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Twenty-Five Questions for Christians who say Abortion is Murder

abortion is murder al shannon

I have some questions for those who believe that abortion is murder.

  1. Does life begin at conception?  How do you know it does? Is your view based on science or is it based on a religious belief?
  2. If life begins at conception, why are you supporting an Ohio bill that makes it illegal to have an abortion once a heartbeat is detected? Does life begin at conception or at first heartbeat?
  3. Do you support the use of emergency contraception (morning after) drugs? Why or why not?
  4. Should a pro-life pharmacist have the right to not dispense emergency contraception drugs? Should I be allowed to opt out of anything that goes against my moral or ethical beliefs, regardless of their foundation?
  5. Is abortion murder?
  6. Do you believe murderers should be prosecuted?
  7. Do you believe that driving the get-away car makes a person just as guilty as the person who robbed the bank?
  8. Do you believe a woman who has an abortion should be prosecuted for murder? How about the doctor who performs the procedure? How about the nurse that assisted in the procedure? How about the person who drove the woman to the clinic? If you believe in the death penalty, do you support the execution of murderers?
  9. Do you use birth control pills?
  10. Should you be prosecuted for murder since birth control pills can, and do, cause spontaneous abortion?
  11. Should abortion be allowed for reasons of rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother?
  12. If you answered yes to question eleven, do you support murdering the fetus if it is the product of rape or incest?
  13. Should a fetus be aborted if the mother’s life is at risk?
  14. Do you support murdering the unborn if it saves the life of the mother?
  15. Is your viewpoint on abortion a religious belief?
  16. What passage in the Bible prohibits abortion? Does this passage define life beginning at conception?
  17. Has God ever killed the unborn?
  18. In Genesis, God destroyed every human save eight by drowning them in a flood. Were any of the women who drowned pregnant? Did God kill the fetuses they were carrying? (Kill the mother, kill the fetus.)
  19. Do you support the death penalty? Do you support war? Should women who survive self-induced abortions be charged with attempted murder?
  20. If you answered yes to question nineteen, why do you oppose the killing of the unborn but support the killing of those already born?
  21. Why do you believe that killing the unborn is murder but consider an American bomb killing a baby 3 hours old a tragic result of war, collateral damage, but not murder?
  22. Do you support birth control being readily available in every school? If your objective is to reduce or eliminate the need for an abortion, wouldn’t easily available, free access to birth control reduce the abortion rate?
  23. Do you believe it is better for a severely deformed child to live for a day and die than for the fetus to be aborted? If so, explain why it is better for the child to suffer needlessly?
  24. Do you believe that God is in control of everything? Does everything include children being born deformed or with serious defects that will result in a life of extreme suffering and pain?
  25. Is someone a Christian if he or she supports abortion?

My view on abortion

3 day old human embyro
Three Day Old Human Embryo.

I do not think that life begins at conception, nor do I think it begins at first heartbeat. That said, I do not support abortion on demand. Approximately 65% of abortions occur in the first eight weeks, and 88% of abortions occur in the first trimester. I do not support any law that restricts access to an abortion in the first trimester. Once fetus viability (the ability to live outside the womb) is established, I do not support the right to an abortion except when the life of the mother is at stake or there’s a severe fetal abnormality.

I support women having full access to reproductive services (including access to birth control), as well as school-aged girls and young women. For women who have at-risk pregnancies, I support government-sponsored access to genetic testing and amniocentesis that will reveal severe birth defects. Better to have an abortion earlier in a pregnancy than to have a child born without a brain who will die a few moments or days after birth.

I support comprehensive sex education for junior high and high school students, and health education for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. Since girls often reach menses at ages as young as ten, waiting until they are sixteen to educate them about reproduction is irresponsible and leads to unintended pregnancies. I do not support “Just say No” programs that take the “aspirin between the knees” approach and ignore the reality that most teenagers will, at some point, be sexually active. Yes, teens should perhaps wait, but they don’t, and everyone should agree that teenagers having babies is not a good idea. If we agree that this is not a good idea, then making sure they can’t get pregnant should be a top priority.

I support radical changes to adoption laws in this country. The government should make it easy and affordable for people to adopt children (after being thoroughly vetted). By changing the law, it is more likely that women with unplanned pregnancies will carry their fetuses to term. This would also put out of business adoption agencies — many of them Christian — that charge extortion-level fees for adoptions.

abortions when

Neither God, the Bible, papal decrees, nor religious rhetoric have sway over me. Showing me bloody pictures of dismembered late-term aborted fetuses also has no effect on me. I know that only 1.3% of abortions occur after the twenty-first week. In 2017, 862,000 abortions were performed in the United States. That means, roughly 11,000 abortions were performed from the 21st week to term. Why don’t pro-lifers wave around pictures of zygotes or other pictures from the chronological time period when most abortions take place? Simple: such pictures wouldn’t excite, inflame, and manipulate the passions of zygote worshipers like a bloody, gory picture of a dismembered fetus does.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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71 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Persephone

    Bruce, amniocentesis is not done until 20 weeks. That is why abortions for birth defects are done in the second trimester. It’s also in the second trimester when ultrasounds can pick up physical deformities.

  2. Avatar
    HeIsSailing

    Bruce, life does not begin at conception, but it is not quite as you are presenting it. It is a common misconception that I blame Christians for spreading. They are not framing the argument properly. It is not a question of asking how long after conception life begins. Life began long before conception. Your sperm is alive long before there was conception. The earliest evidence of life dates to about 3.7 billion years ago, give or take about 200 million years. It has been continual DNA replication, mutation and evolution via natural selection (along with a few other mechanisms) ever since. If morality is the product of human reasoning, then the morality of reproductive health must be debated without the rhetoric of ‘murder’ or debating when life begins as if it were a philosophical argument. Great article and great questions that must be asked and debated honestly and scientifically.

