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?

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Wow, lots of good reading there! I live in Canada and abortions are legal here, thankfully. I do agree that abortions as birth control is just absurd, when we have public health units that offer it for low cost for the pill and free for condoms, spermicides etc. I am 28 and have always known I don't want kids. I have always been on some form of bc since I started having sex, however IF by some chance I got pregnant even now (I had my tubes tied at 26) I would have  an abortion and my husband supports this. I don't want to give a kid up for adoption and then in 18yrs when it decides to find me I have to flat out tell it they reason I didn't want it, is because well I felt keeping a child would ruin my life. It would be one thing if I couldn't keep it for financial/age or other circumstances, but to simply just not want it and know that I would resent it for ruining my life, not cool.

 

My sister had an abortion at 16, our father was supportive in her keeping it, she got rid of it for the sake of her boyfriend who didn't want it. Even know almost 20yrs and two kids later she often says she feels like there is one kid missing. She has even told her daughters that they would have had an older sibling but it didn't survive. As her kids are still fairly young she hasn't given them full details, but she will when they are older and ask about it.

 

I am pro choice all the way, although it is sad to see the father want the child and the mother go behind his back and abort it (I've seen this happen before).

I think this is a really complicated issue, that may not ever find a definitive answer.

 

My first thought is that many people are wondering why the religious are against abortions.  I can't say for other religions, but I think that for many Christians, it is because of Psalm 139, where it says that God knit us together in our mother's womb, and he knew who we were at that point.  When I was religious, this was a verse of comfort to me, and it also confirmed my belief that people have life in the womb.

 

As I've been struggling with faith and my stances on different issues, I've thought about the abortion issue now and again.  My husband and I were talking about it, and he pointed out that there must be a point where a conceived egg becomes twins.  If life begins at conception, then it would follow that one soul becomes two (or three, or more, depending).  But that just doesn't make sense, scientifically or theologically.  So there must be a point in the process before there is actually  life, before the egg is able to split into multiple fetuses.  Does that make sense?  So this is kind of the argument I use when I talk about abortion with religious people....but I try not to talk about it too much in the first place.

 

I also wanted to say something about minors getting abortions without parental consent.  My heart breaks for little girls (and boys) who end up with children before they are ready.  I hate that they have to make the decision of what to do.  Someone earlier said that if your children feel comfortable talking to you about it, then they will, but kids who have authoritarian parents or parents who would punish them, can't talk to them about it, so they need to be able to get abortions without parental consent.  I agree with this, but I also think it's *very* irresponsible of us to let children undergo something so life changing without also giving them proper counseling, and tools they can use to prevent further unwanted pregnancies.  I know that abortions can affect grown women in very bad ways, so I can't imagine the damage it could do to an adolescent.  If we provided counseling for those kids, they may be able to either break bad behavioral patterns, or be able to properly heal from any emotional trauma that the abortion may have caused.

 

Also, (I just learned this last quarter in a Human Sexuality class) did you know that the pregnancy, STI and abortion rates are higher with kids who receive abstinence only education?  I mean I guess it's not shocking, but there is actual evidence and studies done that say abstinence only is actually quite harmful. 

I think Bill Clinton said it best: Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

I feel that if a woman or girl is mature enough to have sex, she should mature enough to deal with consequences. Which include the decision of whether or not to actually have the child. Regardless of the fact that the pregnancy was unwanted and unplanned, it is still an emotionally (and sometimes physically) draining experience. 

Ultimately, we NEED to have comprehensive and frank sex education requirements in ALL schools to help minimize unwanted pregnancies as much as possible. That being said, birth control will fail, the condom will break, or a moment of passion overtakes otherwise good sensibilities. In those cases, I feel that woman should get to have a say in something so life altering as parenthood.

When I was a Catholic I was taught unbaptized babies wouldn't go to heaven because of original sin, so you best have your babies and get them baptized right quick. Whether they ended up in hell or limbo I don't remember, either way it lends an even more horrific angle to the infanticides in the Bible. I'm pro-choice, and although I don't like the idea of getting an abortion myself if it was absolutely necessary I would. So in order to avoid that I prefer safe-sex, and do my best not to get pregnant in the first place. I think remedies for unwanted pregnancies have continued, and will continue, despite religion.

 

Like a lot of others are saying comprehensive sex education is really what's missing in most countries. If you haven't already I highly recommend watching the documentary "Lets Talk About Sex", which can conveniently be found on Netflix. The director compares attitudes about sex between the Netherlands and the U.S. He also delves into movements and individuals in the U.S. who are trying to do something about such poor education.

I think religious people's take on it is that as humans we should not "play God" and decide who lives and who dies. To be honest i've never really thought of it as an oppression of women to keep them in the kitchen. i think if men carried the babies, it would still be an issues. i believe they are/were (i dont know if this is still widely accepted) against masturbation because it is wasting the man's seed. i think the bible mentions something about that too in terms of homosexuality but i cant remember exactly. it goes to show that they really have/had no education on fundamental biological processes cus if no sperm could be wasted then even procreating the normal way results in thousands of dead "babies". so does menstruating every month. 

any time i see anti-abortionists gather for protests i feel like running up to them and telling them to do something useful with their time and money like go adopt an orphaned child that was abandoned because their mother couldnt afford them. 

im from canada, and the only party not pro-choice is pretty tightlipped about what their policies and what they plan to do about abortion but i hear talk of them no longer providing free healthcare for it. this kind of thinking sat well with a friend whos religious and voted for the party solely for that purpose. my concern with that is ...where are all these woman who cant afford the comparatively small amount of money to get an abortion supposed to scrounge up the money to raise a child for at least 18 years? also how must it feel and what sort of adult will result from being born from a mother that didnt want them?

