Does It Make Sense to Be a Pro-Life Atheist?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Does it make sense to be a pro-life atheist?:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

About Hemant Mehta

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

  • purr

    confused kitty is a good one

  • $7977616

    Look lady (you sound old the way you try to talk down to me). I’m not taking you seriously because it’s obvious you can’t see how close this regime is to Hitler. Youve made yourself blind to the truth. We are losing choice and liberty every day because of the hard-core agenda of the extremist leftist cadre who’ve seized control of at least one and half branches of our government. You don’t take my (our) moral objections to killing unborn life seriously. I can’t take you seriously. You diminish the significance of my concern, how do you expect me to listen and gravely consider the merits of your fake arguments and hokey hypotheticals.

  • Feminerd

    Please to point out any superstition, misinformation, or malevolence in my post, thank you. Assertion of claim requires evidence of claim.

  • purr

    Oh, you went there.

    Obama = Hitler

    fer realz?

  • Feminerd

    Oooh, fun word salad full of pure ad hominems and no actual argumentation. My favorite!

  • ansuz
  • purr

    ‘word salad’ does describe his writing style, doesn’t it?

  • ansuz
  • purr

    I just realised the other day that I have spent the last few months spelling ‘hydatidiform’ as ‘hydratiform’

    I saw it spelled the wrong way just once, and ever since then my mind has simply ignored the proper spelling when I saw it and inserted the incorrect spelling. Every time.

    And nobody bothered to correct me!!!!

  • $7977616

    The historical correlations are there. (History. it’s stuff that happened before 2008. Google it.) Ohbummer’s no different in that way than every other proponent of arbitrary pragmatic centralizing government that represses individual liberties and religious freedom and consolidates power in the hands of the corrupt few. Deal with it. But I wouldn’t go where you lied and said I did. I wouldn’t actually say that Obama = Hitler. (Hitler was not an incompetent fool and an empty suit for one thing, more’s the pity.) I would say that Obama = Marion Barry or that Obama = Jesse Jackson.

    I bet you threw in the “fer realz” to prove you’re not just an old white crone. (smirk)

  • Feminerd

    Okay, now I know I don’t have to take you seriously. I’m an actual leftist (center-left on the global scale) who has been immensely disappointed with the Democratic Party’s turn to the right. The US has no strong leftist parties- it has a center-right party (the Dems) and an extreme-right party (the Repubs).

    You know what an actual, full-on Social Democrat’s policy agenda would look like? Tax rates up to 75% on the wealthiest. Minimum wage of $15, indexed to inflation. Single-payer health care. Publicly provided daycare for all children starting at age 3 (not mandatory, of course, just available). A ban on vouchers. A massive infusion of cash into public schools, including paying teachers like the professionals they are. A return of Glass-Steagal. Cutting military spending by at least 10%, maybe more. A guaranteed minimum income wouldn’t go amiss.

    Obama has been a vast disappointment to the Left.

  • ansuz

    Also, wth. America’s left is so far to the right, it’s absurd. Other countries think your government is ridiculous. If you didn’t have your argumentum ad baculum military budget, it would be hilarious (except for the reasonable people living there). As it is, it’s terrifying.

    EDIT: Okay, bit of an exaggeration there. Mostly not, though.

  • Feminerd

    It really does. He’s just spluttering incoherently now and not answering anyone’s arguments.

  • $7977616

    Most real Americans I know think that most other countries are ridiculous so we’re even there.

  • purr

    good one!

    do you think stories like this are faked:

    Every few months there is some depressing ‘testimony’ from some poor soul who saw an abortion and became pro-life…

  • ansuz
  • purr

    hahahahhaha brilliant

  • $7977616

    Wow. I knew there were still a few of you out there. Is it a huge embarrassment to admit this in public after last century? You know there’s something I’ve always wondered. Is blindness to history something you’re born with if you want to be a good leftist, or is it something you learn? How did you develop your own intellectual cataracts? How does it feel to espouse the bloodiest and most repressive political ideology mankind’s ever come up with?

  • $7977616

    You must be Canadian from Quebec or Ontario.

  • Feminerd

    So awesome! The glare over the glasses is perfect.

  • purr

    Yeah honey, here’s a note: her ‘socialism’ is actually to the right of Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower.

