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AnonymousCoward

The Ethics Of Abortion And Pro-Choice

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Note before I get into this: I know this is a controversial issue and I'm not sure if this is the right place for this topic, but I couldn't find a better fit. Please let me know if this should go somewhere else. Also, this is not me trying to start a debate - I'm trying to understand the other side of the issue after only being exposed to one side of the debate for so long. I'd like to know how other ex-Christians have come to conclusions on this issue.

 

Hi all,

 

I'm a recently deconverted Christian as of a couple months ago. There are many ethics from Christianity that, now that I no longer believe, are easy for me to accept the opposite of what Christianity teaches such as homosexuality. However, one issue that I have trouble with (and had no trouble accepting as a Christian unlike some issues) is the thinking around the topic of abortion. Within Christianity, you are assumed to be pro-life. Now that I'm outside, I'm finding that the assumption is that I would be pro-choice.

 

The problem is, abortion seemed to be the only major morality issue where it was "us Christians against the world" that actually made sense and that I actually agreed with on an intellectual level. A pastor I used to listen to even said that this is the one area where people want to ignore science. After all, a fetus has heartbeats and brain activity at very early stages of development. A fetus seems to have everything that makes us human. Why are we only to consider a fetus to be human once he or she is born?

 

I understand that there are differences between a fetus and a baby. With a fetus, there's another person tied to him or her - the mother. As a male, it's hard for me to completely understand the issues women would face with this issue since I cannot experience it first-hand. It's unfair that women are the ones who have to deal with unwanted and unexpected pregnancies. It's unfair that in something that requires a male and a female, that the female has to deal with the majority of the fallout.

 

However, the mother is not the only person who has to deal with the fallout of the decision. The already-alive fetus will live or die based on the mother's decision. Does not the importance of the life of another human being outweigh the importance of another's not being inconvenienced (obviously if the mother's health is at risk, it's a different story, but not even a hardcore Christian would disagree with abortion in the case where the life of the mother is threatened)?

 

I can understand that mandating that a woman carry a pregnancy to term is heavy-handed. Potentially, there could be legitimate reasons why one would need to terminate a pregnancy and one would not want to go through government bureaucracy in order to prove that the reason is legitimate. However, even if there is free choice on the matter, why is the decision to terminate a human life not taken more grievously? If you had to kill someone, wouldn't you make sure that you exhausted all other options? It seems (this may be only Christian brainwashing talking) that the decision to terminate is taken lightly. I don't want a baby right now therefore, I terminate.

 

Enough of my rambling though. I'm interested to hear all of your thoughts on this issue. As people who most likely were at one point pro-life, what are your thoughts on this issue? Has it changed? Did it change the instant you no longer believed (like for me - I don't believe in God therefore, homosexuality must be perfectly ok)? If not, what caused you to change your thinking?

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I'll be watching this thread, I'm in the same place. I never quite believed the homosexuality debate, or many of the others, but the abortion argument is still a tough one for me.

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It can be a bad situation all around and impact the lives of many people. However, at the end of the day, it is her body and she has to be the one to make the decision. I cannot see any way around that. It is not my body and I have no business telling a woman what to do with herself. Abortion is a medical procedure and as such it should be between an adequately qualified provider and a well informed patient.

 

Additionally, being pregnant is much more complicated than just wanting or not wanting a baby. There are profound life changes and mom takes on numerous health risks. Significant physiological changes occur as mom takes on more fluid (so much do that it's common for pregnant women to develop heart murmurs as the fluid backflips through heart valves), becomes anaemic, sets herself up to bleed to death, clot to death or die of a pulmonary embolism, develop multi organ dysfunction, endocrine dysfunction, hypertension and neurological dysfunction and I haven't even talked about all the issues that can occur during labour and delivery.

 

If you don't like abortion, I'd say champion for women's reproductive rights, access to reproductive health care and education. These things all decrease the numbers of unwanted pregnancies. Actually, doing this is probably a good thing regardless of your feelings about abortion. Personally, I'd like to see oral contraceptives and the morning after pill be over the counter medications. I've personally seen people die an incredibly miserable death from fulminating hepatic failure due to overdosing the popular over the counter drug Tylenol, but nobody is trying to pull that off the shelves.

 

Also know that a significant portion of all pregnancies spontaneously terminate. If you believed in god you would have to reconcile the fact that god has killed orders of magnitude more "potential" people than every abortion that will ever be performed.

