One thing that I pride myself on is my willingness to challenge my opinions and beliefs and, if necessary, change them. I am an atheist and I have always said that if God were proved to me in a falsifiable way in accordance with science, I would believe. I previously challenged my disagreement with polygamy when I could no longer support my beliefs, and I have outlined what it would take for me to view male circumcision as anything other than a needless cosmetic procedure. I hold very strong opinions on a great many topics, but there is not one that I am not willing to be proven wrong on. Even abortion. As a result, I am going to outline what would cause me to become anti-abortion.
Just like telling me that God must exist because we exist, circular reasoning will not get me to be anti-abortion. The following must be proved to me before I would be come anti-abortion. In fact, if all of the following were proved to me, I would have no choice butbecome anti-abortion because these are the things that I base my pro-abortion opinion on. Here goes.
1) All women would have to be able to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This means accessible birth control regardless of a woman’s socio-economic status. It also means the knowledge to know how to use birth control. Abstinence is not legitimate birth control; women are entitled to enjoy sex just as much as men without being required to have a child. Not to mention practicing abstinence doesn’t help when women are raped. Birth control would also have to be effective, which means a 100% success rate for all women who are taking it.
2) No woman becomes pregnant through a non-consensual sexual act.
3) No woman would die as a result of being denied an abortion – meaning they can’t be killing themselves trying to self-terminate.
I want birth control to be effective and accessible, and all women to have the necessary knowledge. Women empowered with knowledge are a formidable force. Women who are lied to and taught abstinence only ‘sex’ education do not have the knowledge to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies. Women aren’t able to access birth control when their doctor refuses to prescribe it or their pharmacist refuses to fill it because of their religious beliefs. Women are not able to access birth control when they can barely afford to feed themselves. Women are not able to prevent pregnancies when they live in a world where they are subjected to non-consensual sex. By ‘non-consensual,’ I am referring to rape but also to those grey areas where women say ‘sure’ because they are badgered into consenting.
4) A fetus could be proven to feel pain from conception
5) There was an alternative to pregnancy, eg) premature delivery and another life sustaining option in early pregnancy
You will note that this is a pretty tall order. I would not be inclined to be anti-abortion even if women had perfect access to and knowledge of birth control, were never forced to have non-consensual sex, and would never die from self-abortion. Unwanted pregnancies could still happen, and if the fetus cannot feel pain and there is no reasonable alternative to abortion, I will not deny a woman abortion. But that is not the same as saying I could never become anti-abortion.
So antis, you make all those criteria happen and I’ll become anti-abortion. In the meantime, I won’t hold my breath because I’m pretty sure I’ll believe in God before I become anti-choice.