The last time I talked about this, I was pretty strongly pro-choice, and not only that, pretty heavily anti-pro-life… Which is a weird statement but whatever, you know what I mean.
So having discussed it since with my boyfriend I’ve become a little more equal minded on the topic and I felt like it was about time I threw these ideas out into the void again. Last time- didn’t go too badly. Got some hate, got some likes, nothing too world shaking… But now I’m seeing things a little differently… I’m still pro-choice but for different reasons maybe…
So I’m a pretty logical person. I am an atheist, I have very little patience for religious belief if it comes anywhere near legal issues and human rights issues, but I’m not about to be an asshole and tell a religious person that they can’t believe whatever they want.
In my lack of belief in any religion, I’m left with my own experience and knowledge and sense of ethics and morals to make decisions about these things, and I personally believe that killing a human fetus is not equivalent to killing a conscious human being…
If the abortion is painless for the fetus, and it isn’t conscious, I don’t see how it is murder. However I can understand that for those that strongly believe it is murder it must be horrifying that so many people condone it. So being aggressive towards pro-lifers isn’t going to work out for you if you’re pro-choice. This is an emotional issue. And people are emotional creatures. I don’t think other peoples emotions should be in charge of my body and what I consider to be best for me, but I can accept that if people think I’m about to stab a baby- they’d get pretty upset, and if that is what they equate abortion to, I can see how they believe it shouldn’t be my decision, how they believe it shouldn’t even be an option.
My understanding of the consciousness of fetus’ and babies is a little vague though. I have read that memory formation doesn’t actually occur until quite a period after the baby is born. So if you consider true consciousness and formation of a being with an identity is directly connected with a person’s memory then the line of when a fetus or baby becomes a person is well and truly blurred and muddled and confused.
I personally consider identity and person-hood is pretty much all about experience. We begin to develop as we experience the world. And so my own conflict in this debate is when does the fetus begin to experience the world? When does perception begin? I equate consciousness with perception. If I can’t perceive the world, or myself, then in my own understanding, I am dead.
So if a fetus cannot see, feel, smell, hear, if it cannot perceive it’s own existence, then the fact that it is a partially developed human body doesn’t make it a human life…. to my own understanding. It’s just a bunch of living cells and tissue that left alone might become a human life. And if it isn’t yet a human life, then I can’t agree that it should have human rights.
So I think this issue is way too complicated to use blunt statements like “ABORTION IS MURDER” or “A FETUS ISN’T A PERSON UNTIL IT’S BORN” and unwanted pregnancy is something so personal and different in each situation that decisions about it really shouldn’t be based on the religious beliefs of people not involved.
So please don’t respond to this with “But God says…” because I will either ignore you or brush you off politely. And if you feel the need to yell or swear at me, just be aware that it is incredibly unlikely to sway me in any way. Sure yell and scream and swear, but just don’t expect results okay?