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Some xians do want to outlaw abortion even in cases where the mother's life is at risk.

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still the same abortion debate,,,,, ok,,,

 

i think before you make decisions, do you know any woman that has gone through abortion? I have. My sister. She was young naive and she is a happy grandmother now,,,,,

 

have you met orphans? i have when i was helping out in orphanage,,,,,

 

take time to know,,,, before making any judgement and so called "morality"

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I supported abortion even as a christian.  I can't believe more christians aren't in favor of it.  The agenda of any True ChristianTM is to get as many souls into heaven as possible, right?  So aborting a fetus, before it is born into sin, automatically sends the soul into the sweet arms of the baby jesus, without said soul ever having to endure to trial and tribulation of life in this world.  It's kind of like a "Get Out of Hell Free" card.  On the other hand, allowing the child to be born exposes it to the possibility of never finding jesus and going to hell.  From the christian perspective, everything should be done to protect a woman's right to abortion.

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Most christians are also not just against abortion, but birth control as well.  To them, birth control takes away the "consequences" of sex, and they feel that sex should always and only be for makin' babies.  To me, this colors the debate in an unflattering way.  Although I do not agree that abortion is "baby killing" unless it is far enough along to survive outside the mother, I do understand why people would be against aborting a developing fetus at any age.  To me, if I held that view, I would think it more logical to support women's easy access to birth control in order to stop eggs from fertilizing in the first place, but that is also not acceptable to many (most?) christians.  They want sex to always result in babies, abortion is only the most visible aspect of their war against women.

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Christians used to consider abortion more of a gray area--it was with the "moral majority" conservative movement that it became seen as "all Christians must agree."

 

It helped me to read Women's Ways of Knowingin which the authors did research on how women made the decision to have or not have an abortion--helped me see how ridiculously complicated it is, so having a set rule of what everybody must do made no sense.

 

A little research will bring you to horrifying stories of what can happen in states with highly restrictive anti-abortion laws--there was one a year or so ago where a woman had to suffer and risk her life to carry a non-viable fetus to term. 

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I'm a recently deconverted Christian as of a couple months ago. There are many ethics from Christianity that, now that I no longer believe, are easy for me to accept the opposite of what Christianity teaches such as homosexuality. However, one issue that I have trouble with (and had no trouble accepting as a Christian unlike some issues) is the thinking around the topic of abortion. Within Christianity, you are assumed to be pro-life. Now that I'm outside, I'm finding that the assumption is that I would be pro-choice.

 

 

In my case, I became pro choice before I deconverted. And I know several religious people who are also pro choice.

 

 

A pastor I used to listen to even said that this is the one area where people want to ignore science. After all, a fetus has heartbeats and brain activity at very early stages of development. 

 

 

 

Animals have heartbeats and brain activity too, that doesn't stop too many "pro lifers" from eating them.

 

Anyways, the heartbeats and brain activity arguments on fetuses is misleading for the most part - the claim that the heartbeat begins after a few weeks is wrong because there is no heart that early - only a clump of veins that form a rough predecessor of the organ. And a heartbeat does not equal the ability to survive or an element of consciousness. 

 

As for brain activity, many antis throw out misleading lines.  In early pregnancy, the brain and nervous system are still in a very early stage of development. The beginnings of the brain stem, which includes a rudimentary thalamus and spinal cord, is being formed. Most brain cells are not developed. Without a cerebral cortex (gray matter covering the brain), impulses cannot be received or perceived. The cerebellum itself attains its final configuration in the seventh month and that mylenization (or covering) of the spinal cord and the brain begins between the 20th and 40th weeks of pregnancy. For cognition to occur, the cortex (gray matter covering the brain) must be present, as well as myelinization (covering sheath) of the spinal cord and attached nerves. Although some electrical impulses have been recorded as early as 10 weeks' gestation, these cannot be interpreted as or compared with brain waves. Genuine brain waves do not occur until the third trimester.

 

A fetus seems to have everything that makes us human. Why are we only to consider a fetus to be human once he or she is born?

 

 

I find it hard to buy that. A fetus in early development cannot in any way be compared to a fully formed functioning person. At this stage only rudiments of the organ systems are present. The fetus is unable to sustain life outside the woman's womb, it is incapable of conscious thought; it is incapable of essential breathing. It is instead an in utero fetus with the potential of becoming a child.

