I am evolving towards a pro life stance as an atheist, because it seems to align more with reason, and if one is to be completely unemotional and pragmatic, abortion should be considered a last resort just like any form of violence against any life form.

Arguments I've heard from pro-choice folks are mainly from the "freedom over controlling one's own body" perspective.

Well, we all have the right to control our bodies but only to the extent it doesnt harm someone or in some cases some thing else.

As our knowledge of science expands, we see less and less distinction between humans and other life forms, and we've come to learn that all life forms have a common ancestor.  This, to my way of thinking, makes anyone or anything capable of empathy accountable to the rest of the living things to be conscious of their fellow beings, and understand the gravity of responsibility when it comes to doing violence to another life form.

I dont know if this means either the extremes of no "morning after pill " or "abortions up to 1 second before birth", I dont like either extreme of the argument, as a rational, caring, loving human being.

I think the issue is more complex than pro life or pro choice as defined in our society, but I think as thinking, rational atheists, we need to acknowledge the complexity of the issue and , as we do in all scientific pursuits, constantly refine and re-evaluate our positions in light of new discoveries and be ready to put aside cherished beliefs in favor of doing the right thing.

For now, Id err on the side of caution.  I cant imagine how incredibly horrible it would be to experience an abortion from a fetus's perspective.  Thats something the pro-choice side is alarmingly quick to dismiss, stating that they feel no pain etc when we truly have no idea, and are pretty sure there is little to distinguish a third trimester fetus from a newborn baby.

My two cents.

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Replies to This Discussion

Fred-

you wrote, 'To take that child away from the mother to an adopting pair is a kind of kidnapping and wrong to both the mother and the child.'

I have to say that I feel strongly that that is untrue. A friend of mine in college become unexpectedly pregnant. She didn't do a particularly good job of caring for herself and was ill equipped for motherhood. The father was a criminal. She found a stable married couple eager to adopt a baby. It was an open adoption and she visits her biological daughter twice a year. My understanding is that the little girl is growing up (11 years old now) in normal reasonably happy circumstances.

you wrote, "To force mothers to go full term instead of getting an abortion is a kind of crime against humanity. We have no rights to force somebody to bear a child that is not wanted. It is against her and the child."

Is that what you believe, or did that come from someone else?
Simon & Fred-
I think that IVF research backs up the point about early miscarriages being correlated to some biological defect. There are a lot of factors that can make an early pregnancy go wrong, which if they could be sustained would probably produce some sort of deformed fetus. Even the distribution of cytoplasm and configuration of the polar body within the interior of the ovum is a factor that can cause the conceptus to form improperly.

Since my view is that it's the capacity - particularly the abilities which will naturally develop - which determine moral status, the loss of poorly developing zygotes and embryos is something that we have no ethical obligation to be concerned about.
NP with this
We aren't saying there is no reason for regret, just like if one was hit by a train one would feel great sorrow for the family. What we are saying is there is no point trying to save something that is in a sense already dead. Not unlike how one feels about a brain dead individual. You cannot in a sense save them so one should waste resources trying to. It doesn't mean one shouldn't mourn them.
Fred-

On the loss of an early pregnancy:

Well, ethically & legally our emotional response is probably a moot point, but psychologically I agree that it's significant. My father is agnostic and mother is Catholic. When she became aware that she'd been briefly pregnant, she did mourn for months afterward. My father (staunchly prochoice) had no emotional response to the miscarriage itself, although he felt sympathy for my mother who became saddened and depressed.
Fred you're probably thinking of viability not personhood.

Which could be argued as a bit of compromise sloppy philosophy, thinking you aren't an independent organism unless you are separate from another living organism.

One only needs to look at parasites or organisms that inhabit us to see this is flawed.
or conjoined twins sharing organs- viability arguments seem to be incompatible with most bioethical views about the status of 'non-dominant' twins being separated

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