I'm an atheist. I believe in reproductive rights for women. I believe a woman should be able to abort a pregnancy no questions asked. Why should I have to also believe the nonsense that "life begins at birth"? It seems to me that a human being is created as soon as a sperm fertilizes an egg. The DNA of a human being exists from that point onward. Are we so under the thumbs of the religious right that we can't say, "Yeah, life begins at conception. So what? The woman still has control."?

Tags: abortion, conception, feminism

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I agree on the rights things. I just don't think we need to deny a rather obvious scientific fact in order to give women reproductive rights. Is an alligator a member of the alligator species only when it jailbreaks its shell?

I don't know any person that seriously argues that human embryos are not human. At least, no one of any note.

An embryo certainly is human in that it has a full set of human DNA. But then, so do the drops of blood that seep out when I cut myself. 

Sentience is the key point in my mind.

I couldn't agree more, evil twin.

The difference is that one is an organism (the embryo) and the other is merely a body part. A HUMAN body part.

And neither one is a sentient being.

I agree with Matt.

As long as it's attached to the womb of someone, and is not viable outside it's environment inside someone else's body, it's not a person yet. A woman should have the right to decide whether or not she wants to be pregnant. (Note how the UN human rights declarations have never said anything about 1) the right to decide whether one has sex. Hello consensual sex... and 2) whether or not one breeds).

That said, a man should have the option to not be forced to pay child support when a woman oopses him. And I think DNA testing should be mandatory also for married couples before assuming the paternity of anyone.

I also agree with Matt here. When a child's life is viable outside of the womb is my concept of when life begins, however I would never impose that belief upon any woman. I didn't do it when a girlfriend told me twenty years ago that she was pregnant and that she could not conscionably go through with the pregnancy and raise a child at that time in her life. We were no longer together when she informed me and neither of us was in any position to support a new life. Regardless of the regrets we might feel today, it was the right decision. It was her decision.

Life is a continuum that began billions of years ago.  

Or as Sagan would say, "Billions and billions of years ago"

With Sagan cadence and enunciation!

If life begins before the fertilized egg is attached to the womb and still in the fallopian tube, wouldn't that make their God a killer?  How many times is an egg fertilized but doesn't attach itself to the womb wall?  Based on their logic, isn't their God killing babies?  The whole thing is stupid.  There isn't even a heartbeat much less a person.

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