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SquareOne

Should An Atheist Be Pro Life?

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I think I'm going to start voting Democrat.

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They suck too, but at least they suck less. :)

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Guest MadameX

I am not anti-abortion.  I believe there are times when it can and should be used.  Rape, for one.  Physical health, being another.  But "Oops, we got preggo" is not something I sympathize with the couple.  Either raise the baby, or give it up for adoption. 

 

What does this mean, then? I read it as this is not a reason for an abortion in your judgment. Would you deny a woman an abortion if you felt her reason was "Oops?" If that is not what you meant, I apologize but that is how it read to me.

 

Now this is a rhetorical question not necessarily aimed at you: I wonder how it is that people who judge a woman's reasons for seeking an abortion as less than valid can figure she would do a great job of being pregnant, with all that entails, and of (potentially) raising an unwanted child. As if unwanted children suddenly become wanted, cherished, children in loving families.

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In my judgement, it's not a good reason for an abortion, but that's my own personal judgement and conviction.  I feel it's wrong to deny a woman an abortion, ever, under any circumstance.  But that doesn't mean I agree with any and all reasons for getting one.

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Guest MadameX

Don't care about what you think are good reasons, not at all, though if you actually *do* something to help people do the right thing by making the right thing easy, your opinion has a little more credibility. Women have the lion's share of responsibility for birth control, and it is not cheap. And it does sometimes fail. Men seem to get a pass o this issue with you 'pro-life' people.

 

Unless and until anti-abortion people do something to prevent unwanted pregnancies, they are merely blowing smoke out of their asses.

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R.S. Martin

 

I am not a troll.

 

I think it is really awful that just because I want to discuss what are very, very difficult ideas, which I struggle with; and because I take a certain view that is typically held by Christians, that you would assume as a matter of course that I must be a Christian.  That's really very upsetting.

 

Your accusation makes no sense.  What trollish behaviour have I engaged in?  Start with my first paragraph in the OP.  Look carefully at how much I have conceded my own subjective opinion on this issue.  Note how I have said to MyMistake that I will consider his arguments - and indeed I have begun to do so.

 

I really wanted to try and learn and discuss about this issue, and you're just throwing that back in my face.  Do you not believe that as atheists we should be open and think critically about things?

 

I will invite you to a private chat - maybe by talking to you individually you will see that I am sincere.  But beyond that I guess I'm pretty helpless.

 

Cut out the martyr attitude. You can change your behaviour so you don't come across as a troll. I got your pm and will answer here. A couple points:

 

  1. I don't think I accused you of being Christian. I put it in the context of my opinion and observation that you are a troll of whatever sort, religious being among the types listed. "Religious" does not necessarily equal "Christian."
  2. Others, and I, have pointed out why you come across as religious. I don't see a need to repeat the message.
  3. Finally, since you tend to twist what I say I feel no inclination to continue communication with you. Others here appear better suited to help you. Have a good life.

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I thought this thread was rather tame compared to how abortion threads usually turn out. 

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I thought this thread was rather tame compared to how abortion threads usually turn out.

Agreed, this is the first time this discussion hasn't turned to shit here.

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3-month old babies are no longer dependent on their carrier's body, so we as a society have given them the same rights we give to allindividuals

 

You did not say that in your original post.  You have changed, or added to, your argument.  My response was to your original comment, and I stand by my response to your original comment.

 

I changed nothing.  I merely elaborated. 

 

You didn't answer my question.  When do you begin to care for this lifeform? 

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I have HAD an abortion. 

 

You know what the hardest thing about that is? That nobody ever wants to talk to you. They want to talk AT you. They want to tell you all their opinions, fantasies, and ideologies about when life begins and how precious it is. They want to show you their high-rez pictures of dead fetuses that they just got off the press at Kinkos in hopes of hurting you and shaming you as much as possible. 

 

I can't really tell you how many times people have launched into telling me what goes on during an abortion like I wasn't...y'know...there. That'd be funny if it wasn't so insanely stupid. I mean seriously, you're telling a woman who's had an abortion about the "abortion factory" and "abortionists?"

 

It's kinda amazing how willing people are to look like idiots sometimes. I keep thinking I've seen it all and then someone else comes along and proves me wrong. I rather hate it when that happens.  

 

People sit around and like to pretend they actually give a damn about me or MY embryo (yes, I said MY embryo, and don't you fucking forget it). If they did, they would have asked me what happened in the first place. 

 

It gets really old really fast being used as an excuse for other people's feelings. 

 

I'm going to put my story here for you folks. I hope it blows a few holes in a few perceptions. 

 

 

The year was 2000. I was 22 and a college student working in a computer lab at school for minimum wage. I was slowly putting myself through college at the time and living at home caring for my very physically and mentally ill mother. I had been in a long-term monogamous relationship for about three years with my beloved fiance at the time. Like for many American youths, it was a vulnerable time and a trial by fire for the both of us trying to get on our feet as independent adults.

