Recently I've been thinking about the abortion issue. I, myself, am pro-choice for many reasons: namely rape, incest, and birth defects. I also don't believe the catholic church when they say the soul enters the fertilized egg cell at conception (silly catholics). Murder! How so? During the first trimester when it is legal to have an abortion, the embryo has no consciousness whatsoever. It would definitely not qualify as a full human being by any means. My question is: beyond the religious concept of a soul being "snuffed out" before birth, are there any reasons to be pro-life? I haven't found any yet. Please enlighten me if you know of any.

Tags: abortion

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Come on Jim, we miss the Kinko the Clown holier-than-thou comeback. We miss you, with every bullet so far.

I DEMAND a 15000 word essay on why we are idiots. Please don't dissapoint. Infinite regression is permissable. As is recycling. We're all greenies deep down.
1500 worths pifff... not worth the effort how about just:

I am because I am lol
j/k
4 days, 13 hours and 35 minutes spleen free. Jim, I think you just set a new record. You oughta consider your health though - too much longer and you may explode.
I disagree with this article, of course, but it is germane to this discussion.

No God—And No Abortions -- http://www.newsweek.com/id/171240

In a three-year-old Gallup poll, nearly 40 percent of Christians who attended church weekly said they believed that abortion should always be illegal. Meanwhile, nearly 40 percent of people with no religion (not atheists necessarily) said that abortion should be legal in all circumstances. Just as pro-life Christians argue that life is sacred because it's given by God, pro-life atheists insist that human life is intrinsically valuable without God's help.
Here's the problem, in a nutshell:

Abortion has always existed, and will continue to exist, no matter what laws get passed, because unwanted pregnancies will happen, regardless of the issue of responsibility or irresponsibility.

What we have to ask ourselves is if we want to have safe or unsafe abortions. With unsafe abortions, not only the unborn child dies, but often also the mother. With safe abortions, the chances that a woman will survive the procedure escalate astronomically. Yes, a potential life is lost, but an actual life has a chance of continuing. How is it "pro-life" to put women at risk of dying?

Also, I think it would create way too many problems to ask women seeking abortions to answer for how they got pregnant before being granted permission to have an abortion. Do we really want the government involved in people's lives and most personal choices that much?
As I commented to Jim Ashby, the problem with asking a woman how she got pregnant is that it is irrelevant to the decision. I agree that in America at the present time, the decision of whether or not to have an abortion is best left to the woman and her support system, but government has an educational role to help the woman realize if she is in a position to expect a successful parenting outcome if she gives birth. It should promote responsible action to counteract the stigmatization of abortion promoted by conservative religion.
There's a difference between educating them and digging around in their private lives. In addition, I don't think the government needs to get involved with determining what are or are not the "right" conditions for becoming a parent. We don't want to open that door, go down that road, whatever. What I believe to be conditions I can live with if I have a child are most assuredly not the same as someone else's beliefs about the matter. And what if the government thinks something else entirely?

It's too complicated to go down that path, and it's too intrusive.

The only educational effort that a clinic might could make is to inform women (voluntarily--which most do) of contraception options available. Some women just don't know what all is out there, the costs involved, the benefits vs. risks, etc. They don't even know that some places (like Planned Parenthood) can possibly help them with contraceptive products/services if money is an issue.
Several studies have concluded that in the United States, families headed by a single parent have a much lower rate of reaching successful parenting outcomes. The children in single-parent families are much more likely to drop out of school and to engage in teen-age crime, drug addiction and unmarried teen pregnancy. There are other factors which have been shown to reduce even further the likelihood of a single parent rearing a child successfully, such as not completing her education and not having her own parents help with the family. Pregnant women especially should realize that these are objective facts.

I am not at all advocating that the government make the decision, but rather that this sort of information should be provided to each pregnant women to inform her decision. She has a responsibility to society and to her child to provide it with adequate material support and emotional nurturing. If she is not in a position to guarantee that, she should at least consider postponing having a child.
Not that this is a strong argument, but new DNA is created moments after conception. I suppose there is a secular argument to be made that abortion is murder because a human being is a human being due to the uniqueness of their DNA.

Just food for thought.
Yes, this was part of earlier discussions. It is a mistaken argument to identify the rights of personhood with any "magic moment" such as genetic completeness, brain activity, responsiveness to stimulus or viability. It confuses a medical fact with an act of valuation -- that is, the decision by society to privilege the fetus with rights.

When or whether we recognize fetal value depends on the ethical system that we employ, whether rationalism, consequentialism conventionalism or religious dogma. But if you question people about the source of fetal value, you will find that for most it is merely a personal preference.
Skin cells have DNA too, and they slough off daily. Do they count as life?
Ummm... abortion is legal in all 3 trimesters. Are you not in the US?

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