    During Eisenhower’s time the tax rate on corporations was 50% :P

  • Feminerd

    That’s cuz no one knows how to spell it lol. It took me awhile to be like, okay, hy-da-ti-di-form, because that t sound then d sound isn’t common in English.

  • Feminerd

    Because the Scandinavian countries, who do what I advocate and more, are doing so very poorly. Clearly, I have completely ignored history and current policy practice to kowtow merely to ideology.

  • purr

    hi dat



    yeah, that’s how I will remember it for now on

    that is one unintuitive word all right

  • $7977616

    No. I despise the agenda of the NEA and the teachers’ unions and the mess they’ve made of public education.

  • $7977616

    yes, money for poor foreign students. Obama benefited a lot from that sort of generosity.

  • $7977616

    No. I just like picking on bullies.

  • 3lemenope

    Don’t tell ‘em that Adam Smith supported a graduated income tax, or that Hayek supported a social safety net. Or who created the National Park System, or what president signed OHSA and the Clean Air Act. Or which made that commie Interstate Highway System. Or what Barry Goldwater thought of abortion. Or Reagan, before he ran for president. Or how many times Reagan raised taxes.

    They’ll be bits of head-asplode shrapnel everywhere, and I’m not cleaning it up.

    Leftists. ROFL!

  • Red-Star

    Ah I see you proved yourself as either a really good troll or a full on teabagger. Yes their are places that aren’t majority religious that are OMG! peaceful and even prosperous. Crazy to comprehend I know!

    This guy has nothing to debate guys. Stop doing it. He thinks Obama is a Stalinist or whatever paranoid fantasy he has in his little head. Clearly he has no history knowledge outside of “America is great except when them Liberals are in charge”

  • purr

    Apparently he was born in Canada, but escaped to the USA, hates Candians, British, and people from NE USA, and is living as a pilgrim on a farm in wyoming or some shit.

  • 3lemenope

    Er, I’m pretty sure 90% was the top marginal rate for individuals. Top corporate rate was 52% (PDF warning).

  • ansuz

    That one? Probably yes. If I’m reading it correctly, the writer contradicts hirself regarding whether the fetus stayed intact or not, and covers the emotional things while fudging the technical things.

    How easily the person dismisses their pro-choice arguments in the face of a little gore when they would have probably already seen videos or pictures and when they already should have known exactly what was going to be happening? Also sits a bit wrong. I’m not exactly typical, but I don’t understand seeing something upsetting and then completely throwing out the old views because of a single emotional reaction. Taking that as a reason to reexamine views? Yes. Toss them? No, especially as people tend to be pretty emotionally attached to their views.

    Generally? I’d guess that more than half of them would be made up, but I’m pulling that out of nowhere.

  • 3lemenope

    Is blindness to history something you’re born with if you want to be a good leftist, or is it something you learn?

    I know, right?

    After the Deluge, who could trust those sneaky Scandinavians ever again?

    Remember Warsaw!

  • ansuz

    No, dude. My parents are in the 1%, and they (and I) were born in the same country as (and in my case and my dad’s case, within two hours’ drive of) the school in question. It was a purely merit-based scholarship — decided based on reading comprehension and mathematics test scores. Nice try with the classism and racism, though.

    EDITed for a typo.

  • purr

    It sounds like a typical conversion story.

    I didn’t believe in God, but then I crashed my car, and I saw Jesus, so now I am no longer a God-hating atheist, but a follower of Jesus, praaaise the Laawwwwd!!!

  • ansuz

    D’aw, Jeezuscat.
    But yeah, pretty much.

    Anyway, I distracted myself long enough to eat something. I should probably get back to studying (or possibly go to sleep) now.

  • WithinThisMind

    What’s with the whole ‘right to life’ argument anyway? What exactly does that even mean? ‘I’ve totally got the right to live so screw you cancer!’. And cancer totally is going to tuck it’s tail between it’s legs and slink off to find somebody who doesn’t know their rights? ‘No, Mr Blue Ringed Octopus, you can’t sting me, I know my rights and that would totally violate my right to life!’ And don’t even get me started on the weather. ‘Fuck you, hurricane, you can’t go blowing in here, I’ve got a right to life!’

    And oh, wait…. sorry, little fertilized ova that just naturally miscarried like 90% of them do, totally sorry your right to life got violated, let me get you signed onto the class action lawsuit and we’ll get your settlement to you in 4-6 weeks, don’t spend it all in one place.

  • $7977616

    Superstition – 1. An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.