  3. Avatar
    marfin

    So Bruce when does life begin? or what does it matter because if there is no God then we are just products of evolution animals so to speak and if just animal sure we kill and eat animals all the time whats wrong will killing some more.
    And we kill lame , sick and the runts of the litter if we are just animal why not do the sameto us , sure it will help our survival of the fittest ratio, keep out those nasty defective gene`s

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      You are invited to join me at the next Atheist baby roast. I hope you will come. I think you will find that roasted baby with a slight bit of Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce brushed on the meat makes a delectable meal.

      Absurd, right? Yet, that is exactly what you are suggesting. Even worse, the ONLY reason you don’t go to a McDonald’s and eat a Baby McRib is because you believe in the Christian God. Is THAT your argument, Marfin?

    • Avatar
      Timothy

      Your response assumes that atheists are not morally inclined. Religion, or a lack thereof, does not determine morals; one’s culture determines moeals.

      • Avatar
        marfin

        I am not for one moment saying atheist`s are not morally inclined , the point I am making is that who decides` what is moral and what is not. So is it wrong to kill an animal and eat it, a simple yes or no will do.

        • Avatar
          Timothy

          I am not certain answers to the “animal” nature of humanity are as clearly delineated as you present. Mores and taboos tell Americans of the US that eating other humans, or horses is wrong. Even eating a dog is out of the question. While in China, I ate dog; while in France, I ate horse. The animal taboos were dropped in those situations because humans realize degrees/shades of grey. To me, it seems quite odd to eat babies, but I am sure that Jonathan Swift would find such delicacies a “Modest Proposal”.

        • Avatar
          clubschadenfreude

          which version of which morality does this god support, Marfin? Each Christian invents their own morality and claims that this god agrees with them. But they have no evidence of this at all.

          What we have is Christianity, where every christian makes their god in their image and thus their morality. That we have this god killing children constantly, there is a problem with Christians lying and claiming that this god cares at all about abortion.

          When Christians have no problem with their god killign children, they show that their morality is subjective, depending on who does something rather than declaring an action objectively moral or amoral. Their morality is no more than might equals right.

    • Avatar
      clubschadenfreude

      marfin seems to be rather uneducated. which god shall we care about, marfin? the one that murders children constantly in the bible?

      don’t try to lie to people who have read the bible. You just fail.

  4. Avatar
    marfin

    Bruce I was making two points , the first being ,when does life begin?. The second was that if there is no God then we are just animals and far be it for me to compel another animal to live by my or some group`s moral code.
    When a woman has a miscarriage all her friends gather round to comfort and console her , but when that same woman
    has an abortion all her friends are supposed to say” Baby what baby there was no baby ” me thinks people like to have their cake and eat it too.And just because I am a christian does not of necessity mean I am wrong.So is Richard Dawkins right when he say its immoral to bring a down syndrome child into the world , who get`s to make that decision , I know this question is close to the bone for you but your daughter has more right to life in my eyes than Mr Dawkins as she is not seeking to end someone`s life based on some subjective standard of a quality of life.

    • Avatar
      Becky Wiren

      Actually, it used to be common for women to keep their pregnancies to themselves (and spouse/partner) because of the risk of abortion. When I had a miscarriage, people were nice. But it wasn’t like I had given birth to a dead baby, OR given birth to a live baby that died soon after. Really sad, not sad like losing my 4 yr old would have been.

    • Avatar
      Stephanie

      In some case it is not a matter of quality of life but rather that the fetus would not have a chance to live at all outside the woman. If that is causing the woman problems why should she have to sacrifice herself for someone that will never realize a biologically independent life? I agree, it gets a lot trickier when we start about problems that affect as you say “quality of life.” I am pro choice but I have issues with some of the reasons that women get abortions, especially as the pregnancy inches closer to viability. There is a lot of grey there. I used to be a pro-lifer so I do understand where you are coming from. However, it was facts about harm to women, abortion rates and the whole conservative movement that really changed my mind about legality. Plus, women get stuck in some really bad situations that are not easily solved with adoption. FYI, I am actually a vegetarian. Animals are sentient, individual beings and experience pain/emotions, early terms fetuses do not. Being a Christian does not make you wrong, necessarily and, no, I don’t agree with Dawkins’ statement.

  5. Avatar
    Geoff

    “Bruce I was making two points , the first being ,when does life begin?. The second was that if there is no God then we are just animals and far be it for me to compel another animal to live by my or some group`s moral code.”

    The problem is, marfin, even if there were a god I’m not sure how he assists your cause.

    Let’s assume there is a god. Abortion, however, is an issue that concerns mankind. Let’s say that we do want to listen to god on the subject, then where do we begin. The bible seems to be the assumed starting point, yet as Bruce points out, nowhere does the bible say much about abortion. Indeed, god himself would have to be the cause of the vast majority of abortions that have ever happened. Nor does the bible seem to make clear when life begins. It doesn’t refer to embryos, or foetus’, or even zygotes, so we must assume that god wasn’t too bothered about the issue. He has offered nothing else on the subject to which we can reasonably refer, so as to decide whether his views are of assistance.

    We are then on our own in this one, even if god exists. For me that answers your second point. As regards the first point, when does life begin? It begins at a time that conforms with the understanding we have achieved in all other areas of morality, behaviours which have evolved along with our physical evolution. We are able to weigh up all factors, including rights of the mother, and then come to a compromise which isn’t perfect, but is as near damn well fair as anything else that can be suggested. To cave in to the prejudices of the so-called ‘pro-lifers’ (not a term that I feel describes them but that’s what they’ve styled themselves) is actually to deny our humanity in favour of ill judged superstition.

