Pro-Life Without God

by Kelsey Hazzard

As the president of Secular Pro-Life, I have been asked to present the non-religious case against abortion.  But actually, you’ve probably heard it already.  Many people who hear the secular arguments against abortion simply fail to recognize them as secular, because they expect pro-life apologetics to have a religious source.  Expectations powerfully color the way we see reality.  Discard these expectations, however, and you will soon find that most arguments against abortion do not require the existence of a god.

Call Me An ExtremistWe start from a premise that is shared by many religions and by secular humanism: the lives of human individuals are exceedingly valuable.  A religious person might express this concept as the “sanctity” of life, while a secular person might refer to the possession of fundamental human rights.  The core value judgment is the same.

We also make a factual assertion that human individuals begin their lives inside the womb, when sperm meets egg.  I began my life as a single-celled zygote; so did you.  The scientific consensus on this point is overwhelming.  Frankly, denying that life begins at conception is on par with denying the theory of natural selection; the evidence is that strong.  And what’s more, the leaders of the abortion rights movement know it.  While some rank-and-file abortion advocates will insist that the unborn aren’t alive, or are mere “blobs of tissue,” you will not hear such ignorance from the heads of abortion advocacy groups.  Nor will you hear it from abortion doctors.  Intellectually honest people on both sides agree that abortion kills a living human individual.

The question raised by abortion is whether the living unborn human being is part of the human community, deserving of rights like older humans; or whether living unborn human beings should be treated differently, as objects rather than as persons.

Abortion supporters have suggested various justifications for the latter approach.  None are convincing.  In every case, a consistent application of the justification would allow the killing of some human beings outside the womb.


The most common justification for abortion is that unborn children are unconscious, at least in the early stages of pregnancy when most abortions are done.  Of course, you are unconscious every night when you go to sleep.  People who use this argument do not actually believe that the right to life depends on consciousness.  Probe more carefully, and they will clarify that they feel the right to life depends on an inherent capacity for consciousness.  But don’t unborn children have that capacity?  Consider a woman in a coma, who is expected to come out of the coma in a few months.  Is the unborn child’s situation appreciably different?  In both cases, consciousness is not present in the moment—there is only a potential for consciousness.  If that is a good enough justification for killing a child in the womb, and we’re going to be consistent, then the comatose woman is also a non-person who can be killed “on demand and without apology.”  That can’t be right.

Bodily autonomy

Another common abortion argument is the appeal to bodily autonomy; we’ve all heard the saying “my body, my choice.”  This is sometimes articulated as a belief that in order to have rights, you must not be dependent upon another body for survival.  But as with the consciousness argument, a consistent application of this rule would threaten rights of some born persons.

Other times, the bodily autonomy argument is expressed in terms of consent; you cannot use another person’s body without their permission, and if a woman does not want to be pregnant, the fetus does not have that permission.  If the only way to stop the fetus’ use of its mother’s body is to kill it, so be it.

That argument misses an important point: except in rape situations, the mother had a role in causing the unborn baby’s dependence in the first place.  In that light, it seems unfair to revoke consent—especially when doing so will kill someone!

When pro-lifers make this point, we are usually accused of being anti-sex and using pregnancy as a “punishment.”  That’s untrue.  It’s like saying that if you oppose drunk driving, you’re anti-beer!  Have your fun—just don’t put the lives of others at risk.

Women’s Health

Next, we have the argument that abortion is necessary to promote women’s health.  If abortion is not available on request, they say, women would rather risk harm themselves than allow their child to live.  In support of this theory, they point to the “bad old days of back-alley abortion,” when tens of thousands of women died annually.  This argument is powerful because it appeals to the same value that the pro-life movement does: a desire to save human lives.  The problem is that the women’s health argument has no basis in fact.

In the late 1960s, Dr. Bernard Nathanson co-founded the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Law, which now goes by the name NARAL Pro-Choice America.  Nathanson was an abortionist.  An atheist, he became pro-life when improved ultrasound technology convinced him of the humanity of the unborn child.  (He converted to Catholicism in his old age, and died in 2011.)  During his years as a pro-life atheist, he shared his insights into the early abortion movement—in particular, the messaging it used to shape the abortion debate.  One key tactic was to conjure abortion statistics out of thin air.  In Aborting America, Nathanson wrote:

It was always “5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.” I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the “morality” of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?