 

However, the mother is not the only person who has to deal with the fallout of the decision. The already-alive fetus will live or die based on the mother's decision. Does not the importance of the life of another human being outweigh the importance of another's not being inconvenienced (obviously if the mother's health is at risk, it's a different story, but not even a hardcore Christian would disagree with abortion in the case where the life of the mother is threatened)?

 

 

What is "inconvenience" to you? Not wanting to have to drop out of school and risking your entire future? Not wanting to lose a job you depend on? Not wanting to be tied forever to an abusive ex or a rapist? Wanting to provide for the children you already have? Not wanting to sink further into poverty?

 

Many xtians are against abortion even when the mothers life is at risk. The case of "Beatriz" in El Salvador is a perfect example. 

 

However, even if there is free choice on the matter, why is the decision to terminate a human life not taken more grievously? 

 

 

Why do you think women find this choice easy or make it lightly?

 

If you had to kill someone, wouldn't you make sure that you exhausted all other options?

 

An abortion is not "killing someone." 

 

 It seems (this may be only Christian brainwashing talking) that the decision to terminate is taken lightly. I don't want a baby right now therefore, I terminate.

 

Xtian brainwashing indeed.

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I actually have only two certainties on this:

  1. If the mother's life is at risk, the abortion should go ahead.
  2. If the unborn has developed to the point that it is capable of living independent of the mother, it should not be killed.

 

Thereafter, I find this something of a quagmire.

 

And, as I have no certainty, I blame no-one for whatever choice they make.

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After all, a fetus has heartbeats and brain activity at very early stages of development.

 

Actually, brainwaves are not present until about the 20th week. Prior to brainwaves being present, the fetus would be incapable of feeling pain, so there's certainly no "cruelty" factor for the first 18-19 weeks of pregnancy. After that is a gray area for me. Late abortions I do find seriously problematic, though. How can I object to the Bible's references to dashing infants against the rocks and simultaneously be OK with chopping up a viable baby shortly before (s)he would be born?

 

Most christians are also not just against abortion, but birth control as well.

 

Do you have any statistics to back this up? I know that most Catholics are opposed to birth control, but in my experience most Protestants are OK with it (they just maintain that you must be married). I have a LOT of Christian family members and friends, and very few of them have indicated any opposition to birth control (actually, my Catholic aunt is the only one I can think of offhand). My wife and I used birth control as Christians.

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Anon, I agree with your views on abortion. Even before I was a Christian I found it disgusting how it slips into the "women's rights" category. I am pro abortion if the woman has been raped, is sick etc, and I certainly don't think it should be illegal (in any country)

 

I just really wish people would think more seriously about eradicating a life, there are so many types of contraception which are are around the 98% effective mark. If people were more serious about not getting pregnant (I know so many people who can't be "dealing" with being careful) If they could, this wouldn't be an issue.

 

The College drop out thing makes me angry too, you can always go back to college, you can't get that person back. The fact that the unborn babies rely on the mothers to keep them alive, and some mothers don't, just because... breaks my heart. Don't let anyone tell you you're brainwashed, have your own view.x

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I've been pro choice for much longer than I've been a nonbeliever. The main reason - public health and safety. Nobody wants more abortions; repealing RvW would not stop abortions, it would only make them more dangerous.

 

A quick Google search will reveal that the states with the most abortion restrictions also have the highest infant mortality rates. To me, that's one of the best arguments to support safe, available (I mean equally available to everyone regardless Of where they live), legal and well regulated abortions.

 

I might concede that abortion *could* be morally wrong in some situations, but that would not change my view.

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I was anti-abortion during all the decades that I was a fundie Christian.  Once I stopped taking the Bible on faith I examined abortion fresh and came away with different thoughts.

 

 

1.  The human race isn't going extinct.  Rather we are rushing head long into overpopulation.  

 

2.  Overpopulation causes famine, war, congestion, crime.  It leads to worsening environment and pollution.  It causes great suffering on a global scale.

 

3.  The would be mother is the one person with the best perspective on what kind of life the child would have.  Everybody else has a conflict of interest.  If the mother can think of a reason to not want the baby or a prohibitive obstacle against raising the baby then it is likely that the child's life will suck.

 

4.  People will die as a result of the problems caused by overpopulation.

 

5.  If you must kill a person the most ethical moment to do so is before they are born.  They don't suffer as much that way.

 

 

From there I concluded that all women of childbearing age should be extended abortion rights and the decision should belong to the potential mother alone.  Of course society should pick up the tab.  It is in society's best interest to do so.

