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A lot of people here have arrived from religious backgrounds so I was wondering what your feelings are about abortion. If you had one would guilt follow you around for the rest of your life? What would it take for you to make that decision? I guess mostly women will answer this. Does the fetus have a soul?
For me, pregnancy is no guarantee of life, spontaneous abortions happen, late term ones do, rape would for sure be a reason to have one but there are also other situations in which I would basically because I don't believe there is a god to answer to after death.

K9Kohle789 7 Aug 7
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17

What I, or any other woman, decides to do about our own reproductive lives,
is no one's business but our own.
It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of it, they don't get to interfere or
inject their opinion, unless they are specifically asked.

There is no "right to life". Never has been one, never will be one.
Each woman is absolutely entitled to her own reasons, and no one else has
any right to pass judgment on whether her reasons are valid.
No pregnancy, in the history of pregnancy, has ever been guaranteed to
result in a live birth. Never has been. Never will be.

No gods. No soul.
No one's business. It doesn't matter if they think it is their business, it's not.
And it never will be.

14

Abortion should be legal and available to any woman for any reason she chooses. I've had two abortions in my lifetime. One at age 16 from being raped, and one at 23 when my fetus had some of it's organs growing outside of the body cavity. The first one I did not feel any regret about because I was not going to carry my rapists seed to term. The second one I felt mostly sadness because I wanted the baby and was in fact hoping for a little girl as I already had two wonderful little boys. I've never felt bad about either abortion because I felt they were a medical procedure that was necessary for my quality of life.

10

I do not believe life begins at conception. I have not had an abortion but I fully support abortion rights. The mother has rights too!

9

In a perfect world there would be no abortions, spontaneous or otherwise. Every pregnancy would be wanted, every fetus would develop normally, and no woman's life would be put at risk by her pregnancy. But, this is not the nature of things. There are many reasons why a woman makes that difficult decision; and, the choice should be hers.

9

As a male that isn't in the medical proffession I can assure you that abortion is none of my business.

Souls don't exist and I imagine guilt would come from others who want to make an intensely personal choice a public affair - probably because they're serious assholes.

1of5 Level 8 Aug 7, 2019
8

Since I can't get pregnant I can only imagine the situation. In the bible it states that god predetermines where and when a person will be born. If a pregnancy is aborted then the logic follows that is was the god's choice and plan because, as it plainly stated in the bible, the god determines exactly when and where a person is born according to the god's "own" words. Unless the god is a liar or it's power is that of a weakling then all abortions are the plan of the god because it predetermines every event of life.
As an atheist I see life beginning with the first thought that occurs and ending with the last thought that occurs. Aborting a fetus before a "thought" has occurred would be very similar to unplugging a brain dead person on life support. You are not a living being if you don't have thought and are more of a biological vessel instead that is with or without potential depending on whether you are coming towards "being" or leaving it. Abortion before thought occurs terminates the potential for a biological mass to come into being. Men destroy the potential for millions of biological masses to develop into living beings every time they masturbate and they think nothing of it. Women destroy the potential for life every time they have a period. The potential for human life is destroyed by the trillions everyday by men and women in this world living their normal biological life and that is just the way it is. This thought of life beginning with a heartbeat is not accepted in the medical field because they unplug the beating hearts of humans everyday when they are determined to have no thought. You do need a beating heart to have thought but a beating heart without thought is not a human that is the process of being - it's a biological mass with the potential to become a being. Abortions would be rare if birth control was readily available and the need for it well understood and accepted but religion has other ancient ignorant ideas that it wants to dictate.

I like the comparison with pulling the plug. It's a difficult decision to make but in the end it is good to know pain has ended.

7

It’s impossible to answer your question “if you had an abortion, would guilt follow you around for the rest of your life?” We can only guess how we’d feel, unless we have already had one that is, and even then it must entirely depend on the individual and the circumstances which necessitated the abortion.

My stance on abortion is an unemotional one, and never having had a religion it is not influenced by any religious arguments regarding whether life begins at conception or not, or the notional ideas regarding “souls “. I believe it is solely the mother’s right to choose whether she continues with a pregnancy or not. If the pregnancy has not resulted from rape, then her partner should be consulted and his wishes considered, but ultimately it’s her decision, and should be a medical and not a legal matter. I cannot imagine, that were it the case that it was the male of the species who had the womb and got pregnant, and not the female, that we’d still be arguing about abortion in the 21st century. If that were the case, I think that there would be abortion on demand and a much lower birth rate!

