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Does ' pro-lifer' always identify a religious person?

Referring to a fetus as a child - saw it in a member post, raises the religious flag in my opinion.
As an atheist/agnostic do you use the scientific term 'fetus' and eschew terms such as 'unborn child'?

AmiSue 8 Jan 22

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I like the pro choice option better because it give people with life threatening problem an option. Also I do not think a rape victim should be obligated to carry her attackers baby. However people that use it as a form of birth control that bothers me.


I use 'fetus'. I would never use the term 'unborn child'.
Although, I do not automatically consider anyone who claims to be pro-life to be religious.
I do, however, automatically consider anyone who claims to be pro-life to be a meddling pain in the ass.

You go girl!!!


Yes. Without religion, a fetus is just a parasite living off its host until it is viable outside the womb. No one is arguing over tapeworm lives.

AxeElf, are you deliberately missing my point or do you really not understand I was making the point both tapeworms and fetus cannot exist outside their host. Outside of morality, which is dictated by religious dogma, no one would argue a parasite's life is more valuable than it's fully cognizant, functioning, human host. And yet when a pregnant woman is ill or injured, there is much debate and handwringing over whose life deserves saving. Unless its a case of the mother being too ill or wounded to likely survive, or has made HER express wishes known, I don't even see why this is a dilemma. To walk the pregnancy clock back farther, if a fetus cannot survive on its own, it is not life, it is life potentiate. Furthermore, irrespective of religious dogma and morality, what do you care what I do to MY body?!

@Eponymous well said.


I am pro choice-women's rights. I word use the term fetus.


My daughter is definitely not a religious person yet she is pro-life in that she chose to have 2 children when it would have been to her advantage not to have them. She does not vote with the evangelical pro-life movement however and supports a woman's right to choose.

Anti abortion/pro choice, that's my stand on that one.

I made a similar choice. I will vociferously defend a woman's right to choose BECAUSE I know the true costs of that choice.


I use fetus and believe VERY strongly in a woman's right to choose. I would not tell another human what to do with her life for a year. I'm not sure I have met anyone who is anti-abortion and not religious... Maybe I should get out more. It would be a curious conversation.


I would say most Christians are pro-life and most pro-life people are Christians. However, I wouldn't say it necessarily means they are. A belief that life is precious and worth saving can be just as much an atheist belief, especially since we don't even believe there is anything more after death. My personal beliefs differ from that mindset but I can grasp the concept.

Oddly enough - in the US Christians who are 'pro life' are often 'pro death penalty' too. What gives?


I think of fetus as a medical term, I could be wrong. I guess being an atheist doesn't guarantee one has rational thinking capacity. I was cringing while reading that comment you allude to, the same as I would if reading a religious diatribe.


Possibly not. I've seen plenty of anti-abortion protesters specifically separating themselves from any religious component of the debate. Perhaps it's just a trick...


There are non-religious ways to reason towards a pro-life position. The argument from moral caution makes at least a degree of logical sense: we can't be certain when human life begins, but the moral consequences of getting that call wrong are atrocious, so until the question of when "personhood" starts is resolved, don't abort any pregnancy at all.

...I'm not saying that's my own take on the issue, because it isn't. Rather, It's to point out that the argument is a) not so fanciful as to be immediately dismissable, and b) not grounded upon the received wisdom of an ancient mythology.


I am aware of a lot of groups who are not pro-abortion, but would never use the term "pro-life" since that's just a term that has nothing to do with life at all. It's all about the fetus.

When I debate this issue with my conservative friends (believe it or not I have them), i use the term "Medical procedure" since that's pretty much what it is. A medical procedure between a woman and her doctor.

Still, I'm not sure how I personally feel about it. I don't argue "when life begins," but I do recognize that life or not, it is the "potential" for life. Potential in science can still be pretty significant. When I'm challenged by being asked, "well what if you were aborted?" I answer, "I wouldn't know. I wouldn't be here. Period. So there's no way I could logically answer that question."

It's a complicated issue, which is why pro-lifer's will never ever understand it.


I didn't for my children, but in general, I do. I don't know if all pro-life (I hate that term by the way) are religious, but religious people are more predisposed to reject science and women's rights.