 

I was alerted to the pregnancy because I was nauseated all the time, gaining weight inexplicably, and chronically thirsty. Recognizing what was happening, I went to my local Planned Parenthood and they confirmed it with a test. I was 7 weeks along.

 

It was a horrible shock to my fiance and I. We had been so careful using condoms and pills consistently, but it was a fluke chance.

Seeing my stricken face, the doctor asked me gently, "How would you like to proceed with your care? I can give you brochures on all your options."

 

I said without hesitation, "I want an abortion."

 

"Are you sure?" She asked. "Would you like any brochures on adoption or family planning?"

 

"No."


She nodded at me, clearly giving me respect that I understood what I needed for my healthcare and not pressing the issue. We set up the appointment.

 

My fiance was there for me the entire time agreed wholeheartedly that this was the right decision without question. The abortion itself took place a week later and was nothing like what the propaganda makes you believe. It was surprisingly mundane. The Planned Parenthood clinic was a pretty ordinary doctor's office. I was treated very kindly by female staff who all understood that I was severely stressed out, and my doctor was a very sweet grandmother. I felt very supported and was treated with the utmost respect.

 

The start of it was pretty much like going in for a routine annual exam. They put my feet in the stirrups and explained to me that they were going to use seaweed rods called laminaria sticks to help dilate my cervix. There was a lot of waiting around as that took effect, and I read a magazine while it did. I didn't feel much of anything except for a little cramping.

 

While that was going on, they took an ultrasound so they could see where the embryo had implanted itself to make sure the surgery was as easy on me as possible. They didn't want to go blindly mucking about in my insides and risk me getting an infection.

It was not required for anyone to show the screen to me and it was turned away, but I looked at the nurse and asked, "May I see?"

She eyed me askance and said, "Are you sure?"

I nodded and said, "Yes. I need to know."

She nodded knowingly and turned around the screen for me. She pointed out the little black blob there.

 

I blurted out, "That's IT?"

 

She nodded to me and said neutrally, "Yup, that's it."

 

It was at that very instance I knew I was doing the right thing for all of us involved. The embryo was not going to suffer one iota. My mom was. My fiance was. I was. I would not and could not let that happen. It would have been so irresponsible and selfish of me to take myself away from them for a pregnancy I didn't even want, and it would be selfish and irresponsible of me to do that to this embryo. It may not have had the capability to care about anything at that moment, but it would one day, and I believe very firmly that all children should be born wanted. I cared very much about its future, and the fact it deserved better than to just be born because it existed.


The nurse asked if I was OK and if I wanted to stop. I said, "No. I want to finish for sure now."

 

The rest of the procedure was fairly short. They used a machine that was a little like a large vacuum cleaner with a thin hose and a little instrument with a loop on the end. It wasn't very scary looking. Just another random piece of medical technology. I think the worst of it was the noise was a little startling, but that was it. There was no blood, no silent screams, no nothing. I felt some moderate cramping, but that was it. It was over within just a few minutes.

 

 

Afterwards, they had me rest for a bit in a quiet room and gave me some juice and food to help me feel better. Kind of like what they do for you after giving blood. It helps clear your head.

 

After that, they helped me rework a better plan for some pills that actually worked for me. I was good as new within two days. 

I've never doubted my decision since. I've never developed health problems because of it. I was able to fulfill my responsibilities as an adult to my family and get through my schooling and become a contributing member of society. That would not have happened if I had not been able to get the care I desperately needed then.

 

I regret nothing.

 

Hope that clears up some lies for ya. If anybody has questions for me, don't be shy. Ask me. Even if you think it'd be offensive or graphic. I'd love it if you would. I've been in this debate for 13 years now. Sling 'em at me. I've heard it all. Hell, if you're mad and just want to get into a fight with me, feel free. I just LOVE sinking my teeth into some pro-liars.

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R.S. Martin

 

Cut out the martyr attitude. You can change your behaviour so you don't come across as a troll. I got your pm and will answer here. A couple points:

 

  1. I don't think I accused you of being Christian. I put it in the context of my opinion and observation that you are a troll of whatever sort, religious being among the types listed. "Religious" does not necessarily equal "Christian."
  2. Others, and I, have pointed out why you come across as religious. I don't see a need to repeat the message.
  3. Finally, since you tend to twist what I say I feel no inclination to continue communication with you. Others here appear better suited to help you. Have a good life

 

 

My behaviour?

 

Please, seriously, what have I done that is wrong?

 

Mymistake and JadedAtheist, above, have said that this thread was quite tame.  I am grateful to them for these observations.

