Anti-abortionists say that Pro-Choice means you are pro-abortion and are for killing fetuses. For many Pro-Choice advocates nothing could be further from the truth. Pro-Choice simply meant having the right to choose to have an abortion or not to have one. So Pro-Choice supports both positions. I believe that people should have the free right of which way to choose regardless of what I happen to believe. I believe that the United States is not about Christian or religious morality but about the Constitutional right to free choices. The First Amendment grantees the separation of church from State regarding our freedom to free choice:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This even extends to such things as gay rights and their rights to marriage as well as other issues related to religious morality and doctrine in laws.
So the Constitution supports one’s Choice to such things as moral values and lifestyles and guarantees equal rights and treatment for all. My Pro-Choice stance is based upon this Constitutional right, not upon my preference for a given moral value or lifestyle. As a matter of fact I am slightly uncomfortable with abortions and would have to have a good reason for approving one. Though fetuses are not considered people by Constitutional law they are potential human beings like I was at one time. But I don’t feel it right to impose my personal feeling upon another when making their own decisions even if I don’t happen to agree. I might freely express my opinions but not make it part of law. The same goes for gay lifestyles and gay marriages. I personally do not subscribe to the gay lifestyle but I believe that I do not have the right to deny another that lifestyle and all the rights that non-gays enjoy. Nor would I deny another of their Christian belief even though I don’t believe in it myself. I will fight for the rights of another to their Constitutional right regardless of whether I agree with it or not. It is simply wrong to deny people their rights simply because they are different or express different values.
This is a country diverse in religions and philosophical convictions and ethnicity. Diversity is what brings richness to this nation and makes it great. It allows people to freely and naturally develop their identities and proclivities. It is unfortunate that far too many people don’t understand this. The Constitution is the legal doctrine for this nation, not the Bible. Far too many people want to make the Bible, as they interpret it, the law of the land. They believe in a vengeful God, not a God of grace, love, and compassion for all sinners including themselves where no one is better than another (equal in sin).
Religious influence in laws was obviously not the vision the framers of the Constitution had in mind based upon the text of this document together with the Bill of Rights, otherwise the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights would not have been written. They saw how the Pilgrims were persecuted by the Christian Church of England. This country must not turn into another nation ruled by a single religious belief or religious laws. Let each be free to choose what to believe or not believe. That is the only just way to respect true religious freedom and free expression.
It is strange that the righteous right who want to replace the Constitution with scripture from the Bible believe themselves pious and believe that Pro-Choice advocates are morally corrupt and not true to the will of God. Yet their attempts to impose their biblical morality upon everyone is unconstitutional as even the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled. They have a right to live up to their own religious beliefs but have no right to impose them upon others. The Bible even supports this in the two following very well known New Testament verses:
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Christ taught that All were sinners so no one had the right to judge the sins of another. So even Christ supported the principles of free choice without judgment from others by which the Constitution and Bill of Rights were based.
Anti-Abortionists should put their energies into helping mothers who have unwanted children raise, feed and care for them as Christ would clearly have wanted them to do. Perhaps if daycare, nursing care and other help was more readily available fewer abortions would be performed. They need to show more compassion for those who cannot deal with unwanted children rather than just tell them to simply have them. Where is their Christian love and compassion? Their efforts seem misguided.
We have been endowed with free will to Choose right or wrong. We are not endowed with the authority to judge others or impose our beliefs upon others so denying them their free will to choose. We do not have a right to force others not to have abortion because we believe that they are sinning by murdering a fetus. If God did not want us to have a choice wouldn’t he have created us not to sin? It must have been God’s intention that Adam and Eve should have choices by providing them with the fruit of evil (original sin). Consequently we all have that same Choice of inherited sin. For us to claim that we know how God would judge any act is to play God. This likewise does not make for a free nation with free choices and First Amendment rights.
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- Imposing Human Rights and Moral Values on Others
- America’s Obsession about Sex and Morality
- The Good Samaritan
- Abortion is not murder
- Why We Must Be Vigilant in Protecting a Woman’s Right to Choose
- Does this mean that I’m pro-choice?
- An Apology From a Pro-Lifer
- Opinion Piece: I am Pro Woman
- Right to Life: An Argument with two sides
Great Post. Mind you, if you want to convince the Right to Life Lobby you still have to address their concerns. Unfortunately both sides of the debate present their case in such a way that an outsider could be under the impression they are listening to a high school debate, with both sides presenting their side while arguing against a parody of the other side. Try Googling: “Right to life, an argument with two sides”.
