In this discussion I would like to talk about abortion. It is always something I have felt very strong about and would argue to the ends of the earth on. I have always been Pro-Life, always. Ever since I became an Atheist, this topic keeps popping up in my head. Since it is something I have not wanted to confront, I have been pushing it to the back burner. Now that I have given it some thought I would like to tell you where I used to stand and where I stand now. When I was a Christian my thought process was "Abortion is Never the right choice unless the mother and child will both die." So even if the child were to survive and the mother dies, abortion is still not the right choice. Some might even consider that murder, I guess. To answer this question I'm sure someone will ask, Yes I would have and still would give up my life for my child. Well, now I'm sort of seeing things a bit different. If a female gets raped and gets pregnant from it, abortion is ok, (sad all the way around - for everyone).  If a woman chooses to abort a baby due to the risk to the mothers life, Ok. If the baby will have a very very very difficult life and in turn make the parents have an equally difficult life, ok. To me abortion is a horrible thing, if someone wants to have an abortion just because oops I got preggo. That is horrible. If you don't want kids do everything in your power to NOT get pregnant. Simple as that. Life is a beautiful an precious thing, and yes I do believe it is special.  Any and All comments are welcome :)

Tags: abortion, pro-choice, pro-life

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There are actually quite a few atheists who are not pro-choice.

 

That's an interesting statement. I agree, though to clarify, my anecdotal evidence as well as responses from atheists on sites such as this one would suggest an infinitesimally small percentage of atheists would advocate banning abortion in every situation without exception. The only group of people who seem to hold this opinion are religious fundamentalists.

 

As for the atheists who do label themselves pro-life (a small percentage but if they were all together it would certainly be "quite a few"), further questioning shows they're often personally pro-life but politically pro-choice (still pro-choice imo, no matter what they call themselves). Less often, they're what I like to call "mostly pro-choice." They would not ban abortion in a variety of cases such as ectopic pregnancies, severe genetic defects, birth control failure or tampering, endangerment to the mother, and usually rape or incest as well. (Apparently abortion is murder and a fetus is definitely an innocent child unless it's a product of rape. In that case it's only a fetus, not an innocent child, so murder away ladies!)

 

The only situation on which these "mostly pro-choicers" (religious or non) always seem to be anti-choice is that of accidental pregnancy due to sexually irresponsible females. It's as if they believe carrying a pregnancy to term is a fair punishment for a sexually mature female who spreads her legs without desiring to procreate. Apparently, no female should have sex unless she's willing to accept her role as a baby-making machine in case of unintended pregnancy. That's seems like an irrational opinion for a logical thinker, and I do believe many atheists who hold this opinion are probably suffering from residual religion.

Indeed, the atheist pro-lifers I've encountered were certainly not rabid :)

I don't think religion is the only way people decide if they are pro-choice or pro-"life". Yes religious people have their reason to be anti-choice, but I find the non-religious do as well. This issue isn't just about "what does God want?". It's also a moral dilemma for some. People argue on the basis of whether in fact it is murder by modern society's standards. For the reasons I mentioned before, it really isn't but too many people don't take the time to research or think about it in great detail. The Atheists you know are probably critical-thinkers, but there are Atheists out there who are not. 

I honestly can't imagine myself running for political office. It's never been an interest of mine and, to be frank, I would be bad at it. The good thing about Canadian politics is that there are at least 2 parties that feel the same way I do on the issue, unfortunately the Canadian public hasn't been voting for them lately.

Most all Canadian trends follow USA trends 5 years down the road, so this nasty right-wing obsession Canadian citizens are in, following in the footsteps of Dubia, should end with this government's term, if not sooner if we get off our collective safe asses and change the mind of each and every one of our neighbours and peer groups. I get so fed up of people around me blaming the electoral system. Governments elected by different systems are no better than the Canadian government. It's about the people, and right now, Canadians are leaning right. It's up to us to change that.

I think the trend following the USA only seems to happens with this Conservative party power. They decided to join in the US war, they decided to increase the military budget, they decided to privatize virtually everything, they cater to the whims of Christian organization, and they started the anti-choice discussion in this country. These were not issues when the Liberals were in power. The NDP are another party that openly opposed reopening the abortion debate. I'm not playing favourites with parties, mind you. They all have their flaws, but I vote policy and the Conservatives in power now have very "American" policies. I agree with you its about the people, but these issues barely entered the people's mind until this government started digging it up again. We were perfectly content with legalized health-care provided Abortions until Stephen Harper started talking about ending it. 

My main complaint about NDP and Libs, is they're wimps and don't FIGHT the conservatives, similar to the Dems/GOP in the USA. In the end, overall, the NDP and Libs have the same fundamental economic values, corporate wealth of the Canadian elite. The NDP used to value its citizens, but those days are long gone. They all now bow down to the alter of economic prosperity and neo liberalism. But hey, it's not their fault, it's where most Canadians are at.