    • Avatar
      marfin

      how do you know you are right ,if someone holds a different view what make you right and them wrong.And who is this we you speak about.

      • Avatar
        Bruce Gerencser

        Law is defined and determined by culture, society, tribe, and family. While we may be influenced by religion, philosophy, other cultures, societies, tribes, and families, it is we the people that determine what our laws will be.

        Law changes with time, as our need and understanding develops, changes, and matures. At one time, here in America, we thought owning slaves was ok and that children could be employed in factories. The same could be said about equal protection under the law and equal civil rights for gays. America is evolving, realizing that denying a person equal civil rights and equal protection under the law because of their sexual orientation is wrong. And to head off your objection, it is we the people who decide right and wrong. A fictional God decides nothing.

        The core issue for people like you is that the Bible with its arcane, abusive, discriminatory morality no longer matters to most people. Even among Christians, they live their day to day lives in direct opposition to the commands, precepts, laws, and teachings of the Bible. If God’s chosen can’t or won’t keep these things, why do you demand that nonbelievers keep them?

        The answer for Christians like you is to gather up a majority of fundamentalist Christians and change the government and the laws. The problem is, such people are a small percentage of the American population and even less in Europe where you are.

  6. Avatar
    Troy

    “Life” (actually personhood) doesn’t begin at conception, if it did identical twins would be the same person and clearly they are not.
    Of all Christian/Fundamentalist agenda, abortion is the only one I’m the least bit sympathetic to because at all stages of reproduction from sperm to birth everything is in fact alive. That said, I essentially think the Roe v. Wade was decided correctly. I suppose if I have to draw a line somewhere (it could be birth it can actually be after birth as some societies wait until a child is formally accepted into the tribe. I’m not sure but I think this is why the Chinese wait 100 days before naming their children. Infant mortality was much more common in the past) For me I’d suggest the rather archaic “age of quickening” where the mother feels the fetus kicking around. To me this shows the fetus acting on its own volition moving voluntary muscles. I should also add that the health and life of the mother always trumps that of a fetus.
    While there is a lot of propoganda about late term and so-called “partial birth” abortions. These invariably are the result of some tragic turn in the pregnancy, it isn’t as so often characterized the ditzy clueless bimbo lazily waiting around.

  7. Avatar
    Timothy

    I think the point of Roe v Wade is a good one: the “State” has determined that women are free to make a choice. I don’t believe any entity or individual should hinder that woman’s choice. Partial birth for myriad of reasons is not accepted by law. In whatsoever the case, a woman should have a choice.

  8. Avatar
    Becky Wiren

    Bruce, it is generally believed that there is no birth control that ejects the fertilized egg. In spite of the beliefs of the owners of Hobby Lobby, plan B actually delays ovulation, therefore, there is no fertilized egg. It used to be believed that the IUD ejected the fertilized egg but now it is believed they prevent fertilization.

  9. Avatar
    Martin Phipps

    > Does life begin at conception?

    Yes and no. The fertilized egg is a separate human being but it is not yet self aware.

    > How do you know it does?

    By definition, the fertilized egg has all the DNA that makes up the individual. Of course, by that logic you would also be committing the “murder” of potential clones if you deliberately cut yourself and bleed out.

    > Is your view based on science or is it based on a religious belief?

    Neither. The question is when a person becomes a living breathing individual. Obviously this is not at conception.

    I think it is worth pointing out that babies have been born prematurely and have survived so there is a valid argument to made concerning an unborn child being a separate individual at some point before the actual birth.

    > If life begins at conception, why are you supporting an Ohio bill that makes it illegal to have and abortion once a heartbeat is detected? Does life begin at conception or at first heartbeat?

    That seems (no pun intended) premature. Cats and dogs have heartbeats but we don’t consider it murder to kill a cat or a dog. It is possible for a living thing to be alive but not yet a living breathing human being.

    > Do you support the use of emergency contraception (morning after) drugs?

    Yes.

    > Should a pro-life pharmacist have the right to not dispense emergency contraception drugs?

    I don’t think it is an issue because a pro-life pharmacist would not keep them in stock.

    > Should I be allowed to opt out of anything that goes against my moral or ethical beliefs?

    What does this question mean? Obviously a person can choose not to have an abortion if having an abortion goes against their moral or ethical beliefs. Pro-choice means that they can choose to have or NOT have an abortion.

    > Is abortion murder?

    Not necessarily. However the law is not 100% clear. For example, a man killing a pregnant woman could be charged with two murders. I don’t think that applies to a fertilized egg. I don’t think the courts would recognize a fertilized egg as a separate person in such a case.

    > Do you believe murderers should be prosecuted?

    In the specific case of a man killing a pregnant woman I think the killing of the unborn child should be considered a separate charge as it is a significantly more heinous crime.

    >Do you believe that driving the get-away car makes a person just as guilty as the person who robbed the bank?

    In some jurisdictions there is no distinction made between the two crimes: both people are committing the same felony.

    > Do you believe a woman who has an abortion should be prosecuted for murder?

    No, of course not.

    > How about the doctor who performs the procedure?

    I think that the issue is being blown out of proportion because most abortions occur in the first trimester. Even where abortions are legal, third trimester abortions are the exception and are usually only performed if the woman’s life is in danger. Obviously if a doctor is providing third trimester abortions then this should be investigated as it may actually be safer for the woman to simply give birth naturally and the doctor may be needlessly putting the woman at risk.

    > How about the nurse that assisted in the procedure?

    I think it is a moot question because even when abortion was illegal I don’t know if the nurse was charged with a crime along with the doctor.

    > How about the person who drove the woman to the clinic?

    Now you’re just being silly.