So what are the actual numbers?  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 39 women died from illegal abortions in 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade.  Maternal deaths from abortion haven’t been in the thousands since the 1930s, before the advent of antibiotics!  For perspective, the CDC reports that 12 women died in legal abortions in 2009; that number is almost certainly low, because many states (notably California) do not report to the CDC.

Gender equality

Finally, abortion advocates resort to an argument of brute force.  Yes, unborn children are human beings.  Yes, abortion kills them.  But abortion is necessary for gender equality: the lives of the unborn are “worth sacrificing,” and we must “be prepared to kill” for the cause.

The fact that this horrific view is being entertained at all actually encourages me.  I believe that these are the dying gasps of a pro-abortion movement that simply has no good arguments left.

As a woman, I do not want my worth to be based on my power to destroy the life of a defenseless child.  And I’m convinced that as long as abortion is accepted, society will never address the true causes of gender inequality.


This article has reviewed just a few of the secular arguments against abortion.  In contrast, purely religious arguments are fairly limited in number; you can argue that abortion violates a divine commandment, or displeases God in some way, or interferes with an act of divine creation.  In my experience, even devoutly religious pro-lifers view these purely religious arguments as secondary.  The secular case for life is the dominant case for life!

Let us again turn to Dr. Nathanson.  His testimony makes it clear that abortion was very deliberately framed as a “religious issue” from the beginning, in order to silence important pro-life voices:So why does this violate our expectations?  Where does the expectation come from, that a belief in God is necessary to oppose abortion?

We fed the media such lies as “we all know that opposition to abortion comes from the hierarchy and not from most Catholics” and “Polls prove time and again that most Catholics want abortion law reform.” And the media drum-fired all this into the American people, persuading them that anyone opposing permissive abortion must be under the influence of the Catholic hierarchy and that Catholics in favor of abortion are enlightened and forward-looking. An inference of this tactic was that there were no non-Catholic groups opposing abortion. The fact that other Christian as well as non-Christian religions were (and still are) monolithically opposed to abortion was constantly suppressed, along with pro-life atheists’ opinions.

It worked then, but it won’t work for much longer.  Pro-abortion leaders are worried that the Millennial generation is rejecting abortion.  Polling confirms their fears.  And nearly a quarter of Millennials have no religion.

In short, the most pro-life and least religious generation is poised to take over the country.  The “religious issue” framework will be completely untenable in such a climate.

Secular Pro-Life is leading the way into a new era of pro-life advocacy.  If you like what we’re doing, please join us and support the cause of life.


Kelsey Hazzard is the founder and president of Secular Pro-Life.  She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.


  1. Joseph P. Pelaez says:

    We cannot forget that Near Death Experiences that happen among persons with no measurable brain activity, sever bodily damage, and actually cold bodies beyond the 5 minute measurable time that science claims insures brain death — show consciousness beyond the body. Science cannot disprove that human person life with potential (zygote, embryo, fetus, late term baby in a mother’s womb) has consciousness.

  2. Love the article. Especially the bodily autonomy section. I usually answer this argument with a “moral duties” argument. That being, a parent has a moral duty (responsibility) to fulfill their parental roles in the best way they are capable of. Health, education, safety, etc. This of course can be adjudicated through an adoption procedure, as long as they know that the new parents will now be fulfilling those same roles. In fact it may in some cases be the best thing that can happen for a child.

  3. The brain and spinal cord don’t begin developing until the third week, so I don’t really see how it’s comparable to a sleeping person’s unconsciousness. You still perceive and record information while asleep, regardless of your awareness of it in your waking hours.

    Also, the autonomy video seems a little out there to me. What happens if conjoined a twin commits murder, threatens to commit suicide, eats poorly, consumes too much alcohol, smokes, etc. and the other twin doesn’t approve? You’ve taken the most out there example and tried to apply it to a large standard; you’re taking a square peg and hammering it into a round hole to prove the hole is broken.

    I personally think that a child gains its rights to protection part way through the pregnancy, but I know that picking any one point is going to appear arbitrary or most if not all sides of the argument, but that doesn’t mean the point should be made at all.

