Recently, while browsing through the groups, I came across a Pro-life group. It has only one member-it's founder, and that got me to thinking...Are there any pro-life atheists out there? And being that most, if not all arguments I've heard against abortions are usually religious in nature, what would be the atheists argument(s) against abortion?

Personally, I am pro-choice. I fully support every womans right to choose.

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You took the words right out of my mouth. Bravo!
Same. I want life to continue on the planet and I want all life forms to continue. Having millions of forced babies is not the way to achieve that. I can see the reasons someone would be against abortion, and if they want to say they don't believe in abortion, or in a non-threatening way try to convince someone to choose life, that's within their rights. Trying to make it illegal is a different story.
I've been pro-choice for a very long time. Although I like to consider myself "pro-child," you should want to have the child you are pregnant with, there is nothing worse than a mother bringing in an unwanted child into the world who won't get the love he or she deserves.
Oh, on the contrary. The worst thing would be the woman who learns nothing of her mistakes and only keeps repeating them. If a pregnancy was a mistake, then an abortion would be nothing more than an act of escaping the consequences of that mistake.

Whether the child will get the love he or she deserves or not, these predictions are not infallible any more than possible changes in the attitude of the mother as a consequence of childbirth.
kristopaivinen wrote on 14 January 2009 at 11:20am If a pregnancy was a mistake, then an abortion would be nothing more than an act of escaping the consequences of that mistake.

So, you think that a woman should carry the pregnancy to term as a punishment?
The worst point of time to include pregnancy into the definition of a mistake or a punishment is before the child even has been born. Such predictions are neither infallible any more than possible changes in the attitude of the mother, as a consequence of childbirth, are predictable.
Huh? I don't understand.
Why not?
We seem to be having some language problems here.

My definition of “an-abortion-that-should-have-been” is one where the mother was prevented from having an abortion that would otherwise have taken place. In other words, the pregnant woman did not want to continue with the pregnancy and there were sufficient predictors of future problems (financial, educational, caring ability, emotional fitness, fetal/child disorders and deficiencies) for abortion to be the best choice in the circumstances. In such cases of forced pregnancy the outcome is relatively poor for all those involved: mother, father, siblings, relatives and the eventual child/teen/adult.

By the way, you are falling into the common “pro-life” trap of assuming that all, or most, medically induced abortions are provided to single women who were not using contraception and who do not have other children. In like manner, you also assume that no-one but the pregnant woman would suffer as the result of the birth of an eventual child. It may surprise you to know that the demographics include a huge proportion of married woman with children who have experienced a contraceptive failure. The decision to abort the unexpected pregnancy is usually taken in consultation with the woman’s partner/husband and, sometimes, in consultation with older children in the household.

Decisions of this nature are necessarily based on statistical probabilities rather than certainties. This is true for most of life’s major decisions, including other types of elective surgery and medical procedures. The projected risks are weighed against the projected advantages. The easy decisions are those where death or devastation is the certain outcome of a particular course of action.

There are, or at least should be, a whole range of factors which the host and her doctor consider in the course of deciding whether or not to medically terminate a pregnancy (as distinct from the far more prevalent “natural” abortions which happen in their millions every day).

Whether the pregnant woman would grow to love the resulting child is not usually a terribly salient or important factor in the equation. (Hormonal changes after birth would predict that she would probably happen.)

The most relevant questions generally pertain to the realistic resources which will be available for caring for the child and the effect which the birth (often not the first one) would have on the resources available for the care of others in the family. When there is competition for resources the sentient have priority over the potentially-sentient.

Other relevant questions involve the life and health of the host. A related question is the effect of the host’s death or impairment would have on her dependents, the quality of life which could be predicted for all those involved (the actual people as well as the potential person) and the risk of death, pain and serious medical problems for the host (pregnant woman) if the pregnancy is allowed to continue.

One scenario you may not have considered is the case where it is certain that the fetus is going to die at some time during the pregnancy or shortly thereafter and the mother’s health and well-being are increasingly at risk the longer the fetus is allowed to continue developing. An example of this would an ectopic pregnancy.