    > If your believe in the death penalty, do you support the execution of murderers?

    It’s a tricky question. Capital punishment is a deterrent. However the standard of evidence should be higher for capital cases so that innocent people aren’t wrongly executed.

    > Do you use birth control pills?

    My wife used birth control before.

    > Should you be prosecuted for murder since birth control pills can, and do, cause spontaneous abortion?

    Again, that’s just silly. “Spontaneous abortion” is another way of saying “miscarriage”.

    > Should abortion be allowed for reasons of rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother?

    That would be a violation of privacy. If abortion were legal then it would be legal and there would be no requirement for women to divulge the circumstances under which she became pregnant.

    > If you answered yes to question eleven, do you support murdering the fetus it is the product of rape or incest?

    Obviously if a woman who has been raped wants to have the baby then she should be allowed to have the baby.

    > Should a fetus be aborted if the mothers life is at risk?

    Yes and if the unborn child can be saved as well then an effort should be made to do so.

    > Do you support murdering the unborn if it saves the life of the mother?

    Now you’re being silly. If a man points a gun at you and you shoot him before he can shoot you, have you committed murder? I don’t think there is any jurisdiction that does not recognize self defense.

    > Is your viewpoint on abortion a religious belief?

    No.

    > What passage in the Bible prohibits abortion?

    That’s a trick question because the people who wrote the Bible did not know that women contain eggs that are fertilized by male sperm. The Bible does specifically prohibit masturbation as it is a waste of male “seed”. There was even one story in the Bible about a man who refused to impregnate his brother’s widow (by pulling out early) and was then supposedly killed by God. The implication is that God would kill any man who has sex and deliberately prevents conception. Supposedly God would also kill people for using a condom or the pill. So the Catholic church prohibits not only abortion but also contraception. This is an example of why we shouldn’t use ancient texts to determine what is and what is not moral: people should not be pressured into having children they don’t want.

    > Does this passage define life beginning at conception?

    Before. actually. The people who wrote the Bible thought that sperm was a “seed” that was implanted in a “fertile” woman and that was how a woman got pregnant.

    > Has God ever killed the unborn?

    No, because God does not actually exist. Of course, the fictional character known as God did kill millions in the Bible, including unborn children.

    > In Genesis, God destroyed every human save eight by drowning them in a flood. Were any of the women who drowned pregnant? Did God kill the fetus they were carrying? (kill the mother, kill the fetus)

    Yes, all of this would have happened in the fictionalized story that was supposedly based on an actual flood in Iraq several millennia ago.

    > Do you support the death penalty?

    In principle, yes, as a deterrent.

    > Do you support war?

    In principle, no, because innocent people are killed in the process.

    > If you answered yes to question nineteen, why do you oppose the killing of the unborn but support the killing of those already born?

    You would have to ask someone who would be against abortion even if the pregnancy is a risk to the mother’s life.

    > Why do you believe that killing the unborn is murder but consider an American bomb killing a baby 3 hours old a tragic result of war, collateral damage, but not murder?

    Actually, the deliberate killing of children during war would be considered a war crime. It would be difficult to prove, however. I am certain that the Japanese military as a whole faced war crime accusations as a result of the “rape of Nanking”, an incident where many innocent Chinese civilians, including pregnant women, were deliberately killed. I don’t know if any Japanese officer was actually charged, however.

    > Do you support birth control being readily available in every school?

    Yes.

    > If you oppose this, I thought your objective is to reduce or eliminate the need for an abortion.

    Yes, because an abortion is a medical procedure and medical procedures always entail risk.

    > Wouldn’t easily available, free access to birth control reduce the abortion rate?

    I don’t know if statistics back up that reasonable assumption: I’ve heard it both ways. What I have heard, however, is that women are more likely to have unwanted pregnancies and at an earlier age in countries where birth control is not readily available and this tells us that simply telling people to practice abstinence does not work.

    > Do you believe it is better for a severely deformed child to live for a day and die than for the fetus to be aborted?

    It’s a moot point because if an unborn child is “severely deformed” then the unborn child is probably in the third semester. Most doctors would probably advise that the woman give birth naturally and they would try to save the child, if at all possible. Now, if you are suggesting that the child may have a genetic problem and the doctors can determine this from a sample of the amniotic fluid then this is an interesting question. Again, a woman might cite personal privacy as a reason why she should be allowed to have an abortion without the details being made public. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to have the results of such a test being made public along with a confirmation as to whether or not the unborn child was aborted: this would be to avoid the accusation that the parents are looking for a “designer baby”. In Korea, for example, it is illegal for the doctor to inform the parents as to the sex of the baby because in Korea female babies are statistically more likely to be aborted and this suggests that the legality of abortion is being abused to select for male offspring.

    > If so, explain why it is better for the child to suffer needlessly?

    Now, hold on. I don’t think a third semester abortion is exactly a walk in the park for the unborn child either.

    > Do you believe that God is in control of everything?

    No gods exist. They are simply figments of the imagination of deluded people.

    > Does everything include children being born deformed or with serious defects that will result in a life of extreme suffering and pain?

    The assumption is that God is all knowing, all powerful and benevolent, If God were all powerful then perhaps it were not all knowing and would not be responsible for suffering. If God were all knowing then perhaps it were not all powerful and would not be responsible for suffering. If God were both all powerful and all knowing then it could not be considered benevolent if people were nevertheless allowed to suffer. If God were neither all powerful nor all knowing then it would not fit any definition of God that exists in Western religion.

    > Is someone a Christian if they support abortion?

    Christians should follow the Bible to the letter. Therefore, Christians should not wear leather, nor eat shellfish or pork, nor have any tattoos. As far as I know, there are no self described Christians who follow the Book of Leviticus to the letter. Therefore there are no true Christians and the question is moot.

