I can't really recall ever writing down my views on abortion, at least not in this blog. Many atheists are Pro Choice and I certainly side with this camp. That's not to say all atheists believe in abortion, or should I say the right to choose? Saying you believe in abortion sounds odd to me. But I'm sure there are plenty of atheists who think a woman should carry a baby to term regardless of beliefs or circumstances. I just don't happen to be one of them.
Pro Lifers tend to lean heavily on religion for their morals/beliefs/education so their default position is to believe a zygote or fetus is a baby, and a baby is a person and a person should be protected. But, scientifically speaking, a fetus isn't a baby, it's not a life. I can quote mountains of evidence that proves this fact, but this is a blog, not a thesis, so I'll just leave it at that.
Who am I, a man, to tell another woman what she should do with her body? Who am I to force ANY person to do something to their body? Who am I to force them to let something happen to their body?
Let's come at this from another direction. Would Pro Lifers want to pass a law requiring every citizen to donate spare organs when called upon? Their blood type and other bodily fluids could be categorized at birth and kept on record and the moment a need for an organ or specific type of blood comes up, they'll get a phone call. Sounds fair, right? Would they want to have one of their kidneys taken from their body without their consent? No? Why not? Oh, they don't like the idea of the government forcing them do something with their body they don't want to do? Don't like the risk required? Don't think someone else should be making their decisions?
Get the point? A woman puts her life on the line to have a baby. All sorts of complications can arise from child birth. It's also a huge financial strain. These are things I believe must be considered.
Some might say this isn't the same situation, that people choose to have sex knowing the consequences. I disagree with this uninformed and ignorant stance. First, not all pregnancies are a result of consensual sex. But mentioning rape and molestation is an easy rebuttal. Let's just ignore that for a second, even though it refutes the argument nicely. Broken condoms, failed IUDs and even botched vasectomies or tubal ligation can result in an obviously unwanted pregnancy. But again, I'll even let this argument slide.
The Pro Life stance seems to be: If you do something, you have no choice but to ride out the consequences, as in, you chose to have sex, and because a pregnancy was the result of your sexual congress, you must see this pregnancy to full term. Is that a fair enough assessment of their stance? That the pregnant woman has no choice to do anything about this, that she must have a baby in nine months?
Interesting. So, if someone chose to smoke cigarettes and it resulted in lung cancer, the smoker has no choice but to live with the cancer. You can't seek treatment for the cancer because you have to take responsibility for your actions and live with the consequences. Hey, you knew what could happen if you put carcinogenic materials in your body. It was your choice to smoke. Again, I'll ask, get the point?
Imagine Pro Choicers bombing chemo clinics. It's ludicrous.
I've actually pissed some people off, namely my family, when I posted a gut-wrenching story to my Facebook feed about a couple who aborted their pregnancy because the fetus would have been born with Down Syndrome. I posted the story because it was so sad that this couple tried for so long to have a child, using IVF to finally get pregnant only to get the news that the resulting baby would have Downs. Now, what pissed people off was their ignorance, not my intentions. They assumed I was saying all special-needs people would have been better off if they were aborted. I would in no way ever support that. It's such an abhorrent attitude to take, and I was thoroughly insulted that much of my family would even think I would feel that way.
And full disclosure, my nephew has cerebral palsy and it was my brother who took the most offense to my post. He also volunteers with a bunch of young boys who have Downs, so instead of talking it out with me to find out my true intentions, he just chose to unfriend me and not deal with it. Here is why I posted what I did. I believe in a woman's right to choose. In this couple's case, they had no other family to help with a special-needs child, they had exhausted their savings to try to have the child through surgeries and procedures so there would be no money to hire help and they just didn't have the resources to care for a child who would need life-long support as this was an older couple.
So there are always circumstances that could arise for abortion to make sense. Something like 90 percent of all pregnancies that would result in Downs are aborted for just such a reason. If you throw in other illnesses that would leave a child with a painful existence (Tay-Sachs comes to mind), then being forced to have that child is cruel and unusual punishment.
It all boils down to beliefs. Do you believe the "potential for life" is worth defending or do you believe a woman's actual life is worth defending? If it's the former, then where do you draw the line? Every male ejaculation could fall into the "potential" category, thus rendering masturbation to be a reckless murderous act. Silly, huh?
Me? I choose to defend a woman's life, and her choice.