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?