  10. Avatar
    Persephone

    Bruce, your note that God is the greatest abortionist is true. 65-75% of fertilized eggs never adhere to the uterus and are flushed out. Another 25% to 30% of pregnancies miscarry during the first trimester.

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  13. Avatar
    Regina

    I am a pro-life atheist. Each human life begins at the point of conception. While I would allow abortions to save the life of the mother, I would not allow most abortions. Everyone who is a willing participant in an elective abortion should be prosecuted for murder. This includes the person who drove the mother to the abortion mill if relevant. In the case of a bank robbery, I believe that the person who drove the car is just as guilty if she or he is a knowing and willing conspirator rather than an innocent stool pigeon. Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Timothy McVeigh deserved to die, but unborn babies don’t. I hope this information helps.

    • Avatar
      clubschadenfreude

      regina, why do you think it’s your business what another person does? Would you strap down a woman to make sure her pregnancy is not bothered by anything at all? For that is what you are advocating.

      Hmmm, since you seem to not be willing to give birth control to everyone, that means you are a willing participant to elective abortion. Shall we kill you too? You created the world where someone couldn’t get something that would have stopped the need for abortions.

      You are a vicious little thing aren’t you?

  14. Avatar
    Yulya. Sevelova

    In America before the 20th Century, abortion was legal at one time. I’m not sure of the exact year this changed, but by the early 1900’s when my grandmother and her siblings were born, it WAS illegal, along with rubbers, rosaries, and husbands had ‘conjugal’rights. Anthony Comstock, Postmadter General, had any birth control supplies declared contraband, as he was a Catholic fanatic, and was determined to use his position to do his own version of social engineering. And that’s how things stayed, until 1973. If a fetus can live outside the uterus,breathing. That’s a baby for sure. Around 6 months. I always wondered why they were not given pain killers and sedated so they wouldn’t suffer in any way. If the women get pain relief, so should the fetus. I say this as someone who had two would-be siblings aborted. The idea that they may have suffered never sat well with me. In any abortin session, this should be done. I have a personal stake in this arguement. My siblings were not wanted, and would have led crappy lives. I’m glad for their sakes they didn’t see birth. I often envy them ! Growing up, I saw many people who should never have been born, and wishing they were not. But, heck once you’re here, it seems best to try to make life as good as you can. Then there’s the ‘hell question’. If most who are born will never qualify for heaven.how is being born under the pall of being unwanted, as well as accidental, supposed to be a good thing ? Abortion and birth control prevention going to hell automatically. I never hear this fact brought up. This country is so buggered and so screwed up. We have a high suicide rate for such a great country. Ever since 1980 or ’81 this has been the case. Islam has the same arguments against abortion, along with Orthodox Judaism. But if you want to kill a child already living, you have convenient excuses. A baby who cries too much, has needs, or a kid who is disobedient or slow. Disabled kids face an abuse rate three times as high than for ‘normal’ kids. So if abortion is outlawed again, what provisions are planned for all the dilemmas listed here ? And, don’t forget, the rich and famous always have access to abortion, they can afford the procedure that is expensive,or leave the country to have it done. Vice cops can be bribed to ignore this. It happened. I know firsthand about that. One law for the poor and middle-class, another for ‘our betters’, as the old-fashioned conservatives put it.

  15. Avatar
    dale M

    I too am a Pro-Life atheist. I think we should all be Pro-Life BUT, it is something we cannot fully practice. Pro-Life is an admirable goal, something to aim for, but nobody I know actually practices it. If you want to save every human egg, a woman would have to invest in a small factory and allow physicians to remove all 250,000 eggs, fertilize them in tiny test tubes …. then what ?? Conception itself is natural but scientists can create a human embryo without male seed by merely pricking the egg with a very sharp instrument. Those can easily be aborted with absolutely no consequences because RELIGION dictates that human life doesn’t begin until conception (egg/ sperm union). Sounds a bit socialist to me.

      • Avatar
        dale M

        Look it up. The instrument is one of the sharpest in the field of medicine. It’s a special scalpel made of glass. I watched the procedure many, many years ago. Surprised it isn’t common knowledge.

          • Avatar
            dale M

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4061477.stm

            This “pricking” of human eggs to cause an embryo to form, was to obtain stem cells to get around “natural” embryonic research that used sperm. It was a religious thing. This was done back in 2003 (when I saw it performed). It was a glass needle that they used. Cardiff Medical College, I believe. But that was some 17 years ago. By now, it would be considered a “primitive” proceedure.

          • Avatar
            clubschadenfreude

            okay, so nothing you said was what this article says. This article is about using a “The process, described in New Scientist, uses an enzyme found in sperm to prompt the egg to divide.” there is stem cells but no embryo since an embryo has two sets of chromosomes. They used a micropipette it seems not a glass scalpel.

            you claimed this ““Conception itself is natural but scientists can create a human embryo without male seed by merely pricking the egg with a very sharp instrument.””

      • Avatar
        dale M

        In the article, researchers claimed that one can begin cell division by chemicals derived from the sperm OR DIRECTLY “pricking” the egg with a sharp instrument. However, I was under the assumption that the full compliment of chromosomes would also be reproduced thus forming an embryo. Perhaps I am mistaken. I will search the literature more.

        On another topic, fertilized eggs can be separated up to 8-16 cell divisions, then separated into several embryos before being smacked together again into one. Does this constitute murder of several individuals?

