Wonderful exploration by Kathryn Reed:
I decided when I was
thirteen that I was both an atheist and prolife. I became an atheist because I
had no belief in a spiritual reality. I became prolife because my biology class
taught a section about the development of the human embryo and fetus. I saw a
human life as beginning at conception and stretching in one continuum until the
death of that being. I saw that the inclusion of a child into society after
birth (but not before) was nothing but a human convention.
Reed describes why an atheist, who has no belief in divine purpose or meaning, may find human life worth defending:
Possibly, the root of my
reaction against abortion is one of self-interest and of self-identification.
Aren’t there many in this world who see me as less than human because I am a
woman? Aren’t there people who would deem me to be politically, socially, or
ideologically “degenerate” and “undesirable” because of my
atheism, bisexuality, desire not to be a mother, pacifism, or other personal
characteristics? How can I demand my inclusion in humanity and yet deny
humanity to another? What kind of gamble would I be taking if I allowed a
dehumanizing custom to persist in my society without questioning it?
There are many other interesting passages, including her thoughts on human relationships versus abstract principle, the best ways to let ideas grow, how women she’s known have been affected by unplanned pregnancies, and how those effects get overshadowed by the abortion debate. Reed also considers the most effective (and ideal) ways to end abortion, naming off many methods of further empowering women so they would feel less inclined to abort in the first place. Feel encouraged to read the entire piece.