 

I have kept a civil tone throughout.  I have not made any personal attacks, or made snide, sarcastic comments.  I have also not deliberately tried to twist anybody's words.  If you have examples of me twisting words I would be grateful if you could point them out.

 

But to me, I don't see much point in twisting people's words.  It doesn't achieve anything.  I'm just trying to have a straight-forward exchange of ideas.

 

In response to your three points.

 

1. You're right, you did not accuse me of being a Christian.  My bad.  I suppose I accidentally read that into the statement since this is a website of ex-Christians, and I am myself an ex-Christian.  An honest mistake.

2. As far as I can see nobody has really pointed out to me as why I come across as religious.

3. I have not twisted what you said.  If I have accidentally misrepresented you, I am sorry.

 

This is a website for discussion.  I have set out a position, and invited people to discuss.  I have not made any personal attacks on anybody, and I have repeatedly said that everything here is my opinion, and I have also conceded points and said that I may be wrong when my possible errors were pointed out to me.

 

Your assumption that I am a troll seems to me to come from no other place than that I have expressed a pro-life position.  That is really a rather unfortunate conclusion.  I am a free thinker, seeking to engage in discussion.  I will continue to do so.

 

Again, if you can point to an example of genuinely improper behaviour, I invite you to present it to me, and I will make a full apology for it.

 

 

Everyone else...

 

I'll reply to some posts later.  Thanks for your interest in the discussion, there's some good points been made since I was last online. smile.png

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Guest MadameX

Kurari, thanks for your story.

 

I also had a surgical termination at about the same time (like 9 weeks?) at age 21 in similar circumstances and had a similar experience. I was nothing but relieved and grateful I had that option.

 

It was an incredibly difficult time. I was shocked and horrified to be in that position and felt betrayed by my body.

 

Oh did y'all know that antibiotics can reduce the efficiency of the birth control pill? You can be as conscientious as you should be and still manage to ovulate.

 

Later went on to have a daughter, after an uneventful healthy planned pregnancy with my wonderful husband. She is now a smart, funny, very together young person who is ready to go out and make the world a better place after getting into med school. Actually, before even - she is a long time volunteer at the medical center, a soup kitchen, and an English language tutor.

 

Not so easy having our second child. Had at least three miscarriages, at around 11 weeks, the stage where the placenta takes over. Probably due to my age, hormones were not kicking in properly, or very likely the embryos were genetically blighted and incompatible with life. Progesterone supplements eventually addressed the situation and we have an awesome son, too. He is super smart, creative, kind, healthy, happy and a joy.

 

Or did 'god' decide to call those embryos to heaven a little ahead of schedule (rolling eyes)

 

Like you sure I will take on anyone who has never been in our shoes yet feels they can rule on our actions. I have always worked for a living and put myself through college, have many devoted friends, am a volunteer at hospice where I hold the hands of the dying, teach Sunday School, have a loving 25 year marriage. I am anyone you know. Look around you. A significant number of the women you see have been in circumstances that forced that same decision. Like many medical situations, the patient is forced to make choices between things that are bad or worse or worser.

 

ETA: I am glad to have children now though they are incredibly expensive and I sometimes think people like us shouldn't have kids because of that. I work to support my family and i don't get paid a whole lot. I have never had a job that provided maternity leave, barely have retirement funds and no savings. I had no family to help me watch my kids while we worked. And one point I took time off to raise my kids and came back to the workplace at a huge disadvantage because if it. This country lags behind most developed countries and is not a very friendly place for women who work and support a family. I have a friend who had two kids, was married, and pregnant with a third - which she aborted because she just could not handle another child. apparently, there is a large number of married women who have abortions for the same reasons. We have to look at WHY women seek abortion and address those issues.

 

Done for now, gotta go.

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Guest MadameX

Square 1, I also had the suspicion that you were a Christian troll but probably you, being a recent de-convert, have learned some dishonest Christian apologetics tricks of rhetoric that have caused us to take note. I have to get to work and cannot really devote the time right now but offhand I remember your equating abortion to killing an infant (classic moving the goalposts move, typical of Xtian apologists), got all pissy, attempted to lure us into that rhetorical rabbithole of objective vs subjective blah blah blah typical of apologists. Oh and you misrepresented my reply to you by saying I was shouting you down. Raised some alarms, you know.

 

Look, if you wade into the waters of a discussion about abortion, are you surprised that people's feelings run high? And then start whining about it?

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Doesn't matter where you define the beginning of an individual life- it's GOING to be arbitrary.  So why not leave this question to the person who will be most directly affected by it (the woman who happens to be pregnant)?

 

I understand that some people are worried that babies are being killed.  But the fact is that if you make that claim- you're placing your OWN judgement on the matter above that of the woman who's carrying the fetus.  Now you may not be explicitly trying to control these women- but placing your own judgement above theirs is pretty damn close, and I'd resent it too.  