    “Fetuses aren’t people until, maybe, 28 weeks (probably not until birth, though, given the hypoxic state of the fetus). Abortions don’t happen that late except in dire emergencies.”

    I rest.

  • purr

    You haven’t shut the fuck up yet?

  • $7977616

    not a bad closer. have to admit. raw. but honest. I can deal with that.

  • purr
  • purr

    Yes, and if they start with that premise how can they ever lose? (according to them)

  • $7977616

    Of course they’re not Nazis literally (hello? historical disconnect? anyone?). They’re obviously not even “Nazis” in the banale 20th century leftist quasi-intellectual ala Bill Maher sense of the word. What a silly suggestion. But what they are is adrift in a sea of human depravity. I’d like to hear the stories of the courageous women who didn’t abort their babies… since you so stridently insist on abusing the stories of those who after being raped and impregnated then murdered the poor unborn innocent conceived as a result of the rape for your modern day political agenda. Maybe poll the descendants of those rape survivors and see if they’d all rather have not existed.

  • purr

    Ok, rape victims who abort their pregnancies are depraved individuals.

    Slaves who are raped and impregnated from the age of 12 up until they die are even *more* depraved if they try to end a pregnancy.

    You, sir,have some fucked up ideas. Then again, I wouldn’t expect someone like you to have any empathy whatsoever for a rape victim, let alone a woman who is born into slavery and beaten, abused, raped, and treated like actual livestock for her entire life.

  • purr
  • purr
  • $7977616

    Is that a roundabout way of saying that if you’re pro-life but you don’t support federally-mandated abortion funding you’re not really pro-life? Are you arguing that unless you love you some federal government you’re not even alive? That’s so absurd.

  • wmdkitty

    You just claimed medical FACT is “superstition”.

  • purr

    Yeah, and he also claimed that rape/slave victims who abort are depraved individuals.

  • wmdkitty

    He… might want a shovel, there, if he’s gonna keep digging.

  • purr

    I have never used a facepalm emote/kitty pic.

    Until tonight.

    With yippee.

    He is a special individual.

    Actually, if I was going to create the most idiotic pro-life troll, I would have created him.

  • wmdkitty

    I’m not sure if he’s a troll, or just. that. much. of a douchenozzle.

  • purr

    I’d go with douchenozzle. Troll is giving too much credit.

  • Sayak Banerjee

    I would urge Marshmellow and Jennifer to maintain civility and not to jump to conclusions about my point of view. Now some clarifications.

    Even today medical practitioners routinely make calls in case of complications whether to counsel for abortions to mothers who may not want it. Since Marshmellow was talking about harm caused by pregnancy and arguing for abortion that way, i merely pointed to the fact that this decision should be done by the medical community. If one is putting a medical argument, why such outrage when I say doctors get to decide if the argument of medical danger works or not? To some extent Marshmellow was putting up an odd argument, very few mothers who have normal pregnancy go for abortion because of the relatively modest physical inconveniences caused by the presence of the fetus. (If there are surveys that show this not to be the case, i will retract this assertion.) The causes are primarily sociological and psychological and economic. They are potentially very reasonable causes, but they were not the ones you were talking about.

    Rapist Question:- In the extreme off-chance the victim has a perfectly obvious way of incapacitating the rapist without killing him and she knows it at that time but still chooses a second deadlier alternative, then I am not sure. Never happens for a rape in general. But in a police-offender situation more common and the police person can be punished for using excessive deadly force when other means of incapacitating the offender were available. Secondly the the degree of harm done by a rapist is usually of a greater magnitude than a fetus. Bodily infringement is not some holy cow that justifies everything, If my dog jumps in your lap and you blast its brains off with a pistol because it was infringing ur space, i am going to sue even if you have some mild allergy to dog hair and put it as ur defense.

    Let’s take this self defense argument off the table shall we? Most mothers don’s suffer severe complications and if fetus’s right to life were to be recognized, all that would be needed to redeem “inconvenience caused” concerns is to mandate adequate compensation (generous disability benefits) to pregnant women! While that might be good idea in and of itself (i will vote for it), that is hardly sufficient to redress the kind of reasons that REALLY motivate a woman to choose abortion.

