What about abortion? Is there an atheist view on abortion?
Mary Eberstadt’s new book, The Loser Letters , examines this question among the new atheists and she probes into how best to convert people to atheism with the issue of abortion. Again, the book is a collection of fictional satirical letters by a recent convert from belief in God (the Dulls) to atheism to the leading lights (Brights) of new atheism.
Are atheists pro abortion?
Her viewpoint as she writes to the Brights: “just about every Bright in history or currently in print is in favor of [abortion]” (94). She says it is “North-Korean-election lopsided.” Never mind that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were atheists against abortion, and she says they’ve got to keep quiet about the racist Margaret Sanger, but there’s something clear now: “this kind of dissent in Atheist thought just quit evolving.”
The big argument, beside the illogical one (religious people alone are against abortion), is about suffering: fetus doesn’t suffer, therefore it can be killed.
Dawkins says there’s not yet a nervous system so it can’t suffer, and even if/when it does, it doesn’t suffer as much as a cow. Sam Harris: first trimester fetuses are like rabbits. Hitchens: nature miscarriages.
The letter writer, A.F. Christian, responds by asking the leaders to knock this off. 1. If nature does it, we can too means we can flood cities because nature floods cities. 2. Don’t compare humans to rabbits; even six year olds know it’s wrong to kill baby bunnies.
3. Pro-lifers are misunderstood. For many, this is the central moral issue of our day. Here’s why, in part: they see those sonogram pictures and think “That’s me. That’s my sister.” That is, they see unborn fetuses and think this is really a human.
So, A.F. Christian has some advice by way of questions:
Can we get some pro-life Atheists in public?
Can we get rid of sonograms? [They’re hurting the atheist cause.]
Why does it have to be first-degree murder to be wrong?
Instead of this, A.F. Christian, now an atheist, says they’ve got to get rid of Hillary’s line: “Safe, legal and rare.” Why “rare”?, she asks. Atheists, she says, don’t see that Hillary’s suggesting that abortion is actually wrong. Why not a more consistent atheist line: “Safe, legal and lots”?