Here are the FACTS about abortion:
Very few abortions occur at late or full term. 89% of all abortions occur in the first trimester, with 63% occurring in the first nine weeks. 98.8% of abortions take place before viability. Late term abortions after twenty week are 1.2% of all abortion procedures performed in the United States. Out of 1.2 million annual abortions, 14,400 are after 20 weeks. Most of these abortion are medically necessary due to the health of the mother, the fetus, or both.
These FACTS can be found at the Guttmacher Institute.
I realize that almost half of Americans are pro-life, or at least when polled they say they are pro-life. I am not at all convinced that as many people are pro-life as the polls suggest.
I wonder how pro-lifers would respond to polling questions like these:
- Your eleven year old daughter is raped by a serial rapist and she became pregnant. Would you support your daughter having an abortion?
- Your wife is raped by an AID’s infected man. Her rape was a Todd Akin “legitimate” rape and she became pregnant. Would you support your wife having an abortion?
- Your wife is pregnant with a fetus that tests show will be born without a brain. Would you support your wife having an abortion?
- Your wife is in danger of dying if her fetus is carried to term. The doctor says unless she has an abortion she will die. Would you support your wife having an abortion?
- Your wife is carrying a dead fetus. Should she have an abortion to remove the fetus? Why? Perhaps almighty God will work a miracle and breathe the breath of life back into the fetus. Shouldn’t you wife wait to see if God works a miracle?
When faced with reality and not political talking points I wonder how many people would actually stand by their no-exceptions anti-abortion stance?
Some pro-lifers say they support exemptions for rape, incest, and if the life of the mother is at stake. However, these exceptions are antithetical to the pro-life view. If life begins the moment the egg and sperm unite, then any abortion is the killing of a human life. It is inconsistent and hypocritical to call yourself pro-life and then turn right around and say, in some circumstances, it is permissible to kill the fetus. Shouldn’t this life and death choice be left in the hands of God?
According to anti-abortionists, life begins at conception. At the very moment the sperm and egg unite a new life is created. Anti-abortionists are intractable when it comes to their position. Life begins at conception…end of debate.
Let me tell you a story……
This story takes place at the We Make Life Possible Fertility Clinic.
Sue gave birth to a beautiful baby girl through in vitro fertilization. Her baby girl is 1 month old . Sue stopped by the Fertility Clinic to show off her newborn to the Clinic staff.
While Sue was at the clinic, a huge explosion rocked the place and the clinic was engulfed in flames. Later speculation on World Net Daily, suggested a supporter of Barack Obama was behind the attack.
John, named after John THE Baptist, a pro-life activist, happened to be passing by the clinic when the explosion took place. John went running into the clinic hoping to perhaps save someone from the fire.
John had been to the We Make Possible Life Fertility Clinic before. His wife Patience had problems conceiving, and not wanting to wait on God to open her womb, John and Patience went to Clinic. While the treatment was successful, Patience miscarried a few months into the pregnancy.
John knew the Clinic stored hundreds of fertilized eggs (embryos) in a freezer. As he rushed into the Clinic, John saw Sue huddled in a corner with her newborn daughter trying to get away from the fire. John thought “Surely I should save these two.”
John thought for a moment, asking himself What Would Jesus Do? Suddenly, he realized the fire was going to destroy all the frozen embryos. John told Sue and her baby Sorry, maybe Jesus will come rescue you, and he rushed to the freezer where the frozen embryos were stored. Through John’s heroic effort, hundreds of frozen embryos were saved. Sadly, Sue and her newborn daughter were burnt to death.
Who among us would fault John? After all, he acted according to the greater good. Who wouldn’t save 200 lives at the expense of 2 lives?
The above story follows the logic of the life begins at conception viewpoint to its illogical conclusion. There is no difference between 200 embryos and Sue and her baby. Life is life. It makes perfect sense for John to save the frozen embryos and not Sue and her little one. Surely John would be praised for saving the 200 embryos, right? If the clinic is unable to reopen, perhaps the frozen embryos can be put up for adoption. After all EVERY embryo is a life.
