How Pro-Life Organizations Keep Abortion Legal

Let me begin by stating that I am, in fact, a pro-life atheist. Unfortunately I am not an experienced medical doctor and must rely on others’ research to determine whether I am for or against abortion. My lack of medical knowledge is, however, something I challenge through openness to the opinions of more qualified individuals. It is difficult to take any Pro-Life organizations opposition to abortion as a valid point when the organization identifies itself as fulfilling the work of God. Abortion should not be ruled immoral because a Deity declared it to be. If a secularist wants to be part of a pro-life organization, where does he turn? Certainly not to creationist groups, who contend that birth-control contributes to the massive amount of abortions performed in the United States every year. Perhaps you stumble upon a moving video (Graphic content) that exposes the truth about how horrific abortions can be, only to realize you cannot support their organization because they are anti-birth control.

When one looks at abortion sans religious affiliation he can expose the injustice being done to children. One of the most outspoken anti-theists in history wrote:

“As a materialist, I think it has been demonstrated that an embryo is a  separate body and entity, and not merely (as some really did used to argue) a growth on or in the female body.  There used to be feminists who would say that it was more like an appendix or even-this was seriously maintained-a tumor. That nonsense seems to have stopped.  Of the considerations that have stopped it, one is the fascinating and moving view provided by the sonogram, and another is the survival of ‘premature’ babies of feather-like weight, who have achieved ‘viability’ outside the womb. … The words ‘unborn child,’ even when used in a politicized manner, describe a material reality.”

– Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great (pp. 220-21)

Christians must be more tolerant of atheists who dedicate their life to loving others.

I encourage anyone with information to share it, whether it be pro-life or pro-abortion. I would love to hear your comments and thoughts, and if I have been mislead in anyway I would be more than happy to learn more.


29 Responses to How Pro-Life Organizations Keep Abortion Legal

  1. Most people prefer the term pro-choice because very few people actually want abortions to happen even though they want women to have the choice to have an abortion. It’s about giving women the choice to carry to term or not because they should have control over their bodies. If accidental pregnancy happens, is it fair to demand that women be a slave to their bodily functions and carry a baby for nine months (keep in mind that responsible pregnancy requires changes in personal habits, diet, exercise and even the ability to work)? And afterward deal with the significant changes in their bodies (there is usually a tear from natural birth that must heal, breasts fill with milk whether you’re breast-feeding or not, often women’s waistlines physically change – and I don’t mean just weight-gain)? Most people do not like that abortion destroys a fetus, but the alternative is rather akin to slavery – thus the pro-choice position of many.

    I guess my main issue is that I think the government should be pro-choice – no law should forbid a women from deciding (before viability) that she does not wish to carry a baby to term and give birth because that’s undue infringement upon the privacy of individuals.

    I hope this didn’t sound like I’m attacking your views. I’m just trying to explain where I’m coming from. You make a really interesting point about a lack of non-religiously-motivated pro-life groups.

  2. Annette says:

    I think you need to separate “pro-abortion” from “pro-choice”. No pro-choice person I know is actual “pro-abortion”, they want to see it minimized as much as the pro-life person. The difference is, pro-choice is the belief that it is up to the individual, not society, to make that decision.

  3. I want to applaude you. I personally am a Catholic Pro-Lifer. However, I would never disallow you the right to be an atheist. And I hope you do understand the constitution as freedom of religion, not from religion and would hope that as an atheist, you do not try to strip anyone’s freedom to openly practice and celebrate one’s religious beliefs.

    There is a point I would like the opportunity to make with your post. An embryo in it’s earliest months cannot be a seperate entity. Even when conceived via man made manipulation, an embryo must be placed back into the uterus for survival typically within 3 days of fertilization as it cannot be viable on it’s own until it’s organs can sustain life outside the uterus. Since it relies on it’s mothers uterus and imbilical cord to sustain life, it is not a seperate entity. So when taking God out of the equation, abortion is actually killing a forming life within a life. And to support your point, it isn’t a growth like a tumor or cancer that shouldn’t be there, it is a medically neccessary form of the human life cycle.

    Healthcare is needed to concentrate on what is medically necessary to sustain health and life. Such as removing cancers, tumors, illnesses, etc. Since pregnancy is part of the life sustaining cycle, birth control is opposite of why healthcare costs are needed. So if you take God out of the equation, birth control should not be a healthcare issue as it is in total opposition of what is medically necessary to sustain a life. And regardless of the fact that you are an atheist, there are scientific ways of preventing pregnancy that don’t require birth control. And atheist who are science driven can understand that more than Christians.

    I hope I’ve given you some good things to ponder. Please don’t look upon this as trying to “convert” you because that isn’t the point of my posting. I just want to show that even taking God out of the equation, the arguments for pro-life and even anti-birth control are still very valid. Thank you for listening.