    We have decided that point, and it varies from state to state. I don’t think your approach to the issue is productive.

    • You do realize the third week of pregnancy is also when conception occurs, right?

      • David, that’s not true. Anyone who has this idea that you are pregnant before you conceive does not understand human anatomy. If it were true, every woman would be having a natural abortion halfway through every menstrual cycle.
        Pregnancy begins when ovulation has resulted in fertilization. That is when the hormones start kicking in and your zygote forms.
        Because ovulation is not blatantly obvious, it is sometimes difficult for doctors, or lawmakers, to determine how old the fetus is. Because we can all be nearly 100% sure that if you had your period (that is, if you finished your last menstrual cycle with no pregnancy) then at minimum, you could not have a fertilized egg prior to that period. The period of time between a woman’s last period and ovulation is on average, about two weeks. For some women it is much longer, for others, shorter. For women such as myself, who tracks their cycles through basal temperatures, I know with reasonable certainty when I ovulate. I am not pregnant before that time. The pregnancy hormones haven’t kicked in, there is no fertilized egg.
        To suggest pregnancy before conception is shoddy science. I am pro-life, but we can’t use shoddy science to try to back up our claims. Pregnancy begins at conception. Any pro-life effort, social, legal or otherwise, should adhere to that reality, or risk losing credibility for our cause and making it easy to just lump all of us as anti-science.

        • Jean, I believe David was referring to gestational age, which is the most common way of discussing pregnancy.

          “[I]n the U.S., healthcare professionals typically calculate the length of a pregnancy by gestational age. Gestational age is the number of weeks that have passed since a woman’s last normal menstrual period. . . .
          Gestational age is not the same thing as conceptional age. Conceptional age is how much time has passed since actual conception (fertilization). Conception cannot take place until you ovulate, and that typically happens about 14 days after the start of your monthly period.
          So conceptional age will always be about 14 days younger than gestational age. The average length of a full-term pregnancy is about 280 days, or 40 gestational weeks from the first day of the last period. The average length of a full-term pregnancy from the time of conception is about 266 days or 38 conceptional weeks from the day of conception.”

          • Jean, I believe David was referring to gestational age, which is the most common way of discussing pregnancy.

            “[I]n the U.S., healthcare professionals typically calculate the length of a pregnancy by gestational age. Gestational age is the number of weeks that have passed since a woman’s last normal menstrual period. . . .
            Gestational age is not the same thing as conceptional age. Conceptional age is how much time has passed since actual conception (fertilization). Conception cannot take place until you ovulate, and that typically happens about 14 days after the start of your monthly period.
            So conceptional age will always be about 14 days younger than gestational age. The average length of a full-term pregnancy is about 280 days, or 40 gestational weeks from the first day of the last period. The average length of a full-term pregnancy from the time of conception is about 266 days or 38 conceptional weeks from the day of conception.”

  4. “…as long as abortion is accepted, society will never address the true causes of gender inequality.”

    This a million times over!

  5. Excellent article. I happen to be a Christian, but I hope that even if I were not, I would know that it’s wrong to kill innocent human beings. As you demonstrate, the most persuasive arguments against abortion are independent of the Bible or religious teachings.

  6. As a rationalist, I assume you can be persuaded to change your mind. We measure the death of a body by the cessation of brain activity. Might we not measure the beginning of life as the onset of that activity?

    The point of that is, a gamete is not a zygote, a zygote is not a blastocyst, a blastocyst is not an embryo, an embryo is not a fetus. The first three on this list are tiny clumps of cells with the potential to become human beings, needing extraordinary circumstances to do so. But they are not human beings.

    • This is easier to defend and has legal precedent in ask fifty states in the firm of brain death laws. The logical conclusion of this is equal rights after the eighth week, six weeks after conception, when brain wave activity is detected.

      • Christine Eggers says:

        Why are you equating the end of life with the beginning? They are not the same thing. An embryo isn’t dead before there is brain activity.

    • Rey, your argument assumes its own premise about not being a human being, it begs the question and it is ridiculous. A zygote functions scientifically as an organism, it can only be a human being and it is certainly alive. The whole point of death being the cessation of brain activity is that at that point we cease to function as an organism. Before week 6, we do however function as an organism as we grow and construct our own organs, including our brain. We do not become different entity when the brain we grew starts working. Thus we are alive and a human being from conception.