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Most christians are also not just against abortion, but birth control as well.  To them, birth control takes away the "consequences" of sex, and they feel that sex should always and only be for makin' babies.  To me, this colors the debate in an unflattering way.  Although I do not agree that abortion is "baby killing" unless it is far enough along to survive outside the mother, I do understand why people would be against aborting a developing fetus at any age.  To me, if I held that view, I would think it more logical to support women's easy access to birth control in order to stop eggs from fertilizing in the first place, but that is also not acceptable to many (most?) christians.  They want sex to always result in babies, abortion is only the most visible aspect of their war against women.

 

 

I agree with this.  

 

Those xians who don't oppose birth control on the grounds of sex-is-for-making-babies, may oppose it on the grounds that it can cause an early abortion.  The pill works in 3 ways - it suppresses the maturation and release of the egg, it thickens the mucus in the cervix to impede the progress of sperm, and if an egg and sperm meet, combine, and the resulting zygote makes it to the wall of the uterus, the pill has made that wall slippery, so the zygote can't embed there.  That's where the zygote dies, (post conception).  That's why some xians oppose birth control.

 

Then there are xians who support birth control but oppose even early abortions because in the babies vs women war they choose babies.   To these people, women don't have the right to bodily integrity.  I object to 50% of humans having inferior rights so I support pro-choice.

 

In response to the belief that women should feel guilty for choosing an abortion, here's one woman's story:

http://www.secularwoman.org/do_not_regret_my_abortion

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Anon, I agree with your views on abortion. Even before I was a Christian I found it disgusting how it slips into the "women's rights" category. I am pro abortion if the woman has been raped, is sick etc, and I certainly don't think it should be illegal (in any country)

 

I just really wish people would think more seriously about eradicating a life, there are so many types of contraception which are are around the 98% effective mark. If people were more serious about not getting pregnant (I know so many people who can't be "dealing" with being careful) If they could, this wouldn't be an issue.

 

If you honestly consider the fetus a "life", then why does rape matter? Is the rape fetus any different from a regular fetus?

 

That tells me you care more about seeing a woman punished than any real concern about a fetus.

 

The College drop out thing makes me angry too, you can always go back to college, you can't get that person back. 

 

 

No, you can't "always go back to college." You can't always get back that scholarship, have that much money saved up, get admitted again, etc. Trying to pretend otherwise is just being naive. 

 

The fact that the unborn babies rely on the mothers to keep them alive, and some mothers don't, just because... breaks my heart. 

 

 

Does it break your heart that hundreds of thousands of actual living children in this country alone have no parents caring for them or are abused by the people who should be keeping them alive? 

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Most christians are also not just against abortion, but birth control as well.

 

Do you have any statistics to back this up? I know that most Catholics are opposed to birth control, but in my experience most Protestants are OK with it (they just maintain that you must be married). I have a LOT of Christian family members and friends, and very few of them have indicated any opposition to birth control (actually, my Catholic aunt is the only one I can think of offhand). My wife and I used birth control as Christians.

 

 

No, I don't, but now that you ask, you've made me curious and I'll probably do a little searching later.  I'll let you know if I find anything.  I based the statement only partly with catholics in mind because I know most of them do use some kind of contraceptive, even if the pope says not to.  But most fundy's I've heard, seen, or known are against it.  I was raised evangelical lutheran, which is an odd mix of traditional and fundamentalist so perhaps my view is skewed.  The only memory I have of any sex ed before I went to public high school was being shown pictures and told descriptions of untreated STDs in middle school (run by the church I attended).  I'm not saying they didn't teach us about contraceptives, but my memories are of a "don't do it until you're married as a way to avoid STDs".  This was also in the mid to late 80's so AIDS was still new and not well understood generally, and we all know how far behind churches are in science.  I remember more about my D.A.R.E. class than I do about any sex ed in those grades.

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I was VERY pro-life as a xtian and even arrested as a teen at an abortion clinic protest.  From outside the xtian bubble now, I can't understand on what basis xtians are so adamantly anti-abortion.  It certainly is NOT from the Bible.  A few verses are cherry picked, but a broad view of the actions of god himself shows he is CERTAINLY not against killing babies and fetuses in the same way xtians are (the flood, the passover, the amelakites, etc.).

