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."?
Reply to ED. I have a BsN in Nursing and NICU. I worked my entire career in obstetrics, obstetrical ICU and OR as well as post partum and Neonatal ICU. We were exposed to all aspects. I was asked by my best friend, we were friends from childhood, what to do about her 16 year old pregnant daughter. It does take two. The boy wanted nothing to do with it. I explained to her and her parents that there were 3 choices, 1. have the baby and keep the child, have the baby and put the child up for adoption, 3. abortion. This family was faced with a difficult choice. Her father adamantly expressed that if that baby was brought into the home he would leave the family. He wanted no responsibility. They all decided that their only choice was an abortion. This girl was absolutely not concerned and had the abortion. I took her to the hospital, no family member would go with her. The girl was happy and chatty, did not express or feel anything. As far as she was concerned this was just another day. She showed no remorse or any other emotion. Two months later my friends daughter was in the same predicament. The Mom just made arrangements, took her for the abortion and told me about it after the fact. Problem was that she told her sister that I had taken the responsibility, and then said that she would have never made the choice but that I had taken the responsibility and made the decision to take the daughter to have an abortion twice. The extended family decided that they would never have considered abortion and I had convinced them and had no morality. That was the END of the friendship of my sister friends and myself. They have never had any relationship with me ever since. I recommend that the family must make these decisions, take responsibility for whatever choice they make and don't involve a friend to take the girl for any procedure. This decision should not have involved anyone but themselves. These stigmas exist. Oh, my daughter cannot be pregnant, what would others think, we can't go for counselling, we can't raise another child, etc. I had explained their choices but they didn't have the guts to carry through on their decision. I enabled them to be uninvolved and to live as if this had never happened. There was no remorse, but when this matter became known I was blamed. Lesson: do not allow yourself to be involved, in the name of friendship, to contribute to any family decisions. It was painful to no one but me.
I have thought this very same thing.
Pedantry is not required to claim the ovum and sperm to be alive. They are alive. The reason people choose conception is because of an explicit or vestigal belief in ensoulment. Some might argue that the joining of chromosomes marks some significant milestone, but personhood would be quite aspirational. If gentic constituency is the mark of a person, then what to make of the fact that a vast majority of DNA found on and in humans are not even human?
On that note... you could call it murder when you scratch your nose and kill skin cells. lol
Life surely doesn't begin at birth - that is utter nonsense. But at the same time, this is not a black or white choice between one extreme end and the other for when human life starts. Sure, when the sperm fertilizes with the egg there is life, but it is not human life as it has not formed into a viable human being whom has any consciousness and feels of pain. The question is, at what point in the pregnancy is it a baby? I am comfortable in having abortion legal in the first trimester but should the mother be irresponsible to have terminated the baby within the first trimester, I feel that she should not be able to get an abortion as this would be then murdering an actually baby whom has developed a brain and feels pain. Now of course, I believe that there should be exceptions for when there are risks to the life of the mother or in the cases where the baby may have ailing disorders such as parsimony 21; but I don't feel that the mother should be able to wait until the 2nd trimester and beyond and then all of a sudden decide to have an abortion out of her failing to be responsible when she had the opportunity at any time before the end of the first trimester.
Unseen..technically you are right, one cell can be considered "life"..but what makes a human being? Is a human being a one cell animal? If not then we need to investigate this further.
A human being is a trillion celled organism. But what are the factors that contribute to the granting of certain rights and priviliges that "personhood" enjoys? And is mere "human-ness" an acceptable gauge? Why should a human blastocyst enjoy full rights of personhood while an adult chimpanzee or bottle nosed dolphin is denied most, if not all, of these same rights?
Partial birth abortions are also illegal in the United States, though there are loopholes. At any rate, late term abortions are an insignificant portion of all abortions performed.
Viability is a poor place holder, also. With advances in neo-natal care, viability is being pushed back to younger and younger gestational ages. How can we say that at point X, this fetus is not a person, but in 5 years when technology makes point X a viable point, it now is?
I am a particularly liberal atheist and a feminist but I do have some concerns about the woman having all the control,mostly from personal experience. When we found out that we were expecting our daughter my husband and I both felt this love and commitment to her almost at once. We know that both mothers and fathers can feel terribly bereaved after a miscarriage. My husband's ex girlfriend aborted his baby after telling him she was pregnant and he still remembers the due date and how old his first child would be now - he was devastated and would have supported her through the pregnancy and then been a single parent and asked her for nothing if she had gone through with it. She may not have agreed to that but she didn't even think it concerned him.
If we hold men responsible for the financial support of a child conceived accidently, should he not have some say in an abortion? I do not mean that his wishes should exceed hers but could there not be some system of negotiation? Should the man not be given a chance to offer alternative solutions before the woman makes her decision? I know that my husband felt as much love for our just conceived child as i did and having had two miscarriages I know what it feels like to have that taken away against your will.
I disagree. I think it is her choice and her choice alone, in the eyes of the law. I think that the rules of a relationship would be that it would be the right thing to consult the father, but no man or person should ever hold legal or moral sway over a woman's reproductive rights.
That a man has no ultimate recourse in her decision and may be financially liable for a child is the male burden to carry.