What Secular Anti-Choicers Are Really Saying

Giliell,  professional cynic, -Ilk-, has decoded the language of those secular people who think women (or trans men) who had the temerity to have sex (or get raped) should carry the resulting pregnancy to term:

Secular arguments against abortion I’ve heard are usually:
-She had sex, so she should bear the consequences*
-She had sex, so she should bear the consequences**
-She had sex, she should bear the consequences
-It’s a continuum and I’m going to dismiss the one actual clear-cut point that we have which is birth
-She had sex, she should bear the consequences
-There aren’t enough healthy white babies for us to adopt
-She had sex, she should bear the consequences
-The straw-abortion of a healthy, almost-term fetus because the woman has suddenly decided she’d like to go clubbing at the weekend
-She had sex, she should bear the consequences
-I don’t know anything about pregnancy, HELLP, Potter syndrome, childbirth, ectopic pregnancies, post-partum depression, but I held a baby once and handed them back to their loving mother when they cried/pooped.
*Fuck them for thinking of children as “consequences”
**Quite often combined with the idea that men shouldn’t have to pay child-support for the offspring of their one-night stand, because consequences are for women only

I think that explains matters clearly enough. I encourage you to read the rest of that comment, which is an education for anyone who thinks they can decide when a pregnant person can no longer choose to become not pregnant. If you have time, read that entire thread. And for those hot and heavy about the “it’s fine until 20 weeks” bullshit, read this right now.

Oh, and Dave? You can fuck right off. You don’t get to throw my reproductive rights under the bus to attract more assholes to the movement. American Atheists won’t have my support unless and until your organization makes a woman’s right to abortion non-negotiable. Think about what’s more important: trying to win the support of a tiny number of conservatives who are probably going to tell you to piss up a rope regardless, or keeping the support of the much larger number of atheist women who are already here – but won’t be for long if leaders in this movement keep throwing us away.



What Secular Anti-Choicers Are Really Saying
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13 thoughts on “What Secular Anti-Choicers Are Really Saying

  1. 1

    How hard is it to accept that women have the right to control their own bodies? I would have thought that a right to bodily autonomy was a fundamental human right. It always seems to come back to people who argue for abortion restrictions think that they know what’s best for everyone, rather than allowing individuals to make the their own choice.

    Just for the sake of completeness shouldn’t there be a mallet included next to the knives in that picture?

  2. 2

    the original complaint against Silverman was that he threw pregnant people’s rights under the bus by separating anti-abortionism out from other toxic shit like anti-gay-marriage. He claimed the other culture-war stuff was Not True Conservatism and theocratic; he claimed that it was clear cut (and elsewhere, that it was more truly christianist), and by contrasting “there’s a secular argument against abortion” with right to die and gay marriage, he created created one of two impressions: either that only abortion has secular arguments against it (which is BS. there are the same kinds of “arguments” against gay marriage that there are against abortion: all bullshit and squeamishness and “well but are you REALLY entitled to basic human rights” crap); or that abortion has serious, good arguments against it (by discounting the anti-gay-marriage and anti-assisted-suicide arguments as “not real arguments”).

    And now, a bunch of folks have come to Silverman’s defense by strawmanning people’s criticism; which has the painfully ironic consequence of perpetuating the exact problem people had with what Silverman did: when you allow an antiabortionist to guestblog, but wouldn’t allow a homophobe, “racial realist”, etc. to guestblog, you’re creating the impression that the anti-abortionists should be taken more seriously.

    Regardless of intent. Don’t give a fuck about intent.

  3. 3

    I am as aware that there are atheists who think that any fertile person with a uterus ought to be denied reproductive choice as I am that there are atheists who hold racist beliefs near and dear to their hearts. My question is, why would anyone who cares about justice and equity want to court them? I do not want a bigger and bigger tent full of people to fight with over my, or anyone else’s, rights. There are some atheists I prefer at arm’s length. Or farther.

  4. 6

    To be a bit more sensible: the only actual argument against abortion (from a secular or a religious point of view) is “Help! Help! Our species is dying out! We gotta BREED!!!”
    Or (I reluctantly suppose) the variation on this used by the Emperor Augustus “The army needs more recruits, too many of the men are getting themselves killed. How the Hades are we going to keep the Empire…”

    (I did write ‘a bit’)

  5. 7

    There aren’t enough healthy white babies for us to adopt

    Just from that alone, I assumed the argument would be that dem forin bebbies ain’t good enough! Looking at the full comment, looks like my assumption was correct.

    As someone who is myself looking to adopt domestically,* my impression is that there is “limited supply” because every couple looking to adopt is looking for the same “product.” (Use of quotes is because that’s how the person who Giliell responded to seemed to treat babies — as little more than produce; it’s not a reflection of my personal thoughts..) So it seems to be exactly how Giliell put it (in the full comment): “There is no shortage of children to adopt. There’s a shortage of healthy white babies.” And most people want the healthy white babies.

    * Noting that I don’t care about the color. The forms we filled out asked for preference on race, and I told my wife to put down “human.” (Adding, I read a post somewhere recently, probably via the Skepchick quickies, about a black person adopted by a white family in a dominantly white neighborhood. Although he says he loves his adoptive parents, he did advise that your first black friend not be your adopted child. I found that to be a good point.)

    Also adding that maybe we’d use our home as a foster home someday. I haven’t really talked to my wife about that idea, though…

  6. 8

    @leo #7: that is what I would like to do. When we buy a house (instead of condo), use the extra room (s) for emergency foster and long term foster. my view is that my wife and I could help the.most kids as possible…those that need a lovong, stable home
    of course, this is said with full naivety, but.it would be a challenge that I would like to try.

  7. rq

    If the men are so excited to have more babies, they should have them themselves! :) Heck, they’re the ones going off and getting themselves killed, so it should be their responsibility to bring new life into the world. Women can go have a vacation, in the meantime.
    Seriously, the argument from underpopulation? Sensible? Hah.

  8. rq

    I don’t understand how some people think that atheism is enough – that leaving god behind suddenly makes you this super-smart, all-knowing, completely, unquestionably good person. That it’s the only thing that matters.
    Once god is out of your life, it should be logical that the next step is to look around at the world surrounding you, and working to make that a better place, with equal rights for everyone – this means some hard work, starting with educating yourself, and possibly ending with some real, hardcore action (like writing letters to legislators!). But that whole good-without-god thing? How about going out and proving it?
    Back-patting and recruiting under one particular flag, disregarding any and all other criteria, is just another form of tribalism (of which religion is also one – welcome back to the club!).

    I also don’t understand how I missed this post until now. Huh.

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