If life begins at conception and terminating a pregnancy is the murder of a baby as pro-life zealots claim, then the following conclusions can be made:
- The woman who has the abortion is a murderer
- The doctor who performs the abortion is a murderer
- The nurse who helps with the abortion is a murderer
- The receptionist who books the abortion appointment is a murderer
- The person who took the woman to the clinic is a murderer
If these conclusions are true, then it means that none of these people will go to heaven when they die. Why? The BIble says:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
It is also fair to conclude that people who kill innocent men, women, and children in war are murderers too. Where are the same pro-life zealots proclaiming the evil of war? It seems that killing a zygote is murder, but killing an Afghan child or mother is not. It seems that the only life pro-lifers protect is that which has not yet been born. Why is this?
I have come to the conclusion that pro-lifers who do not condemn war are guilty of facilitating murder.(use their logic and exegesis) Pro-lifers charge those who believe abortion should be rare, safe, and legal with facilitating murder. Pro-lifers make it quite clear that those who promote and facilitate abortion cannot be a Christian. How can they be since they are facilitating murder? I ask then, what about pro-lifers who promote and facilitate war. How can they be Christian and support the murder of innocent men, women,children, and the unborn? It seems to me that heaven is going to be quite empty if murderers are barred from entering. If you still doubt that no murderers will enter heaven:
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Revelation 22:14,15
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matthew 19:17-19
(If you have not done so, please read 25 Questions for Those Who Say Abortion is Murder.)
In 2011 I wrote:
In about 17 months there will be a Presidential election. Republicans know they have a fight on their hands. They need to make sure that the faithful turn out in record numbers and vote for the Republican candidate. They need to appeal to the value voters, those who hold to right-wing political and social beliefs.
One of the key issues that will make it to the ballot in 2012 is whether or not a fertilized egg is a person. Personhood USA is circulating petitions in all 50 states hoping to get politicians to enact personhood laws. According to Rachel Maddow, there are already eight states debating personhood legislation and with 2012 being a Presidential election year it is quite likely that there will be a concerted effort to get personhood initiatives on the ballot.
One of the implications of Personhood laws is that they could make the use of birth control pills illegal. (since birth control pills are an abortifacient and can, and do cause spontaneous abortion) 46 years ago in Griswold v. Connecticut the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the right of privacy extended to the use of contraceptives and states could not ban the sale of contraceptives. (it is hard to believe there was a time when selling birth control was illegal)
Personhood laws could upend not only Roe v. Wade but Griswold v. Connecticut. If a fertilized egg is a person, then any deliberate effort to kill the fertilized egg would be considered murder. A quick perusal of The Pill Kills website will make it clear that the personhood crowd is dead serious about banning abortion and birth control.
What is the implications of a personhood law?
- All abortion would be illegal, including abortion in the case of rape and incest
- Abortion to save the life of the mother would be outlawed since it is illegal to murder one person to save another
- Using any form of birth control that is an abortifacient would be illegal
- Our entire legal code would need rewriting to reflect that a fertilized egg is a person
- A person causing a woman to miscarry could be charged with murder.
- Parents would be able to claim the fertilized egg as a dependent on their income tax return
- Fertilized eggs would be eligible for adoption
- Stem cell research would be curtailed and possibly banned
I can imagine a new Evangelical evangelism outreach to fertilized eggs. “Winning People to Jesus, One Fertilized Egg at a Time.”
We must not sit on the sidelines while right-wing Christians attempt to push their social agenda down the throat of the American people. We must consistently and continually point out that personhood laws are fraught with legal implications that will turn the legal code into a mine field.
Right-wing Christians are not going away. Obama being elected President was a wake up call and they have no intentions of sitting idly by and letting liberal, fertilized egg killing Democrats win in 2012. I expect a vicious fight, not only on the federal level, but the state and local level too.
