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Abortion: A Different Perspective (Revisited)

I wrote the following a LONG time ago, long before Atheist Universe or Atheist Nexus or even before there were websites and browsers to read them with.  It was originally posted on Jim Maxey's Event Horizon BBS, back in the early 90s, and I thought that, considering the overturning of Roe v Wade, it would be appropriate to put it up here once again [with slight modifications] and remind people just how specious and poorly thought-out the reasons that evangelicals and other abortion opponents give for opposing a woman's right to choose truly are.  I hope you enjoy.

==============================


Let's start off by setting up some guidelines here. Stipulated for the record:

  1. Life is precious, none may be taken capriciously.
  2. There are three possible outcomes of a pregnancy:
    1. Birth
    2. Abortion, due to human intervention
    3. Abortion, due to God's Intervention (also stipulating an omniscient, omnipotent God; there are no accidents!)


Fact: In 1951, between my birth and the birth of my first sister, my mother had a miscarriage.  The cause of the miscarriage, at the time, was unknown.  My parents are by no means fatalists, but a comment about “God's Will” would not have been unexpected.  Had a doctor 20 years later looked at my parents' medical workups, he would have looked at this incident and shook his head.  Why?  My father was blood-type A-positive; my mother is O-negative.  What had happened was a case of Rh mismatch, which has caused uncounted miscarriages throughout history.  Sometime after this event, some researcher discovered an anti-agent to this syndrome, now known as “RhoGAM,” and since that time, a lot of mothers haven't had to go through the agony of a failed pregnancy.

So what about all those kids who didn't make it through the nine-month sub-lease because no one knew about RhoGAM?  Sinners before their birth?  Punishment to the parents for some other arcane sin?  If so, what about all those who benefited from RhoGAM?  Did Yahweh decide all of a sudden to reprieve them or was Man able to trump God's Ace (that one doesn't sound likely for an omnipotent god!)?  And how many other pregnancies have failed throughout history, long before antiseptic abortion was available, because Yahweh decided they wouldn't go to term?  The count would make the total number of abortions in the history of man, antiseptic and otherwise, look like a comparison between the Pacific and a glass of water.  What kind of god capriciously disposes of life in this manner?  No god I could worship!

The fact is, all of those failed pregnancies had reasons: failure to implant, Rh mismatch, hormonal imbalances, uncounted other reasons, some of which man is learning to control to the point of potentially eliminating failed pregnancies altogether.  I have little doubt that we could potentially live to see the day when prenatal medicine develops to the point of being able to frustrate any agent which would prevent a pregnancy from running a full 40 weeks to successful delivery.  Are those children spared God's Wrath, or are they damned because of man's intervention?  The plain fact of the matter is that there are those who bridle against Yahweh's taking of an unborn child for no discernible reason than His Will, then turn around and scream bloody murder when man does the same thing.  Which is the greater sin?  I have no answer for that one; I just do as I grok.

All I can see right now is people complaining about killing god's pre-born creations when he himself has wasted a vastly greater number with no more explanation than “His Will Be Done.”  Is each failed pregnancy a reflection of God's Will or random chance?  For myself, I cannot subscribe to a belief system which would have some deity so deeply involved at the pre-born level and simultaneously hold that man is a creature of free will.  The concept is absurd to the point of being ludicrous.  Does all of the above constitute an excuse or justification for abortion?  Maybe, maybe not, but it DOES put the issue in a different perspective.

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Comment was by Loren Miller on August 2, 2022 at 8:29am

Kurt, I came to the conclusion a LONG time ago that the process of making a baby was a badly flawed and lossy one.  Then, too, this is what happens when said process is molded by a couple million years of hominid evolution, rather than being designed to task, as the christers would have us believe.  Sure, the process works, but as you yourself observed, there are any number of ways it can go wrong, some far worse than others.  Still, believers want to insist that pregnancy is a god-directed issue, where Yahweh decides who makes it through and who doesn't.  In view of the massive field of prenatal medicine and all the developments that have come from that, the idea that it's Yahweh's ball and bat and game is purely absurd.

Yet evangelicals continue to hold to their simplistic model.  The scary part is that, with the Dobbs decision, they have gained ground, and that disturbs me greatly.

Comment was by Kurt Neuleuf on July 22, 2022 at 1:18am

Loren,

Each cell is like a complete special factory on it's own. What can wrong in 40 weeks??? How many stars in the universe?

Things do go wrong constantly, alas the cells have mechanisms to correct faults, and as a whole, they work. MOSTLY

Comment was by Kurt Neuleuf on July 22, 2022 at 1:03am

I have indulged in some long time medical studies covering all areas of human biology. I have not yet found any scientific  proof of when and at which point a  fetus is actually conscious. Theories abound , depending on who you ask, but definitive proof...er no.

The question is what is consciousness? When does a fetus become human? Re the chicken and the egg?

If life is a biological  machine , as modern medicine suggests, then the brain (CPU)is the seat of "consciousness". We  know that the brain continues to develop after birth.

The Jewish faith states a child is only alive once it is born.

Comment was by Loren Miller on June 26, 2022 at 6:31pm

Indeed it is a billion times away, Stephen ... and how many different things can happen to the bunch of cells before 40 weeks are up?

Comment was by Stephen Brodie on June 26, 2022 at 2:58pm

I like learning new words as often as I can. One word I learned early in my life was capricious because to my Young mind it fitted in with the nature of the desert god of Abraham. 

Another word I liked learning was Zygote; a cell formed by a fertilization event, which contains all of the genetic information needed to form a new individual organism, but it's a billion times away from forming that organism.

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