          • Avatar
            dale M

            These questions R really esoteric but very good questions nevertheless. Let me throw a few at you.
            – R liing forms the same as non-living forms despite their same Carbon constituency ?
            – Is a 12 tr. old, the same as a 45 yr. old ?
            – Is one of Jewish descent the same as one of Aryan descent ? A little extreme ? People believed it once. Some still do.
            – Is an acorn the same as an oak tree ?
            -Is a sapling the same as a 100 yr. old oak grove ?
            – Is ice the same as water ?
            – Is water the same as steam ?
            The answer to ALL these questions is an emphatic …. NO !
            In evolution, there are no lines. Drawing lines is a human endeavor. It’s all about CHOICE !
            Isn’t it ?

          • Avatar
            clubschadenfreude

            no, those questions aren’t esoteric at all. I’m guessing you just never actually thought through why you are anti-abortion. You just followed the herd and believed their lies.

            You’ve claimed the following “I too am a Pro-Life atheist. I think we should all be Pro-Life BUT, it is something we cannot fully practice. Pro-Life is an admirable goal, something to aim for, but nobody I know actually practices it. If you want to save every human egg, a woman would have to invest in a small factory and allow physicians to remove all 250,000 eggs, fertilize them in tiny test tubes …. then what ?? Conception itself is natural but scientists can create a human embryo without male seed by merely pricking the egg with a very sharp instrument. Those can easily be aborted with absolutely no consequences because RELIGION dictates that human life doesn’t begin until conception (egg/ sperm union). Sounds a bit socialist to me”

            So exactly why are you “pro-life” again?

          • Avatar
            dale M

            All of us R basically Pro-Choice. That’s life. No! Eggs R nothing like hatchlings. To conflate the two would be silly. It’s all about choice in everyday life. Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Khan weren’t exactly Pro-Life either. For starters, “human” is not a scientific word (as opposed to “hominid/ humanoid/ hominidae) and so forth. To be politically Pro-Life is to be as far from say, a Stalinist as you can get. It’s really a state of mind. As far as creating hominids is concerned, medical science hasn’t advanced far enough for us to be truly practicing Pro-Lifers. What Pro-Lifers forget as well is that it is largely a CHOICE ! Even Pro-Lifers diligently practice Pro-Choice. When I say I’m a Pro-Lifer, I’m speaking politically. However, being a Right Winger of a Darwinist sometimes betrays me. I’m no socialist here. I believe in Capitalism with a social conscience. I’m not seeing much of that out there. Elon Musk might be the exception. I have been on communist plantations before. They work very well even within the capitalist system we have, IF you don’t mind the great restrictions placed on freedom and individualism.

          • Avatar
            dale M

            And that’s a CHOICE ! Isn’t it ?!? Abort the mother. Where do you get the idea that we don’t make life and death choices in life ? We do everyday. You really have to look more closely at human nature.

          • Avatar
            clubschadenfreude

            dale, you have not a clue. Do tell what you think we should be looking at more closely about human nature?

            you sure do love to play word games. You lie when you claim we are all “basically pro-choice”. Again, I gave an example that disproves your lie. Pro-choice, in this context, is allowing people to make their own choice about their health care. It is not the choice a pro-forced birth person makes to be pro-forced birth.

          • Avatar
            dale M

            I think you are getting too caught up in the minutiae. Step back. Take a deep breath. Try and look at the bigger picture.

  16. Avatar
    missimontana

    I would add 4 questions:

    Are you in favor of public assistance? If not, why do you deny help to the babies you demanded be carried to term?
    Do you label certain people “illegal?” If so, is it okay to abort illegal babies, and not citizen babies?
    If you believe God knows and forms every person before they are born, then why would God make babies knowing they would be aborted? Or is it part of his master plan?
    Do you believe in strong economic assistance for parents of disabled children? If not, then why do you demand disabled children be born to parents who cannot afford them?

    I saw so-called pro-lifers on Twitter laughing at and celebrating photos of dead and suffering migrant children. There is a strong racist element to the pro-life movement. They want to save middle and upper class white babies; all the others can rot. It was never about saving babies, it’s about power over women and people of color.

  17. Avatar
    Sage

    Pro-life christians love to support the unborn child – until it is born. They do not care as passionately about the life after birth. They support legislation and views that take away public assistance, berate women for being single mothers, deny adoptions to loving couples because they are not properly christian or, gasp same sex couples. They push young mothers to have children that they or their families may not be able to support, but turn their back to go save the next fetus.

    Thousands of children live in the child care system, parentless and moving from foster home to foster home. Where are then pro-lifers for these children? Where is the christian support and care for these kids? Why are older kids less desirable than babies? Yes, I know some who care for and adopt these children, but I think if you are out accosting women over abortion, then you should also be doing all you can for the children who need support.

    A woman’s body is her own. It does not matter if I agree with abortion or not, it is her body and her right to decide.

    • Avatar
      Barbara L. Jackson

      I agree with you. My way of thinking has been we should tell anti-abortion and anti-contraception groups to pay up or shut up. If you believe abortion is wrong and want to force this on others, then you should have to pay extra taxes to support these children their entire life. Same with anti-contraception.

  18. Avatar
    BJW

    A woman’s body, a woman’s choice. Seriously. As soon as the fetus is granted personhood, the personhood of the woman is taken away. It then becomes acceptable to allow a woman to die during birth, to save the baby. Never mind the woman’s currently living, sentient family who need her.

  19. Avatar
    GeoffT

    When I enter debate on the subject of abortion with some of the more fervent conservative ‘forced birthers’, they insist on framing it as one of science. They will not budge on this. ‘Science says life begins at conception’ they repeat ad nauseam.

    They are wrong. I don’t deny that biological science is a significant issue in approaching the medical care of pregnant women, but science describes the conditions that exist at any given time, they don’t ascribe values. Hence when a woman conceives (and that is a process that can take up to forty eight hours after the sperm has entered her body), she goes through a series of stages, which biological science describes and assigns specialist words to. At no time is the word ‘life’ or ‘person’ used. These are philosophical descriptions that we, through culture, practice, and laws determine.