I think it is insulting and disgusting that women would have no right to decide what they do with their own body.

Is killing a fly a murder? Fetus is not the same that living human. And what I do not understand with these people who think abortion is sin and murder, what about men and condoms? Same way they could be blamed, "oh my god you killed future human-to-be. You should not have used that!"

I do understand that it is a hard decision. But being that, abortion should be every womans OWN decision to make. It makes me sick that people want to control with law something this important.

I believe that abortion is murder but the alternative for some is to have to be an incubation chamber. In effect to have their bodies hijacked against their will.

I believe murder is permissible under quite a few circumstances. I also believe that the rights of a mass of cells or even a fetus are less than that of the mother.

I believe religion is almost always male lead and that males are at a base place terrified of the ability to bring life into this world. Also they are jealous of our generally, far greater, orgasms Therefore they hate women and try to control them. This, in turn, makes them feel more powerful.

Well, I'm a little late to this conversation, but here goes:

First, let me respond to a couple of comments about the emotional impact of abortion. The research is still inconclusive on negative psychological impact of abortion, but this much is known: while most women experience some emotional response, the ones who suffer the most include women who have been coerced into it, have religious beliefs that conflict with abortion (i.e., externally induced feelings of guilt), have no support from their partner, or women who chose abortion based on fetal or genetic abnormalities. Many women who make this choice, especially early in the pregnancy, have no long term emotional issues related to the abortion. The surveys and research they point to don't hold up under academic scrutiny. (Actually, neither side has great data on this subject - at least none I've been able to find yet.) But the bottom line is that the people who want to make abortion illegal often rely on unjustified scare tactics.

And let's not forget, the very condition of pregnancy plays hell with our hormones and emotions. Miscarriages are generally much more emotionally traumatic.

The scaremongers are also wrong about possible physical effects. They say it makes getting pregnant later more difficult, or that the procedures are dangerous. Those are bald-faced lies. Carrying a pregnancy to full term is FAR more dangerous to a woman's body than having a (legal, safe) abortion.

As for what @Misty said about the bible's instructions on harming a pregnant woman - I think this is a useful piece to expand on.

Biblical arguments can be made to line up with just about any view on when life begins. One of the most compelling for me was the idea that it’s when you are able to breathe. I actually think that the idea of drawing breath could be a barometer for religious and non-religious folk on both sides of the issue. After all, Adam didn’t become a man until god “breathed into his nostrils.” And the lungs of a fetus aren’t generally viable until somewhere around 25 weeks (and then just barely viable).

Interestingly, the vehement anti-abortion stance of the religious right is a relatively recent phenomenon. Pre-Roe v. Wade, the Southern Baptist Convention actually called for increased access to abortion.

Anyway, there are passages in the bible that people trot out to support their view that life begins at – or before – conception. They’ll say the bible literally means them to be true – but it’s easy enough to show that it’s poetry or metaphor. For example, when Rebekah is pregnant with twins, god tells her she has two nations in her womb. God is clearly speaking figuratively about what the things in her belly will one day become – not what they currently are. (This won’t convince some of them – they’ll still say it’s literally true. Sigh.)

So skip the poetic stuff and go to the bits of the bible that specifically address the literal value of life at various stages. What @Misty referred to is in Exodus 21:22-23 which describes causing the death of pre-term baby as a non-capital offense.

Here it is in the King James: “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished , according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.”

I’ve actually heard people try to claim that this only means the baby was premature – not that it died. B.S. We're talking Iron Age desert dwellers. A premature birth equals a miscarriage. There is no living baby. It's not pining for the fjords. It's dead. And the guy who killed the baby-to-be gets a slap on the wrist (a civil punishment determined by the judge), while if the woman dies, it’s the death penalty for the guy.

There's Leviticus 27:6 and Numbers 3:15 which both make it clear that there is no value for a baby until it reaches one month old. Again, the anti-abortion movement with their strict interpretation that life begins at conception is not necessarily in line with the long-standing judeo-christian view.

I'm for choice.

My choice would be to not have an abortion under almost any set of circumstances but that's MY choice. I was told to have one but refused. I don't think a woman should be told by anyone what to do. My mother was also told to abort and that was when abortion wasn't even legal. Glad she didn't even though she was a terrible mom and still is. LOL

I would never tell a woman she HAD to be a public utility and pump out a parasite she didn't want.

I would also never tell a woman that having that baby parasite is the right thing to do because look at how over populated the world is, damn mormons, and how few children have enough to eat, shelter, clothes and educations but the people who LOVE the unborn don't give a CRAP about those once born do they? Nope.

Their dedication is what's always creeped me out the most. The fetus is sacred to them, so it's like a... Cult of the Fetus or something. Really eerie.

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