Look at the graphic below. Is what you see a baby? Is aborting this the same as murdering your mother, father, or grandmother?
Only those blinded by their religious ideology can conclude that this is a picture of a baby. At best, it is potential life, but not life itself.
Now let me get personal for a moment.
If you believe people who support a woman’s right to an abortion are murderers or evil people, then why do you have anything to do with me? If this is your view, why would you want to associate with a neighbor, friend, husband, father, father-in-law, or grandfather who advocates m-u-r-d-e-r? IF I am a murderer because I support the slaughter (your word) of over a million babies a year, then aren’t I just as evil as Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy?
And herein lies the problem with your shrill rhetoric. I am a kind, decent, loving neighbor, friend, husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather. Yes, I am an atheist but I am more “Christian” than many of the Christians you know.
How about asking me WHY I support a woman’s right to an abortion? If asked, you would find out that:
- I don’t think human life begins at conception. Potential life, yes, but human life? No. Science tells me that this is true, not a pre-science, antiquated religious text.
- When I look at the embryo above I don’t see a “baby.” It is a group of cells, not a baby.
- I support a woman’s right to use birth control to keep from getting pregnant. I know that some forms of birth control might cause a spontaneous abortion, but I have no problem with this since I don’t think life begins at conception.
- Since 89% of abortions occur in the first trimester, long before viability, I fully support a woman’s unfettered right to an abortion. This right includes over the counter access to morning after drugs.
- I do not support abortion on demand after viability. However, only 14,400 a year occur after viability, and, in most cases, these abortions are medically necessary due to the health of the mother, the fetus, or both.
I am an atheist. I don’t believe in God and I don’t believe the teachings of the Bible. My beliefs are not governed by the Bible or the teachings of a sect. When I came to the view I now hold on abortion it was because of the science behind the abortion debate.
I am also a husband, father, father-in-law, and a grandfather. If ANY of the women in my family were raped or were carrying a fetus that could cost them their life, I would want them to have access to every medical and psychological means necessary to help them. I am most concerned for the LIVING.
I didn’t come to this position easily. I have a daughter with Down Syndrome. I know many women have an abortion when they find out they are carrying a fetus with Down’s. I can’t imagine our life without Bethany. My brother was born three months premature, not too many weeks past the viability line. I can’t imagine life without my little brother. My point is this: everything doesn’t fit neatly in a pro-life or pro-choice box. Life is messy and we are often forced to make hard decisions.
This post is an attempt to get people to see that it is simplistic and offensive when people label someone like me a murderer or evil. But, I don’t do that, you might say. Are you sure you don’t? Every time you post to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest that people who support abortion are murderers or evil, you ARE saying I am a murderer or evil. This is the inescapable conclusion of your rhetoric and moralizing.
I have come to the conclusion that there is no common ground to be had with people who are pro-life. They start with religion and not science, and I see no way of finding common ground. All I can do is present the facts about abortion and work to keep them from causing any further harm to women.
I understand the pro-life view, I really do. I was pro-life for most of my adult life. I fully understand the why’s of being pro-life. I know all the proof-texts and I think the Bible supports the pro-life view, along with the pro-slavery, pro-polygamy, pro-incest, pro-genocide, pro-war, pro-peace view.
I understand where you are coming from. Now it is time for you to give me the same courtesy.
I’m friends with pro-choice women who escort at Planned Parenthood clinics. (Obviously not around where I live, but online.) They tell stories of the pro-life protestor (happened more than once) who comes in and gets an abortion. Then in a day or 2, she’s back outside the clinic, protesting! The idea is that the pro-lifer gets into a bad situation and decides HER situation deserves an abortion. HOWEVER, all those OTHER women are bad to get one. Sad but true.
Ever read this? http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html
Somehow I can believe it.