7

i don't know why i would feel guilty. if i had an abortion it would be after a thinking process that culminated in the decision that it was the best course of action. i would not feel guilty for disposing of a clump of cells with no functioning nerve endings and nothing more than a bunch of electrical impulses that some people mistook for a heartbeat. i would feel guilty bringing into the world a child i could not support, and i would feel guilty for putting myself through a physical trial of nine months that quite frankly could kill me (in which case i wouldn't feel guilty because i'd be dead).

i do not believe in souls, so of course a fetus doesn't have one. no one has one.

i am an atheistic jew, meaning i am culturally jewish but believe in no gods at all and do not follow the religion except various elements of it that make sense to me or amuse me (i like purim!) jewish law is not against abortion, as it happens, but even if it were, that would not be meaningful to me.

g

I agree with you.

Well said!

7

I think, religion aside, abortion is still a very personal topic. I personally have no objection to (or guilt about) abortion before there’s a fully functioning brain and nervous system; at that point, there is the sensation of pain. So that’s my personally established boundary.

I also believe in exceptions even to this for extraordinary reasons, and those reasons should be decided by the woman and her doctor — and no one else.

7
The reason I brought up the topic is that i'm having a discussion with my step daughter about this same topic and she wouldn't judge another for what they do but she also believes from conception there is a human life to consider. Personally I don't believe that. I don't even think a heartbeat at 12 weeks or whatever is a reason to forbid an abortion to an entire half of the population. So many things can occur, husband passes and finances are tight,a woman was raped, a woman doesn't feel connected to a baby and doesn't want to give birth or raise it. The man isn't the type of guy a woman would choose for a father figure, a wife beater shouldn't have children in his life either. I also think it keeps down the over population on the planet 
So many many possibilities that creating laws to prevent women from doing what they feel is right for themselves is very wrong. Coat hangars are dangerous.  Biirth control for men should be for sale over the counter. They are half responsible and should take measures to prevent a pregnancy.

I tend to agree with the points you raise and agree with your side of this argument but your step-daughter has her own criteria for considering when life begins and how sacred that is regardle of the circumstances that brought it it on. You're probably going to have to just agree to disagree with her.

7

Let the woman decide after consulting her doctor. I see nothing wrong with an abortion for any reason the pregnant woman choses. For me, it comes down to the idea that the fetus is using the woman's body. The woman has the right to bodily autonomy. The woman gets to decide how her body is to be used.
There is no credible evidence for the existence of a soul, so that is a non-issue.

6

If men became pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. Solely a woman's choice.

@NoPlanetB Me too!

6

It is a choice for the pregnant woman to make. I would support her whichever way she decides.

6

Bans on abortion have no scriptural basis as far as I can tell. Religion's interest in it seems to be about controlling women. Is there an ethical basis for controls on abortion? Certainly not before the third trimester. Abortions that happen after the baby is viable? I think that's a decision to be made between the woman and her doctor. However, doessn't affect me, so feel free to ignore my opinion.

6

According to the god nuts, a baby gets a free pass to heaven, right?
So an aborted fetus (if you can call that a 'baby'--I don't) would go directly to an eternity of bliss. No living a life with all its temptations, so no risk of going to hell.
So we'd actually be doing all these "babies" a favor by aborting them.
We should be aborting MORE babies if that's the case, not fewer!
We have a terrible overpopulation problem.
I'm for asking pregnant women to volunteer for the heaven-assuring procedure. This may only apply to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but that's still a lot of souls being saved from the dangers of actually living a life full of sin and depravity.
Abortion "problem" solved.

6

I'm not from a religious background - I was raised very much aware that there was a such a thing as religion and that I am Jewish (I still consider myself to be Jewish, despite also being an atheist), but also that science has provided far more convincing explanations of how the universe came to be. I do not believe that a foetus has a soul; nor do I believe that any other person or living thing has a soul, because I do not believe that souls exist. However, I understand that women who don't share this opinion might well find undergoing an abortion to be far more morally problematic than I would, and I feel for them.

Jnei Level 8 Aug 7, 2019
5

We weren't going to have children when we married. We were going to have a fun and selfish life without contributing to overpopulation. However, inadvertently and shockingly I found myself pregnant. Seeing the ultrasound at 12 wks I was blown away. I thought then and there I would never have an abortion. I guess I had a 'spiritual' experience.....or at least, I was greatly moved.

I would never ever impose my beliefs on others and I stand for the rights of other women to choose. In fact I look around and wish half the population had been aborted. But not mine! never mine! lol. We went on to have three more babies.

5

A fetus is a PARASITE (Google the definition of "parasite" ) in every sense of the word. Does anyone get all teary-eyed over tapeworms/roundworms/hookworms? None of my business what anyone chooses to do with their insides........

My youngest is 20 and still a bloody parasite! He lives at home, contributes nothing, eats my food, uses my utilities and takes up a heap of space. He is at least amusing which is why I keep him. The day he no longer amuses me, I'll get the fly swatter out and flick him out.