    The issue of abortion is entirely one of philosophy, of which religion is a part, informed in some measure by medical science. The statement that ‘abortion is murder’, is a personal opinion which is, legally, incorrect in any event, except in certain circumstances. Culturally we’ve never thought that anyhow, until very recent times, as we consider that life begins at birth. Our language is littered with reference to being born: birth rights, birth certificate, country of birth, (can you imagine the chaos of your nationality depended on country of conception?), and so on. The US (and other parts of the world too, but the US likes to think it leads the way) needs to ‘grow up’ over abortion. Leave it to the individuals involved, the woman and the medical professionals, and everyone else keep noses out.

    • Avatar
      BJW

      Geoff, that’s funny because the sperm is alive, the ovum is alive. Being alive shouldn’t be the issue, but sentience. But where the religion comes in is when the religious say the fertilized egg has a soul. Oh wait, they don’t just come out and say it, but they believe it nevertheless.

      Also, all these concerned “pro-lifers” turn out to be pro-forced birth. Because when you point out to them that giving women cheap, widely available birth control dramatically drops the rate of abortion, they then begin to argue that women “shouldn’t just be having sex outside of marriage, so they are sluts to use birth control.” My suggestion, not original to me, would be to give all men reversible vasectomies. But that would be totally unacceptable to pro-forced birthers to infringe on a man’s right to pollinate as many flowers as he wants to, and let the flower fix it!

  20. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    The so-called pro-life movement in the USA is anything but pro-life. It’s become a binary test for people to determine which political candidate they vote for – one issue instead of multiple issues for which a candidate should be held responsible. The majority of so-called pro-life supporters are just anti-abortion – it’s a misnomer to call them pro-birth as they don’t support policies like affordable prenatal care that would help a woman carry a healthy pregnancy to term or give birth safely. There’s a reason why the USA ranks so poorly in the world with maternal and infant mortality.

    As for questions about when life starts, personhood, who has rights – a living woman or a clump of cells that cannot exist outside her body – those are issues for which we don’t have the answers or agreement upon.

    I do have a hard time understanding why anti-contraception people think I should be required to give birth to a lot of kids that I don’t want and may not be able to care for. Who is going to care for all these kids? What is the agenda?

    A question that one of my evangelical friends asked (and got jumped on for asking) was that if supposedly everyone is subject to eternity in hell unless they get “saved” that shouldn’t we want to restrict the number of people born and thus the number of people who may suffer eternal torment in hell. Of course, no one pointed out the monster of a deity that supposedly created that system….

    As a grown woman who has given birth and is (hopefully) entering into menopause, I can tell you that pregnancy, childbirth, and caretaking really take a toll on women’s bodies. Every woman should be able to determine whether she wants to go through all that. I chose to limit the number of children I had, and it isn’t John or Jane Doe’s business how many children I have.

    As for abortion, I have never been in a situation to deal with that on a personal level, but some of my friends have. And the last thing they needed was someone butting into their particular situation.

  21. Avatar
    mary

    abortion should be between a woman and her doctor period. i am firmly pro choice after watching my mil spend 50 yrs in a bad marriage due to becoming pregnant by accident in the 1950s. she and her first child had terrible lives. he died in his 20’s an alcoholic because his father was brutal. my dh was youngest in this mess and remembers the violence. all because 2 young people had no access to contraceptives nor abortion. she paid w/his mental cruelty and violence. he paid w/a marriage of obligation in which she was passive aggressive every chance she got. they hated each other but would not divorce due to their religion. she now tries to live as long as she can as she has enjoyed the past decade without him since his death. she pretended to cry for her grandkids but we all knew it was fake. for appearance. for her religion. what a sad life caused by no choices. sorry for the long comment, but it fires me up to know the religious right wants this to continue to punish folks for genuine mistakes.

  22. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Christian zealots beware: Roe vs. Wade is not on the table anymore. It is done. Women will never go back to the ignorant slavery imposed on them for too long. And remember: When women take to the streets, most will be with their partners.
    It would take a pea-brain dinosaur-heart (Donald Trump) to invite that whirlwind onto the streets of America. The marches for women’s rights from the sixties will look like little coffee klutches then… Only a fundagelical could be so shallow, so bent on self-destruction as to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

    • Avatar
      BJW

      Brian, I suspect it will get overturned. But I know pro-choice activists are planning for the possible future of poor women losing access to getting abortions. I think they are working on a network to do that. It will be a huge mess.

      Here’s the real problem: Congress has let go of too much power and allowed the Supreme Court to make laws. I don’t think that’s so bad when the Supreme Court is NOT a uber conservative institution, but we have to face reality. Congress could make laws to protect women. It may not be able to make laws in some ways, but no one tries to make those laws in Congress anymore.

      Of course, Congress has also let the President take away some of their functions. I guess the cons thought it was worth it to get what they wanted, a Judiciary that is full of conservatives. But Congress has allowed our presidents, for DECADES, to take over power that Congress should have. Congress functioned better, not perfect, but now it’s made up of sycophants who lay down and let Trump take over. Not one of them really has a spine. If even the Republican Senate had exercised its power, maybe things with Trump wouldn’t have been so bad. Bad, but not as bad.

      Personally, I hope all the motherfuckers get voted out over the next several years. And every one of them who has cheated, lied and abetted Trump? Well, prison for them would be okay, assuming they’ve broken actual laws. But the wealthy and powerful can skate on committing felonies.

  23. Avatar
    Troy

    I reviewed my comments from 2015, and would only add one thing. John Oliver presented the following moral quandary, a 13 year old girl is raped by her uncle, should she be forced to bear the child? Oliver’s opinion, most of us agree that she should be allowed to have an abortion.

