Abortions are always a tragedy; but to make policy about them, to turn a private, sensitive matter into a public spectacle is the cruelest sort of bullying. Nobody in their right mind wants an abortion- there is something wrong with people that use it as birth control, and to that end I think they should be allowed to continue it (and perhaps even encouraged to), but if for some medical reason or for reasons of timing or any other, you simply want to delay having the baby- that is completely understandable, and while still tragic, is ultimately a decision you alone can make.
The one thing that I would point out in addition to this is that danger to the baby or danger to the mother (both) are things that can usually be mitigated. For example, HIV-infected mothers only rarely transmit the virus to their babies (and more often after the baby is born, through nursing, than through blood transmission), and since we have no apparent cure for the disease (yet), it only takes a short look at the odds to determine that you have anywhere from 40-80% chance of a healthy baby if you don't abort, as opposed to 100% chance of no baby if you do.
I don't really consider abortion the same as killing a human. In Canada we have legal abortions and they are only legal during the period before the fetus becomes "viable". That is to say (roughly, I might add) that the fetus can feel no pain. To put it simply this is a "potential human". If that is considered murder, then where does that end? A female's eggs could be potential humans, yet those are "aborted" every month. One might argue that is a natural occurence and therefore, not intentional murder. Okay, then what about a man's sperm? Masturbation should be considered murder of potential children. As would using condoms or the BC pill and any other form of birth control. Not to mention intercourse itself requires many "potential children" to die in order for one to be born.
I agree having abortions just because "whoopsy daisy.... I went and got myself preggers. At least I can get rid of it! Protection-free sex for all! yay" is not a responsible reason. But that's just it. People who do that are not responsible, certainly not enough to be FORCED into raising a child. What sort of childhood will that unwanted child have? What sort of adult will they grow into? More often than not they become a strain on society. Yes, adoption is there, a chance to be raised by responsible parents that want you, but its not reasonable to expect all children to be adopted. The system isn't anywhere near perfect enough.
I don't really understand why people seem to associate pro-choice with pro-abortion. People who take the pro-choice stance can vary in opinion from anywhere between "yeah! kill babies!" (if they're sick) to "I would never have one myself, but I don't feel I have the right to choose for others".
Excellent content and well written. Perhaps you might run for political office.
Thank you! Unfortunately, even in Canada it seems I wouldn't be voted in based on my views. In the past Federal and Municipal (Toronto) elections people have voted in representatives that seem (to me at least) scarily similar to the Republicans of America. I think being pro-choice still has a negative stigma even among the non-religious. People see it as only an ethical issue rather than a financial, or social issue. Yes, emotions are involved but it's a personal matter so as far as government goes, I wish they would look at it more logically than emotionally.
Being an atheist, I know many atheists and everyone of them is pro-choice. (as well as pro-LGBT equal rights). Believing in supernatural powers/beings seems to be a prerequisite for being a GOP and for denying human beings basic human rights such as free adequate health care. Only prisoners in USA get such care. As for whether you would be elected, if you do not try you won't be. Obama was elected because he was a better choice than McCain (too old and showed himself an idiot by selecting the totally unqualified Palin as his VP. He may be re-elected because the GOP picks someone like Perry. He may be defeated by a Romney/Cain ticket since Romney will get some independents and Cain will split the black vote.
There are actually quite a few atheists who are not pro-choice. Religious indoctrination sticks with people long after they admit god is non-existent.
Well also on r/atheism I found a lot of guys who assumed every woman who needed an abortion was a whore and thus "we don't need abortion, only whores use it."
That and a lot of them assumed birth control never failed, and it wasn't really their problem anyways. It's not like they'll ever be shamed for having an abortion.
I never heard of any atheist who are not pro-choice. Introduce me to one.
Your second sentence makes no sense to me unless you mean that an atheist can enjoy religious traditions. Well, I enjoy all religious festivals like Xmas( Santa, trees), Ester (bunny), Rosh Shananh and Passover Hannukah (great food, wine, arguments and other typivcally Jewish mayhem).
my mom (I'm 3rd generation atheist), and I've read several others, all you need to do is search them out.
As for religious indoctrination sticking with people past their atheist declaration... there is plenty of that around here and on all other forums. Most of the moralists that go on and on, lecturing us about morality... IMO that's religious indoctrination talking. You may certainly disagree. My family as an example, we're all atheists, and we're generally moral relativists. If you're raised outside those religious standards, they simply do not dawn on you magically. What you call "enjoying religious traditions" is only a very small component of what I'm adressing.
Two of those are actually originally pagan holidays predating Christianity. Xmas= Saturnalia/ Winter Solstice (decorating trees was a Norse tradition...there were no evergreens in Jerusalem, and I've never heard of decorating a palm tree during Jesus' birth). Easter= Eostre (actually a fertility celebration, hence the bunny). If Christianity never existed we would still enjoy these holidays, just without Jesus being involved.
As far as religion sticking with you .... yes I'll admit that happened to me frequently as I was breaking away from Catholicism. But I believe that if you were raised believing something, getting away from it is a process. Whether God exists based on proof and fact is a black and white distinction but getting over habits can take time. Eventually, I do believe religious indoctrination can completely be removed from a person's life depending on how strongly they want it gone.
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 :)