Canadian trends follow USA trends in many manners, fashion, music, I could go on. And it's not only now, all previous governments did the same, Martin, Chrétien, Mulroney, Clark, Trudeau... As for before that time, I cannot state for sure, it was before me.

But it is no surprise that Canadian PMs must follow suit with USA policies... over 90% of Canada's economy is linked unilaterally with the USA's, 95% of Canadians live within 100km of the USA border. The rest of Canada is mostly uninhabited, and indefensible. Our government is mostly a sockpuppet for the USA government. I think the last time in history Canadian policymaking was distinct from USA policymaking was back in days before the USA was the top international power. But since then, Canadians have accomplished nothing distinct. Our healthcare system is crumbling, our governments are shifting many public infrastructure projects to PPPs (Public Private Partnership), we no longer have the right to free assembly (we can assemble, it's just no longer free, must have permits), and our Big Brother mentality (much more so than in the USA) makes damn certain to clamp down and imprison as many protesters as possible (temporarily of course, but long enough to make them look like criminals to the nation, and make the cops look like the guardians of our oh so precious property). Canada has become a police state, and the NDP does nothing about it. Now if they don't do anything about it, who will???

 

Sorry for the rant... Back to abortion... I recently joined my first ever feminist group, because I think the time to fight the government on this is bound to happen, and I want to be prepared and strategically positioned for that battle.

Layton was very vocal for the NDP in the past,especially concerning abortion . Hopefully, that will still be maintained with a new leader. Yes, Canada follows USA trends, but I feel they are more "entertainment" related trends because that is where most media comes from. Not saying, we don't have our own film/ music industry, but I find its more encouraged in the USA so naturally we would be influenced by it.

When people say that Canada's economy is linked with the USA I understand, but I don't find that we are dependent on them for anything. The give-take is tipped on the side of Canada giving more. We have the natural resources, how much does USA even produce of its own anyway? 

I'm not too sure what policies the NDP or Liberal party have that might  make them seem more concerned with corporate wealth. I always found they focus more on financial assistance for Students and Healthcare. Regarding Canada become a police state thats more due to Conservative policy than anything else, and what can the NDP do when Stephen Harper's party resorts to underhanded methods to get his agenda pushed?

I think it's good that you joined a group to fight this. I would like to see more than just feminist groups taking a stand though. I'd like to see some men raise their voice about a woman's right to choose the way Layton did. 

Hi Sharon, Recent studies have shown that about 70 % of all pregnancies are terminated naturally in the first few weeks, before the woman is even aware that she is pregnant.                                     This would seem to 'make the case' that god is the world's biggest abortionist, by far. A fetus is not a child any more than an egg is a chicken.

I've heard that as well. However, I can see religious followers making the argument that those abortions are "all part of God's plan". They even deny the whole killing babies fiasco in the old testament. Apparently any obscene acts He performs are acceptable.

Against the religious view of abortions I would say the best argument to make is that most likely those same religious people use a form of birth control (unless they're waaaay out there having 18 children...and counting). That in itself, under their definition, is killing a life. Or interfering with God's plan to get a woman pregnant. 

Okay, a few things I like to put on the table.

 

Number one!

This is what an abortion looks like:

http://www.abortionaccess.info/abortionpictures.htm (tissue in a petrie dish)

It is not a beaaautiful baby, it is not a fully-formed babydoll, it is not a human being. It is a fetus and it looks more like a sea monkey at this stage than a child.

This is how the vast majority of abortions look and when they are performed.

On the other hand, this is what pro-life claims abortions all look like[Warning! Gory!]:

http://www.abortionaccess.info/abortedfetuses.htm

One in particular, Malachi, is used by local anti-choicers and they've convinced many people that it's what abortion appears to be--but you see, the fetus had to be removed because it was already dying! It's a 3rd trimester abortion and those are usually only done if the fetus is dead, dying, or infected, dying and going to kill the mother very soon.

This is the reality of abortion. Along with being anti-abortion, these people are very often anti-birth control, anti-morning-after-pill, and anti-any contraceptive. You name it, if it stops women from getting pregnant, they want to make sure you can't get it. They often put the morning after pill on the same level as an abortion, claiming it's a "6-day-old-baby", and that by taking it and not letting it implant in the uterus, you are effectively killing a full person.

They do the same with Birth Control Pills, claiming that if you use them you are effectively murdering any future babies you might have.

Really, these people aren't so concerned with not killing babies as making you suffer the "consequences of sex" as they see it--they would gladly withhold treatment from std sufferers, seeing it too, as a 'consequence of sex'.

 

Lately anti-choicers have been opening propaganda-laden clinics:

http://www.prochoicecalifornia.org/what-is-choice/cpc/

Which like to spread lies to desperate young girls who come for the free pregnancy test, and leave with lies like "Abortion causes breast cancer" and "birth control makes it impossible to have children later in life."