JimG Level 8 Jan 22, 2018

The late Nat Hentoff, longtime columnist for both the Village Voice and Free Inquiry, was very outspoken about both his atheism and his pro-life stance.

Looking up Mr. Hentoff’s thoughts on the matter was a very interesting read. Thank you for that.


Never met an unbeliever that was pro-life. I was raised in a fundy Christian church that taught God gives each person a soul at birth, so a pro-choice religious sect.

Lauxa Level 5 Feb 18, 2018

I say fetus; to me this is more accurate. Pro-lifer is not always religious. My brother is not religious; he doesn't know what he believes. He used to support abortion. Then he changed his mind and is now pro-life. He still is not religious that I can see.

marga Level 7 Feb 4, 2018

Eh. I use fetus if I’m having a medical discussion - as it’s a medical term. Otherwise I use whatever I feel is appropriate to the context - often times unborn child just to rub some pompous ass the wrong way.

I know several pro-life atheists, though I’ve never encountered one anywhere close to some of the religious versions. From my experience they agree to exceptions for at least fetal abnormality and imminent danger to the mother.


I don't think so. I don't think you have to be religious to value human life. The concept of when that occurs exactly, probably has a lot to do with religion


I wouldn't try to carry out a fetal abnormality that's for sure. Wouldn't make it to term, damaging further chances to have kids. I'm also under medication for epilepsy I can't take while pregnant if my goal really is a healthy, non brain damaged kid. Pregnancy is huge stress on the body and I think of Pro-choice like that. Either way just make the decision earlier the better and don't try to miscarry (drinking, intentional harm, under-eat etc), just have an abortion.
People didn't used to name their kids till they were past 1 because of how common infant death is. The bible is at best pro-choice itself, that's why priests used to be involved in a lot of abortions so girls wouldn't try themselves and get hurt/die themselves.
I'm against capital punishment, pro-euthanasia, anti-war, pro-welfare, Pro-choice, pro net-neutrality, pro-space travel. I'm a lot of things.
There is over 7 billion people on earth and people die and are born in each moment, but we can control our own lives. We should be able to decide if we want to add another person into our lives. It is hard on the mind and body you should have your choice in it.


I'm personally a pro-choicer. That kind of choice is a gut wrenching one and shouldn't be a political or religious ploy, ever. I've never been in a situation that I had to make such a choice but I have known several who had. Forcing a birth has far more negative effects on the people involved and society on a whole in the long run than just leaving it alone and supporting the choice regardless of which way it goes.

AmyLF Level 7 Jan 23, 2018

I personally am adamantly against abortion, however I feel it's not the government or religion's right to tell a woman what is best for them.

Because I am against abortion, I've never had one. I have also offered to drive a friend and wait with her when she went to get an abortion, and I almost paid for my daughter to have on (she decided on her own not to get one). This is a very personal decision for a woman, and should be made by her and her family/significant other (if SHE wants to involve them).


I use all terms, but not interchangeably. To me they all describe different stages of development. I might use zygote, embryo, fetus, unborn child, or any number of other descriptors depending on the circumstance. I will call it an unborn child when the mother actually intends to give birth and it is viable outside the womb.

d_day Level 7 Jan 22, 2018

It's a fetus until it's fully developed, then it's an unborn child. And atheists can believe in anything anyone else does that has nothing to do with gods and religions. They are as whole and rounded--more so--than religious people. They care and love for the good of community and humanity, not for some threatening god.


I know it was cruel but the mother to be annoyed me to no end with her "My baby, my a God's gift."
I went to the Anatomy class in Dental school and I took a pic of the fetus we had in a jar....and showed it to her. She run screaming during 20 minutes.


They’re just words, I believe that every woman should have a choice, even if it’s one I wouldn’t choose for myself... no qualifiers (like rape, deformities, etc.) because it’s not my body to set rules for.


When I was much younger I was pro-life and atheist. Actually I was more conservative about a lot of things because I was a young mother and less educated.


I dunno, but I have always thought that vegans who swallow cum shouldn't consider themselves vegan.

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