Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The big "A"

I follow several blogs and this post on Richard Carrier's blog piqued my interest:  Abortion Redux.  The "25 most influential atheists" have been polled on the subject of personhood of infants, which was inspired by a PZ Myers post on his blog.

The critical thing for me is that of the 25 most influential atheists, only three are women.  Sure, women can be either pro- or con- in the abortion debate, but it seems to me that people with wombs should be consulted a little more often about this.  Asking 22 men who are atheists about their opinion is about as valid to me as asking 22 Catholic Cardinals.

In deference to the seriously influential atheists, if these are important questions, then why aren't all atheists being asked?  It seems to me that important social issues that religions have laid claim to deserve thought from all of us, being free-thinkers and all.  I mean, why on earth would I need 22 men and 3 women to influence my thinking?  I am willing to consider their positions and justifications but I'm not so stupid that I can't come up with my own thoughts.

Here are the questions:

(a) Do you believe that a newborn baby is fully human?

(b) Do you believe that a newborn baby is a person?

(c) Do you believe that a newborn baby has a right to life?

(d) Do you believe that every human person has a duty towards newborn babies, to refrain from killing them?

(e) Do you believe that killing a newborn baby is just as wrong as killing an adult?

I have a problem with all of these questions because 1) the womb is out of the picture, therefore the woman's right to control what happens to her body has been made irrelevant for the purposes of questioning these men about how women's bodies should be treated and 2) what about mercy killing/euthanasia?

This presumes that all newborn babies / former fetuses are equal in viability and "humanity."  But what of the former fetus that is born without a head?  What of the former fetus that has a head and all the nerve structures necessary for feeling pain but no skin?  or no kidneys?  Parents have two choices in these cases: they can take extreme measures to prolong the suffering of their former fetus in an effort to keep themselves from going to hell, or they can have the nurses pump morphine into the fetus and let "nature take its course."

Option #3, euthanasia, almost never comes up in these situations.  If you can keep a former fetus from feeling the pain of its death after you let it linger in the ICU for days or weeks destroying its parents' finances, why not give it some morphine and then a little extra to relieve its suffering forever?

The questions are almost always loaded on the side of normal, healthy pregnancies, the type that never get aborted in the final few months when the fetus has the viability to become a former fetus.  Late-term abortion is the agonizing choice of women who face their own death.

So let's ask these other questions with this ultimate question in mind:
If a woman has six children and her husband has died, and her seventh pregnancy will most certainly result in her death and the death of that seventh fetus, is it wrong to deny her the option to terminate that pregnancy?

(a)  Do you believe that an adult woman is fully human?

(b)  Do you believe that an adult woman is a person?

(c)  Do you believe that an adult woman has a right to life?

(d)  Do you believe that every  human person has a duty towards women, to refrain from killing them?

(e)  Do you believe that killing a woman is just as wrong as killing a man?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, how could you deny a woman the right to a life-saving abortion?


ConfusedLady said...

I'm obviously missing something. All these questions are about newborn babies. I would probably answer 'yes' to all the questions, but I don't believe a 15 week old foetus is fully human. I believe that a mother's life is more important than a foetus'. Why are they asking about newborns? I don't understand!

Not ConfusedAnymore said...

Aha! - went and read the links and am now not confused.

L.Long said...

I am even more off to the left on the bell curve.
Even if the fetus will NOT harm the woman but all else is unchanged then she can abort. Her body-her fetus-her choice.
As far as the other questions are concerned - it is a baby not a fetus-it now has rights.
And abortions are not bad if done right...5mins + 9mo it is replaced. The damned control freaks need to get over this!
And this 'right to life!' BS, OH PLllEEEeease! Where were all the 'right to life' arse holes when they stated this silly war in ...well where ever it is now. Is just one silly example.

Never Was An Arrow II said...

WHAT IS BECOMING human…is human already as the Catholic Church stated two centuries ago.

Fully human.

"If you answered "yes" to any of the above, how could you deny a woman the right to a life-saving abortion?"

RARE scenario. What, one in 100,000 have to make this choice?

Pagans, atheists, Wiccans can do whatever they want…and often they do. They have no binding morality—look at the stupid conclusion PZ Myers recently conjured up. And remember, we wouldn't have had millions dead, murdered, at the hands of Planned Parenthood, or the other organized expressions of atheism,…Communism, Socialism, Secular Humanism, etc.

For Catholics—there is only one choice. Direct abortion is evil. A mother is, at times, called upon to sacrifice her life for her offspring. Nothing new here. It happens outside of childbirth, all the time…and not just with mothers, but fathers as well. Parents have always been on the hook here~

L.Long said...

Yes the Catholics INVENTED that abortion is bad because they do NOT follow the buyBull and rarely read anything in it. The buyBull has no restrictions against abortion and even tells you how to get one.

Never Was An Arrow II said...

L.Long …I'd love to respond to a more intelligent version of yourself—but I see there isn't one~

B.R. said...

@Never Was An Arrow II;

You're a complete imbecile. You use "atheists can do whatever they want" to try and say that all those killed by communists and socialists were killed because of atheism, which is bullshit. Communist regimes are materialist, not just atheist, and they kill people for political reasons, not in the name of ideological crusade, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for the Catholic Church, who have tortured and murdered millions of innocent pagans, Jews, "withes", and so-called "heretics"(anyone who disagreed with Church dogma), and who would more than likely continue to do to this day if the balance of power hadn't slipped into the secular spectrum.
Christians--especially fundy Catholics--can do whatever they want using the Wholly Babble for justification and frequently do, otherwise there wouldn't be mass graves dotting the whole of Europe, numerous Papal Inquisitions, and nine Crusades. Not to mention the fact that the Pope is the Patron Saint of Pederasts.

B.R. said...

That is, "witches", not "withes".

L.Long said...

Well 'NeverWas' what part was not intelligent? As an ex-catlicker who studied for priesthood, I can positively state that the buyBull was never read, we went to class as kids and taught what to believe and as adults the priest did not encourage buyBull reading.
secondly show where abortion is wrong in the buyBull...Don't pull the 'don't kill' card. And the buyBull DOES give instructions on how to get an abortion, and the jew armies committed thousands of abortions. Look it up!

LadyAtheist said...

Why should the Catholic Church have any credibility with the 90% of the planet that are not Catholics? They have no more authority than any other religious sect and certainly can't render a scientific judgment.

LadyAtheist said...

L.Long, the questions seem to me loaded in the direction of the "viable" fetus. If it's viable when it's naturally delivered prematurely and considered "human" under the law, then it's supposedly equally viable as a fetus at abortion time.

Nevermind that viability is only due to scientific advances in the treatment of preemies and neonates. Nevermind that late-term abortions are almost always health issues, not lifestyle-driven.

I agree, that a woman's body is hers, and if there's a question of which has the bigger claim to "life" it's the woman. She's a proven quantity. She has survived childhood so if her life can be spared she's going to continue with her participation in society. A preemie may have severe health problems and may die anyway.

The Teri Schiavo case had me fuming and laughing by turns as the idiot religionists used every rationalization to prevent the husband (who owns her, according to the Bible) from letting "nature take its course."