 

With that said, I can understand a moral and logical framework where one believes that human life begins at conception.  I think it's a reasonable stance (although not a biblical one!).  What changed me was simply the fact that NATURE is not pro-life.  The god the xtians think drives them in this moral debate allows upwards of 70% of all fertilized eggs (life begins at conception!) to be naturally aborted (i.e. miscarriage).  Most of these miscarriages happen in the first few days of pregnancy and the woman doesn't even realize what has happened.  To me, this utterly shattered the xtian worldview argument.

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Interesting thoughts, everyone.

 

I admit my personal feelings at this point are more of an emotional reaction that I have since I have had my children. I cannot imagine having an abortion. However, that doesn't mean that anyone else has to/should agree with me based on that.

 

My question is for those who mentioned that the cut off point should be when the baby can/could live independent of the mother. My problem with that argument is that medical advances are making it more an more possible to save premature babies even when they are only 24 or so weeks gestation. That is another argument, if we should save children who are born that early, but it seems arbitrary to make it dependent on how far medicine can go with saving a preemie.

 

When I was christian, I always felt like I had to go all or nothing because I couldn't see a definite place or way to draw the line as to when a fetus becomes a life. All the arguments seemed to be just lines drawn in the sand based on someone's preference. I went with the "life from conception" idea, which also prevented us from using any birth control that could possibly prevent pregnancy by obstructing implantation after fertilization has occured.

 

And to reply to Marty's comment.. I don't know many Christians who are anti-birth control. There were a few people who thought that you should just leave it up to god (I'm reminded of the Monty Python Every Sperm is Sacred song), but the majority of christians I know use some form of birth control.

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I find the Christian stance on abortion ignores that abortion is condoned in cases where a woman is pregnant with the child of a man who isn't her husband (Num 5:11-31).

This is a law, not a suggestion.

That pretty much destroys the popular Christian claim that God is anti-abortion.

The Bible also assigns monetary value to human life and children under one month have zero value (Lev 27:1-7).

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Most christians are also not just against abortion, but birth control as well.

 

Do you have any statistics to back this up? I know that most Catholics are opposed to birth control, but in my experience most Protestants are OK with it (they just maintain that you must be married). I have a LOT of Christian family members and friends, and very few of them have indicated any opposition to birth control (actually, my Catholic aunt is the only one I can think of offhand). My wife and I used birth control as Christians.

 

 

No, I don't, but now that you ask, you've made me curious and I'll probably do a little searching later.  I'll let you know if I find anything.  I based the statement only partly with catholics in mind because I know most of them do use some kind of contraceptive, even if the pope says not to.  But most fundy's I've heard, seen, or known are against it.  I was raised evangelical lutheran, which is an odd mix of traditional and fundamentalist so perhaps my view is skewed.  The only memory I have of any sex ed before I went to public high school was being shown pictures and told descriptions of untreated STDs in middle school (run by the church I attended).  I'm not saying they didn't teach us about contraceptives, but my memories are of a "don't do it until you're married as a way to avoid STDs".  This was also in the mid to late 80's so AIDS was still new and not well understood generally, and we all know how far behind churches are in science.  I remember more about my D.A.R.E. class than I do about any sex ed in those grades.

 

 

 

I think it would have been more accurate to say most Christian denominations.  Many of the denominations' leaders shun birth control because it makes sex fun.  And fun sex is sinful.

 

Now whether the Christians followers obey the rules in the privacy of their own bedrooms is a different matter.  Perhaps some give lip service to the policy and live something that is more pragmatic.

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Until fairly recently, I hadn't been aware that birth control was even an issue for anyone but Catholics.  Or the idea that sex has to be for procreation only, and shouldn't be fun at all, even between married couples.  Those are some extreme views I hadn't even realized.  I was basically tought, once you get married, knock yourself out.

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One of the things that changed my personal feelings of uneasiness about being pro-choice (separate from philosophical beliefs about women's autonomy and scientific studies on the viability of a fetus at certain stages) was realizing that I didn't attach any personal value to having not been aborted.

 

Growing up, my mother told me over and over again, and tried to get me to repeat to others even before I was really aware of what it meant, was that even though I was an unwanted child, my biological mother had chosen to put me up for adoption instead of aborting me, and in twisted Christian logic, it would have been against my own interests to be anything other than anti-choice.