Yes, I’ve read that too which confirms my friends’ experiences. Also, the pro-lifers picketing the clinic are horrible. They say cruel things to women like “murderer!” etc. And there have been women who came in who had a horribly deformed fetus that was just going to suffer and die after birth. They are treated the SAME exact way by the pro-lifers. I see nothing of the supposed Christian love in any of this.
I know the reason claimed to be pro-life is the Bible but even that book advocates the drinking of bitter water for a woman whose purity is being questioned.
It’s all about control – although no one will admit that because, you know, Religion.
Thanks for posting. 🙂
Bruce some contradictions. If most so called enlightened atheists see a pregnant woman smoking and drinking ,the absolute shock and outrage they display is enormous, because she might harm her child, but if the same woman wants to kill her child thats ok.If a woman miscarry`s she get emotional support , why if it was not a baby, why treat an abortion and a miscarriage any different, but just try tell a woman who has really wanted a child and has just miscarried to get over herself it was only a bag of chemical she lost.Now you can dig your heels in and rant about us religious types , or you can admit its not all as cut and dried as we would like it to be.And as I said before without God why would we as random collections of atoms care about anything one way or the other.And before someone says are you saying atheists cannot be moral blah, blah, what the inevitable consequence of no God is, is that we are but dust, just a random collection of atoms with no reason to believe or know if anything is right , wrong , or even real, a fact admitted to by most real adhesive.
I believe none of the things you say here, so I have no idea who you are talking about.
If a pregnant woman that wants to carry to term is smoking or drinking that is bad because when the child is born they will face the consequences of that. However, I don’t want women locked up for using harmful substances during pregnancy because it causes more harm than good in terms of producing healthy babies. If she doesn’t want to carry to term then it’s a non-issue. Plus, if she is far enough along in the pregnancy that it’s obvious then that’s probably less harmful, unless of course she has been doing that from the beginning. Anyway, we can’t criminalize what women do with their bodies as in some cases they may not have even know they were pregnant.
Choosing an abortion and having a miscarriage can be different emotionally. It is from the vantage point of the pregnant woman. A woman may be devastated that she had to have an abortion for medical reasons. There are women that have conflicting feelings and women that are relieved. Emotions and reactions are complex. Feelings about a pregnancy and pregnancy loss or termination vary depending on the situation.
Scientifically, yes, we are a collection of atoms. So what? We create our own meaning. Our connections to other people and our appreciation of our short time here create meaning. Biology is not the sum of the human experience. We are creatures that bond, create and are capable of striving for better things. Stop creating a straw man. I know things are wrong by looking at the situation and looking at how it affects others. I am not a sociopath…geez.
Sorry, Bruce, but I had to do it. I know these types don’t read it or if they do then you end up right back where you started but I always feel compelled to respond *sigh* Nothing but a big straw man!
Obviously last word in last post should read atheists, sorry
You state: “I have come to the conclusion that there is no common ground to be had with people who are pro-life. They start with religion and not science, and I see no way of finding common ground.” To be fair, there are secular pro-lifers. As for common ground, couldn’t we at least get on the same page about birth control and sex education?
The argument re meaning and striving for better thing is not with me but with materialist atheists who are honest enough to admit that if there is no God then we are just a random collection of atoms so please answer the following
what is life? what exactly is conciousness ? what is the standard for right or wrong or what do terms like right and wrong or good and evil even mean.
So, the only reason you aren’t an evil serial killer is because there’s a God and the moral code found in the Bible?
Since most of the world’s population does not worship your God or live according to your Holy Book, their lives lack meaning and purpose?
No Bruce the point I am making has nothing to do with people actual actions or motives as to whether
they steal,rape, murder, but about the concept of ,free will , good and evil, right and wrong.As most atheists now look to science for their answers, please tell me scientifically how you know you have free will, scientifically what constitutes good or evil , we are just a combination of selfish gene`s according to Dawkins so what is our scientific basis for love, conciousness, how can we define this things as fact.
