The point of this discussion is to get people’s perspective on abortion. Why people do it. And why people are against it.

From Catholic.org I found a video on abortion, but it didn’t look like the normal procedures performed in the United States. It looks like they purposely chose the worst pictures possible to convince Christians that abortion is wrong. Where did they get such graphic material?

Video Link: http://www.catholic.org/video/watch.php?v=13

A legal abortion in the United States looks more like this: http://www.thisismyabortion.com

I believe if you get pregnant by accident that you should keep it. But if you are forced (rape) (incest) then it definitely changes things. How can we force her to bring a rapist’s baby to term? I also heard that giving birth to a rapist’s baby is like being raped all over again.

I think that making abortion illegal is wrong. This takes away women’s rights. I believe women should choose, but I think it’s recommended that women take counseling before taking any action.

This is my opinion, but I would like to know others point of view on the subject.

I got two questions for you:

  1. Are you Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?
  2. How was your decision made? Basically, why are you Pro-Choice? Why Pro-Life?

Tags: abortion, prochoice, prolife

Views: 690

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Replies to This Discussion

onyango makagutu:


Thank you for answering respectfully. 

  •  But so far, you who declare yourself atheists seem to argue the same way everybody else does.

We're as human as anyone else, so that's to be expected.  While some may feel that atheists are more inclined toward holding reasoned and researched viewpoints, in the end most of us are going to voice those viewpoints with the same limitations and frustrations that most people experience in internet communications.

  • If the fetus is just a blob of cells until it becomes sentient, does that mean I am just a blob of cells that is sentient?

No.  The statement 'blob of cells' is somewhat meiotic. In part, it refers to the actual biological development of the embryo or foetus.  The vast majority of abortions occur within the first trimester or just inside the second, at which point no embryo or foetus is viable.  Yeah, organs are starting to form, but in more pragmatic terms, you have a collection of cells that cannot function as a viable, independent human being.  In part, 'blob of cells' also refers to the lack of thoughts, feelings and conscious awareness of an embryo or foetus.  These attributes are a huge part of what we use to define personhood and concepts of suffering.  We also apply this sort of thinking to plants and animals to varying degrees.  Whether that is right or wrong is a separate issue.  In the case of an embryo or a foetus, at the very least in the time frame where abortion is likely to occur, it has no discernable will setting it apart from any unthinking organ.

  •  What is sentience?

The basic definition of 'awareness' should suffice for the purposes of this conversation.  If you want to have a long drawn out conversation on the philosophical or neurological aspects of sentience, that would warrant starting a new thread.

  • I am asking for myself personally, is there anything in atheism to give value to my life as a woman?

Atheism?  No, not necessarily.  Some find that the lack of fixed belief structure in atheism frees women from the misogyny of certain religious beliefs.  That has a certain value in itself, even if atheism doesn't intrinsically offer any positive value of its own.  Secular Humanism or naturalism could give value, depending on your perspective.  I'm not a Secular Humanist, so I won't speak to that, but from a strictly naturalistic perspective, you are part of life, are probably compelled to live, and to seek out enjoyable experiences and fulfillment.  Is there any grand design behind that enjoyment or fulfillment?  Likely not.  It's likely the byproduct of neurological development that reinforces certain behaviour beneficial to survival and propagation, but that doesn't mean it can't be appreciated and valued for what it is.  Your life is valuable for the experiences it provides period.  Being a woman can be a significant factor shaping and affecting those experiences.

  •  If I am just a product of natural selection anyway, an otherwise random arrangement of organic molecules with a DNA that just happens to have been passed on because my ancestors didn't get knocked off, what difference does it make if I have a 'right' to abortion or not?

It isn't random; it just isn't the product of some consciously driven process.  If you want to asses why something has value or significance, you're always going to bump into a tautology sooner or later.  What is wrong with saying that my life is significant because I feel that it has significance?  It really doesn't matter if that feeling of significance is just the biological impulse for self-preservation; the feeling of significance itself has intrinsic value.  

Pain and suffering are experiences we all understand.  Even if they have no grander significance to the universe outside of our species, or even outside of our own individual brains; even if these feelings only exist as the byproduct of quantic patterns; we still perceive and experience these things.  With our without an external sense of meaning or significance, I am still typically pain and suffering averse both for myself and for others.  The right to abortion is an issue that deals with pain and suffering, and that is why it matters.  It doesn't have to be sophisticated or deep.

  • If I abort, I'm not going to pass on my genes in as great numbers, which is the whole point of evolution.

