Once a month or so, this blog features a short interview with a pro-life atheist. (See the full series of interviews here.) Although Secular Pro-Life is not exclusively for atheists, historically atheists have played a key role in the organization. As atheists become more prominent in the pro-life movement generally, we’re excited for the opportunity to share their stories. This month, we welcome Kristin Monahan!
How did you arrive at the anti-abortion position?
When I first found out what abortion was when I was 14, I was immediately against it because I had taken middle school biology classes and knew that terminating a pregnancy would mean killing a human being. I was horrified that this was a thing anyone was doing and instantly developed left-wing and feminist reasons to be against it, as naturally I knew that killing the youngest and most vulnerable human beings is the opposite of left-wing or feminist. When I first started hearing the stereotypes that pro-lifers were supposedly Christian conservatives and pro-choicers were supposedly left-wing feminists, at first I thought people were joking but then I started to realize they were being serious. So I started googling to see if there were people out there like me and some of the first organizations I found were Feminists for Life, Democrats for Life of America, and Secular Pro-Life, as well as the website godlessprolifers.org.
How did you arrive at the Atheist position?
I’m lucky enough to have figured out who I am as a person in my preteen and early teen years. It was when I was 12 or 13 that I started really pondering the idea of a god and felt like it wasn’t real and came out as an atheist. It just seemed like a weird idea that there would be a giant invisible being in the sky that created the universe, or that any being could even possibly create the universe at all. A lot of things about it reminded me of the character of Santa Claus which I didn’t think was real either… an all-knowing being watching everything you’re doing, knowing if you’re good or bad and punishing or rewarding you based off of how obedient you are to their rules, being in the sky and having magical powers etc.
How do you contribute to the cause of saving lives in the womb?
Back when I was stuck in a small town, I pretty much just stuck to the online world. I followed lots of pro-life pages and joined lots of groups, made lots of pro-life friends to talk about the issue with, and had lots of discussions with pro-choicers over the years to talk about the nuances and to try to help them understand that abortion kills human beings and those human beings deserve equal rights. I would get panic attacks when I first found out what abortion was, so I delved into online activism as a way to calm the panic because at least I was doing something so it didn’t feel as bad. I finally was able to do real life activism when Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising started, so now I work for PAAU and spend my time helping on the administrative side of things as well as travelling around to do all sorts of pro-life activism events such as marches, protests, counter protests, rescues, sidewalk counseling, and speaking at the Board of Regents of multiple universities to get them to consider stopping fetal tissue research. I also organize in my local area, the Seattle metro area.
What words of wisdom do you have to share?
There will be a time where we get to have a much more peaceful and equitable world. Things have gotten far better than where they were in the past. We just have to hang on and have hope.
[Want to be featured in a future edition of Ask a Pro-Life Atheist? Email email@example.com with your name, affiliation(s), and answers to the four questions.]