    Of course while most of us believe that, the ones who don’t are often single issue voters: for example right wing Catholic vlogger Matt Walsh (I’ve followed him since he repudiated Ken Ham’s young earth Creationism) recently posted a video that said you can’t be a Christian and vote for Joe Biden. Ignoring the clear and present danger to the world and to the the threat to ending the amazingly flawless peaceful transfer of power in the United States, vote on this one issue that is based on his religion, not science. And that is how the kakistocracy of the Republican party continues to exist.

  24. Avatar
    Steve Ruis

    I didn’t see this point in the above (but I read it quickly so i may have missed it). The OT very clearly states that the soul of a baby is implanted when it takes its first breath (the breath of life). Also, the penalties for killing an unborn child by criminal act are not the same as for a person. So “personhood” is not in any way endorsed by the Bible.

    Most people also point to the ritual a priest uses to cause an abortion in certain circumstances. If there is a ritual for it it can’t be murder, not can it?

  25. Avatar
    Sage

    I watched a show last night on Amazon Prime named “Dalai Lama Scientist”. It is a very interesting discussion about the Dalai Lama embracing science as a way to improve the world and lives of people.

    He said several times the Buddha encouraged his followers to not simply accept his teaching but to test them for validity. At one point the discussion of the fetus came up (in reference to stem cell research). The Dalai Lama, as a Buddhist, see’s life as something to be protected. The quandary was that stem cell research was done on an embryo, so how could a Buddhist support this since the embryo is destroyed? His response was that The human body may often spontaneously reject the embryo, which is a natural process. So perhaps they need to rethink when life begins based on these natural process. This would then allow stem cell research which may have great benefit to humanity.

    It is an interesting show and I suggest watching when you have time.

  26. Avatar
    dale M

    If I read your statement correctly, that the Dalai Lama mentioned that the killing of an embryo by the human body is a natural process, then he is just saying that death IS a natural process. So is starvation and war. I don’t get the point. It’s Pro-Choice either by humans or by Nature.

  27. Avatar
    Sage

    I am not a Buddhist nor can I speak for the Dalai Lama, but I believe the discussion was the act of killing. There is a big difference in dying by starvation or dying at the hands of another person, and I would hardly call war a natural process. A Buddhist would typically not kill one thing to gain another thing. It really doesn’t play into pro choice at all. I shared this to simply show that belief systems can look at science, accept it, and not be dogmatically rigid, nor enforce their belief on others.

  28. Avatar
    dale M

    I vehemently disagree. Starvation is a natural process for most Life on this planet. War is also very natural. It’s a struggle for dominance through competition for resources, territory and mating rights. Do not think for an instance that we are somehow sacred and above the Laws of Nature. Our roots are deepest in the realm of Nature. We are in fact a part of Nature. Everything we are and do is part of the natural world. Changing the name of our struggle to the politicized word “War” doesn’t change a damn thing. This is not some kind of rehearsal as you might see in a Disney movie. Recognizing that is the first step towards the humanist creed. Everything plays into a Pro-Choice scenario. Pro-Life, in the humanist sense is pushing the string of Life forward and making sure that it is not snuffed out. We live and stand on a foot in both worlds.

  29. Avatar
    Sage

    Ok, you are right and I am wrong. Surely it’s natural to just kill each other. Surely humans can’t control desire and nature forces us to do what we do. Serial killing is natural, why fight it? Christian hate is natural, why fight it? That girl shouldn’t dress like that, why fight it? After all, it’s just pro choice. Yup, I stand corrected.it all makes sense now.

  30. Avatar
    dale M

    Right and wrong ? Is that Biblical ? Koranic ? Talmud ? These are religious terms U R using of which I have no understanding. They don’t exist in Nature. They exist only in religious and political environs. Serial killing is very natural to some people. I already pointed that out. Compassion is very natural for others. Our struggle is to be aware of what and who we really are. Through religion and political organizations, we certainly can be serial killers on an industrial scale particularly when we are so conditioned to “I’m right and you’re wrong thinking”. We need introspection here. Whatever we bring upon ourselves is usually by CHOICE. We can live in one or more worlds. That is up to us to choose. This is the actual struggle. It’s a hard one. I know this. It is simply not an AND/ OR choice. But it is a CHOICE nevertheless. Nature is by degrees. She is gray. She was never black or white.

    Just because something is natural, doesn’t mean you can’t change it. Have you forgotten so soon the teachings of evolution ? Without this constant struggle and change, evolution, science and technology couldn’t exist. Evangelicals simply need to be educated when the shackles are released. I’m only interested in seeing the shackles taken off. The best CHOICE here is actually compassion. This is still the best way to destroy ALL your so called enemies.

  31. Avatar
    Sage

    Ok, i guess my snarkiness wasn’t clear, so I will be direct. Why are you trying to debate with me about something I have no desire to debate? I simply shared what I thought may be an interesting video with a viewpoint on the concept that abortion is murder, and somehow you have brought it to this?

    Go watch the video or don’t, I don’t care. As for this word and concept bending discussion which I have no desire to have, I am done. You can have it with yourself or just contact the Dali Lama or your local Buddhist to get their feedback.

    Can’t believe I’ve wasted time on this. One thing I have learned, don’t share videos unless you want a pointless debate.

  32. Avatar
    dale M

    Strong supporter here of women’s rights, LGBTQ and others. One thing I don’t understand though, is the stance of Evangelicals. In the Bible, there is a short passage that (somewhere), states that a child is not even considered human until the Lord breathes in a soul with the baby’s 1st breath. Can someone elucidate this fore me? If I’m not in error, I would certainly want to know how Evangelicals word play around this thing. Anybody ?

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