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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Yes, I agree. That's exactly what I was thinking too. In fact the only book I've seen (only perused it but will get it at library or Amazon) ignores abortion entirely and focuses on applying a Rawlsian standard to bodily resources as a redistributable primary good. I'm more or less open to the idea of 'kidney lotteries', by the way. (At least there's nothing that would make me categorically object on the face of it.)
I've an article I've written where I said that if as a community we did do it, all the non rape victims would go into a lottery to face the same odds a woman has in general to end up pregnant from rape, you then face a 2nd round -depending on the number of severe to light rape pregnancies- whether you only give blood, give an organ or foster for 9mnths.
To Simon JM re: "bodily autonomy'

I agree that that is the standard as it's applied in practice, but there are some who argue against the practice. It's something that I think might deserve more attention.
Ockraz Apart from the inconsistency, politically Pro-Life can hardly ask rape victims to give up their bodily autonomy to save lives if they won't.
I don't think they (prolifers) need to be singled out if they'd acknowledge that compulsory organ, blood, marrow donation were also allowed for the population at large. (Do you disagree?)

The more salient point, however, is that one can argue that the cases aren't analogous because there's an ethical difference between causing a death actively (abortion after rape), and passively permitting a death to occur through inaction (not volunteering a kidney). After all, drowning someone and not saving someone from drowning usually have different ethical values attached.
1st point I'd agree.

& now while there can be a difference between killing and letting die it isn't always the case. Consider where you have two infants having drowned in a bath; one is murdered while the other is let drown while being watched by an adult. Techincally/casually and even in intent there is a difference but given the intervention is at little or not cost there is an obligation to act to save the childs life and not doing so is as wrong as killing the child.

Now for a rape victim Pro-Lifers are saying the large sacrifice asked for her to in to sense 'intervene' still doesn't override the value of a human life, so like the child in a bath since the bar has now been set higher it should in general be higher for everyone.

& if you are tempted to then say there is still a brute difference between killing and letting die the mother can use Double Effect and just remove the life thereby not directly killing it.
Non sequitur
To- Fred Werther & Simon JM
I agree with Simon. The fact that so many embryos (not yet fetuses) are naturally aborted is not a problem for those who oppose induced abortion any more than being in a group with a high mortality rate makes it less objectionable for someone to kill you. Religious prolifers may have trouble with the fact, but that's because they're religious and need to do some kind of theodicy dance whenever children get cancer or villages get destroyed by a tsunami.

PS- I'm going to look for the Irish study Fred mentioned. If anyone can send me a citation I'd be much obliged :)

I'll check in some db's for it. If I find it, I'll let you know. :)
Fred there is more than one issue here.

First historically for many cultures there was no connection between sex and reproduction; also some didn't confer social identity some time till quite some time after birth. So how one thinks or identifies with the prenatal plays a big part on whether one mourns for it when it dies.

But if you are directly referring to people not mourning the earliest mischarges then you have a point. But instead of agreeing with the current social norm one could take the line that no one should have natural sex and instead only artificial fertilization should be used to cut down the number of spontaneous abortions. (Having said that, many of these occur because something is seriously wrong with the fertilized egg, so for at least some of these there would be no point in saving them.)

Is this practical maybe, maybe not but then again how practical is it to save every staving person in the world?
Yes it has become a tribal identity issue that many on both sides just react emtionally. I don't see much changing until we have artificial wombs.

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?


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