In case you aren’t familiar with the details of ectopic pregnancy, this is when a fertilized egg does not make it to the womb and grows in the woman’s fallopian tubes. The fetus has zero chance of surviving but the mother will experience excruciating pain, never be able to have children again, or die if it is not removed quickly.

On one side of the equation is the life and quality of life of a conscious, feeling person whose death would grievously and significantly affect the lives of others (husband, dependents, family, friends) plus the well-being of all those just mentioned. On the other side of the equation is a mass of cells which only has the potential to turn into a conscious feeling person at some time in the future. Making the choice should not be difficult unless you have religious baggage which gives the cell bundle an elevated value compared with the conscious beings involved.

I think you have the legal part of your argument backwards. Those arguing that abortion should never be permitted in any circumstances are the ones who wish to enforce arbitrary decisions on everyone. They are also the ones who have caused the “arbitary” legislation to come into existence in the first place. There are countries where there are no laws restricting medically induced abortions and the decision to abort a pregnancy is one which is made under the same circumstances as any other kind of surgical procedure which has ramifications for the person’s future health and well-being. In these countries a decision to abort, or not to abort, can be based on the full range of known, predictable and hypothetical factors which impinge on the outcome.
Sorry I couldn't reply earlier. Now, let's see what we have here.

First paragraph:
Even though I don't reject any this, my intention was nothing more than to point out that the earlier such predictions are made, the less reason we have to believe in their accuracy.

Second paragraph:
If I do make the assumptions which you presented in your second paragraph, you haven't made any arguments to reveal the relevance of these assumptions in respect to our contradictions, unless you meant present your information as examples only. In any case, you'll be disappointed to discover that I have no intention to refute any of the information you present.

The rest:
To address the question of the scenario where it is certain that the fetus is going to die at some time during pregnancy or shortly thereafter and the mother’s health and well-being are increasingly at risk, the person formally most qualified to be held legally responsible for any such decisions - other than the legally required consent of the mother for any kind of medical procedure - is not anyone less than a trained doctor. At least one criterion for legally justifying such a decision would be evidence confirming the presence of an alleged health risk. But if making a decision in favor of abortion on the basis of health risks alone is not difficult, a decision in favor of abortion without such health risks involved is nothing except difficult.

With the possible exception of a medically motivated abortion, it would not be unfair to represent me as a critic of those who wish to permit abortion. The target of my criticism is nothing more than the arbitrariness of the decisions required to produce a legally valid back limit for abortion. What you mean when you say "arbitrary" legislation, and why you use quote marks in "arbitrary", is something I have no understanding of.
Kristopaivinen, I don't understand your argument here.

Making mistakes is an unavoidable part of the learning process.

While suffering the consequences of one's actions can result in the learner avoiding the same mistakes in the future this is not always the best way of learning - and sometimes an extremely bad way of learning. Some consequences are just too serious to allow, especially when they result in serious harm, injury, pain, death or harm to the learner or to others connected to that person. Parents spend their lives trying to prevent their children from suffering serious consequences as the result of their inevitable mistakes. The same concern should be given to others, don't you think?

BTW, has it occured to you that one of the victims of an-abortion-that-should-have-been is the resulting conscious life form? Unless you belong to a religion which promotes pain, preventing suffering has a higher moral value than preventing death, especially if one of the factors in the equation includes death to something or someone which or who cannot suffer.
While I don't necessarily disagree with what you say, what initially seems to be a mistake is not necessarily a mistake in the final outcome, and an unintended child which at a later time wins the affection of the mother would be a fortunate mistake, indeed.

Has it occured to me that one of the victims of an-abortion-that-should-have-been is the resulting conscious life form? Even though I do consider some people as abortions-that-should-have-been in retrospect, you would hardly be much more qualified to determine this in advance than I am, especially in cases, where the mother actually wanted the child. If I were a part of a religion which promoted pain and preventing death, this religion would not necessarily be the first reason to why I criticize the practice of abortion, as some of my reasons for criticizing abortion would be preventing the arbitrariness of legal decisions allowing abortion.




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