The Anti-Abortion Movement Hates Women?The Thinking Atheist Jun 2, 2012 6:59:23 AM | Date Modified: Sep 5, 2012 3:59:15 AM
I'll say it again.
Those in the pro-choice movement who assert that all opponents of abortion (usually religious) hate women, want to control women or seek some kind of pro-life population surge (heard that one a few weeks ago) are making a wildly incomplete statement.
I'm not a Republican, but time and again, I see the "Republicans Don't Care If Women Die From Back Alley Abortions" charges and shake my head. This is not how the anti-abortion movement thinks, and while you'll find extreme examples in any camp, I also think it's important to objectively and honestly understand the opposition in any conflict.
I heard a 90-minute panel on abortion in Canada, and not once did I hear anyone talk about the single, most prevalent and most emphatic argument that religious people have against abortion: "Life Begins At Conception."
A huge omission. Huge.
I spent my whole life in church. I've traveled to, literally, hundreds of churches across the nation. I was raised in the cradle of the anti-abortion movement. I, myself, was at one time vehemently anti-abortion, and I've seen the issue from well inside church walls and religious homes. In mainstream Christianity here in the states, the driving force behind the anti-abortion crowd is:
1) They believe a human life begins immediately at conception.
2) They believe that life has a soul.
3) They believe that soul cannot yet defend itself.
4) They believe they are charged to protect it.
Because the religious are convinced that a human life is being snuffed out, they're passionate about preventing a murder. And this is the case with both men and women, as they often work in tandem in this cause. In almost all mainstream religious homes, males aren't treating their wives like sub-par baby factories, and women aren't barefoot and pregnant. They stand on the battle lines, shoulder to shoulder, as equals, speaking out for the unborn. And they're fighting a moral battle because they're (almost always) good people and want to prevent what they consider an injustice.
Again, extreme examples exist. But pro-choice champions should do a better job of seeing the opposition correctly and honestly, as good information makes them more effective in the debate arena and allows them to focus their energies and tactics where they might be more effective.
Sure, the politicians are looking for slick talking points, and the megachurch pastors are probably selling books. But the everyday men and women who oppose abortion aren't bad people. They're just people. And as the pro-choice movement seeks to educate others and be properly understood, it should also properly understand what it's up against.
Comment: I would like to make a question. Why Americans use to say: pro-choice vs pro-life? Why you don't say: pro-choice vs pro-no-choice? We have the case of an anti-abortionist doctor that, for saving a potential life, kills the mother by forcing her to a risky birth, is he a pro-life doctor? In my opinion, NO! He is a pro-no-choice doctor.
Comment: Thanks for posting this Seth! Points 1, 3, and 4 are also why there are pro-life atheists. I understand why abortions are sometimes necessary, but I think if we can save the life of the unborn without harming the mother, it should be done. But I've received some of the most hateful insults from other atheists who disagree with me. It's made me understand why so many religious people could view atheists with disdain. -Mandy
Comment: As a pro-life pastor, I agree with your assessment, mostly. As an interesting rhetorical trick, when a pro-choice person makes a statement about their view of the unborn, I restate it back to them, with the word "negroes" in place of "fetus" to try to show them what type of argument they are working. I don't think that convinces anyone, but there was a time when I was pro-choice, and did not really think that a fetus (even a third trimester one) was a human with rights.
Comment: The issue of the abortion has a link with the demography. Some somatic-religious groups in demographic decline are using the issue of the abortion as a trick to try to change that trend. Since it is easier to convince a pregnant woman not to make an abortion than to convince a woman that isn't pregnant to get pregnant, so pro-life people think that to discourage the abortion can give a contribution for to arrest their demographic decline and so to make to prevail their religion.
Comment: BTW, I should probably give examples. I personally would not have an abortion, but I don't want to judge those who do. I personally would not own negroes, but I don't want to judge those who do. The fetus is not a person, and the mother should have the right to decide if she should abort. The negro is not a person, and the owner should have the right to decide if they should live.
Comment: It's probably more accurate to say "The anti-choice movement doesn't consider women." They don't hate women, but they don't see women as the appropriate people to make the right choice about what to do with their own bodies. The question remains: how do the pro-choice advocates counter this dogmatic persistence of the idea of a soul and "murder"?
Comment: (Cont) You can't argue with someone who has decided that they are taking the moral high ground. I think it's infinitely more practical and useful to talk about the fact that people will get abortions no matter what- so the anti-choice's movement's only outcome is going to be whether women can get them done safely or not. At that point, it *does* come down to whether women matter or not in the discussion.
Comment: they should read a science book. but they won't. all they'll read is christian literature that endlessly repeats the message that all human beings are worthless and need to be saved. I actually finished reading a christian novel last month, and it's all about showing the sinner that he/she is wrong, because the christian is right. i'm getting sick of religion!
Comment: In reality, there are circumstances when everyone would get an abortion, no matter how much they're against it in theory. The only real question is who makes that decision. The substitute negro for fetus analogy is poor and inherently racist. A "negro" can make decisions for him or herself and is not growing inside the body of another person who will be required to take care of it for its young life. Is a (already born) negro likely to be born without lungs or the ability to breath.