Is it just for the sake of disagreeing with the religious? Is it because they see being anti-abortion as being a strictly religious viewpoint? Are anti-abortion atheists worried about fitting in? Is it just a coincidence?
I think its more to do with atheists believing that religion-free beings should have the choice of how to manage their own bodies. Even if they would or wouldn't abort themselves, we should have the freedom to decide that for ourselves.
Religious groups want to remove even the choice of abortion, make it into a crime which could send you to prison. How fair is that to the woman, who was maybe raped, or for whom abortion may be a life saving procedure? I think this is what atheists think about.
I'm not pro-abortion. I am pro-choice. Just wanted to clarify that for you.
Why are atheists pro-choice? I believe because generally atheists aren't interesting in interfering in what is a very private and sometimes painful decision. I find that atheists tend to believe in personal liberties and the less the state is involved in our personal decisions the better.
"Pro-choice" is a meaningless euphamism. "Pro-abortion" does not mean you think abortion is good; it just means you think people should have a right to have an abortion. Just like pro-gun and pro-gambling. A pro-gambling person could think that gambling is stupid and a waste of money, but they still support the rights of others to waste their money however they want.
And a man about to kill his daughter to collect on insurance may be making the hardest decision in his life, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stop him.
And nothing that involves a victim is a private decision. A man who rapes and/or beats his daughter and/or wife cannot claim privacy rights.
I disagree emphatically that "pro-choice" is a meanlingless expression. In contrast, I find "pro-abortion" to be somewhat offensive and entirely misleading, as I would with the examples of "pro-gun" and "pro-gambling."
Pro-anything generally implies that you are in favor of the "anything" in question. I don't know anyone who is "pro-choice" that thinks abortions are a great thing. What they do think is that someone who gets pregnant should have the choice of whether or not to maintain the pregnancy or terminate the pregnancy. Note that I said "pregnancy," not "child." I'm not of the mindset that "life begins at conception."
That said, for those who DO believe that life begins at conception, continuing the pregnancy would probably be their choice. For those who do NOT believe that, continuing the pregnancy could also be their choice, but it need not be. The concept of "life begins at conception" is, I think, the sticking point. When "life begins" is more philosophy (or dogma) than fact, especially when you're talking about human conciousness.
I don't want the government enforcing non-factual philosophies, especially those born of religious dogma, on its citizens. In matters such as these, the choice of philosophy and actions should be left up to the individual.
"Pro-choice" is meaningless because it does not say what is being chosen. By your very logic, "pro-choice" should mean you think choice in general is good, and you don't see pro-abortion groups protesting every company merger and traffic law.
Also, life begining at fertilization is a scientific question; I think what you're thinking of is personhood.
And the immorality of murder is a non-factual philosophy. Almost nobody would argue the KKK should be allowed to lynch people because their philosophy says blacks are not morally equal.