I Should Have Been an Abortion

If you haven’t been spending tons of time reading atheist blogs, you may be unaware that the topic of abortion has been raging like wildfire. There are so many aspects to this argument, that I’m only going to discuss one paragraph I’ve read. It was “A Response to a Pro-Life Atheist and the Friendly Atheist,” by Avicenna.

I know this is a hard lesson to swallow because these things look like us and indeed all of us were once foetuses. When we think of abortion we think of what would happen had WE been aborted. About all the experiences lost and all the life unlived. We never think that we would probably not care if we had been aborted or not since we would in effect have been just cells.

This idea is not abstract for me because my biological mother was fourteen when I was born. She was never taught about her own biology and did not know she was pregnant. Her period had not yet become regular and she didn’t think much of it when she missed it a few times. Finally, it was only when she began to show in the fifth month that her aunt told her she was pregnant. Even still, she was unsure how it could have happened since she thought you had to be married in order to get pregnant. If they had found out earlier, I would have most certainly been aborted. Even though it wasn’t legal at the time, her female relatives are confident that they would have been able to find a back alley abortionist.

When I say I should have been an abortion, I’m not expressing some bizarre sense of self-hate. I’m saying that what my biological mother should have done, had she had a clue that she was pregnant earlier than she did, was to have an abortion. No one would hesitate to say that I shouldn’t have been conceived. Some people may think she should have used a condom. Others may think that she should have not had sexual intercourse. However, everyone agrees that I should have not been conceived.

My biological mother had wanted to be an engineer. This wasn’t a particular crazy thought. There are engineers in her family. Her brother is today a software engineer. Instead, she dropped out of high school and worked for a number of years as a maid. She eventually went back to school and doesn’t have a bad life at all now. Of course, a few years later, in her early twenties, she found herself pregnant again and had an abortion. Since then she got married. She got her GED, the general equivalency diploma, and she went on to take courses at a community college that enabled her to get a job that paid well. It’s hard to predict the future, but many of those things might not have happened if she had been forced to bear a second child.

She never did become an engineer and sometimes I feel a little guilty about that. If I hadn’t come along, she may very well have become one. Let’s not forget, that everyone agrees that I shouldn’t have been conceived.

  1. I don’t think this type of arguing helps lift the conversation, rather bog it down in unnecessary (and factually erroneous) emotive language. Not until week 25 does the brain begin to exhibit sustained activity. This is when the foetus “turns on,” and is as such the generally agreed upon cut-off date for legal abortions. I accept that. Where a lot of people get terribly confused is when they start talking about “life” without actually knowing what they’re talking about. Life NEVER emerges in the foetus. Again: life never emerges in the foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. “Life” does not magically spring forth at conception, or at any phase through the foetuses development. The egg and the sperm are already parts of the living system; a system that began 3.8 billion years ago. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. As such, EEG activity is the only means we have to determine legal issues regarding human life and abortion.

    • fojap said:

      Here are the statistics from the Center for Disease Control in the U.S.:

      In 2005, for women from areas where weeks of gestation at the time of abortion were adequately reported (43 reporting areas), 61% of reported legal induced abortions were known to have been obtained at <8 weeks' gestation and 87% at <12 weeks. Overall (40 reporting areas), 29% of abortions were known to have been performed at 21 weeks.

      That’s about 1 percent of abortions are performed after 21 weeks.

      We don’t have elective abortions separate from medically necessary abortions in those statistics, by the way. So, the number of elective abortions after that date are certainly fewer. Many states in the U.S. already restrict abortion after certain dates to medically necessary abortions. So all the discussion about developmentally advanced fetuses are just a distraction.

      Here’s a link that has the laws listed by state:State Abortion Laws. “Gestational Limits: 41states prohibit abortions, generally except when necessary to protect the woman’s life or health, after a specified point in pregnancy, most often fetal viability.”

      I should mention that I only just looked up those figures after reading your comment. When forced birth activists discuss abortion as if they don’t know these basic facts, their either liars or incredibly irresponsible in that they want to tell other people what to do with their lives without taking five minutes to even find out basic facts.

      • “So all the discussion about developmentally advanced fetuses are just a distraction.”


  2. vastlycurious.com said:

    My mother was pregnant with me in the fifties, before my parents married, and had to hide away until I was born. Coincidentally I was also pregnant with one of my children before marriage. I am really glad my mother chose me and I continued with the biological tradition in my family. I do not believe in abortion , in rare cases only, and generally feel despite statistics and popular opinion, that when the cells join they ARE human. If you don’t want to get pregnant use birth control. I am also an atheist. These beliefs are mine to hold. I seldom discuss and will not “debate” such things on a public blog but this is one of those rare moments that I thought I would : ) ~

  3. vastlycurious.com said:

    I forgot to add that I do not judge the actions of others. Whatever gets you through the day.

  4. nikeyo said:

    I appreciate you sharing your personal story, and being able to have such a level-headed and sympathetic understanding of your own existence.

    As I grew older, I stated finding out similarly of myself. It came to me through my Aunt when I had sent her a message about some of the problems my folks were having. Long story short, she told me that me and my brother never should have been (lovingly as she could). My mom was told by Dr.s that she would die, and she almost did with my brother. They tried to force her to abort him, couldn’t so forced her into a hysterectomy. She’s had quite a few health problems since then, including 2 strokes at the age of 34, and neither of my parents have standing jobs now.

    Doesn’t make me bat an eye any either, if anything I just do what I can to help my parents have a life for themselves and do what I can with the life that I do have.

    This topic sure does have a tendency to blow up on media feeds though, doesn’t it? It goes round and round with my Christian associates, and it gets a little tiring after a while trying to share some perspective. But again, good on you for contributing this thought!

  5. If you don’t believe in abortion then don’t have one. However, I do firmly believe in the right of every woman to have that choice. I am glad you are here, Fojap, I am not sure what that other post was this morning that wouldn’t let me reply and then disappeared….x

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