If you don't consider human life "sacred," is there any moral reason not to have an abortion?

The decision to have an abortion is incredibly stigmatized, especially in America. Even those who promote pro-life policies say abortion should be as rare as possible. They may cite the mental and physical anguish of the woman—rather than any moral failure—as the prime reasons unwanted pregnancies are lamentable, but rarely does anyone challenge the underlying implication that the choice to have an abortion is somehow bad, even if in many cases it may be considered the "less bad" option.

I want to understand what has caused this deep-rooted and rarely challenged stigmatization. Does it come only from our religious roots, or is there some other moral argument against abortion?

It may help to compare the impacts of abortion to an everyday event we don't stigmatize—the killing of animals for food, sport, or clothing. Putting aside the religious argument that human life is inherently more valuable than other forms of life, is there any other reason to treat the killing of a human fetus—particularly one at the earlier stages of development—as any worse than the killing of a cow, deer, or chicken? Indeed, the animals we routinely kill have similar, if not greater, capacities to:

  • feel pleasure and pain (their nervous systems are more developed than those of a fetus in early development);
  • experience meaningful emotions (cows in line for slaughterhouses show clear signs of extreme distress); and
  • look forward to future events in their life (there's no proof animals have any conception of their futures, but neither do fetuses).

It seems clear that, from a biological standpoint, the animals we routinely kill have just as much claim to a right to life as a human fetus. Yet we stigmatize one killing and not the other. So something else must be going on here. A whole other discussion could be had about animal rights, but for the time being let's focus on abortion. If we strip away all faith-based arguments, are there any ethical reasons left to oppose abortion?

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It's just seems wasteful. Why go through the trouble? I don't see the point in making many trips to the local abortion clinic when some form of protection could have been used. If you want to have sex but never want to have a baby, then get your tubes tied or get a vasectomy. It's a one time operation vs. a bunch of needless abortions.

@StickCaveman It's just seems wasteful. Why go through the trouble? I don't see the point in making many trips to the local...

That's very true and I agree with you. I also think that's what a lot of people are trying to get across. It just becomes problematic when you have organizations like the Catholic Church teaching no abortions, but also no birth control or vasectomies or things of that nature. To think everyone will abstain until marriage is very naive.

@StickCaveman It's just seems wasteful. Why go through the trouble? I don't see the point in making many trips to the local...

What seems wasteful? For a lot of women it may be because the form of protection they used didnt work or perhaps they want to have children in the future, just not at the time they got pregnant.

@radgrl What seems wasteful? For a lot of women it may be because the form of protection they used didnt work or perhaps...

I'm just saying abortion shouldn't be a form of birth control. If you use a condom or the pill and they fail, then sure, get an abortion if you absolutely can't handle having a baby. I'm not arguing about what if the woman was raped or whether or not a fetus is a human being or whatever. Abortions should be legal, safe, and rare.

But it's pretty simple. You choose to have sex, you deal with any potential consequences. Getting an abortion every time you get pregnant because you refuse to use protection for the sake of pleasure makes you irresponsible. Irresponsibility is a waste.

@StickCaveman I'm just saying abortion shouldn't be a form of birth control. If you use a condom or the pill and they fail, then...

I don't think anyone intentionally uses abortion as birth control and if it's OK for condom failure why isn't it OK for judgement failure?
The heat of the moment can warp perception.

By this logic, if we don't think life is sacred why is murder illegal?

Anonymous +1Reply

well the way I think about it
with your animals example

with animals
killing them is a loss that gives us the gains of food

@fuzala well the way I think about it with your animals example with animals killing them is a loss that gives us the...

One could kinda argue the same for a fetus. Fetuses provide us with stem cells for research or putting in food products or whatever the hell it is they do with fetuses.

people have different morals

subscribing to a religion or not

https://www.facebook.com/AtheistsAgainstAbortion

Are you trying to say morality requires religion and some type of deity?

That is why the theory of evolution is so widely accepted. It takes away the sacredness of human life and equates us with animals allowing us to excuse the disgusting behaviors like abortion of today.

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