I've never understood the religious stance on it. The Bible doesn't say much on the issue, and that sure isn't because it hadn't been around since then. Surgical abortion is pretty new and (or were highly dangerous) but there were "moon teas" and other abortive herbs used in the very early days of humanity.
The Bible DOES mention that if you harm a pregnant woman and she looses her child, you pay a blood tax. If you harm a pregnant woman and she dies, that's considered murder. I think it's pretty evident that fetuses aren't considered humans, then.
Likewise, if all babies become angels and go right to a fluffy cloud, then aren't you sparing them the suffering of humanity and the prospect of them not being saved as an adult?
Now, I've come to the conclusion that abortion-being-murder is the same propaganda used to keep women in the kitchen. By taking away reproductive rights, women are more financially dependent on their husbands, rape can have even MORE violation and the Catholic's stance on birth control is a thinly veiled machine for female oppression.
What does everyone else think? Opinions? Ideas?
I had an abortion when I was 14. I was living with my grandparents. My mother was an alcholic, married to a man who raped me. My father had been gone my entire life. If I had to tell my grandparents, I would have ended up back with my mother and eventually dead or hooked on drugs. I would have never told them. I would have used a hanger on myself before I did that. I would have done ANYTHING not to go back there, anything. Trust me, you don't want girls to have to tell their parents. If you have a good relationship with your daughter, she will tell you. If you don't - would you rather she die than tell you?
As with online preditors, off line preditors and other dangers, it is the quality of parenting that changes how your daughter will behave toward you.
I think it is supposed to be that god planned that baby to be there so killing it is playing god or something like that. I read this thing once though (It mighta been in a Sam Harris book) that broke down the stats of conception. Some disturbingly high rate of pregnancies terminate before the mother even knows shes pregnant, plus the miscarriages that are known. These "dead babies" are much more numerous than aborted fetuses, making god the busiest abortion doctor around.
Of course, god's plan...mysterious ways...used to make us stronger blah blah blah.
Oh, and to Melissa, minors can get abortions without their parents' permission, but it is complicated. I had a friend who got pregnant at 16 or 17 and got a judge to approve an abortion...though I don't know all the details. Unfortunately, this is probably not feasible for most girls in that situation.
I think it's important that we remember that Atheism doesn't have a stance on this issue. This issue is more of a moral issue, and then a political issue. Atheism alone doesn't dictate right or wrong. We must emphasize this so others don't see Atheists as just another set of sheep following a preset doctrine of beliefs.
I also agree with Steven, Atheists don't have a stance on this issue. On abortion we don't have a higher power that we have to abide to; we make our on choice on abortion based on our own individual morals, that's what makes Atheists unique and diverse. Personally, I don't have a problem with it. I feel that abortion should be something that's not frowned upon, but supported. It's what's best for the person and it's there choice.
Steven has a great point when he states that abortion is not an Atheist issue, of course he's right. However, it's becoming increasingly apparent that "issues" are driving more and more people towards "organized disbelief" and I think the reason lies in a more logical approach to resolving social and moral issues as opposed to ideological solutions that accomplish nothing.
Regarding abortion, whether we agree with it or not is less of an issue than the sad fact that teenagers do not have ready access to birth control and/or sexual education in most public schools; it is wrong to deny them the tools necessary to make good decisions at an early age. While they have to have parental consent to get an abortion, or even birth control, they do not need to get permission to have sex.
Any time the consequences need parental consent but the actions that got you there 1) don't require this consent and 2) doesn't have education readily available, we have to expect that the uninformed choice is usually going to end badly. Without education, it's not really even a choice..
Abortion has been around for 5000+ years. In china they used mercury, in ancient Egypt and Greece they would push down on the stomach, use sharp objects and herbs like previously said. Early Christians were against this possibly because they were against Pagan practices. I have yet to find out what their views were on it, in that time.
"I think it's pretty evident that fetuses aren't considered humans..." -Misty
" all babies become angels and go right to a fluffy cloud..." -Misty
Was a little confused by that, BUT that leads me into, at what point to you no longer consider it part of the mother (or a fetus, if you prefer) but an individual?
I wouldn't really consider it, "taking away reproductive rights..." I mean women can still get fertility drugs and have eggs implanted etc.
Speaking of, wouldn't you consider that "playing God" ? True, we are suppose to give new life, but what if "God planned" for that person to never have babies?
(I'll stop that before I get into a tangent about "octo-mom")
Birth control can be obtained without parental consent. Places like Family Planning, Planned Parenthood and community health centers provide birth control, condoms, STD exams and the morning after pill aka Plan B to anyone under 18, maybe 21 in some states. The downside is if you don't know your and/or your families medical history, it could be dangerous to be prescribed anything. I know this because a few of the nurses came to my high school and we had an assembly. Which is why knowledge is power.
Basically, I believe abortion should be legal. I believe in human rights. I believe in equality. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a neo-feminist or anything, but if the tables were reversed and men were the ones to give birth, abortion would be legal.
I was thinking Misty would reply but as she didn't, I will guess that she was being sarcastic in both instances that you quoted her. In the first instance she is referring to the biblical punishment for harming a pregnant woman; if the baby dies it's a fine, but if the mother dies, it's considered murder. In the second instance I just think she's being the devils (haha) advocate and illustrating the relief a Christian should feel when an unborn baby is spared from a difficult life on earth and the prospect of possibly not being "saved". However, I'm not sure that the Bible ever mentions the fate of unborn children, it was way too common to make an issue out of in those days.
I'm sorry! I did want to reply, but my computer has been out of order for a few weeks, and I could only access the site by my phone.. and then I couldn't figure out how to get into this particular discussion with it!
Thank you for summing up what I would have said, had I been able to, Dave! You are right on target!
First of all... good point about ProLifers taking away women's reproductive rights. I never thought of it quite that way. I mean, yeah... I've heard "it's her body, she can do what she wants" but I guess I needed it to be put in a less juvenile way.
Anyway. My problem with people who are ProLife isn't even so much that they are taking away rights from women. No one, not even those who are ProChoice, have made any issue of what happens to these children after they're born. Christians say, "If you don't want your child, give it up for adoption." But seriously. Is that a better solution? Most kids caught up in the system suffer much worse fates. What's ironic is that it's usually the Conservative Republicans that have such a huge problem doling out welfare. But who do they think it's funding?! They don't want to take care of the problem AFTER it has become a REAL life! As long as they do their duty to protect the innocent unborn, it's none of their concern what happens later... which is complete BULLSHIT.
I really don't like the idea of abortion... and it's more because it can be emotionally damaging for the mother. But do I have a right to prevent her from getting one? NO! Because I'm not going to be the one taking care of the child. I won't be the one living in poverty the rest of my life as a result. I won't be the one ostracized by my family for having a child out of wedlock.
This issue actually makes me extremely angry because it's so irresponsible. If these Christians would come up with a GOOD solution to abortion, I'd be all about it. However, the reality is... there is no solution. People are going to continue to have sex and make bad decisions. Let's not create more problems and cause more suffering by being naive.