Reply turned post, reframing the pro-life debate

On, one of the posters complained about being asked if she BELIEVED in abortion. This has always been one of my pet peeves. I have been told that someone’s doctor “doesn’t BELIEVE in vitamins” and I replied “Well, you can assure your doctor they do exist. They have been photographed, even. It’s not like they’re Santa Claus.” I was also told by an ob/gyn that she “didn’t BELIEVE in midwives” before she stormed out of the clinic room and slammed the door in my face, when I told her I would be seeking a midwife for prenatal care.

Well, even when they are in the minority, many people think they can refuse to accept the reality of something just because they disagree with it, or wouldn’t choose something for themselves, even if it is a perfectly reasonable suggestion, such as taking a vitamin, like many people do and is arguably recommended by at least some reputable sources, especially certain vitamins like vitamin D, or choosing a midwife for your prenatal care and birth. Or, as 30% of women do, choosing to terminate a pregnancy at some point in their reproductive years.

Well, a commenter replied that some people “conclude abortion to be unacceptable under any circumstances.” And then, she goes on to describe herself as “pro-life” and “cool”, and having her reasons. She doesn’t say it’s unacceptable for her, she said it’s unacceptable. Period. As in, pretty much, she “doesn’t BELIEVE in it.” What me, and 30% of the woman around have done is unacceptable. She, like the person in the original post, thinks her convictions, regardless of how in the minority they are, some how cancel out the agency and ability of everyone else in the world to make a decision.

I wrote this reply:

It doesn’t matter if someone finds it “unacceptable under ANY circumstances”. Because that is an individual choice, not a public health choice, and not something one can dictate to others. That hard line approach is what leads to laws against abortion in many states and countries in this world. When abortion is made illegal, abortions don’t decrease at all, but they become more unsafe. So, 70,000 women die every year, and leave 200,000 orphaned children behind. Source for stats at

Saying “pro-life” does not mean being for life, but usually means for making abortion illegal, or thinking you wouldn’t choose an abortion if you got pregnant. What it usually means is that you support forcing your views as to what would be an unacceptable health choice for you on others. Which, to me, is unacceptable under any circumstances.

There are many people who strongly think that boys and/or girls should be circumcised, or that no one should accept blood products, or that organs cannot be donated, or vaccines are wrong or destructive, or that midwives are dangerous. Under any circumstances – it is an abomination before their god otherwise, or whatever secular reason they may have. Do they get to make the rules for everyone else in the majority, even if it jeopardizes lives?



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2 responses to “Reply turned post, reframing the pro-life debate

  1. I missed the part proving that making abortion illegal makes them more unsafe. Comparing “unsafe” with “legal” is a false comparison. Unsafe abortions are unsafe, whether legal or illegal. The US Maternal mortality rate was 20/100,000 before the Roe v. Wade decision; Ireland’s MMR is at 1/100,000 though abortion is illegal except to save the mother’s life. Many countries with a high maternal mortality rate have legal abortions for any or most reasons; and several countries with a low maternal mortality rate have abortions legally restricted for most or all reasons. North Korea and South Korea are a good example of this, with NK having abortion legal in any reason and at any time, but having a MMR of 370/100,000 and SK having significant restrictions on all abortions, but having MMR of 14/100,000. I know that MMR is not the best rate to quote, since mothers die of all sorts of reasons in addition to abortion, but it is a statistic that is easy to come by. Do you have statistics or studies for countries where abortion was legal and then became more restricted or illegal, with a subsequent increase in abortion-related mortality?

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