 Someone suggested that these Crisis Pregnancy centers may be useful for people who are planning to have the babies and keep them. This hasn't worked either:

http://womenslawproject.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/the-truth-behind-“crisis-pregnancy-centers”/

These places often forcefully get women to put their babies up for adoption, and then turn around and put them into barren or willing christian families. They will often outright lie to the prospective mothers with "yes you'll be able to see the baby" or "yeah you'll be able to visit him/her" all the time--and they'll never see the child again.

 http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/81167/speaking_out:_man...

These places don't care about the health of women or their futures--they just want to force them to have the baby, then get it away from them as fast as possible. If one woman decides to keep the baby, they will tell her again and again that she shouldn't keep it, cannot keep it.

And then she has to go to Planned Parenthood for proper prenatal care anyways--because CPC's often don't have a single real doctor, counselor, or nurse on staff. Some may offer birth control of some type--but most don't--because it's cheapest to simply hand out phamplets full of blatant lies rather than give real medical care.

These things sicken me. To my core. It'd be different if they offered healthcare and support for new mothers. It'd be different if they offered the morning after pill, contraceptives, and the truth. It'd be different if it felt like they cared at all about these girls they're effectively attempting to ruin the lives of via misinformation.

 

It's for these reasons I must be pro-choice. I am not, however, pro-abortion--people assume that pro-choice means pro-abortion--it doesn't. It means that I am pro-choice--I support on demand, easy access abortion so that a woman doesn't have to live in poverty to support a child she doesn't love--I am supporting a solitary happy life, and saying that it is better than two utterly miserable ones. A study--I can't find it right now, so I may have to ask for help with this--has shown that having access to reproductive healthcare improves, overall, the life of women--It's quality, over quantity.

 

In my mind, identifying as pro-life is immature--by being pro-life, you're not being pro-life--you are being anti-abortion, anti-choice, yes, but not pro-life at all. If you were pro-life you would realize some people can't afford a child. Some people can't afford another child. People need birth control and should be allowed to have sex without worry of consequences. Assuming that sex is bad and people need the consequences is the same thinking that the religious have--that sex is dirty, no one should have it, but when we do have it(and you will), we need to run to church and weep for forgiveness from their chosen sky deity.

And really, would you rather a child be born into this world, only to be hated, loathed, despised by their mother and father all their life for putting them into poverty? Do you want that child, 20, 30 years down the road to track down their real parents(if they got adopted at all, most children don't, especially after a few months--people want babies, not infants), and find their real parents with a "real" family" and "real" kids? Is a miserable life more important for your principles than a happy one?

And no, I've never had an abortion. But my mother did. And I'm glad she did. She had it when she was young--she was pregnant with her fiance's, and he left her when she found out he had two other women on the side--he kicked her out of their apartment, and then she realize she couldn't afford to raise a child on her own--especially not the child of a man who had cheated on her and kicked her out of her apartment. Pro-lifers would have loooved to make my mom bring a fetus to term, but if she had, she wouldn't have gotten married 3 years later--she wouldn't have had me, or my sister, and she wouldn't be the same person. So often, I say "if my mom didn't have an abortion, I wouldn't be alive, nor would my sister."--it's true, and this is the same for a lot of abortions--these women don't get 9, 10 abortions--they get 1, then later in their lives they get married--which having a kid already makes it nigh-impossible to get married--most people aren't looking for a partner with a child, even if they want kids themselves.

On top of this--the fact that Pro-life doesn't have charities or isn't offering a helping hand to the women who do want to raise their children? Despicable. One man was offering $500(abortions usually cost $400, fyi) cash, to any woman who would cancel her abortion appointment--for those of us who don't have healthcare, $500 doesn't even cover pre-natal care--not to mention the birth, not to mention the things you need for the baby, and baby food, and then clothes as it gets bigger, and then school supplies--I'm sure $500 doesn't remotely cover the cost of raising a child, is what I'm saying.

And with that, the things that may lower the need for abortion--I'm talking tubal litigations(tying your tubes), vasectomies, birth control, diaphragms, IUD's, the sponge, condoms, female condoms, spermicidal foam/lube--they don't like those EITHER. I am in full support of the list I just gave--mostly because, well, I don't like that women have to get abortions--I don't think anyone does--but I do support the right to an abortion--whether it's from an ectopic pregnancy or she already has 3 kids, or the baby is anecephalic--I don't care, I care, that she is able to do what is best for her future.

 

I support reproductive health--free, on demand, for everyone. I support Birth Control for everyone. I support access to abortion for everyone.

this was released on CSH website years ago.  it will rehash many arguements presented in this thread, but it tries to explain things from both sides of the issue.  it is a fictitious account.

 

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=i...

Re 'god's plan' in terminating pregnancies during the first few weeks - THERE IS NO PLAN - IT'S JUST NATURE,  DOING IT'S THING in population control.                                                                                                            Every baby born has a right to be healthy, normal, wanted, loved & nurtured until it can provide for itself.  Only when all these conditions are met should there be a child born into this troubled world.   Our prisons are filled with people who were raised in dysfunctional families, or by a single parent unable to provide the child's needs.

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