  4. Ethan Hill says:

    Amanda, thank you for pointing out the difference. 1st term abortions really do not offend me any where near as much as 2nd or 3rd term ones. Pro-Life groups should start focusing more on ending late abortions, and less on the “inhumane birth-control pills.” Sam Harris brings up the point that we should measure the importance by the pain that can be experienced,

    The article was partially driven by Christian, especially Catholic opposition to birth-control. Especially considering the fact that if a Catholic organization is truly Catholic they would hire Catholic employees that would wave the right to birth-control. If the government agrees to keep the organization tax exempt, the organization should at least be required to meet the governments standards.

    Christina, I would like to applaud you as well. You clearly care about your faith and do not follow it blindly. Unfortunately I used to be a Catholic too, but the more research I did about what the Catholic Church actually stood for, the more I disagreed and found it morally impossible to follow their religion.

    Thanks for commenting, your thoughts are all appreciated!

    • You can always turn to intelligent, thoughtful, constructive pro-life atheists like me for serious prolife arguments, of course. (I should mention that I pride myself on my humility.)

      More seriously, the question of why abortion should be immoral to an atheist is one that I’ve pondered quite heavily, and I’ve come to believe more and more that the pain issue is irrelevant to the morality of abortion, or any other crime, for that matter.

      I would like to point you to a pair of posts that I wrote a few weeks ago; as the argument is quite long and winded, and I don’t want to spam your comment section, here’s the first part:
      And the second part:

      Let me know what you think if you have a chance to get through them, as I mentioned, I’ve spent quite some time thinking about this.

      • Ethan Hill says:

        I’m very glad to see other atheists who stand up for life. It helps break down the image atheists have as being attention seekers who disagree for the sake of argument. Have you read Sam Harris’ book, The Moral Landscape? He gives one of the most compelling arguments for the fact that morality is not subjective. I hope you reach a lot of people with your blog, I congratulate you for speaking out about the issue of abortion.

  5. Tony Pitcher says:

    Ethan, great insight. I like how, depite the fact that you’re atheist, you are still pro-life. KEEP WRITING!!!! it’s great

  6. Hi Ethan,
    The problem with a Catholic organization hiring Catholic employees is that this is against the law. An employer cannot discriminate against someone based alone on their religious preference or in some cases, not believing in a religion. There lies my problem with people who do not believe in the Catholic churches teachings obtaining a job knowing full well their views on birth control and abortion, then expecting the organization to throw away their teachings to cater to those people.

    And that adds a layer on top of an already controversial issue. Catholic organizations cannot hire Catholics alone or they open themselves to discrimanation lawsuits. So rather than people who don’t believe what Catholics believe in either finding work elsewhere or respecting those values afforded in the first amendment, they try to force those organizations into turning their backs on their own teachings.

    I also feel if pro abortion was truly an issue about the right for women to do what they want with their bodies, prostitution would be legal as well as mandating coverage for infertility treatments. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not for legaled prostitution but there is an irony to the argument. And there are women who want to have children but need medical intervention to do this. Why do pro abortionist not give them the same consideration? If we they call it pro-choice, then pro-choice should work both ways.

    I know Catholicism is a hard faith to follow. Most of my friends are not Catholic and I have caught much flack from them. But I must say, you are the first atheist I have crossed paths with that is pro-life. All the athiest I know are not. And it is certainly interesting to exchange views with you as I can tell you have thought much about the issues and are searching for the answers that are right for you.

    Keep educating yourself and keep searching.

  7. thedrpete says:

    I subscribe, Ethan to the logic of nature which concludes that each human being is sovereign, and that each has the unalienable right from the Creator to life, to liberty and to property (from whence comes the pursuit of happiness). Each of us also has the right to defend those rights (self-defense).

    Liberty means that each of us has a right to do whatever the heck we want . . . just as long as we don’t infringe on another’s rights in the process. If a woman decides that she’d be inconvenienced by carrying to term, that’s license and tyranny. It’s also murder.

    If a woman determines that her life would be seriously threatened by carrying to term, she has an unalienable right to choose (self-defense). If a woman becomes pregnant as result of rape or incest, the logic of nature is clear, but I’m torn that she must carry to term.

    • Ethan Hill says:

      I do believe there are circumstances, such as the one’s you just mentioned, that allow a woman the right to choose. Of the reasons that you mentioned, the one that I hesitantly believe should be legal is if the mother’s life is threatened, and self defense would perhaps justify abortion in such circumstances.

  8. quinersdiner says:

    Although I am a faith-based person, I agree with your contention that one can be pro-life even if denying God’s existence. The life in the womb is certainly human, it is simply at a different stage of development and is entitled to full human rights.

  9. The contraceptive mentality, which is a fairly recent popular movement (50 years-old or so, primarily due to “the pill”) is primarily responsible for the unfortunate chain of events which all too often leads to abortion.

    The reasoning is fairly simple and the “chain” proceeds like this:

    Couples freely engage in sexual activity expecting to be completely protected from pregnancy.

    But couples are encouraged to rely on birth control methods which are not completely reliable.

    Condoms and diaphragms tear, leak, and break loose.

    A small percentage of faithful birth control pill users still manage to turn up pregnant, even when all schedules and instructions are followed. Others simply fail to correctly follow instructions.

    Various other birth control methods also have their own particular drawbacks, and some actually function in a way that results in silent abortions, where the fertilized egg/newly conceived human being/fetus is starved or killed, before its existence has even been recognized.