 

But as I became a teenager and young adult, I realized that if I ever met someone in my biological mother's position, I'd BEG her to go on birth control. Documents from the adoption agency woke me up to the reality that she wasn't a loving person who sadly gave up a baby she couldn't care for, but that she was a callous and sexist person who'd abandoned a baby. The fact that I'd been adopted by middle class Americans instead of growing up in the orphanage was a rare stroke of luck, not a miracle. A sign of a miracle might be if EVERY abandoned baby was adopted and cared for, but obviously that wasn't true. What I had gotten was lucky. And that realization was followed by the realization that if I hadn't been born because my bio mother had been on birth control, there was no difference if I hadn't been born because I'd been aborted as a fetus.

 

That doesn't mean that I think that abortion is black and white. I don't believe that a non-viable fetus is a human, and I believe that no person should be forced to allow another being, human or not, to be a parasitic entity on their body. But I don't necessarily believe that there's a magical difference between a 9 month fetus and a one day old baby. What I do believe is that while I am not sure whether morality is absolute, human laws are always subjective to some degree. Nor do I believe that that subjectivity means that laws are bad, unnecessary, or should always be resisted. It's ok to pick a subjective point, as long as it's as well informed as possible, and make a law around it. To me, that means that somewhere between 3-5 months, it's ok to say - this point is when a woman can legally have an abortion, with exceptions possible for documented health reasons.

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Thanks everybody for the discussion. This has been very helpful for framing my Christian brainwashed views on the subject. I found it especially helpful just to write down my views and the arguments for them and through that see holes.

 

For example, when I asked whether the life of one human being outweighed the convenience of another, I brought to mind the fact that if I gave all my money and possessions to the right people, I could save at least one if not dozens of lives. Sure, giving away everything I own would be very inconvenient for me, but what is that in comparison to the human lives I could save? I have chosen not to be inconvenienced in that way and that is my right* (note that "inconvenience" was probably a poor choice of words and I got some push-back on my use of it. An inconvenience can sound like being stuck in traffic on the way to work. I probably should have used a stronger word, but I couldn't think of one.). Therefore, I think it would be unreasonable to take away a woman's right to decide whether she takes a baby to term whether or not the baby is considered a full human being.

 

In terms of when fetus turns from something that can be tossed away without remorse to someone who may be worth "inconvenience" (please give me a better word) to protect, it looks like I have to do some research. There are two things at play here: when a fetus develops attributes that make it worth protecting and what attributes are worth protecting (which is a difficult question since society deems other animals not worth protecting and a fetus doesn't seem to have anything that an animal doesn't other than the ability to grow into a human). It's pretty clear that opposing things like the morning-after pill is just plain silly, but as things get later in development, the questions get harder.

 

I don't really buy the orphanage or overpopulation arguments. If an orphan's life is so bad, why don't we just kill them rather than let them live the life of an orphan? Clearly if abortion ceased to exist, many industrialized nations would be overcome with poor and/or parentless children. If it were to happen in our current system, obviously we would be overwhelmed. However, this does not seem like an unsolvable societal problem. Countries would just have to get better at handling and caring for orphans.

 

It's interesting to hear so many diverse perspectives on what Christians believe. For a religion that's based around the same book and the same God, there seem to be a lot of differences of opinion around what is right and what is wrong. It's almost as if the religion is barely based on anything at all. When you're within one Christian sect, you tend to believe that most Christians are like you and those who differ on many things are in the minority and far away from the "Truth". The Christianity I was a part of is heavily pro-life and fine with birth control (though generally against the morning-after pill with a minority opposition to the birth control pill).

 

*Obviously some of my money is taken away by taxation; some of which is used to save lives. I don't have the right not to "inconvenience" myself to save those people. Still, as long as I have money/possessions, I do have the right to use it as I please and I don't have to go down to zero as long as there are people in the world who need saving.

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"inconvenience" (please give me a better word)

It's not one word, but when I think of what pregnancy and childbirth would be like, I think of pain and the risk of major complications.

 

The pain is not always manageable and can be there throughout pregnancy, along with intractable nausea.  The pain of childbirth is ridiculously severe unless you are fortunate enough to have the kind of labour where medication can be given eg opioids, epidural, which carries additional risks of complications.  There is also pain after the birth while the body recovers and also heals from any nasty injuries that resulted from the birth.  Some women are left with permanent injury and loss of function.  Every pregnancy risks pain, nausea, serious complications and in rare cases, death.

 

For me, these would have been the reasons for me to have an abortion.  I know many of you are parents and I salute you.  It just wasn't for me.

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