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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Brochure: Why Should Non-Christians Care About Abortion?

Once upon a time, pretty much all that Secular Pro-Life did was create religiously neutral brochures for other pro-life groups to use. SPL's founders were campus activists at the time and we saw a desperate need for handouts without Bible verses on them.

Times have changed—we've gotten older, and Secular Pro-Life has extended its reach into public speaking, internet outreach, etc.—but we do still offer free brochures. And now we have a new one: Why Should Non-Christians Care About Abortion? You can download it by going to the publications page on our website.

You'll notice that there's space on the back for your local pro-life group to leave a message; hopefully, a message about an upcoming meeting or event! Be prepared with our 10 Ways to Be Inclusive.


25 comments:

secularprolife.org said...

I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center and I will be downloading these publications to take with me next time I am there. Thank you so much for posting them!

secularprolife.org said...

What do you do at the center?

secularprolife.org said...

I think an important talking point in there is "brain waves start at 6 weeks", as it seems to imply 6 week old fetuses are conscious beings.

6 week old fetuses are around 1cm in length, and AFAIK, their brains probably don't contain much in terms neurons, I mean considering the size of a cortical layers of adults, and sizes of individual neurons, which as far as cells go, are quite large compared to other somatic cells. I can't imagine there being a very complete network of neurons even there to generate "brain waves". Another question is, how was this neural activity measured? This claim of 6 weeks seems pretty old, and recording techniques of brain activity in the 60s were pretty darn rudimentary, and especially non-invasive techniques would require bulk measurements. How did the experimenter determine that the signals he/she picked up were indeed "brain waves", and not electrical noise which I'm sure would be prevalant in the uterine environment.

I just ask because SPL would only use accurate data on its materials, and not bogus claims by pseudoscientists, right? I mean, it values honesty as much as it values the life of a fetus, right?

secularprolife.org said...

The pro-life movement desperately needs religious diversity. Pro-lifers should welcome people of other faiths and those of no faith. Not everyone in the United States is a Christian. This country wasn’t founded by Christians; many of America’s founding fathers were Deists. There are other faiths, besides the Abrahamic faiths. There are other holy books out there besides the Bible or the Koran, like the Bhagavad-gita, which also claim to be the word of God.


I also have a problem with pro-life Christians who adhere to a double-standard: i.e., they insist their stand against abortion be applied to everyone, including others who may not share their faith, but then they embrace moral relativism when it suits them, e.g., “*Your* religion says it’s wrong to kill animals, mine doesn’t.”


There ARE Christian vegetarians and vegans, of whom I have the deepest respect. I don't take it seriously when meat-eaters say, "The Bible permits us to kill animals," because the Bible was also used to uphold human slavery. The Bible can also be used to justify abortion.


None of the religious arguments pro-life Christians make to justify the status quo with regards to animals would make any sense if this were 300 years ago, and we were discussing the abolition of human slavery instead of animal slavery, and I think the same holds true with regards to abortion. I'm surprised pro-choice Christians haven't tried to deny rights to the unborn using the same religious arguments pro-life Christians use to deny rights to animals!


We really live in a secular society. Secular arguments are religion-neutral and are thus applicable to *everyone*, including atheists and agnostics.


The pro-life movement ALREADY HAS the support of organized religion. Instead of preaching to the choir, i.e., wasting time with religion, pro-lifers should focus on embryology, prenatal development, genetics, DNA, RNA, etc. to make their case to mainstream secular society.


Again, the pro-life movement desperately needs religious diversity. It's already stereotyped as being predominantly Christian (Catholic, fundamentalist, born again, etc.) and will need to become completely secular as it attempts to convince the courts, legislatures, universities, philosophers, ethicists, etc. that human zygotes and embryos should be regarded as legal persons.

secularprolife.org said...

The only question that really matters in the pro life/pro choice debate is: "When is it morally justifiable to murder an innocent baby to save a fetus.?
All other questions boil down to that one simple question. Until a pro lifer can make a sensible argument that justifies the murder of innocent born life, the pro life movement fails.

secularprolife.org said...

in the end the question of when life begins is dependent on the "expression" of DNA not in the composition of chromosomes. Until the DNA in the chromosome "expresses" human life at birth, there is no human life. The fact that brain waves exist at any point may or may not be a sign that the waves are a sign of human life. It is true that most zefs do not become human life and therefore brain waves just as certainly are a sign of non human life as they are signs of human life.
The whole debate in the final analysis will come down to a point based in science. Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype there is no human life. Thus abortion is not killing human life. Notwithstanding the fact that 99 percent of fetuses 1 second before birth will become human life, there is still no proof they will become human life. They are potential life at best.
When one considers that a person must let an innocent born life die to save a fetus, then one can see instantly that saving a fetus, even one second before birth is a questionable practice.

secularprolife.org said...

Basically we are a resource for pregnant women. We offer contacts on anything form insurance to clothing, we can put them in contact with people who will help them pay their utility bills, we can refer them to maternity homes, help them continue school while pregnant . . . the list goes on.

secularprolife.org said...

So you are unofficial social workers doing what social workers do better. Do you give free pregnancy tests?

secularprolife.org said...