The point is whether a fetus is a human being or not. Constitutional law does not define a fetus as a human being thus it is not entitled to the protection of the law. So it boils down to moral and religious values just as killing during war. If we kill innocent victims knowing that there will be collateral casualties in war are we murdering those innocent men, women and children? Ask the victim’s relatives and they will say Americans murdered their innocent family members. Pro-life must mean pro-life for all including human beings, not just unborn fetuses. Then I would have more difficulty arguing my case.
First of all, thank you for linking to my article “An Apology from a Pro-Lifer.” I appreciate it, mostly because I feel like I’d like people who would benefit from it to read it.
I wanted to address your premise that the pro-life argument is strictly a Christian one. You might think this because much of the popular pro-life movement totally sucks at communicating–or even believing–real pro-life philosophy. Much of the visible pro-life movement are Christian moms handing out religion-centered brochures and touting platitudes about Jesus.
However, pro-life philosophy is not strictly Christian, as evidenced by groups such as the Atheist Pro-life League. The center principle of pro-life philosophy is that human beings have inherent dignity and a right to life.
Thus, this is not a matter of imposing religion on law, but of whether or not an unborn being coming from another human being is, in fact, human. Science unequivocally says yes, that being growing inside a woman’s uterus is human. I am not aware of where the Constitution explicitly states who is and isn’t a person, but I am wary of any definitions beyond simply a living human being. If the condition of being unborn disqualifies someone from personhood, who’s to say what other conditions could disqualify someone from personhood, such as having a disability?
The question of whether or not a fetus is a person is one of natural law, not of any religion, akin to the question of whether or not it is okay to steal someone’s goods.
You make a point about free will, but the capacity for free will given to people by the Judeo-Christian God did not stop God from creating laws and even pointing out the consequences of breaking those laws. Furthermore, it is necessary for government to enact laws and consequences to discourage someone exercising their free will in such a way that it would diminish someone else’s fundamental rights. That’s the reason behind the pro-life movement’s legal action: they want to seek government protection for a human being’s fundamental right to life.
That said, I agree that there is far too much judgment and, (if I may paraphrase it this way?) too much anti-abortion rather than actually pro-life sentiment among the pro-life movement. Much of the pro-life movement acts as though the decision is one-dimensional and easy for a woman who was impregnated by an abusive boyfriend and scared for her own life. 40 Days for Pride, um, I mean “Life” thinks it’s a “peaceful presence” to bombard women with a crowd holding anti-abortion signs outside of an abortion clinic. (I guess peaceful just means quiet to them?) If we were really concerned about protecting life, we’d see that changing laws won’t do anything if these men and women don’t feel like there’s some kind of support for them to raise a child or if they’re not taught about appropriate and responsible sexual relationships in the first place. I would argue rallying that support and education is far more urgent a need than any law.
The point of this article “Is Pro-Choice Biblical” is addressing the Christian moral arguments of this issue because they are the most vocal about changing our laws to conform to their morality. Your article Right to Life: An Argument with two sides does a good job of laying the broader arguments of both side.
To address your issue the question is when is a fetus a valued human being with the right to life. Science makes no moral judgments about the value of humans. It simply classifies the stages of development. So it really boils down to our subjective judgment as to how much value there is in human life to warrant the right to life. Our species has done more to destroy other life on earth than any other organism by infinitely far. We are the epitome of parasites on mother earth able to quickly adapt to just about anything like a super-duper bug. So our value is to perpetuate ourselves as an invasive species which we have succeeded to an extreme from less than 1 billion 200 years ago to over 7 billion today and exponentially growing. So our value is only to our self-serving selves, Darwin’s survival of the fittest taken to an unnatural extreme.
So in the scheme of things what is the value of a human life? Objectively it has a very large negative value. Making it a large positive value as we do is self-serving. We overrated human life. As a matter of fact we down rate it in times of war such as the U.S. engages in the Near East and elsewhere where killing humans is commonplace. So what value should we give a fetus vs. a breathing human being or a brain dead human being whether born, grown up or not grown up? What value do we give to an Einstein vs. a poor beggar or even Hitler or other mass killers? What about the innocent lives taken as a result of calculated collateral casualties of war? Do we really believe all these scenarios of human beings have equal value or rights to life? What makes capital crimes of war any worst than any other capital crime as defined by international agreement? It seems to me that war is the epitome of human stupidity because it defies our primary directive of survival. To make this form of mass killing somehow more noble than other forms of killing is irrational.
So I believe that a fetus, which unconditionally depends upon its mother for survival, remains at the mercy of its mother for its survival and that it is at the mother’s sole discretion whether it survives or not. After all the mother has to bear the brunt of responsibility of that life after birth. Placing moral value upon abortions is simply too complex a issue for me to decide with wisdom and seems very arbitrary as done by others. I envy those who think it so simple. Thus I am pro-Choice for the mother.