Once we reduce our existence to a random collection of atoms then we can try as we like to give humans meaning but we cannot show scientifically that this is so.So just a point on free will ,are you controlling your thoughts or are you thoughts which are just neurons firing in your brain controlling you.
Marfin, I’d go even further on the moralistic and ethical standards you are so keen on saying can only emanate from ‘god’ (of course, you think you mean the christian god, not allah, or zeus, or thor). I would argue that the concept of divine morals actually retard our ethical thinking, not enhance it. For example, the god of the bible does not deliver objective morality, contrary to the claims of christians because, if so, his genocidal behaviour would not be justified. In all ways, the god of the bible is a ‘consequentialist’; when he destroys all the people and animals in the world to allow Noah to do his thing, he is looking to improve humanity. This means that humankind must delve its own shared conscience in assessing what is moral with reference only to the outcome of any given action. The action by itself is not at issue. Hence abortion is not, per se, wrong.
We must also assess whether, when god of the bible says he is good, that he actually is good by reference to our established standards. We have no reason simply to take his word that what he says is good, is good. Ultimately, therefore, I would suggest that ‘god’ is not actually a requirement in this regard, more a liability.
You use words like ethics, good morals, improvement, please give an an explanation
of what these words actual mean and who decides
Wow, what a muddled mess.
Essentially we humans are self-programming meat machines. As we Humanists have noted: “Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.” Science is still working on understanding the brain, consciousness and how we understand the “self.” While science is helpful in a lot of things, this collection of atoms has very specific needs as well as understandings on how a group of humans need to behave to have an ongoing society. There are plenty of resources on the web written by humanists and atheists about non-religious morals and ethics. Try researching and reading.
Marfin, you are good. You derailed an article about abortion and moved it to being atheist. This isn’t a dictionary.
What does any of this have to do with my right to do what I need with my own body? You get to say what is correct for for me?
No. That is why I live in the USA. I may not like the need for abortion but I will defend my right to have one from you and your ilk.
One question. True story. What would you have said to the young pregnant girl who had been molested by her dad for years? What would have said to my friend who was raped over and over only to find herself pregnant?
My answer and theirs was to get the abortion and never look back. After lots of therapy for the abuse they have a family now. Your answer is shame and denial. If that’s all your faith can offer then I’m better without you
I think Marfin lives in Ireland. Ireland has draconian restrictions on abortion. According to the Irish Family Planning Association:
It was in Ireland that a woman who was miscarrying was refused an abortion, in spite of the fetal issue. The woman ended up dying EVEN THOUGH THE FETUS WAS DYING, because the hospital wouldn’t just abort.
First of all, get your facts straight, Fred, I get mine from Planned Parenthood – 92% of abortions occur within the first 13 weeks. See the link:
Also, yeah, even if it was 89%, it’s still biologically proven that the heart of the fetus is beating at 22 to 23 days (about three weeks) (Moore, Keith L., et al. The Developing Human. 9th edition, 2013.)
Also, at the end of the embryonic period (the first 8 weeks), the rudimentary peripheral and central nervous systems are developed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989000/) and this happens to be the time when the fetus is able to feel any and all physical pain ).
So yeah, even if it was 89% (which it’s not) it’s still a vast majority of abortions that occur during a time when it’s scientifically proven that the fetus has a beating heart and a functioning brain and nervous system.
My name is Bruce, and your arguments will find little support on this site. My point is that 89% of abortions take place during a time when the fetus is potential life. You want to call it a “baby” fine, but it’s not. Even pro-life groups understand this. That’s why they focus on late-term abortions. The graphics/optics for late-term abortions play so much better than pictures of zygotes.
Where is your proof that it’s just “potential life”? And also, where’s your proof that pro-life groups understand that it’s not a baby? And yeah, we do tend to focus on late term abortions (mostly because pro-choicers seem to think that a fetus the size of a normal baby with arms, legs, mouth, nose, muscles, bones, nerves, brain, feet, legs, and the ability to feel pain isn’t a human… until AFTER it exits the mother. As if being outside of the mother confers personhood), but I’m not focusing on late-term abortions right now, am I? I’m focusing on the early ones, because you’re focusing on the marginal cases. So there.