    • Christine Eggers says:

      You can argue that the first few days a zygote is just a blob of cells but that’s not when abortion occurs. An abortion can only occur when the fetus is of a large enough size for the suction to get a purchase on it and for all the body parts to be identifiable in order to confirm that the abortion is complete. So, when it’s a baby. If you’ve never seen an aborted fetus it’s worth checking out to wake out of the ignorance of believing the “clump of cells” rationale.

    • Your argument are wrong, a gamete is never going to grow into a zygote, but the zygote will grow into a blastocyst and so on if it is not killed, and so there is a difference between a gamete and different stages of an individual’s life

  7. Why is so important leave God out of this equation. The moral stance is weak? The death of a child, the willingness of a mother to kill her child is that not a spirit to spirit calamity. The residual guilt is that originating the woman spirit does not leave or is healed until there is release through forgiveness.(bought and paid in full through the cross) Why work so darn hard at splitting this from the moral code that scream LIFE IS SACRED!!

    • We leave gods out of the equation for the simple reason that they’re not real.

      • Not only is your statement unprovable, it poorly explains the success of religious societies over non religious ones. If you are to be rational, you must accept what works over what doesn’t.

        • Other David says:

          The relative success of religious societies is a consequence not of a divine power blessing said society but the manner in which the doctrine of the religion influences the culture of the people. Protestantism, for instance, has always had an undercurrent of strong communal ties and plain ol’ hard work probably influenced to some extent by notions of predestination apparent in some of its denominations but which has proliferated to all of them. More succinctly, God blesses those with signs of success (wealth, prestige, you name it) and thus signs of success are proof of God’s blessing. An idea which doesn’t take into account the simple notion that hard work and strong social ties is usually a precursor to success with or without supernatural forces.

          Similarly, the relatively low frequency of non-religious (specifically non-religious, not non-Christian) societies both contemporary and historical renders them statistical outliers. Comparisons between the two are largely unhelpful; other factors are more effective in determining the success or failure of societies.

          • Thorgasm says:

            Sounds like a bunch of neck bearded sophistry that you just made up. I’d be interested to see what research you relied upon in forming this ‘highly rational’ opinion, and whether you ever seriously considered the alternative.

          • Thorgasm says:

            Other David, your statement is internally inconsistent. Why would belief in predestination motivate people to work harder? It should have the opposite effect. This seems to be the classic atheistic response of throwing some big words together with some pseuo-intellectual sophistry. We’re not supposed to disagree because you sound like you’ve read a lot of books, or so your logic goes.
            Also, the relatively low number of non-religious societies does not invalidate the original commenter’s reasoning. As an atheist you probably believe in natural selection. Shouldn’t the relatively low number of God civilizations say something to you in Darwinian terms? Does the relatively low number of headless vertebrates mean we really just need to try out more headless vertebrates and give them a chance?

        • Uhh, China? Longest running nation state in the history of the world?? Sure, they’ve had their ups and downs, and toyed with buddhism a bit before letting it move on, but when the Romans were just getting into the swing of things, they had already been around as a formed nation for a couple of thousand years.

      • Thorgasm says:

        Atheism is a category error. And it is incoherent. STFU, Matt.

      • Thorgasm says:

        So why value life then? The product of blind pitiless indifference warrants no philosophical discourse. homo sapiens are a petty, local, trivial, earth bound phenomenon, unworthy of the universe.

        • Because we are a social, interdependent species. Our survival as a whole depends on us caring for each other. Nation states, or tribes further back, that did not take this into account, or lost that rationale, usually imploded or otherwise disappeared. Similarly, in modern times, those of us who care for the weakest of us, are highly correlated with those of us who have a better standard of life overall. As we continue to identify those we have left out of our tribal notion of “us” (a couple of generations ago to now that was blacks, or women, or gay, or the unborn), we are slowly, but surely extending that concern and in the process, improving society for everyone as a whole, including ourselves.

