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 :)

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I'm coming in late on this.. and admittingly haven't read all the posts. Has he covered the Morning After pill.? It doesn't prevent fertilization, just implantation of the fertilized cells. 

Now my next question is, does Zach consider it murder if a woman/girl get's pregnant then her body naturally aborts the baby. Just so we're clear, I'm not talking still-births

Please correct me if I'm wrong, Zach, but I'm fairly sure he would think a natural abortion would be the same as an infant dying of natural causes.

However, he would assert that any birth control method that may allow fertilization but prevent implantation would be equivalent to murder. We already covered the morning after pill, but this thread is nearly 50 pages long now so some might have missed that.

However, he would assert that any birth control method that may allow fertilization but prevent implantation would be equivalent to murder. We already covered the morning after pill, but this thread is nearly 50 pages long now so some might have missed that.

@ Jewelz - Thank you for pointing that out. I did miss that.

So now it is my understanding that Zach believes the split second the sperm kisses the egg, a termination should not occur, in most circumstances, if not all.

I seem to recall Zach saying he was undecided on some of these circumstances. This is where it gets murky as far I am concerned; why Zach may feel certain circumstances are okay to abort and certain circumstances, not.

It depends upon your perspective as to when life begins. Your change of heart already points to the fact that there is some grey area as to the beginning of life. For me life begins at birth. However, I realize that's not a fact, Its just my perspective. Its not better or worse than the perspective that life begins at conception. There is no definitive answer or way to prove the beginning of life. As such, everyone needs to make their own decision on abortion and no it doesn't make you a terrible person to abort if there was an accident. People have sex. Hopefully they use some type of contraception. Accidents happen. Rapes happen. Incest happens. In any of these cases the decision of whether or not to abort comes down to the person most affected, the mother. 

Religious people hate grey matter, so they need a definitive, all or nothing law. No aboritons. Not in any case. Not even when a 12 year old is raped. Jesus H Christ. Be pro life if you choose, but be pro life for yourself and not for others. 

Hi all--just joining the conversation, read the first few pages of comments and skipped to the end, I can't possibly read 49 pages of comments right now, so I apologize if this was already said.  I am pro-choice, but am against late term abortions unless it is for a medical reason.  I have not seen the women's rights side of this debate mentioned here.  I think that is a key component in whether a person is pro-choice or pro-life.  I know it is for me. 

You have not seen the women's rights side of it????????????????

Women's rights are the main issue that has been discussed here. Above and beyond any other possible argument, it is my right to to make the final decision as to whether or not a foetus will come to term in my body. Women's rights are the ONLY argument... IMO My body, my decision. Any day a foetus of any age spends unwanted time in my womb is a day too many.

I agree with you, and it looks like I should have pages 5-48 of comments before posting.  Sorry...

Lot's of interesting responses here, pretty well thought out.  I'm definitely pro-choice, it's none of my business so I have to be pro-choice.  There are some guilty edges to this statement though.  On one hand abortion helps control crime because of the lack of unwanted babies growing up psychologically "deformed" or the raised possibility of that.  Nothing is for certain obviously but statistically at least this appears to be accurate.

But on the other hand, it's pretty barbaric.  I'd hope that we could come up with a better plan for birth control and education since left to it's own development that bunch of cells will most likely become a life form.  Even if a child is going to be born with a deficiency like down syndrome, we judge that to be a deficiency right?  But really, aren't they the crown jewels of mankind?  No judgement, no ill-will, free thinking, loving individuals.  What if had aborted all of them to get the gene pool clean, isn't there some moral implication in that?  I don't know the answers and am completely open to suggestions on how to process that but currently it's how I feel.  I guess it has it's good points and bad.

Overall I'd always hope for birth control to be norm, but abortion must be a choice or decision for the person in that situation. And I'm fine with their decision either way.

Joli, in talking about whether abortion is OK or not (your terminology), you seem to be avoiding discussing whether it should be illegal in favor of whether it is right or wrong. The question really shouldn't be whether abortion is wrong, but whether IF it is wrong, should the state intercede and apply the whatever force is available to it to bring the child to term. If that means strapping the pregnant woman to a bed until she delivers, would you approve of that.

