A Unique Challenge to the Anti-Abortion Position

Warning: Political content ahead.


Here we go, the annual bullshit “March for Life” thing. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING makes me madder than religious idiots thinking they have the time and place to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us. That includes on the topic of abortion. It seems the best any of the anti-abortion camp can come up with is to thump the Bible (read also: Qur’an, Torah, etc.). Well, as an atheist, obviously that doesn’t convince me in any way.

Alas, I’m sure you’ve heard the common defenses for a pro-choice political position. I’ll not go into those here because they usually fall on deaf ears. Instead, I am going to present a unique challenge to the anti-abortion position that many might not have heard about in order to get the gears turning.

The challenge is what South African philosopher Dr. David Benatar calls the “pro-death” view in his 2006 publication Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. The pro-death argument for abortion comes from combining the common view of fetal moral status (specifically that of pre-sentient fetuses) along with his arguments in favor of antinatalism (the view that it is bad to be born). When you combine these two views, it generates the pro-death argument that would naturally suggest that it would be preferable to abort all pregnancies in the early stages of gestation.

So there we have it, a “pro-death” view of abortion, which is directly counter to the pro-life position. Now, both of these are philosophical/religious and not political views in and of themselves (I, for one, know a lot of people who are pro-life philosophically but pro-choice politically).

That said, let’s take the anti-abortion position, which is the term I prefer for the political stance. Now, let’s say we have a political lobby group that, consistent with the pro-death philosophical view of abortion, lobbies for a political anti-birth position. That is,  a policy where even those who hold a philosophical pro-life view would be forced to abort against their wishes. Let’s also say this were to become law in some states/countries.

Maybe if faced with the scenario above, those who are legally anti-abortion would see the value of the legal pro-choice position.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

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I’m Scared, You’re Scared, We’re All Scared…

So about 14 hours from now, Donald John Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. If I was saying that I wasn’t scared I’d be lying out of my teeth. I’m absolutely petrified.

Please note I did not support Hillary Clinton either. I have no use for her either quite frankly. I voted for the Libertarian candidate, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. The bottom line is we had no good choices this cycle, but I will say Hillary scared me somewhat less. Donald (and the rest of the GOP) I find absolutely terrifying.

I’m scared as a person with a disability. We’ve seen what “The Donald” thinks about people with disabilities. We’ve all seen that video with him mocking that one disabled reporter. I wonder what he would think of me? Would he mock my involuntary hand flapping? My allergy-induced postnasal drip near constant throat clearing? What?

I’m scared as a bisexual person. I am currently single but if I find the right person to fall in love with it could be with either sex. Will same-sex marriage still be legal if/when that happens or will we be back to the subjugation of same-sex couples? I also fear that, according to VP-Elect Mike Pence’s position, we will have taxpayer funding of ex-gay “therapy” as he instituted in his home state. Truly scary.

I’m scared as an atheist. As the GOP takes control will we return to de-facto theocracy? Will the state law in Texas (and other states) officially banning atheists from holding public office be reinstated? I also fear for non-Christians of a variety of persuasion (especially Muslims – anyone with half a brain knows most of them are peaceful and moral people).

I’m male, but I fear for my female friends. Will their right to make decisions regarding their own body with the professional advice of a medical doctor  (including whether or not to terminate a pregnancy) still be intact or will ultra-conservative Trump appointees overturn Roe v. Wade?

I fear for my friends who stand to lose their health insurance. I wasn’t a supporter of the ACA as it seems to me to be an overreach to mandate people purchase health insurance but for fuck’s sake please have a replacement plan in place before you repeal it.

I fear for my friends who are of racial minorities and have already been experiencing violence at the hands of the white supremacists who have been reinvigorated by the election of The Donald.

I fear for those who are terminally ill and have chosen to die with dignity. Will the GOP seek a federal ban on physician assisted suicide?

I’m scared. You should be scared. We should all be scared. You’d be crazy not to be scared. And I don’t know as though I even want to continue. Maybe I should ignore my semicolon and “check out” before this shitstorm even begins.

I’ve done my best, but not even these words can express the level of fear I have right now. And I think I’m justified in my fears.