    Let me be clear, for many people are mistaking my stance. I am PRO-ABORTION, but (except for medical complications) I believe abortion to be analogous to Positive Discrimination being temporarily in place to balance out the effects of an existent social evil. This evil is the heavy burden of motherhood being laid upon women by society. This burden ranges from social taboos (single moms, teenage moms), economic burdens (loss of career, jobs, educational opportunities) and many others. But the point of a Positive Discrimination is to alleviate some of the consequences of a social evil while efforts are being made to cure the evil in the first place. There would be no need for positive discrimination when a women no longer has any concerns about raising a child regardless of her station in life and society, a point where one does not have to plan ahead for 10-15 years to feel comfortable about starting a family. I think what the bodily autonomy and self defense argument misses is that most women choose abortion because of deeply inlaid socio-economic and psychological duress in a society that either actively punishes or is indifferent to the hardships of child rearing responsibilities.

  • purr

    I would urge Marshmellow and Jennifer to maintain civility

    I am deeply sorry Mr. Banerjee. Allow me to apologize on behalf of Jennifer. She, and other persons with uterii, really need to learn some civility after being told (as you have so eloquently explained in your above post) that women are:

    1) too stupid and/or mentally incompetent to make their own medical/health decisions or decide who or what will use their bodies

    2) she and other persons with uterii should just accept that they are for making babies, and that with enough social/financial support they can fulfill their evolutionary/god-given role as baby factories

    Thank you so much for laying it all out so clearly. You have single-handedly solved the abortion debate.

    I don’t know where the women of the world would be without kind souls such as yourself to mansplain to them about what reproductive rights and choices a woman should be permitted to make.

    God Bless

  • Acyutananda

    You haven’t said anything to shut off communication, so I’m replying.

    “What sacrifice could be greater. . . . What sacrifice would you consider equal to that?”

    Here you’re talking about the degree of the sacrifice, which I think is a very valid point to talk about. As I’ve explained to others on this page, I don’t think some issues that people raise (and that would include your earlier “control over your body” and so-called “enslavement”) are key issues IN THEMSELVES if the degree of the sacrifice doesn’t happen to be much. As I said, “You can always define a certain nature of sacrifice that group A might make that group B would be unable to make, and then say, ‘Since group B doesn’t make it, group A shouldn’t have to either.’ But the important consideration is the degree of the sacrifice.”

    You wrote: “Women go blind. They get osteoporosis. They get sick. Their veins and arteries break under the strain of high blood pressure. Their organs are damaged or destroyed by high blood sugar.”

    You’re right, these would be big sacrifices. What I had said was that pregnant women should sacrifice for helpless children who will die without them, and that men should sacrifice for helpless children who will die without them, and that unpregnant women should sacrifice for helpless children who will die without them. And I also said, “There is some [upper] limit to the degree of the sacrifice that society should expect.”

    But it seems to me there must be some lower limit also. Even Judith Jarvis Thomson, who made a famous analogy in which a violinist is plugged into a person’s kidneys, suggested that the person (meaning anyone) should be ready to tolerate the situation for an hour, if that would suffice to save the violinist’s life. Wouldn’t you feel that that hour should be an obligation? (This question is similar to the question I asked that started this whole discussion.)

    I had previously referred other commenters to an article in which I wrote:

    “A person who physically resides in a room within another person represents an extra degree of complication for the second person, opening up the possibility of exceptional measures by the second person under some circumstances. . . . In any society, the decision should be made (except in a medical emergency) by a judicious and sensitive panel. It would be desirable for all the panelists . . . to be women . . .”

    The complete article is here:

    When an abortion is proposed, the panel should take into account the mother’s potential remaining future life and potential quality thereof (considering her mental resilience or lack thereof, and her attitude toward the unborn child, among other things); and the unborn child’s potential remaining future life and the quality thereof; and the family members’ potential remaining future life and the quality thereof; and the support society can offer, and the impact on society; and make a decision aimed to maximize life.

  • WithinThisMind

    Hey, and while we are at it, let’s poll the descendents of all the people whose fathers didn’t get blowjobs and see if they’d all rather have not existed!

    Down with the oral sex! Donja know it kills babies!

  • WithinThisMind

    —-I would urge Marshmellow and Jennifer to maintain civility and not to
    jump to conclusions about my point of view. Now some clarifications.—

    Then I would urge to not to be a dumbass who supports slavery.

    Let’s say I am 12 weeks pregnant. I wish to have an abortion. How do you intend to stop me?

    —-very few mothers who have normal pregnancy go for abortion because of
    the relatively modest physical inconveniences caused by the presence of
    the fetus. (If there are surveys that show this not to be the case, i
    will retract this assertion.)—

    No, they have abortions because of a combination of the physical, mental, emotional, lifestyle, financial, etc… inconveniences.

  • purr

    And how many of your medical decisions should be left in the hands of a committee?

  • Jennifer Starr

    I guess when you believe in mandatory organ donation and that you’re related to women and their fetuses, it’s not a far jump to believing that women should be forced to have their most personal medical decisions decided by a panel of strangers. Did anyone ever explain to you that The Handmaiden’s Tale isn’t a how-to manual?

  • Jennifer Starr

    And you still don’t seem to realize that true sacrifice and altruism means something because it’s done voluntarily by choice, not forced upon people by law.

  • Jennifer Starr

    Probably none, after all he’s a MAN, don’t ya know. But the woman’s body and uterus belong to the government and society–how dare we have the gall to think we own our body parts instead of breeding for the good of society? Just who do we think we are–actual people? *snort*

  • purr

    Did you read Sayak’s reply to us?

    Holy hell in a handbasket.

    He mansplained that pregnancy is a modest inconvenience, and that women should *temporarily* be permitted abortions in order to counteract the effects of a society that treats pregnant women poorly. However, once women are given financial incentives and appropriate support, they can go back to their job as broodmares.

    I linked it to you on the other site.

  • Jennifer Starr

    I’ve read it. I swear, it’s like he’s related to Acyu–what is it with these long-winded blocks of five-dollar word salad? Did no one ever teach these guys to be concise? And I’m going to reply to him as soon as I’ve stopped repeatedly banging my head against hard surfaces :)

  • purr

    I wasn’t gonna go here…but…

    What country is currently the rape culture capital of the world?

  • Jennifer Starr

    I think it’s India, but I’m not one-hundred percent sure of that. But if it’s not number one it is definitely somewhere in the top 5.

  • purr

    I surprised myself. I was going to reply to Sayak with something long winded, but I managed to condense it. Because that really is his position in a nutshell. That everyone but women should make health decisions for pregnant persons. Kinda similar view to Acyu…

  • Feminerd

    You do realize that those are completely factual statements, right? The brain waves of a fetus don’t even begin to achieve the coherence we associate with sentience until 28 weeks. Fetuses are also known to be hypoxic, that is, oxygen-deprived. We know our brains don’t really work in hypoxic states, and so arguing that personhood arrogates to a fetus only once born and breathing (that is, when its oxygen levels rise to a high enough level for its brain to work) is a valid argument to make.

    Furthermore, only 1.5% of abortions take place after 20 weeks gestation. The vast majority of those take place before 24 weeks. Abortions at 28 weeks are extremely rare and only occur when the life of the mother is at risk or the fetus has been diagnosed with fetal anomalies incompatible with life.

    So please tell me how any of this is an irrational belief, let alone one that isn’t logically related to a course of events. Facts and evidence are your friends. If an irrelevant dictionary definition is the only argument you can muster, as the statement “I rest” indicates, you have already lost.

  • Feminerd

    An hour of being forced to give my blood to someone? No. I have every right to remove an intrusion, from a person or a machine or an IV line, from my body for any intrusion of any length. Many rapes take less than 10 minutes- are they less harmful for being short in duration?

    Now, would I give blood to the dying violinist if it only took an hour? Almost always, the answer would be yes. I would weigh the factors of my time, what I had to do that day, what harm was likely to result, and then reluctantly consent to the hour because the harm done to me would most likely be minimal. Whoever hooked us up, though, would get both an earful and a whole lot of criminal charges against them, because doing that is not acceptable. And if that hour happened at a time that, say, I needed to be at my chemotherapy session, or at the hospital giving birth,or defending my dissertation for my last chance ever, or I was severely anemic and giving blood was a huge risk for me, or losing my job and my house and watching my kids starve because I can’t afford to be late? I’m ripping out that IV line. Even an hour is too much if it’s the wrong hour.

    A person in the same room as you is not the same as a person in your body. Get that through your head. Unwanted pregnancy is a rape that won’t stop for nine months. It is never moral or ethical to force someone into that position.

  • Acyutananda

    “A person in the same room as you is not the same as a person in your body. Get that through your head.”