THAT is the real question. What happens when push comes to shove?

I haven't read all the responses, so excuse me if I repeat. I have my own ideas on the subject, but what's more important to me is that they are MY morals that I apply to myself. These discussions are valuable, but I think the more important question is--why should my morals apply to others?

Update...I see that I am most certainly not the first one to bring this up!

The very essence of morality is that it's society based, if it only applies to you, then it's just your personal values, it's not a 'moral'. For the past 2000 years, we've had superstitious patriarchal morons setting society's morals with the bible. Being an atheist means I decline morals based on superstition, and vow to fight the stupidity of those morals, and work towards a society who's value system, ethical system (morality if you want but I hate the word) is based on specific social objectives.

Abortion is a "morality" issue to people who believe in "morality", this is what I fight against. Abortion is also not a scientific issue, it does not matter when "life begins" I really don't give a shit. The essence of the abortion debate is the law. The rights of one end where the rights of the other begin, and the simple fact of the matter is that what's inside my body is mine, MY RIGHTS. Foetal rights are entirely limited by my rights, my rights are ALL of my body.

If women's rights to do as I please with my own body are not respected, I propose all women boycott any form of procreation until reason is brought back to society. I had my tubal ligation at age 30 after 3 abortions from conceptions which defied use of contraception and morning after pill.And I support all women, NO MATTER the reason, to manage their own body as they see fit.

Sadly morality is not sociey based, and i would venture to say that your definition of morality is slightly skewed.  Morality by definition is right action based upon ethics.  Ethics by definition is the good.

In our society today, ethics are very much individually relative, what you define as good and what i define as good may be differing, however when it comes to the topic of human life, i would say that every living human being in the world has the same ethical position and that is that human life is good.  The morality pertaining to human life would be to protect it and to preserve it. 

At this point, that is when the debate of when human life begins comes into play.  If human life begins at the moment of conception, then it is by ethical definition immoral to commit an abortion because it is the destruction of human life.  If human life does not begin at the moment of conception i would challenge you to determine when it does, is it at birth, at self awareness?

To me human life begins at the moment of conception. 

If we were to say that it begins at the moment of birth, how is it then that premature infants survive even when almost a month premature?  If we classify human life as an individual who is self aware then i guess we would allow for the lawful killing of mentally handicapped people or those in a vegitative state, heck we could even throw in the odd moron.  I don't believe this is moral nor does it allign with our common ethic.  Science is not yet at this point, but i would bet any money that someday it will be possible to conceive and nurture a foetus outside of a woman's body, should an infant created in this way be considered inhuman even in the earliest stages of human development? 

As far as individual circumstances go, an individual's ethics do not change, subsequently neither does their morality.  Therefore regardless of the situation, for every individual who believes life is good, it is immoral to destroy human life.  The degree of morality can change depending on the circumstance making it difficult to determine what is a just cause for abortion and what is not, but the ethics remain constant. If an individual values human life, it is inethical to destroy it under any circumstance. 

If pregnancy is a result of rape, i believe it would be in all respects immoral to abort the foetus because it would involve the willful destruction of human life.  It is possible that the individual due to trauma from the rape may have opted for an abortion, therefor the degree of morality is lessened, but it is immoral and inethical nonetheless.  I will not go into detail regarding other situations because there are so many, but the reasoning is similar and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

This response is not at all a pointing of the finger in the direction of anyone who has an abortion because each person has individual freedom, free will, and because of this all individuals are entitled to their own ethical positions. It is a matter of being honest with one's self.  If an individual deems human life to be good (ethical), then it should consequently be considered immoral to destroy human life.  If an individual sees the beginning of human life to be the moment of conception, then they should also consider abortion to be immoral according to their own individual definition of ethics, the good.  It all really boils down to how honest an individual is with themselves and whether or not they care to be moral.

Legistlation on the issue of abortion should not be necessary if individuals did not contradict their own ethics.  However legislation should not be necessary for the issue of murder either but people are not perfect and occassionally stray from their own ethics. Legislation should simply reflect the common ethics.



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