Pro-life? Or Anti-choice? What’s the Difference?


There are a lot of people out there who identify themselves as being “pro-life”. But are they really pro-life? My experience has been that the vast majority of them, especially the conservative christians (aka the American Taliban), seem to not be pro-life but instead are merely misogynists opposed to allowing a woman the right to choose whether or not to carry a fertilized embryo to full term – in other words, anti-choice. And there is an enormous difference between the two.
The most basic guiding principle(s) of those who are pro-life is that every human life is sacred and human life begins at the moment of conception, although whether that means fertilization of the egg or implantation of the fertilized egg is not always clear. So then, the thinking goes, the taking of a human life, any life, is morally wrong. True pro-life means opposing capital punishment, and opposing war and the maiming and killing of innocent women and children through collateral damage, along with being opposed to abortion. And that is a position that I can respect even while strongly disagreeing with their position on the issue of abortion, only because it comes down to the definition of “person” and when a group of human cells constitutes a human being.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of those who identify themselves as “pro-life” are not really that. They are in actuality anti-choice – but they call themselves pro-life to maintain the pretense that they actually care about human life, and as a smokescreen to hide their real agenda. And for these people, I have nothing but complete contempt for. So how do we tell them apart from the true pro-life faction? It’s really relatively simple.
First off, anti-choicers almost always oppose any proven methods or strategies to reduce unwanted pregnancies and thereby reducing the resultant demand or need for abortions; things like comprehensive sex education (as opposed to abstinence-only) and readily available contraception at little or no cost, especially to teens without parental interference. It is only reasonable that if one is opposed to abortion that any strategy proven to reduce the need or demand for the procedure would be a top priority. But instead, these anti-choicers fight tooth and nail to prevent these proven measures from being implemented.
A second telling thing is their usually strong support for capital punishment and pre-emptive war. If one is truly pro-life, one is opposed to the taking of human life – period. The argument that they make to justify their support for capital punishment is that the person being executed has had an opportunity to be a good citizen but has forfeited his or her right to life. So in essence, they have appointed themselves as the arbiter or who has the right to live and who doesn’t, in effect “playing god”, something that they often unfairly deride pro-choice people for. Nor do they take into consideration the flaws in the criminal injustice system and the possibility that the person being executed is innocent – a not unheard of occurrence. I guess that doesn’t matter – they have decided that their fully cognizant, and fully self aware victim deserves to be executed because they say so – once again playing god. (I urge you to google Damien Echols for an example of this.)
When it comes to their support for war, they use the argument that every country has the right to defend itself. And that is indeed correct – every sovereign nation has the right to defend itself against attack, the operative words being “against attack”. But that does not include pre-emptive war such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003. This was a war of aggression “justified” by a warmongering regime with trumped up false pretenses. And it killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi women and children. Of course, since they were only brown people from a non-western country, it’s not like they killed anybody that mattered. (Sorry – couldn’t resist the snark.)
And then there is the issue of caring for this unplanned/unwanted child (and its mother) after it is born. The same people who blather on and on about their concern for the fetus (disingenuously calling it an unborn child) are often unwilling to fund any programs for prenatal or postnatal care; for proper nutrition and medical care for the child and/or its mother; for programs like head start; decent schools, and the list goes on and on. It is almost as if it is a deliberate strategy to ensure that young unwed mothers and their children are funneled into a life of poverty and despair and second class citizenship, with a net result of more disadvantaged children being raised in an environment that almost forces them to make poor choices and perpetuate this vicious cycle. Or maybe it really is deliberate.
Because whenever you try to discuss the issue with anti-choicers and bring up the issues of poverty, or the unplanned nature of some situations, or any of the whole laundry list of extenuating circumstances, they very quickly trot out the old canards like “she should have said no” or “she should have kept her legs closed” and “she needs to take responsibility for her actions”. And that’s when you see their REAL agenda – they don’t really care about the fetus – they want to punish the woman or girl for having sex that they don’t approve of. And what better way to punish her than to force her and the child that she wasn’t prepared for into a life of poverty and misery?
So they engage in a concerted effort to make access to a safe and legal procedure as unavailable as possible. They do so through a variety of methods: by creating bogus medical standards narrowly tailored to apply only to clinics that offer abortion, by harrassing them with all sorts of government regulations and “inspections”, by threatening abortion providers and their families, posting their pictures and addresses on the internet, posting where their children go to school – all of which is technically legal but is designed and intended to be as threatening as possible – and even in some cases murdering them. Yeah, I know those are the fringe elements, but most of the anti-choicers (like Randall Terry of Operation Rescue) tacitly support such actions. (Google the Slepian murder in Buffalo, NY and the link to Operation Rescue’s activities.)
And in places where abortion services are available, they make it as difficult as possible for the women seeking their services, making them jump through all sorts of hoops – like several day waiting periods, like medically unneccessary tests, like bogus “counseling”. Finally, if all that fails to dissuade them, they torture and torment these unfortunate women by forcing them to run a gauntlet of hostile sadists to get to the entrance of the clinic where they have gone to take advantage of legal services – after having made what is probably the most difficult decision of their young lives and are already under an enormous amount of stress.
As I said at the top, I can respect those who are truly (and consistently) pro-life even while disagreeing with them on the morality or ethicality of abortion. But for those who actively work against women and their right to choose based on their own beliefs (and needs), I have nothing but contempt, bordering on hatred. (Yeah, I know, sometimes I’m not a very good humanist.) They are nothing short of mean-spirited, sadistic misogynists, no different than ISIS jihadis or al Qaeda thugs who want to destroy the lives of anyone who does not agree with their archaic beliefs. These lowlifes are the American equivalent. And deserve to be reviled as such.