          And anything but. One does not need god to ponder the mysteries of the universe, of society and culture. Your assessment that homo sapiens are unworthy of the universe is your assessment and yours alone. As an atheist, I certainly don’t feel as if we are not worth our universe. We are a part of it!

        • So theists only value life because a god told them to? “Thorgasm”, are you saying that, were you to realize that there are no gods, you would not value life? you would kill people without scruple?

          Empathy does not need a divine origin.

    • Barb, I understand what you are trying to say, being a Christian myself. But having secular rationale only strengthens the rationale against abortion. There are people whom you could convince that abortion is wrong through your religious stance, but there are others who could only be convinced if you completely set aside religion.

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  9. What a great article! While my own pro-life position is rooted in my faith, I don’t think of it as purely a religious issue. I have a lot of non-religious and atheist friends and I appreciate the articles and work of Secular Pro-Life as a resource to share with them as to why abortion is morally wrong no matter where you stand on religion. Thank you :)

  10. Thorgasm says:

    Since, on atheism, there is no logical basis for valuing adult human life, why should they have anything logical to say about valuing life in the womb. The fact that this movement even exists is further evidence that atheism must steal from the Judeo-Christian world view to make any claim of morality (while simultaneously denying the Judeo-Christian world view’s foundations). Put another way, this article proves that atheism is incoherent.

    • St. Thomas Aquinas always combined his arguments from Tradition and Scripture with appeals to Natural Law. Humanae Vitae and numerous other Church documents take the same approach. The one constant for me as I moved from being Southern Baptist to atheist to Catholic was that I remained pro-life. One of the things that drove me from the Christian faith of my youth was the inability of the Baptists around me to ground their arguments in reason. It was always simply: It’s in the Bible, God said it, that settles it. I rejected this fideistic approach which I mistakenly thought represented all of Christianity and I was essentially right to do so. The Catholic Church, in contrast, has always formally taught the harmony between faith and reason. Like St. Paul when he spoke before the Areopagus, we should be willing to build on any common ground that exists between us and our philosophical opponents.

    • Chandler Klebs says:

      I rejected the Judeo-Christian worldview because I was pro-life.

  11. Kelsey, thanks for this article. It deserves a much better response than it’s so-far received in the comment thread. :) I’m a Christian who’s very thankful for SPL. My two comments below.

    I appreciate how you led off by pointing out that these arguments are routinely made by prolifers but often dismissed otu of hand by prochoicers b/c of their supposed reliance on theology. I saw this happen in a debate with Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform’s Stephanie Gray. She argued from science, reason and philosophical common ground as you have here, but her opponents popped the question, “Do you believe in God?” as if it were some sort of trump card negating everything she’d said.

    As a theist — and I hope this doesn’t make you roll your eyes as I’m sure you’ve heard similar things before; I promise I’m going somewhere different with it — I find a gaping hole in your foundational leading premise: that the lives of human individuals are exceedingly valuable. “Without God” I see no reason to believe this is true, other than we (sometimes, some of us) agree to say it’s true; I can’t find any ontological grounding for value. This isn’t an immediate problem for prolife secularists/humanists/etc. b/c most prochoicers in the Western world accept this premise outright in argument. But outside the West, many people don’t.

    I live outside the West, among people whose worldview DNA does not assume this idea of instrinsic human value, and their society reflects this. How would you argue the prolife/anti-abortion case with people who don’t accept your leading premise? If you would first try to establish that premise, on what grounds would you do so to people who honestly see no reason to accept it? If you would try to argue without that premise, how would you go about it?

    • Kiwiaussie says:

      Interesting question. I am keen to hear a reply to this too. There are people here in Australia even, who do not hold to any form of value for human life above that of the lowest animals. Keen to know how to respond to that. By sacrificing them maybe? I mean if their lives are of no real value?! But seriously, how do you respond to people in that situation?

  12. Kelsey, you write: “Pro-abortion leaders are worried that the Millennial generation is rejecting abortion. Polling confirms their fears. And nearly a quarter of Millennials have no religion. In short, the most pro-life and least religious generation is poised to take over the country. The ‘religious issue’ framework will be completely untenable in such a climate.”

    I agree that it’s good a good thing that the “you have to be religious to be prolife” dismissal will be increasingly hard to get away with. However surely the rise in atheism and the rise in prolifery are merely coincidental. That aside, I’m much less confident that a primarily secular/atheistic society will actually be better for the prolife cause. Here’s why.

