Being a Pro-Life Atheist

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Non-religious people have every reason to join the fight to end abortion.

The debate about the morality of murder could theoretically extend for eons, sending non-religious folks such as myself into way more existential crises than therapy can combat. For religious people, it can be easier to avoid working through the ethical dilemma of taking human life and instead declare abortion wrong simply because it’s against the word of God. 

If you’re not walking around with religious blinders on, however, the issue becomes much more complex and internally agonizing. After all, if life is pointless, no one is watching us from the sky, and we’re just running around mostly trying to acquire currency, why would the forceful ending of a human’s life matter?

Why would someone with my existentialist libertarian philosophy care about the fact that Planned Parenthood exterminated 328,348 human beings  last year, besides the fact that they did it with my tax dollars?

People always stare at me dumbfounded when they discover my pro-life convictions after knowing I am a Bible-rejecting heathen, or vice-versa, depending on what they find out first. Usually this is because they don’t understand how I can become so irate at the senseless ending of an innocent human’s life if I think that life does not have a tremendous amount of inherent meaning.

The answer can be found in human rights. An individual’s life may be null of value to the ever-expanding universe, but it most likely has a lot of value to the person living it. One might ponder where this inalienable right of human beings not to be murdered comes from if God isn’t real, and the best answer I can offer is a contract everyone in civilized society mutually and nonverbally agrees to. People don’t want to be killed, so they agree not to kill each other. It’s a great system when people follow through with it.

Now let’s allow science to get one thing out of the way: the unborn person is a biological human being. This is an indisputable scientific fact. Science cannot evaluate the morality of ending the life of an unborn human or a born one for that matter, but it can determine whether or not a creature is a member of the species with a complete human genome, a distinction the unborn holds from the moment of conception as has been proven countless times.

This is not right-wing propaganda, just truth. We have all been human beings from the moment we came into existence, through every stage of development in our mothers’ wombs, after birth, throughout our childhoods, through adulthood, through old age, and up until death. Being a human being does not depend on whether we are old enough to talk or survive outside of the womb. It is a characteristic shared by all of us at each stage of life.

If you argue for abortion, you have to justify murdering another human life, one that possesses its own unique genetic makeup never before seen and never seen again once eradicated. Still then, how can we know that abortion is wrong if there is no omnipotent loving creator? Nobody wants their life taken without their consent, so let’s extend the same courtesy to those humans still in the womb.

Jonathan Reed is a student at Texas A&M and is the outreach coordinator of Pro-Life Aggies.

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