 

So why not just mind your own business and let women do what they think is best?

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Square 1, I also had the suspicion that you were a Christian troll but probably you, being a recent de-convert, have learned some dishonest Christian apologetics tricks of rhetoric that have caused us to take note. I have to get to work and cannot really devote the time right now but offhand I remember your equating abortion to killing an infant (classic moving the goalposts move, typical of Xtian apologists), got all pissy, attempted to lure us into that rhetorical rabbithole of objective vs subjective blah blah blah typical of apologists. Oh and you misrepresented my reply to you by saying I was shouting you down. Raised some alarms, you know.

 

Look, if you wade into the waters of a discussion about abortion, are you surprised that people's feelings run high? And then start whining about it?

 

I have not used any dishonest rhetorical tricks.  I just want to discuss views.  I've no time for games.

 

I have at no point said that killing a foetus is the same thing as killing an infant.  But let me clarify:  I do not believe that killing an infant is the same as killing a foetus.

 

I have already responded to your comment about shouting you down.  Again, I was just referring to the fact that you strongly objected.  I wasn't saying that you were actually shouting.  It is a figure of speech.  Maybe it is only a British figure of speech.  Or maybe it has different connotations for you.  Sorry again if that was misunderstood.

 

I am not surprised that people's feelings run high.  I refer you to my very first paragraph in the Original Post.  I'm not whining about you having strong feelings.  I've not said it is wrong to have those strong feelings.  However, in my opinion feelings alone should not be a basis for crafting laws. So,  I have just set out my objections to the current law (which, by the way, are not based on feelings, but on foetus viability) and clarified, and re-clarified my positions.

 

Now, MadameX, do you want to discuss the issues?

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So why not just mind your own business and let women do what they think it best?

 

Because we do not apply that logic to any other area of law.

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I don't think an atheist 'should' be anything, except an atheist. These other issues are not related to atheism.

 

This is where theists get confused about atheism.. it's a single position on a single subject. That a large portion of atheists happen to be liberal, pro-life or anything else is irrelevant and has nothing to do with atheism.

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I don't think an atheist 'should' be anything, except an atheist. These other issues are not related to atheism.

 

This is where theists get confused about atheism.. it's a single position on a single subject. That a large portion of atheists happen to be liberal, pro-life or anything else is irrelevant and has nothing to do with atheism.

 

I agree.

 

Looking back, I think my title of the post is pretty stupid!

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Oh

 

My opinion on abortion?

 

ya.. when the world cares as much about the children that are already here and 30,000 or more don't die every day from starvation, disease and whatever.. then we can dialogue. Until then.. STFU.

 

I'd be a whole lot more impressed if those bitchin' about it actually adopted high needs children... MOST don't. Our foster care system in the western world (not even including the hundreds of thousands of children in the rest of the world) is overflowing with unwanted, abused and high needs children, who because they are unwanted frequently grow up with severe social and mental/emotional issues.

 

Also.. it's my friggin' womb. Period. I am NOT an incubator, my womb does not belong to the state or anyone else...  and my reproductive rights belong to me. Period.  M.I.N.E.  ...so.. the day we can legislate sterilization (or forced procreation) for men is the day I MAY consider this issue again.

 

That's all.

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Oh, ok.  There's not much point in me trying to talk to you about this then, I suppose.  But, thank you for sharing. (really).

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So why not just mind your own business and let women do what they think it best?

 

Because we do not apply that logic to any other area of law.

 

Don't we?

 

IMO, similar logic is used any time we defer to individual rights rather than top-down, one-size-fits-all legislated morality.

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So why not just mind your own business and let women do what they think it best?

 

Because we do not apply that logic to any other area of law.

 

This is an empty claim without examples and/or citations.  Law is a massively broad subject. 

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I don't think an atheist 'should' be anything, except an atheist. These other issues are not related to atheism.

 

Yes, but I'm going to counter this notion that gets often repeated around here.  There are certain implications that come with the position of rejecting the god thesis even if there are no rules or manifestos. 

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why?

 

Does that come down to the whole 'morality from deity' and concept of a 'soul'?

 

Is it implicit in say, believing in evolution, that life has less value?

 

I'm a quality over quantity thinker so maybe I'm missing something

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I have HAD an abortion. 

 

Thank you for sharing your story. Whilst I would class myself as 'pro-life' I guess technically speaking I would be 'pro-choice' in the sense that I feel it's not my place to tell a woman what to do regarding the fetus in her womb. Rather, I would that we live in a more ideal world where it wouldn't need to be an option but until then I believe it should be an available option.

 

Since you invited questions, I was curious as to how you think things would play out if your partner at the time wanted to keep the baby? Do you feel that men in this case have any say or any weight to add to the decision?

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