Evolution doesn't have a discernable point or a purpose.  Que sera, sera.  If you don't ever feel compelled to reproduce, why not just go on enjoying the life you enjoy?

  • Thinking of it further, abortion is a huge factor in genetic viability at this point in the history of the human species.  

Realistically, allele frequencies and diversity in the overall population are more important than the genes of specific individuals in the population.  The idea that holding a pro-choice stance should significantly impact either is an assumption.  

Atheism will not give you any value, male or female, only remove the distraction of religion.

As for abortion, the only thing being an atheist will yield is that you may take a decision to keep or abort a pregnancy based on your personal thoughts (or feelings, if you are thoughtless). Presumably you would, as a woman, clap on brave young men facing dismemberment or death to protect you if war was on your doorstep, yet you quibble over the rights over something/someone which has yet to see the light of day.

Gina Weston,

I have seen both types of images (such as you put the links to).  Both of them are valid images.  All you have to do is take a look at fetal development from conception to 9 months.  The one image you showed was a very early, probably suction abortion.  The fetus was very small and probably basically torn into very small pieces by the suction.  The other images are of older fetuses. A lot of these also happen in the US.  The fetus by five months looks just like a fully formed, very small newborn.   I looked up the statistics:  1.5 % of abortions occur after the 21 week period in the US. That might not seem like much, but do the math of 1.5 % out of 1.2 million and that's plenty enough to make these valid images from the US.  They throw them out with the medical waste, or someone in the clinic could photograph them.  So yes, they are real.

http://www.babycenter.com/fetal-development-week-by-week

So, Gina, a legal abortion looks like both of these.  I think it would be dishonest to deny either one or the other, because both are true.

In most states, and the UK it's illegal to get an abortion after 24 weeks. At 24 weeks a fetus is a little over 10 inches long. Some of those fetuses were much bigger. That's why I doubted that some of those images came from legal abortions.


And anyways, why would you abort a pregnancy so close to being done? It's kinda pointless. And even with medical reasons, if she can make it to 6 months, then why can't she bring the baby to term?


The reason why it's illegal after 24 weeks is because the fetus can feel pain in the 6th month of gestation. You're basically hurting another being when performing an abortion after 24 weeks. "Fetuses cannot feel pain until at least the 28th week of gestation because they haven't formed the necessary nerve pathways." - http://m.discovermagazine.com/2005/dec/fetus-feel-pain


You will find other information that says the fetus can feel pain starting from the 24th week. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonatal_perception

I am more anti-prohibition than I am pro-choice.  Before I concern myself with whether or not a woman has a right to an abortion, I'd rather address whether or not the government should have a right to prohibit abortion.  I don't see a reason why they should.

In the absence of abortion-specific legislation, I see abortion on two levels:
-a personal issue which isn't really my business if I'm not directly involved or being asked for input
-a medical issue which should be fairly evaluated in accordance with ethical medical practices (implying without moral bigotry)

I'm neither pro-life OR pro-choice. It the woman's body... let HER make the decision... 

It the woman's body... let HER make the decision...

uh.. that's what pro-choice means man

I am generally not against the taking of life for good reason as long as individual humans remain expendable, and find the stretching the concept of life to include a somewhat developed zygote to be tenuous at best.

its like this, the woman should have the say so because it is her body. the end.

First... Gina... if you believe that abortion is wrong but should be a choice... then you are pro-choice. Pro-life is a bit of a misnomer. The abortion battle is solely over the LEGALITY of abortion. Pro-life should actually be called "anti-choice" because the position of "pro-life" is that it should be illegal in most (or all) cases for women to get an abortion.... which has nothing to do with whether abortion is right or wrong. Second, the catholic "abortion" video is disgusting and misleading. The fetus in the video is clearly far too developed to be a legal abortion. This may be a back-alley abortion in another country. 

Secondly, there are anti-choice non-theists... but their logic is flawed. This particular article outlines exactly how they are still influenced by the vestige of religion in their mind when thinking about abortion.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/08/20/are-pro-lif...

The true question is this... and it is very simple: Do you think that abortion should be illegal?

Yes? You are "pro-life" (anti-choice)

No? You are pro-choice.

Morality is not the main decider of whether one is pro-life or pro-choice.

My religious mother thought she was pro-life until I asked her whether she thought that abortion should be outlawed. When she said no... I said... "I have news for you mom... you are pro-choice. You think abortion is wrong... but then again, most pro-choicers don't think it's a good thing either. But you don't think that it should be illegal- ergo, you are pro-choice by default."

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