    Currently, we can only get away with asserting your first premise unchallenged (that the lives of human individuals are exceedingly valuable) due to holdovers from the Judeo-Christian influences in our collective worldview and society, which produced and make possible the existence of objective morality and moral duties (i.e. equality) and intrinsic human value by providing the necessary ontological foundation. Naturalistic atheism can plagiarize those things, but it can’t produce them. The inherent value of human individuals and the existence of objective morality and moral duties (i.e. “created equal”) are ontologically untenable in a purely naturalistic/atheistic universe. Therefore a rise in naturalistic atheism would undermine your first premise by replacing a foundation that provides its necessary ontological grounding with a foundation that can’t. Plus, Western societies have increasing immigrant percentages who bring worldview heritages that have never assumed your leading premise (and are driving up abortion rates due to male gender preference and an aversion to chemical and barrier birth control).

    So back to the question in my first comment. Even though you probably disagree with most of the philosophical claims above, I hope it’s clear that my question is increasingly relevant regardless: How do you make the secular pro-life case to a population who don’t share your leading premise that the lives of human individuals are exceedingly valuable?

  13. Interesting. I don’t find your responses to be very good though, for example, with women’s health I notice not only did you use a completely biased source you also made no mention of the maternal mortality rate for women who choose to give birth. I was hoping to see a real pro-life answer for that one. As it currently stands from my own knowledge, more women die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth than they do from having an abortion. Perhaps you can compare the two and come up with a better response? My usual pro-choice argument is that a woman’s rights to autonomy should never be stripped from her based solely on the status of her uterus. We have no obligations to give up parts of our body for the sake of saving lives in any other instance yet some people believe we should have to give up our rights to govern our own uterus to save the life of our fetus even if that means putting our own life and health at risk. I would like to see your response to this as well. With that in mind I would also like to invite you to and would love to see you in the Abortion Debate forum. We have so many religious resident pro-lifers that I have been longing to see one who is atheist for a change.

    • Well, there is that whole concept of drafting civilians into the military in order to give over their whole bodies to a war they had no hand whatsoever in starting.

      If “my body, my choice” autonomy ever becomes law, it would rationally make drafting unconstitutional. Not that I would have any problem with the draft being unconstitutional, mind you.

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  15. I know that abortion is the greatest human rights issue of our time but without prayer we will never defeat it. The most powerful methods of closing down abortion clinics are through prayer and fasting. If we leave God who is the creator of all life out of the equation we will lose the battle. We must use prayer and education in the fight for life. You are in the midst of a spiritual battle here and that too has to be recognised as well.

    • Kiwiaussie says:

      As a Christian, I believe prayer works too. But that doesn’t mean science doesn’t matter in this debate. To say to those who don’t believe that this is a spiritual battle that needs to be fought with prayer and fasting, is akin to saying their efforts are for nothing. They haven’t told the Christians to stop praying. And quite frankly, the Pro-Aborts have been lying to women for many years. Not all lies should be countered by praying in your closet, or even on the streets. The Bible says you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. The secular pro life movement is spreading the truth about abortion. And that truth could save many from the bondage of abortion, and save the lives of many children. I for one am very supportive of what they are doing. I can talk to anyone regardless of religious views about this. Praying I can do in private. If you believe that it is only through prayer that things will change, then I would say spend more time praying, and less time telling others that their method is basically a waste of time.

  16. Randomguy says:

    Anne, you are an example of what is wrong with modern American conservatives

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  18. “Where does the expectation come from, that a belief in God is necessary to oppose abortion?”

    Probably because of the fact that many holy rollers who oppose abortion also oppose birth control and support shaming women for sexuality.

    I’m atheist myself and leaning somewhat towards the pro life side, but the religious people do kinda dominate the issue now. Maybe if more secular people took up this cause, this “expectation” or idea would diminish.

  19. Your arguments are ridiculous. This ‘secular pro-life’ movement is ridiculous as well and I hope it comes to nothing!

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  21. Must one be religious to be uncomfortable with the idea that human life has no intrinsic value?