    A couple that engages in sexual activity intending to prevent pregnancy yet discovers they have are pregnant has only two real choices: Abortion … or live birth.

    Faced with the social, material, and financial repercussions of casual sex and disappointed by their mistaken expectation of perfect contraception, the couple proceeds to seek the simplest, cheapest, and most direct remedy to their problem: Kill the baby!

    A complicit government makes this all too easy.

    Alternatively, a sexually active couple that is open to new life has no reason to choose abortion, even though some form of birth control might well have been employed.

    The moral case against birth control is both religious and practical.

    Religious … in that biblical and traditional church doctrine preaches against contraception as a serious violation of God’s will and an intentional denial of mankind’s particular destiny and purpose, resulting in a host of various human aberrations and perversions.

    Practical … in that people have always been … on balance … a positive asset to the world … especially when it comes to family, personal relationships, agriculture, science and industry.

    Also, the “population bomb” theories of the ’60’s and ’70’s were flat out wrong. The only reasons we have starving people in the world today is war and politics. There’s no shortage of land, no shortage of resources, and no reason this world … with some help from modern technology … can’t support ten times the current population.

    As a person who has strong and enduring faith in God, I could provide at least ten other good reasons to bolster my position, but from a purely secular point of view, this ought to be enough, for now.

  10. Lisa says:

    I think you make some very valid, interesting points here. As for me personally, I think it’s entirely possible to be pro-choice AND pro-life; in other words, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Abortion has been around forever and a day, and whether we like it or not, it’s not going anywhere – legal or not. I believe that women have the right to have control over their own bodies, and I believe that having access to safe, legal abortion is a necessary evil. I can’t imagine choosing abortion for myself, but I have no right to make that choice for anyone else. As other commenters have pointed out, however, being pro-choice absolutely does not mean being pro-abortion.

    As far as the religious aspect, I, too, am atheist. While I understand that many people make their own life decisions based on their faith, I don’t believe that imposing one’s faith on other people and expecting them to make their life choices based on someone else’s beliefs serves any kind of justice.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog, by the way 🙂

  11. quinersdiner says:

    But, Lisa, a woman who makes that “choice” IS imposing her view on someone else, her child. Using your rationale, the child in the womb should have control over her or his own body. No one should have the right take that way, don’t you think? It is unjust to take a human life by imposing one’s view on another person. Again … I’m simply following your line of thinking. You write well and make an interesting point, but I don’t think the conclusion follows.

  12. goodolewoody says:

    Reblogged this on GoodOleWoody's Blog and commented:
    Interesting…very interessting

  13. parwatisingari says:

    most women would and should consider abortion as a last option not for moral reasons but a surgery is a surgery and medication could be risky. It should be the choice of the biologic parents and not a socio-religious issue. Interestingly religious medical ethics, say that abortion before 3months is irrelevant, but after three months can and should be done to save maternal life or if the mother is incapable to looking after the child.

  14. Trena says:

    I’ve never met/heard of a pro-life atheist. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It sounds like a lot of people made most of the comments that I wanted to say, so instead of restating them I only add this,
    I believe every woman/man has rights to their own body. The government shouldn’t tell us what we can and cannot do to our bodies. But the problem with abortion is, the baby is not the woman’s body. The baby is a separate person who is growing inside of her. She can make decisions based on her health but she shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions that effect another person’s life.
    That goes back to the principle of Freedom. It is a prime example of discrimination when we allow only certain people to have the right to chose if they should live or die.

  15. pinkagendist says:

    Interesting concept, but shouldn’t we be discussing degrees rather than absolutes? It’s certainly true that at some stage in development a life-form should have “rights”- but what exactly is that point?
    Anti-abortionists are generally even against the morning after pill, and since it takes days for a fertilized egg to implant itself…

  16. pinkagendist says:

    The abortion debate should be founded in science and we should be happy to engage in serious discussion regarding the point at which we can consider an organism a human being; unfortunately that becomes entirely impossible when we have irrational and unfounded equivalencies of fertilized eggs and babies. There is no doubt that at a specific point in pregnancy we have a feeling, perhaps even a thinking organism, but there is also no doubt that point is decisively not the same moment of the sexual act that created that organism.
    A dna profile in and of itself is meaningless.
    Conception isn’t something that happens in a millisecond during sexual intercourse. We have a first moment when the sperm fertilizes the egg and becomes a zygote with no little hands or feet. A few hours later the zygote divides in two. At 12 days the zygote may or may not implant itself in the uterus. Fifty percent of pregnancies end naturally with spontaneous “abortions” before the 16th week of gestation, many times with the “mother” never noticing she was pregnant at all. The opposition to the morning after-pill, when what we’re really talking about is the prevention of the implantation of a fertilized egg, demonstrates anti-abortion groups are not interested in science or genuinely concerned if a fetus has developed activity in the cerebral cortex (22nd week of pregnancy at the earliest), the lack of which is the standard we use to declare a human being dead- they are interested in the imposition of religious dogma and erratic religious dogma at that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: