A Rebuttal to the Pro-Life Atheist

Blogger Avicenna at A Million Gods offers a point-by-point rebuttal to the guest post from pro-life Humanist Kristine Kruszelnicki that I think is well worth reading:

Do you think it is ethical to force a woman to carry a child she cannot care for? Do you think it is ethical to bring a child into the world without a parent who can care for it? Do you think it is ethical to bring suffering children into the world solely to satiate your academic ethics?

Ethics are born out of experience and from the tears and blood spilled by those who wish for ethics to exist. Not from reading about it in a sterile environment of academics.

What you wish for is a magical land where women who get pregnant who don’t want to carry their babies simply have the babies teleported out into a growth tank (for free) and these children are all given to good kind loving homes and everyone has wealth and there are no wants and needs.

What this stance is, is an immoral denial of basic healthcare, bodily autonomy and a system of harming women (particularly the poorest) by effectively destroying any capacity to be independent and not have your job enslaved to the status and contents of your uterus.

Even if you are pro-life personally, this is why I don’t believe it’s a viable position for our society. It’s also why I unequivocally condemn any attempts to stifle a woman’s right to get an abortion.

On a side note, I’m amazed (but not surprised) at a lot of the reactions I’ve seen to the piece. If you disagree with the points Kristine made, as I do, then let’s confront those arguments on their merits, not condemn the fact that they were posted in the first place. They’re going to be out there one way or another; I’d rather have them hashed out on my home court where I know I or my commenters will respond swiftly and thoroughly.

If I thought there was a growing movement of atheists who opposed gay rights for non-religious reasons, I’d want to hear their arguments, too — and then tear them down. (The comparison doesn’t quite hold because I’m unaware of any organized, growing secular opposition to those rights.) Why give anyone like that a platform in the first place? Because I can’t imagine how people who are rational in one important aspect of their lives would be so irrational in another and I’d like to see how they reconcile those worlds — and better they do it in a space like this where their critics will be watching (as will anyone who Googles the subject in the future).

As for Kristine’s piece, I found it very interesting. I’m used to seeing religious arguments against abortion (and the rebuttals to them); I’m not used to seeing secular arguments against abortion. That’s why I was curious how she would approach the opportunity to write a guest post, knowing that it would be seen by a crowd that fundamentally disagreed with her. Many of the commenters here did an excellent job of countering her points. When I initially read the piece, I knew I disagreed with her, but I couldn’t articulate the reasons very well; I’m much better equipped to do that now. I hope you are, too.

And while I’m at it, in case my own views are in doubt, here’s a story I wrote last summer — a glowing profile of a remarkable woman who has helped pay for the abortions of nearly 20,000 women.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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.


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