5

In my catholic days I would have felt guilt and would most likely not have one. As an agnostic, I would not feel guilt at all. I am choosing to remain childfree and were an accident to happen the thing is getting aborted. Getting pregnant would take for me to make that decision. The soul is a religious concept. There is no scientific evidence for a soul. We do not even have a proper definition or conceptualization of a soul to be able to study it. I believe personhood does not begin until birth, however, barring health complications, I do not think 3rd trimester abortions should be common. In the 3rd trimester the fetus' brain and nerves are developed so much that the fetus can feel pain. Prior to that, it would not feel a thing. 🙂

4

This topic has been hashed over so many times, and still women for choice have to fight for that right. I personally have used this method, and I have also worked at Planned Parenthood. My background is a retired Labor and Delivery RN. So yes I have seen many sides of this issue. I have also marched for a woman's right to decide for herself. I have been spit at and called a murder. When at PP we were trapped in our clinic by demonstrators singing (get this) civil rights songs and holding pics of aborted fetuses. I eventually quit because of those hassles. My slogan has always been "My Body, My Choice". And I marched with a wire coat hanger on my head,both in the 70's and this year! Let's not go back to the time when women died trying to end a pregnancy they didn't want or couldn't care for. We have no right to judge because we are not walking in her shoes. Keep abortion safe and legal!!!!!

4

I’m having a hard time thinking of any instance where an unwanted pregnancy isn’t a man fault.

I think abortion should be legal, safe and rare.

I think there’s plenty of room for both sides of the debate to join together and focus on preventing unwanted pregnancies, rather than abortions.

@vjohnson51
Still, with out him - there wouldn’t have been a pregnancy.
It was a crappy thing to do to him though.

@vjohnson51 Obviously I don't have any proof, but I found it very coincidental that my brother's wife became pregnant every time they were considering divorce.

@kiramea He could have used a condom.

4

The discussion with a partner was never necessary for me.... I believe that the morning after pill and abortion on demand should be freely available to all women.
As to ;souls' as in ability to have deep emotional feelngs for another life - only applies to a cognitive brain that recognises emotional contact and again no direct experience of how long for this to develop n kids

Why haven't "men" scientists or doctors invented a pill for men to take before sex to prevent pregnancies?? Why is the focus always on the women, sure it's her body etc but a man needs to be responsible for his part.

@K9Kohle789 I think it is partly the timing factor ... maybe the millions of sperm vs one egg - and why does a man need to be responsible?

4

Now that I'm older, I sometimes resent the fact that my grandmother had so many children. My mother was the sixth of 11 children, and had to quit school in 8th grade to take care of the youngest five (their father was an alcoholic and died at that time).

The poverty and ignorance that reverberated from that is still affecting dozens of people, including me.

There are other things I have learned--some within the last couple of years--that are just heartbreaking, and stem directly from my grandma's religious beliefs that she had to keep having children (even though she had no real means to take care of them, although she always managed somehow).

One incident I don't mind sharing I learned about decades ago. One of mom's younger brothers (very little at the time) had an ear infection, and the side of his head started swelling up. Mom said she told grandma he had to go to the doctor, and she said no because they had no money. Mom was a working teenager then, so said she would pay for it. Grandma still said no. Mom took him anyway.

When I knew grandma, she never had a dog or a cat, and was very standoffish with any animal I ever saw around her. I learned later she never wanted her kids to have any animals because they had no way to feed themselves, much less the animals, and so had kind of turned off any emotion toward animals.

My like is for Christopher Hitchens and others who aren't afraid to speak out.

4

The bible doesn't consider a fetus a human, life beginning at conception, or consider heartbeats relevant to anything (the Midianites all had heartbeats when god ordered them all slaughtered).

Many fun facts you may not know regarding the bible and abortion:
[ffrf.org]

And if you don't have time, here is a small sampling of the bible's view of the sanctity of the lives of babies.

Numbers 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones.
Deuteronomy 2:34 utterly destroyed the men and the women and the little ones.
Deuteronomy 28:53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters.
I Samuel 15:3 slay both man and woman, infant and suckling.
2 Kings 8:12 dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
2 Kings 15:16 all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.
Isaiah 13:16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled and their wives ravished.
Isaiah 13:18 They shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.
Lamentations 2:20 Shall the women eat their fruit, and children.
Ezekiel 9:6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children.
Hosea 9:14 give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
Hosea 13:16 their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

@GodlessMimi There is a line between admirable self-sacrifice to save the group...and deciding everyone in the group (or everyone in another group) must die. Generally it seems Christianity often blurs that line.

Important to realise that we are not talking here about any directives from any god. This is Bronze Age desert/Mediterranean culture.

Pretty much standard practice to obliterate an enemy that is in the way of your pet project!

Pretty fucking violent and murderous. This stuff is bad as many horror movies in recent decades.