    I personally, am irreligious. Label me an atheist, label me an agnostic, I’m someone who has read the arguments for various religions and found them unconvincing. Some make the argument that the only alternative to Bronze Age superstition is nihilism. I believe that there are more than two alternatives here.

    To those who say that our lives are meaningless without religion, I say: then we are free to create our own meaning. And I want to live in a world where human life has value. I want to live in a world where people help one another. I want to live in a world where people deal justly and fairly with one another. Perhaps I’m just a crazy old man, but who knows? It might catch on.

  22. Your argument using consciousness just showed how uneducated you are on the topic of life. Hospitals and doctors declare someone dead when they are brain dead, even if their body is physically alive. It may be hard for the patients relatives to accept removing life support but in the long run its cheaper for them and lessens their long run suffering of watching their family member waste away while they can do nothing about it. Abortion is the same way, if they cannot afford a child why put the burden on them to keep it, or what if they have a medical condition that makes childbirth or care exceedingly risky or dangerous to themselves. At what point does the life of an unborn child become of greater value and importance to that of the mother. The mother has friends and family that will miss her when she is gone but an unborn fetus does not.

  23. Consent to sex with person A is not equivalent to consent to gestate person B. Those are very different relationships. Even if they were similar, consent is not transferable from one person/act to another.

    The riskiness of activity A is also not relevant to how one handles the outcome. Even someone who consents to rough sex does not automatically consent to forgo medical care in the event of injury.

    • Stalephreak says:

      Uhh, Not quite there honey…

      Cause and effect are very much relevant to the relationship in the consent to sex with person A. We know that pregnancy/conception/fertilization of the egg only happens from introduction of sperm to the egg. We also know sex may introduce sperm to the egg. Unless you’re having sex exclusively with eunuchs (your choice), you are acknowledging the risk to the creation of person B who had no choice on the decision to have sex with person A, but is a result of the same said decision.

      If I’d used your logic, my decision to text and drive, or drive while asleep would deem me faultless from running over a herd of cheerleaders. I’m pretty sure I’d be in jail for that. After all, the relationship was only between myself and my vehicular mode of transit.

  24. What is your argument on (over)population?

    • As I see it, overpopulation is a red herring in the abortion debate. In the western world, the population growth is low or negative, and this is not primarily caused by availability of abortion; in the third world the population growth is high, and this is not caused by a lack of abortions.

  25. I would like to point out that Gender Equality is harmed, not benefited, with unconditional right to abortion. Because if abortion is not permited (except in cases of rape, health danger etc) men and women are mutually obligated to sustain pregnancy and childcare by law. If the father was not find or try to avoid the responsibilty is another issue.

    But with free abortion, based just on free will of the mother, we have a very unequal situation, where men has no choice to decide if he want ou do not the baby, but women can freely choice it without consider his opinion. Her autonomy goes to the extreme of taking a life. Of course that is exactly this kind of unbalanced privilege that feminists call “equality”.

    Ok. The mother has to carry the baby for 9 mounths. But she has the right to give it away later, while the father will have to financially support it for decades, wanting it or not.

  26. I am a Christian, however, I have always felt basically the same thing as stated in this article. My religious perspective is a very small part of why abortion is wrong in my mind. In fact, I’d say Abortion should be more opposed by atheists since your destroying someones one and only chance to live. If you’ll never exist again, wouldn’t you want to protect life even more? Life is precious, and that alone should be enough to make abortion unthinkable.

  27. Very good article. I found it late, but I’m glad I did. I am a Roman Catholic and I work in a ministry that seeks to help post-abortive women and men. I think the basic human right to life is proof enough that abortion is horrific. But having spent many hours with women and men suffering the consequences, I can tell you it wounds the survivors deeply. It is especially catastrophic to women. Something happens to them. Someone above noted a “spirit to spirit” rupture. I think that defines it somewhat. There are huge jumps in statistics for women who have previously had abortions to mental illness, substance abuse, failed relationships, etc. Woman who where otherwise on a healthy path, suddenly change their life trajectory and spiral down after an abortion. Another dirty little secret is the increased risk of infertility and breast cancer. The life of the aborted child mattered greatly, and the world is a lesser place without them. But it doesn’t stop there. And we are all the victims of these walking wounded.

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