A Call to Atheists and Secularists to Defend Women’s Right to Abortion and Birth Control

By Sikivu Hutchinson

In observance of the January 22nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Sunsara Taylor and I have drafted the following statement seeking signatories.  We also call on bloggers to write, post and speak in support of abortion rights this Sunday.  Please follow this link to the petition to add your signature:

Atheists and secularists generally pride themselves on respect for science, opposition to harmful religious myths, and a fierce defense of the separation of church and state.  Yet there is a critical need for atheists and secularists of conscience to collectively challenge the current moral, cultural, and political siege upon women’s right to self-determination.  Flowing from each of these principles, we call on atheists and secularists to make public their support for women’s right to abortion and birth control. Due to the insidious climate of anti-abortion propaganda and legislation these basic rights are being viciously imperiled.

 Nearly 90% of U.S. counties have no abortion provider.  2011 saw 92 new abortion restrictions enacted throughout the states, shattering the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005 under President Bush.  Doctors who provide abortion are terrorized and killed.  In many communities, Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), funded by powerful Religious Right foundations and staffed by non-medical personnel, outnumber legitimate reproductive health facilities.   Due to this climate of misogynist persecution the moral stigma and shame cast on women who get abortions is as great as ever.  Women of color and working class white women who live in communities without adequate reproductive health care are disproportionately impacted by these policies.

But that is not all.  Birth control is also under attack.  Pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions.  “Personhood” amendments threaten to criminalize miscarriages and ban all contraception.  And President Obama openly upheld Kathleen Sebelius’s unprecedented decision to overrule the FDA, thereby banning over-the-counter distribution of Plan B (emergency contraception).

All this constitutes an affront to science.  Fetuses are not babies.  Women are not incubators.  Abortion is not murder.  Fetuses have the potential to become babies but until they are born they are a subordinate part of a woman’s body and they are not independent biological or social beings.
All this is rooted in harmful religious myth. More @ Defend Abortion Rights

A Call to Atheists and Secularists to Defend Women’s Right to Abortion and Birth Control
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