that. It is a human life is exactly my point. This makes it a person. Location has nothing to do with it. The fetus is not a seed. Sperm and ovaries are the seeds.

                • Dez

                  LOL. You are using fantasy as justification for calling a fetus a person and you want to be taken seriously? LMAO Believers are so silly.

                • newenglandsun

                  Hi, I’m an agnostic. And you must be a strict democratic liberal, right?

                  Do you know what religious studies is? We study religion at an anthropological and sociological level so we are informed of the various different religious positions on abortion and homosexuality. Incidentally, it’s more split then you attempt to make it out to be. Even in Islam *gasp*.

                • Dez

                  Then why bring up that you studied religion and then used religion to justify calling a fetus a person? You sure aren’t using science or reality. Religious positions on gays and abortions are irrelevant to our secular society.

                • newenglandsun

                  There you go reading into my comments again. I never used religion to justify that a fetus was a human. I simply made the case that it is a human life which we both agree on. I’m not going to play god and just kill the child.

                • Dez

                  Yes you are. You have no scientific evidence to back up your assertion that a fetus is a person. All you have stated is a personal belief. A fetus is a potential human being, not an actual one. No child is being killed. Trying calling the cops and see what happens.

                • newenglandsun

                  I have scientific evidence to back up that a) it’s a life, and b) it’s a human and c) therefore, it’s a person. But you know what the great thing about abortion is. When a women is raped, we get to decide which asshole to kill.

                • Dez

                  Nope. Until a fetus can live on it’s own it is not a person. Can you show one actual living person with a birth certificate and SSN that is physically attached to their mother for nutrients or else they will die if removed?

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

                  ONCE MORE, IT MAY BE A HUMAN LIFE, BUT IT DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE MY BODY WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.

                  Why do you have such a hard time understanding that?

                • newenglandsun

                  Because it is a human life. And you are a human life too. What part do you have of understanding my position? Why should it always be me who has to listen to you? Why do I have to constantly hear your selfish reasons spewed out? Why not listen to me for a change and what I have to say? This conversation is so low because the reasons you make for abortion favor yourself without ever giving the second human a right. I have never seen a convincing or consistent argument for denying personhood to an unborn child. I don’t play that game. I’m not saying that it should have power over you, I’m saying that you two are both co-equal in my eyes so if abortion has a benefit (and it does sometimes), then I think it should be a legal option. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to step back and not work to guarantee rights to pregnant women and women in general so that abortion can be avoided as frequently as possible.

          • newenglandsun

            If you want additional proof that pro-lifers are not automatically anti-women:

            http://www.feministsforlife.org/news/commonw.htm

    • Dez

      You assume that atheists agree that a fetus is a baby. Sorry but we do not all think alike. A fetus is a potential human being, but it is not the same as a person. To pass off pregnancy and childbirth as an inconvenience is insulting to many women that died or suffered from pregnancies that went wrong. Pregnancy and childbirth can be life threatening even in cases where it is low risk.


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