Humanists fight for the rights of marginalized humans.  Pro-Life Humanists ensure the youngest aren't left behind

 

Humanists have a long history of being a secular voice of social justice and equality.  A hallmark of Humanism is its emphasis on social justice and human rights.  Humanists have historically been defenders of the marginalized, and champions of human improvement for the betterment of humanity – both collectively and individually.

Pro-life Humanists affirms the biological evidence that the development of a human body is a continuum, and with exception of asexual reproduction (twining/cloning) begins at sperm-ovum fusion, when two human beings’ sexual cells form a distinctly new whole: an entity that will continue its development and growth until adult maturity, baring interruption from illness or violence.  We oppose discrimination against biological humans on the grounds of what they look like and how they function, and we believe that abortion should be rejected on the same ground as racism, sexism and ableism – which place greater importance on what the human entity does and looks like, than on what the entity in question actually is.

Pro-Life Humanists affirm the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its decree that human rights belong to all members of the human family, and we believe that the right to life, as granted in article 3 of the Universal Declaration should apply to even the youngest and least developed members of our species.   To deny any biological member of our species his or her basic right to continued existence is a violation of the very principles of equality and inclusiveness that are the foundation of Humanism.

Pro-Life Humanists affirm that women and their prenatal offspring are both human beings with inherent rights and bodily autonomy.   Although these rights naturally conflict in pregnancy, it is ageist to assume that older and stronger humans automatically trump younger and more dependent ones.  Parents are not obligated to do extreme things for their offspring, such as donate an organ or fund trips to Disney world, but they are obligated to provide basic care and sustenance to their dependents until  care can be passed on to another.  Pregnancy is the only way members of our species can be cared for while they are in the fetal stage of human development.

Pro-Life Humanists is a haven for irreligious, atheist, agnostic or otherwise nontheist and secular-minded pro-lifers.  We exclude no one and openly partner with any group or individual who will join us in articulating a secular defense against abortion.   We exist to support secular individuals in their involvement in local pro-life activism, and to assist predominantly Christian groups and organizations in taking on a more secular approach.

Pro-Life Humanists   is consistent in our defense of all preborn human beings and we refuse to discriminate against those conceived through the violence the rape.  We generally embrace a “consistent life ethic “and while we hold no official positions, we engage in the discussion of relevant issues related to the treatment of humans and sentient beings overall.  We recognize that not all pro-lifers hold the same convictions on rape/consistent life ethics etc and we will work with them to bring an end to the majority of abortions, which are elective, and upon which we do agree.

Pro-Life Humanists does not condone nor will we partner with any group or individual that advocates or performs acts of violence toward abortion providers or advocates.  Violence is not ended with violence, it’s merely multiplied.

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29 thoughts on “About Pro-Life Humanists

  1. Acyutananda says:

    Debating with a pro-choice sister just now, she tried to discredit my objectivity because I had sent her a link to a secular argument on a Christian website. So I Googled for “atheists against abortion,” was delighted to find you, and immediately sent her your link! And I was also delighted to see C. Hitchens’s beautiful statement on abortion, because I had always admired his mind but had never so perfectly agreed with him.

    Please take a quick look at my link, then let me know how I can become more effective in partnership with you.

    • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

      Pleased to meet you and glad to know that google has favoured us :) If you’re on twitter, add us there (@prolifehumanist). We’re also on FB: /prolifehumanists
      I’d love to interact as there are plenty of ways you can help bring the pro-life message to the atheist community. Thanks for the love!

      P.S. Love the name of your blog. Quite clever :)

  2. Milton says:

    After reading this piece, I wonder again what the original word ‘humanist’ means? I image it means to live and reason without the bonds of religious dogma told to us, to critically think about what gives something its meaning, and to think about all moral ideas with our thoughts of seeing ourselves as part of a larger, shared family despite our differences.

    With that in mind, I can see why someone would be a pro-life humanist as much as I can a pro-choice humanist. The word humanist can be attached to so many other ideas. As a humanist, I tended towards the Christian rhetoric on the sanctity of life. Like a sci-fi story, I wondered about the worst that could happen if we began to use clones to harvest organs or discarded fetus parts for stem cells without any regard for the sacredness and mysteries of that unique life.

    Christian rhetoric taps into a moral compass, as it did with the abolition of slavery in the 1800s. I’m pretty much pro-choice, but I’m also pro-life. I can live with these contradictions because I am a humanist.

    Give me ideas and give me choice, but take one away and the other falls.

    • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

      I think the important issue when it comes down to choice is “what is that choice”. Surely we can agree that some choices are wrong. After all, slavery was a choice… Humanists believe in fighting for the good and improvement of humanity and while most Humanists are atheists (the founders of this group are) there is a small number of Humanists who are Christian but nonetheless take a secular approach to life issues. Humanism is essentially a secular doctrine that says that whether or not there is a God/gods, humanity is responsible for cleaning up our world and bringing about good for the whole of humanity. If the unborn are human beings, then they are to be included in the good of all humanity for which Humanism stands.

      • Well said. Some choices are wrong. There is no way that I can reason with relativists who say there is no such thing as wrong and then tell me that what I am doing is wrong.

        I agree that humanity is responsible for cleaning up the mess that was caused by humans in the first place. Everyone disagrees about how, why, or who did what. Debating about unknown things in the past does not help the humans or other animals now.

        When someone tells me that humanism is not possible without God. It makes about as much sense as saying that God is not possible without humans.

  3. I appreciate your work as I am part of the 15% of humanists who are pro-life. My thinking is that any couple who participates in unprotected sex must accept the responsibility of becoming parents. Abortion should only be performed when the mother’s life is in danger or in cases of rape. No woman should be forced to have the child of a rapists. He does not have the right to force his genetics to be passed on by force. Nor should a woman be expected to raise a child that shares DNA from someone so odious. Otherwise an unborn fetus is a human and should be protected by our country’s laws.

    • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

      Hi Dane,

      I’m glad you found us, and I appreciate you taking the time to say hello. I hope we’ll have the opportunity to dialog in the coming months. :)

      Pro-lifers do differ from time to time on the issue of rape and I am happy to partner with those who are ready to work to end the 99% of abortions that are not for rape or life of mother. I agree with you that the rapist is an odious and despicable human being who should certainly be punished severely for his crime. Since we don’t give the death penalty to the rapist, do you think it’s fair that the child should have to pay the death penalty for his father’s crime? Children conceived through rape are not their parents – there’s no such thing as a rape gene that can be passed on. Are children of criminals not just as biologically human as any other unborn fetus?

      Anyhow, I’ll be happy to chat further. At least we agree on 99% right? :)

      – Kristine

      • Acyutananda says:

        Kristine has pointed out very well that the child is innocent, and has shown very well, implicitly, that the woman’s loathing for the child is a subjective thing and not a foregone and unalterable conclusion.

        I would strongly recommend this YouTube:

        Conceived in Rape
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrYOj3iwskk&feature=youtu.be

        It is a Christian production, but contains heartfelt stories by women of changes in perception that can occur without religion. It also contains some powerful secular arguments.

        Here —

        http://www.personhoodusa.com/new-video-ashley-talks-about-her-rape-abortion

        — a girl who appears to be at most 16 talks about her rape and abortion. This is another Christian production, and the video was no doubt importantly the work of her elders, but that doesn’t mean she is not sincere. She says:

        “What a rapist does to a woman is bad, it’s very bad, it’s a very dehumanizing feeling. But for a woman to choose abortion because she was raped is far worse than what the rapist does to you. Because I’m still alive, but my child is dead. When you think about what abortion is, taking a life is always worse than rape.”

        About two years ago there was a case in the news of an American woman who had been raped as a teen-aged farm girl in around 1929. The report did not mention her pregnancy period being traumatic. Her parents had made her deliver the baby secretly in a distant town and put it up for adoption. She had mothered it briefly and did not want to give it up, but her parents forced her to. She felt bad about that her whole life. 77 years later, her 77-year-old child (the one who had “cheated the abortionist”) and her grandchild tracked her down at the age of 100, and she was overjoyed.

        I feel that normally society should defend any innocent and helpless person against violence. I feel that a woman who has been raped should be counseled to watch videos such as the above and to communicate with women such as those in the video. If after such consideration, the thought of having her rapist’s child inside her for 9 months is still mentally intolerable to her to the point where it is affecting her mental health, then abortion may be unavoidable.

      • Anthony says:

        I agree with Dane that there should be an exception for rape and the life of the mother.
        In the case of rape I see the pregnancy as a continuation of the assault on the woman. I wouldn’t expect the woman to allow herself to be raped if she had a weapon available that would stop the assault.
        In the cases of the life of the mother I would hope that if the child can be born with a c section that they would use that option before turning to an abortion.

        • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

          There are a certain number of pro-life atheists who make exception for rape. I am happy to work with those who wish to make obsolete the bulk of abortions and the circumstances that lead women to seek them. In the case of rape, I think the assault against her is truly horrifying, and I can understand why some believe that an abortion might alleviate some of a woman’s suffering. In fact, it’s most unfair that she should be put into a position of obligation toward a dependent child when she didn’t choose for that to happen. I also believe the rapist should be punished to the the limits of the law and made to suffer for what he’s done! Now if we don’t give the death penalty to the rapist in order to help the woman heal, do you think it’s fair to give the death penalty to the child who has a rapist for a father? That child has been brought into existence by the rapist but he or she is not the rapist. Might there perhaps be better ways of helping women heal than by heaping more violence onto violence?

          • Totally agree Kristine. I don’t understand the rape exception and don’t believe that children should be punished for the actions of their ancestors. Christians tend to believe that children must be punished for the “sins” of their ancestors. I believe that the rape exception has Christian origins.

            While I think those who want exceptions for rape are absolutely insane, I will have to work at figuring out how to end rape too. As you have already pointed out MOST abortions have nothing to do with rape. This is something that people need to consider.

  4. Vivi Vimbayi says:

    Kristine?
    Hi! I love your work <3
    I'm 14 and a pro-life Christian, but I think everyone, no matter what belief they have should be pro-life. I'm pretty open to interpretation about faith. I don't think religion and science should be at war like people are trying to make them, but that's a different story for a different time.
    The science is quite clear. You have a very strong argument and stance and I love that!!! If anything I think pro-life secular arguments hold more weight than pro-life religious arguments! That's saying a lot, I take my faith seriously :)
    I have exceptions to abortion in the case of rape, a stillborn baby, intense defects, and if the mother will die. Just because since I haven't been raped I can't tell victims what to do, a stillborn child will kill the mom, huge defects may kill the child later on in life and will be expensive to manage, and the mother may already have kids and other family to worry about. I'm always told "If you were really pro-life, you would oppose abortion in every situation!" but I already gave reasoning.
    I wouldn't actually get an abortion ever though, no matter the situation. Easier said than done, but really I wouldn't. I want to give my future kids a chance in life because I have gotten one.
    I believe abortion is not a women's right and shouldn't be a method of birth control. I think it's more of a moral issue than a political one. Morally it's almost always wrong and that's about it.
    I hope you can reply! I'm a big fan xxx

    • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

      Hi Vivi,

      Welcome and thanks for commenting. I’m so glad you’re benefiting from the site! I appreciate that not everyone takes as extreme a position on abortion exceptions or lackthereof as I do, and I’ll be addressing some of your exceptions in upcoming posts. As a sneak preview, here’s a piece I wrote for Secular Pro-Life a couple of years ago: http://blog.secularprolife.org/2012/04/arguing-against-rape-exception.html

      I’ll be happy to discuss this further. I don’t think that moral precepts don’t change based on whether or not we ourselves have experienced something. After all, I’ve never been cheated on or abused by a spouse so I can’t know how that feels, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a stance against shooting one’s spouse. :) As for the severely disabled, how do we treat born people who become severely disabled later in life? Do we/should we kill them because their care is expensive?

  5. Kath says:

    Wow. I found your website in response to “are humanists pro-life?” on google. As someone who works in the social services sector, I take a great interest in Humanist thought. I was married by a Humanist officiant as we wanted a secular ceremony that focused on us, and our own beliefs about marriage, not religious dogma that we do not follow in day to day life.

    I have read some of the posts on here about doing pro-life work and being an atheist. I have worked for a Catholic agency (not a ‘crisis pregnancy centre per say, but dealing with crisis pregnancy and parenting). I was accepted as part of the staff there, regardless of my own personal religion, as long as I followed the values and principles of the agency.

    In my job, we did not preach, try to convert etc. We also did not use religious arguments to try and reach clients whom were non-religious. We discussed choices and consequences. It’s unfortunate that many places discriminate based on religion, and run the risk of loosing their credibility with clients because they try to relate to them on a theological level. I have had several of these clients in my office, whom were angered, hurt or confused that someone offered “help” and then “tried to make them Christian” as those clients would say.

    In my experience, there is a way to reconcile funding issues for organizations (churches can still fund orgs that agree with their values), but they must hire qualified counsellors and accept that not everyone wants to find religion while they find answers. Much harm can be done by those practicing “counselling” without actual training and a well-rounded education.

    • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

      Well said! I’m so glad you’ve had some positive experiences with pro-life Catholics, and were not shunned for your lack of beliefs! It just goes to show that people of different persuasions CAN work together! Do stay in touch. Follow us on twitter @prolifehumanist and on FB /prolifehumanists. I’d love to hear more of your story so feel free to email me kristine at prolifehumanists.org Pleased to meet you! :)

  6. Allen says:

    Kristine,

    Just wanted to thank you for your site. I stumbled upon humanism recently and was disappointed when I joined a group that had a pretty strong focus on pro-abortion arguments. That seemed counter-intuitive to me so I kept looking for like minded people and Google sent me here. :)

    I look forward to reading more of your work.

    • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

      Yay for Google! :D Great to meet you Allen! You’re right, abortion “rights” seem to be the default setting for humanists. I’m working to change that. One of the staples of humanism is looking out for the little guy and being an advocate for those who have no voice. I can’t think of any human being more little and voiceless than the youngest and most dependent/vulnerable members of the human family!

      Feel free to email me if you’d like to chat further. What part of the world do you hail from? As funds permit, I hope to attend atheist and humanist conventions here there and everywhere and it’d be great to connect if I’m every hanging out with humanists in your area! :)

      Kristine

  7. Gabi says:

    Hello, I was directed to this website by the president of Secular Pro-life because I’ve been considering volunteering in prolife work that focused more on the science arguments against abortion. Full Disclaimer: I’m a revert to the Catholic Church, but even while I was away from my childhood religion for years, I still felt uneasy about abortion, euthanasia, and other life issues because of the ironic contradiction of being taught in high school how fertilization occurs and fetal development, yet these scientific facts are conveniently ignored when it comes to talking about “choice” in sex ed. I was also influenced by my family background where everyone has a disability — from Autism to Osteoarthritis. For anyone paying close attention to the news, not only is disability presented as a fate worse than death, but also there are efforts to locate genes responsible for these disabilities in order to terminate people just like how most babies with Down Syndrome are rarely carried to term these days.

    Anyways, sorry for my ramble, but I just wanted to say I’m happy to see pro-life secularists organizations. I’m sorry most of my fellow religious people aren’t usually willing to welcome everyone into the movement and I really feel this is why the movement still is struggling. Plus I have to admit that despite my pro-life stance, I stay away precisely because their rhetoric is off putting to me. I may be religious and all, but quite frankly, people will definitely not listen to “abortion is a sin because the bible said so” if they don’t share the same belief as religious prolifers. I would love to know if religious people who feel they don’t belong in their denomination’s prolife ministries are welcome at Prolife Humanists?

    • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

      Yes you’re welcome Gabi. PLH is evolving, and while my passion as president and as an atheist/humanist is to engage with the atheist community, I recognize the need for a larger umbrella. I do enjoy debating and poking fun of my religious friends just as much as I’m sure they enjoy trying to pray for and reconvert me, yet I believe that with secular approaches to social problems like that of unplanned pregnancy, we can find common ground and build a better society. Science and reason require no religious pre-requisites.

      How do you see yourself helping out?

  8. I’m very glad to see that finally Anti-Abortionism start to be seen by secular point of view. For many years I’m studying this topic and developed a very strong position against Unconditional Abortion (that one made just by free mother volition based on subjective reasons). My major approach in based on Don Marquis argument, but I changed it to a more specific set of issues, involving specially the mother responsability on pregnancy.

    I hope this movement grows up and I’m already spreading the secular criticize of abortion on my country, Brazil.

    Regards

    Marcus Valerio XR
    xr.pro.br

    • Kristine Kruszelnicki says:

      That’s wonderful Marcus! I hope to be able to work with you to help you achieve that end! Please email me and let’s see how we can partner together. I’m glad Brazil has some good secular voices like yours speaking on behalf of the preborn!

  9. "Pro-Life Humanists does not condone nor will we partner with any group or individual that advocates or performs acts of violence toward abortion providers or advocates. Violence is not ended with violence, it’s merely multiplied."

    I agree with that part the most. Violence causes more violence. I want people to understand that.

  10. John Lappin says:

    Personally I am a pro life Humanist thanks for your website – has sparked off a discussion in my group but am feeling a little bit like it is one sided – so any support would be welcome https://www.facebook.com/groups/warrington.humanists/

  11. Delighted to meet you! I understand this is a difficult topic to discuss and bound to be met which much opposition among our secular peers. I'd be happy to come and speak to your group at some point if you'd like recommend an interesting topic for a guest speaker. Will gladly field all the questions that may arise as there are many. I'm sorry I haven't popped in on your group discussion. It's been a very busy week as I have a writing deadline coming up. I do understand as a pro-lifer how hard and one-sided it can feel when you don't have adequate backup. Courage! You're on the right side of history! Equal rights belong to all members of our species!

  12. This is smartly written, and I applaud your understanding of human rights!

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