Potential life=before viability, before the ability to live outside the mother’s womb. My article was about all abortions, not just late-term abortions.
The bigger problem is one of language. What you call a baby or life is not, in my opinion, a baby or life. Once viability is reached, then the state has a justifiable reason to regulate abortion. But even then, as Grammar Gramma noted, most late-term abortions are due to fetal abnormalities or risks to the life of the mother. Tragic, to be sure, but necessary.
Of course, what you want is a ban on all abortion, regardless of the time frame. Good luck with that.
Dependence upon the mother does not make the fetus non-living – if I were on life support because I was 93 years old and unable to breathe on my own, I’d still be a human, even though I’m depending on something to maintain my life. None of us are any less human because of our dependence on certain things, and it’s the same for the fetus.
Yeah, I want to ban all abortion, and yeah, I know I’m not going to. But remember that I have statistics and proof on my side – what have you shown me? Nothing. None of your claims are founded on any kind of proof, except in those cases which are marginal, which are obsolete, like I said, because they make up less than 8 percent of abortions.
Those cases you mentioned at the beginning of the post? (aka the dead fetus, rape, health of the mother is in jeopardy) All of those add up to less than 8 percent of abortions. You used the marginal case to prove your point, which really doesn’t work – why don’t you talk about the 25 percent of abortions that occur because the mother is simply inconvenienced by the life of her fetus? Or the slightly over 90% of abortions that occur when (and this is biologically proven) the fetus has a beating heart and perceivable brain function?
See, this is the strategy of the pro-choicers, they take the marginal case and they forget about all of the cases that make them look bad. Then they get onto us for making them feel bad about killing babies. Kinda stupid, if you ask me.
89% of abortions take place in the first trimester. End of discussion.
And almost all the rest take place because of fetal abnormalities which would prevent the fetus from developing into a healthy baby, Who are we to require that a woman carry to term a baby which will not survive in the outside world, or would survive for only a short time?
First of all, you act like it’s the burden of the mother that her baby won’t survive. Forget about the mother for a second, and think about the situation the baby is in. It’s a living organism with at least partially functioning organs, the ability to feel pain, and a beating heart.
The fact that the fetus will die in a short time doesn’t mean that it isn’t alive when the abortion occurs. The woman should have the baby, and if it dies, at least it didn’t get it’s brains sucked out with a vacuum.
Stephen, enough. You’ve said your piece. Everyone understands you think abortion is morally wrong. I, personally, don’t, and I suspect many of the readers of this blog don’t either. Whatever argument you “think” you are making fall on deaf ears.
Stephen, there’s no reply button but I’d comment on your reference to ‘proof’. What exactly is the ‘proof’ to which you refer? Do you mean when life begins? That a foetus might be a human being?
The reality is that everybody here has heard the arguments and knows the biology as well, and in some cases better, than you do. So, knowing the biology ‘proves’ nothing. The issue is what we do in the light of that knowledge. I say that until a foetus is actually born it is not a baby, and lacks ‘personhood’. It maybe appropriate to grant a viable foetus some protection (though personally I’d allow abortion on demand up to term), and that’s what laws presently do.
The problem with granting the foetus absolute protection is that in so doing it denies entirely the rights of the woman carrying. So my solution is simple; if you don’t believe in abortion then don’t have one. You do not, however, have the right to interfere with the right of a woman to choose how best to deal with her own body.
Indeed, those who participate in murder will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If the overwhelming majority of humanity is damned because they are murderers or accessories to murder, fiat iustitia ruat caelum. God is righteous when He condemns the wicked to fiery Gehenna, and I have no difficulty saying that Hell awaits anyone who participates in an abortion, unless they repent.