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CFI Social Night: 5/2/2017 at Sharp Edge Bistro


Where: Sharp Edge Bistro (922 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222)

When: 5/2/2017

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/239392884/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Welcome to the Center For Inquiry’s monthly social night, held every first Tuesday of the month at the Sharp Edge in the Cultural District downtown.  Come and socialize with like-minded friends.

See you there!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accomodations.

Pittsburgh, PA 15222 – USA

Tuesday, May 2 at 7:00 PM

3

CFI Social Night

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 7:00 PM

3 freethinkers Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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CFI Monthly Lecture Meeting!: 7PM TONIGHT at First Unitarian Church


Where: First Unitarian Church (605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: 7PM TONIGHT

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/238654422/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Welcome to CFI’s monthly lecture night series!

This month Chip Walter will be speaking to our group. Chip Walter is an author, journalist, educator, filmmaker and former CNN bureau chief with an unusually broad background that spans both science and entertainment. Previously in his career, Chip has served as National Programming Executive at WQED-TV, CEO of Digital Alchemy Inc., Vice-President and Executive Producer of ENGAGE Games Online, Senior Strategic Communications Manager at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Author in Residence at The Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, is a National Geographic Explorer and has been a faculty member at CMU at three separate schools: the Mellon Institute, the School of Computer Science and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

He has published four mainstream science books–Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived; Thumbs, Toes and Tears – And Other Traits That Make Us Human (Walker –– Bloomsbury Publishing); I’m Working on That with William Shatner (Simon and Schuster); and Space Age for Random House, the companion volume to the primetime PBS series Chip developed. Each book reaches out to mainstream audiences to explore scientific topics that relate to the human condition –– human evolution, emotion, behavior, and creativity.

For more information, examples of Chip’s writing and links to books and documentaries, please visit:www.chipwalter.com

Each month (with the exception of August and December) we feature a presentation/lecture on a variety of topics.  Our primary focus is on science, but we also have talks on skepticism and humanism and beyond.  We try to structure the meetings to begin with a presentation that leaves time for great discussions and Q&A sessions afterward. We try to post the topic and speaker bio as soon as that information is known — please check back soon. If you have speaker suggestions and/or ideas that are in keeping with our mission, please feel free to email your suggestions to pgh@centerforinquiry.net

See you there!

P.S.  We usually head to Ali Baba’s on nearby Craig Street at 5:30 p.m. for a pre-lecture or pre-movie dinner. Please leave a comment below if you are coming to dinner so we can include you in the reservation. Thanks!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accommodations.


Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 PM

16

CFI Monthly Lecture Meeting!

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017, 7:00 PM

16 freethinkers Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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Science & Skeptics Book Club: Five Equations that Changed the World. M Guillen: 2PM TODAY at Biddle’s Escape


Where: Biddle’s Escape (401 Biddle Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221)

When: 2PM TODAY

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/238835117/

Five Equations that Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics. Michael Guillen.

Hey, my friend Steve told me this book was a “page turner.” After wrestling with microbiology, the Wolbachia bacteria, and how insects incorporate bacteria into their cells, I thought we needed a lighter, faster read. The book unravels the equations that have led to the inventions that characterize the modern world. Eistein’s famous energy equation lead to the creation of the nuclear bomb. Others in the book are the mathematical foundations for the moon landing, airplane travel, the electric generator — and even life itself. Named the Best Non Fiction Book of 1995 by Publishers Weekly.

Our library has three copies, but you can buy used books for under $3 plus shipping. It’s available on Kindle and iBooks.

Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 PM

4

Science & Skeptics Book Club: Five Equations that Changed the World. M Guillen

Sunday, Apr 23, 2017, 2:00 PM

4 Skeptics Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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March for Science Pittsburgh: 12PM TODAY at


Where:

When: 12PM TODAY

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/239094159/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

WHEN: April 22, 12-2
WHERE: on Bigelow Blvd between Fifth and Forbes at 12pm
ROUTE: March will go up Forbes, turn left onto S. Bellfield, turn left onto Fifth, and return to Bigelow

EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook….

Let’s meet next to the Hillman Library. I’ll be there around 11, and let’s all plan on being there around 11:30. We’ll have a banner and stickers to hand out to people. I’m still in talks if there’ll be a table for us to have things at. (Link goes to map of meeting location)
https://ibb.co/kzeDT5…

I sure hope there’ll be a large turnout for this event! Let’s show Pittsburgh that we’re here!