Social workers do better.


Sorry just snorted coffee out my nose. Wait while I clean my screen.

I am constantly amazed by pro aborts who accuse us of doing nothing for women. Yet when we extend our hands to help we are told social workers (who are in no way over worked and overwhelmed) do it better.

Do you we should shut down food banks and soup kitchens since social workers with food stamps would do a better job?

secularprolife.org said...

I distrust because of the news articles I have read about deceptive practices at 'crisis' pregnancy centers.
I myself utilized one once. I did get a pregnancy test but no other assistance. It was waste of my time.
Do you give pregnancy tests? Are you trained in social work?

secularprolife.org said...

Agreed. Pro-lifers resort to intellectual dishonesty when they blur the ethical concept of "person" (a being which has rights, is part of our moral community, is worthy of our moral concern, etc.) and the biological definition of "human" (species membership). Removing the barriers of species discrimination, the two are not necessarily synonymous, and it is precisely this premise which is being challenged by animal rights.

secularprolife.org said...

Vasu: First of all, I'm not entirely sure if animals can have 'rights', although I think that such things as pointlessly torturing them are very bad behavior. It's possible to do things which are arguably not very nice behavior, and still not be violating anyone's rights. However, the question of whether or not animals have rights was not exactly my point.


My point was that the traits which the forced birthers want to use, such as **embryology, prenatal development, genetics, DNA, RNA** are all traits which animals have, and without mentioning the human brain (which embryoes don't have, therefore forced-birthers avoid it like the plague), and except for proposing some sort of magical 'specialness' about humans (which btw one of the forced birthers here has done) there is no fathomable way that ANY of those subjects would grant rights to any human beings without also granting them to pretty much every animal on the planet.

secularprolife.org said...

**Ann, you say you're "not entirely sure if animals can have 'rights.'" Why not? Rights, like personhood, are an *ethical* concept.**


Several reasons. One being that rights are not magical, they are contractual and reciprocal in nature, and with the possible exception of certain apes, I'm not sure that an animal can comprehend and abide by such a thing, or if it would be possible or appropriate to hold them responsible for violating the rights of others.. Another being that animals are property, and also that it's not clear what rights you could give to animals without interfering with human rights.


I prefer the term animal 'welfare', which is a distinct concept from 'rights'.

secularprolife.org said...

Post Script - Jehovah is a proabort. I am made in God's image. Abortion is a sacrament.
Hosea 13:16

The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.

secularprolife.org said...

>> in the end the question of when life begins is dependent on the
"expression" of DNA not in the composition of chromosomes. Until the DNA
in the chromosome "expresses" human life at birth, there is no human
life.


Sorry Russell, have no clue what this means. Chromosomes are just bundled structures made of DNA and some other stuff. When cells replicate, the chromosomes are unravelled, exposing the strands of the DNA. My understanding is that a chromosome is just a compactly scrunched form of DNA. I have no clue how DNA "expresses" human life at birth.


>> Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype
there is no human life.


What is a "correct" phenotype? A genotype is the set of genes you possess for some characteristic X. You have 2 copies of each gene. Certain forms of the genes are more dominant than the others, and the phenotype is the outward appearance given your genotype, the two copies of the genes you have, and will reflect the dominant form of the gene you possess. If you possess 2 copies, and they are both recessive, your phenotype will look like what the recessive form encodes.

secularprolife.org said...

Why are you quoting the bible at me? I am not an evangelical Christian.

secularprolife.org said...

{{{Hi Russell, thx for the reply.}}}

Thank you for your questions.

{{{>> in the end the question of when life begins is dependent on the
"expression" of DNA not in the composition of chromosomes. Until the DNA
in the chromosome "expresses" human life at birth, there is no human
life.
Sorry Russell, have no clue what this means. Chromosomes are just bundled structures made of DNA and some other stuff. When cells replicate, the chromosomes are unravelled, exposing the strands of the DNA. My understanding is that a chromosome is just a compactly scrunched form of DNA. I have no clue how DNA "expresses" human life at birth.}}}}
Chromosomes are not just bundled structures. They are the time dependent code that builds the human in all its complexity through out its life. The DNA is within the Chromosome and is copied into each cell according to its function.
After replication the DNA works to build the phenotype of the body. It does so through a process whereby the DNA produces RNA that most of the time produces the phenotype by producing proteins. This process is called "expression" of the DNA. The expression of the DNA is time dependent. For example the human gums must be "expresses" before the human teeth are "expressed". The expression of the DNA of a zygote does not end until more than 100 trillion cells have been produced continuously through life until death. So expression is what builds the human phenotype through out its life.


{{{>> Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype
there is no human life.

What is a "correct" phenotype?}}}

Because of evolution, one cannot predict until successful birth what a "correct" phenotype will be. If a fetus is born that can live as a human, then it has the correct phenotype. It is important to note that all human life has different DNA and therefore all life is in the process of changing. There is no uniform life because each cell contains 100 trillion atoms and each human contains 100 trillion cells. It would be mathematically impossible to use replication to produce an exact copy of any life form that large, including identical twins. So atoms and some cells will always be different.