    I’ve got it so far. In those two sentences, you’re saying that the nature of the sacrifice is important, not only the degree. The first paragraph of your post probably says the same. But here –

    “Unwanted pregnancy is a rape that won’t stop for nine months”

    – you change direction. (For this discussion, I will ignore the peculiar analogy between a rapist and a totally innocent and helpless person, and stick to the main point.) Here you’re saying that the issue is the period of time, that is, the degree.

    So it’s still not clear. Is “in your body” an important issue IN ITSELF, apart from degree of sacrifice, or isn’t it?

    An example that (like all of Thomson’s analogies) would be far-fetched, but might make the question clear, would be this: If pregnancy were risk-free and only for 90 minutes (you refrain from killing an innocent baby, which means you lend your body, for 90 minutes, including labor and delivery), followed by immediate adoption of the baby by someone, would you have a moral obligation to carry the baby to term, or would it be only a morally-optional act of generosity for you to do so? You are at the hospital already (so abortion is an option), but your health is fine, and you will not lose your job or anything by having the baby. The hospital folks can kill the baby in 15 minutes if you say so. Do you have any moral obligation?

    One more way to put it: Should society declare an unborn baby’s life to be forfeit NOT to spare the mother a sacrifice that is proportionate to the value of the baby’s life, but just to uphold an ideological point?

  • purr

    The nature *is* the degree because it’s inside your body. Tell us acyu, would you let yourself be raped for an hour, non-violently, if that would save a life? And what if you were forced by law to undergo rape on a regular basis to save a life? Would you sign off on that? Should all of society?

  • ansuz

    “If pregnancy were risk-free and only for 90 minutes (you refrain from killing an innocent baby, which means you lend your body, for 90 minutes, including labor and delivery), followed by immediate adoption of the baby by someone, would you have a moral obligation to carry the baby to term, or would it be only a morally-optional act of generosity for you to do so?”
    Maybe morally superior, but the law should not be able to compel someone to go through with the ninety minutes or to not go through with the ninety minutes. Period. Ever.
    An intrusion — determined by my state of mind — on my body is functionally rape. A pregnancy that I want to abort is an intrusion on my body. The moral agenthood of the thing doing the intruding is not relevant to the fact that it is in my body and I do not want it there.

  • purr

    I have an idea acyu. I will donate bone marrow and even half a liver to save a life if you consent to…

    Having a nice fellow:

    Gently insert this up your rectum for 5 minutes every week:

    Very gently. With lube, even. It will be painless. A ‘modest’ inconvenience.

    And at the end of 9 months you’ll get this in the ass:


    Now what do you say? The *degree* of sacrifice that you will be expected to endure will actually be a lot less than what I will endure, as I will be giving up parts of my body and undergoing potentially fatal surgery to save a life.

    You will just be gently fucked in the ass. Which is, really, a minor inconvenience.

    What do you say?

  • Feminerd

    Yes, “in your body” is an important issues IN ITSELF. Our bodies are our selves. We exist purely for the time our flesh and brain are alive and functional. There is nothing more personal than the self, nothing more private than one’s own body, nothing more important than the body’s survival and integrity.

    Your 90 minute theoretical question- there is no moral obligation to carry the baby. It is a morally optional act of generosity to do so. Like the with the dying violinist, even an hour can be too much, too long, too hard, if it is the wrong hour. Do I have to submit myself to an hour of torture for a stranger to survive? Do you consider that morally obligated? Do you think it should be legally obligated?

    Pregnancy and labor are torture- they are so painful and so dangerous that they were considered a curse from God in at least one notable ancient culture (the Israelites). Women got to Valhalla in Norse cultures by dying in childbirth; childbirth was recognized as being as dangerous, bloody, painful, and traumatic as a battlefield. Women in much of Africa, even today, bid farewell to their families when they become pregnant and even in the US, it is highly encouraged to update one’s will when one discovers one is pregnant. In at least one African country, a woman announces her pregnancy by saying she has one foot in the grave.

    Society should absolutely declare any person or entity’s life forfeit NOT to spare anyone any sacrifice, but to uphold the absolute integrity of the principle of bodily autonomy. If you need to rape someone in order to survive, is anyone morally obligated to let you? Or should we declare your life forfeit for a principle? That is what you are asking. My answer, in the famous words of Patrick Henry, is, “give me liberty or give me death”. You have no legal or moral right to rape anyone, even if not doing so means you will die.