4

In an ideal world men and women would make wise choices and avoid unwanted pregnancies. No one wants an abortion if they can avoid it. It costs money and hurts, not to mention puts women at risk for complications like any medical procedure. When women are seeking abortions, it's because it's their very last resort against having an unwanted child. Even asking a woman to care for the child for the nine month pregnancy is asking her to allow her body to be permanently altered for the rest of her life, usually in negative ways. If women are desperate enough to avoid that, that they would get abortions, we need to be honoring those feelings.

At the same time, I don't dismiss the humanity of the fetus. I believe discussing the humanity is a ploy to help people overcome what they would otherwise feel mortified over: killing a helpless baby. I believe it's justified because no one else can care for the fetus except for one specific woman and at a tremendous cost to her and so, though it is an unhappy situation for all, particularly the fetus, it still should be allowable. I support efforts to make the procedure more comfortable for the fetus which is something that doesn't happen when people argue that they aren't human.

I also think there needs to be some legal protections to encourage men not to produce unwanted pregnancies. There are many cases where men pressure women into sex or where they slip the condom off during sex so they can have a more enjoyable experience. But if pregnancy occurs, is the woman who has to take responsibility. A lot would change if the law placed more responsibility on men, outside of small child support payments.

More comfortable for the fetus? What do you mean? 😕 Are you aware a fetus cannot feel pain until the end of the 2nd trimester or beginning of the 3rd trimester? And that the vast majority of abortions occur within the first trimesters of pregnancy?

@demifeministgal There is strong evidence that fetuses feel pain quite a bit earlier than that and even that they might feel pain more intensely than fully developed humans do due to a lack of pain inhibitors until later in their development. This is supported not only by the response fetuses demonstrate within the womb as seen on ultrasound but also by hormone levels and higher doses of anesthetic needed for in utero surgeries. The idea that fetus' can't feel pain is a convenient one for abortion doctors but isn't supported enough by evidence to not take precautions. If we are going to err in this area, for the sake of our humanity, it is best to err in being overly cautious.

@UpsideDownAgain I do not know what outdated sources you gather your mis-information from, but allow me to provide you with up-to-date factual science:
""What we can say about the fetal nervous system is that based on the best science we have" on the neurons that carry pain signals is that the "system isn't developed until the third trimester of pregnancy," Davis told Live Science....

researchers highlighted several key points in fetal development that are required in order for a fetus to perceive pain. One is that the receptors in the skin that sense an injury must be developed. Research has shown that this happens between 7.5 and 15 weeks of pregnancy, depending on the location of the receptors on the body, according to the review. For example, receptors in the skin around the mouth develop at around 7.5 weeks, whereas receptors in the skin on the abdomen develop at around 15 weeks, according to the review.

Second, the neurons in the spinal cord that transmit that signal up to the brain must be developed. Researchers who looked at fetal tissues reported that this happens at around 19 weeks, the review said.

Third, the neurons that extend from the spinal cord into the brain need to reach all the way to the area of the brain where pain is perceived. This does not occur until between 23 and 24 weeks, according to the review.

Moreover, the nerves' existence isn't enough to produce the experience of pain, the authors wrote in their review. Rather, "These anatomical structures must also be functional," the authors wrote. It's not until around 30 weeks that there is evidence of brain activity that suggests the fetus is "awake."

Davis noted that while these time frames aren't exact — some fetuses may develop a little earlier, and some fetuses may develop a little later — "there isn't any science to suggest that those pathways [for pain] are complete around the 20th week" of pregnancy. "

[livescience.com]

@demifeministgal The evidence that fetuses feel pain before 23 weeks is practically air tight. It comes from premature babies born at 21 and 22 weeks who demonstrate every indication of pain the same as adults, except as I said, that there is some indication that they might feel pain more intensely. So any study stating that fetuses don't feel pain previous to 23 weeks is erroneous.

Around 40 years ago, doctors would tell parents that infants didn't feel pain; the screaming and struggling was just an instinctive reaction to being held down. They would do painful procedures on babies with no pain relief. They had all the evidence they needed to know that the babies were feeling pain but ignored it because it was beneficial to them.

The evidence that unborn fetuses feel pain is also strong. It's colored, though, by the question of abortion. Those arguing that they feel pain are virtually always arguing against abortion while those who argue that they don't, are arguing for abortion. Since we can't conclusively say that they aren't feeling pain, why wouldn't we offer fetuses some possible relief? The answer is in the fact that the more human a fetus seems, the less likely women are to have abortions and that means a financial hit for abortion doctors.

Unfortunately, if we have to sacrifice truth for our agenda, then we can never come to any real solutions to the problems we face. Instead of debating whether babies feel pain or not, we could be discussing ways to better avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place, things like male birth control pills, males being held more responsible for their sexual choices, and women having better access to birth control options that will work for them. When you benefit monetarily from abortions, you aren't motivated to have those discussions.

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