"A genotype is the set of genes you possess for some characteristic X. You have 2 copies of each gene (2 copies of chromosomes). Certain forms of the genes are more dominant than the others, and the phenotype is the outward appearance given your genotype, the two copies of the genes you have, and will reflect the dominant form of the gene you possess. If you possess 2 copies, and they are both recessive, your phenotype will look like what the recessive form encodes."

That is a fairly good description of what a genotype does. But it is an explanation of only 2 of the genes. The full genotype will contain all the information that is in all the DNA of the human. And it will "express" a human life or not depending on the information in the DNA.

{{{"DNA of the genotype" sounds really weird. The genotype for characteristic X pertains to not your whole DNA, but just the 2 copies of the portion that encodes gene X.}}}

I agree, it does sound weird, but it is an attempt to explain what is happening in scientific terms. The genotype contains all the information that is needed from all the chromosomes and their DNA acting together to "express" a human life.

secularprolife.org said...

You called me a proabort.

I pointed out that God is a proabort by any standard.

It was a sardonic joke that made a point that sailed slowly but steadily over your head.

But since you will never apologize for insulting me (by your lights), I will take this opportunity to correct you about what I support.

I am pro abortion for any woman who wants an abortion.
I am pro birth for any woman who wants to give birth.
I am pro women running their own fertility and sexual lives in privacy and without coercion.
Women are the source of new life.
I am pro women and pro life.

secularprolife.org said...

So I realize this is a late response, but i haven't been online in awhile. To answer your question. Yes we give free pregnancy test and some of our branches even offer free ultra sounds. I'm not here to belittle anyone, I just want to help women so I joined an organization that does that. Yet, it seems to upset you. You have no idea who i am but you have already judged me, why? I just don't understand hatred like that and I never have. When I meet a pro-choicer who tries to help women I don't get mad because we disagree on the method of help, I just acknowledge that we can have some common ground, which leads to discussions.

secularprolife.org said...

You suffer from delusions of significance. I hate no one. Takes too much energy and I am too fooking old. I do think you are nuts.


I have been to a crisis pregnancy center. I wrote that above. They gave me a pregnancy test. They were no help at all.


They seemed not to understand what the word 'crisis' in the phrase 'crisis pregnancy' actually means. They seemed to operate in a kind of babypink lalaland where all was flowers and bunnies.


So that already predisposed me to think you and your place were chockfull of cogga. And then I read how many times 'crisis pregnancy centers' have been sued for fraud and that kind of decided me.
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/10/05/970581/san-francisco-judge-crisis-pregnancy-centers/

http://jezebel.com/5948976/san-francisco-will-be-the-first-city-in-the-country-to-make-crisis-pregnancy-centers-tell-the-truth

secularprolife.org said...

I am sorry to hear about your bad experience. However, that does not mean all crisis pregnancies are the same. It depends on where you go. Just like some social workers are helpful and some aren't.


I can tell you that I do understand the term crisis pregnancy, my mother had two that many would consider a crisis. Watching her struggle as a single mother as encouraged me to reach out to other women who may be struggling no matter what their circumstance.


You think I'm crazy but you don't even know me. You don't know the center I work at. The other volunteers I work with are very compassionate and helpful, so much so that often times our clients our referred to us from previous clients because they appreciated what we did.


I don't speak for every crisis pregnancy center I only speak for mine. Just because some are bad doesn't mean they all are.

secularprolife.org said...

My Mother, a Catholic, had an illegal abortion. She could have died when we needed her the most. I have a friend whose Mother died of illegal abortion when she was 9 years old.
How old are you? Sure is easy for folks like you to ignore the bad old days and pretend pregnancy is bunnies and rainbows and every woman really wants to be pregnant.

secularprolife.org said...

I am really sorry to hear about your mother, and the mother of your friend. Truly I am.


My heart goes out to all women in crisis, I do not live in the fantasy world you think I do. My mother had two crisis pregnancies, and she did it alone. I've had other family members and close friends in similar situations. I just believe that abortion kills another person, and I believe the unborn deserve life. That does not mean I don't want to help women, or that I don't care about their struggles. I do and I try my very best to help them. I just don't think abortion is the answer.


I wish we could have a discussion without useless insults. You have no idea what I have been through because we are strangers, yet you have let your views of prolifers make you judge mental of someone you don't even know.


Again my heart goes out to you, your family and your friends. I am glad your mother survived, and am so sorry for the lost your friend suffered.

secularprolife.org said...

Abortion is not the answer for you, perhaps. Are you past your fertile years? You never know what might happen. God has an interesting sense of humor.


As long as you do not want to criminalize abortion and/or contraception, you and I have no quarrel. I am pro women's autonomy.


Try to criminalize abortion and/or bother my daughters on their way to PP and you and I have a bigtime quarrel.

secularprolife.org said...

P.S. Why would you be sorry to hear about my Mother. She is 93, still has all her brains, and is living it up in a fancy retirement community in SC. She has 5 Grandchildren and one great Grandson. And she does not give thought one to you. Or to the illegal abortion she had years ago.