Saturday, April 22 at 12:00 PM

19

March for Science Pittsburgh

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017, 12:00 PM

19 freethinkers Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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CFI Monthly Lecture Meeting!: 4/26/2017 at First Unitarian Church


Where: First Unitarian Church (605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: 4/26/2017

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/238654422/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Welcome to CFI’s monthly lecture night series!

This month Chip Walter will be speaking to our group. Chip Walter is an author, journalist, educator, filmmaker and former CNN bureau chief with an unusually broad background that spans both science and entertainment. Previously in his career, Chip has served as National Programming Executive at WQED-TV, CEO of Digital Alchemy Inc., Vice-President and Executive Producer of ENGAGE Games Online, Senior Strategic Communications Manager at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Author in Residence at The Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, is a National Geographic Explorer and has been a faculty member at CMU at three separate schools: the Mellon Institute, the School of Computer Science and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

He has published four mainstream science books–Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived; Thumbs, Toes and Tears – And Other Traits That Make Us Human (Walker –– Bloomsbury Publishing); I’m Working on That with William Shatner (Simon and Schuster); and Space Age for Random House, the companion volume to the primetime PBS series Chip developed. Each book reaches out to mainstream audiences to explore scientific topics that relate to the human condition –– human evolution, emotion, behavior, and creativity.

For more information, examples of Chip’s writing and links to books and documentaries, please visit:www.chipwalter.com

Each month (with the exception of August and December) we feature a presentation/lecture on a variety of topics.  Our primary focus is on science, but we also have talks on skepticism and humanism and beyond.  We try to structure the meetings to begin with a presentation that leaves time for great discussions and Q&A sessions afterward. We try to post the topic and speaker bio as soon as that information is known — please check back soon. If you have speaker suggestions and/or ideas that are in keeping with our mission, please feel free to email your suggestions to pgh@centerforinquiry.net

See you there!

P.S.  We usually head to Ali Baba’s on nearby Craig Street at 5:30 p.m. for a pre-lecture or pre-movie dinner. Please leave a comment below if you are coming to dinner so we can include you in the reservation. Thanks!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accommodations.


Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 PM

5

CFI Monthly Lecture Meeting!

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017, 7:00 PM

5 freethinkers Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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Happy 4/20!


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Science & Skeptics Book Club: Five Equations that Changed the World. M Guillen: 4/23/2017 at Biddle’s Escape


Where: Biddle’s Escape (401 Biddle Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221)

When: 4/23/2017

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/238835117/

Five Equations that Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics. Michael Guillen.

Hey, my friend Steve told me this book was a “page turner.” After wrestling with microbiology, the Wolbachia bacteria, and how insects incorporate bacteria into their cells, I thought we needed a lighter, faster read. The book unravels the equations that have led to the inventions that characterize the modern world. Eistein’s famous energy equation lead to the creation of the nuclear bomb. Others in the book are the mathematical foundations for the moon landing, airplane travel, the electric generator — and even life itself. Named the Best Non Fiction Book of 1995 by Publishers Weekly.

Our library has three copies, but you can buy used books for under $3 plus shipping. It’s available on Kindle and iBooks.

Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 PM

3

Science & Skeptics Book Club: Five Equations that Changed the World. M Guillen

Sunday, Apr 23, 2017, 2:00 PM

3 Skeptics Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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March for Science Pittsburgh: 4/22/2017 at


Where:

When: 4/22/2017

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/239094159/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

WHEN: April 22, 12-2
WHERE: on Bigelow Blvd between Fifth and Forbes at 12pm
ROUTE: March will go up Forbes, turn left onto S. Bellfield, turn left onto Fifth, and return to Bigelow

EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook….

Let’s meet next to the Hillman Library. I’ll be there around 11, and let’s all plan on being there around 11:30. We’ll have a banner and stickers to hand out to people. I’m still in talks if there’ll be a table for us to have things at. (Link goes to map of meeting location)
https://ibb.co/kzeDT5…

I sure hope there’ll be a large turnout for this event! Let’s show Pittsburgh that we’re here!

Saturday, April 22 at 12:00 PM

7

March for Science Pittsburgh

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017, 12:00 PM

7 freethinkers Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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March For Science\, Pittsburgh: 4/22/2017 at The William Pitt Union


Where: The William Pitt Union (4200 Fifth Avenue, Oakland, PA 15213)

When: 4/22/2017

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/237484059/

The March For Science Pittsburgh city permit has been approved, so for those who will not make the trek to DC for the national march, lets gather between the Cathedral of Learning and the William Pitt Union where the activities will begin.  

The March and activities will begin on Bigelow Blvd between Fifth and Forbes at 12pm. There will be several speakers (details to come) before the march takes off. March will go up Forbes, turn left onto S. Bellfield, turn left onto Fifth, and return to Bigelow. Upon return there will be several more speakers and activities around the Oakland area that participants can head out to afterwards.

See https://www.facebook…. for details and last minute changes.

Oakland, PA 15213 – USA

Saturday, April 22 at 11:00 AM

10

March For Science, Pittsburgh

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017, 11:00 AM

10 Skeptics Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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