I would like to explain why anti-natalists should be against abortion. I’m not making the case that one should necessarily vote for certain politicians or try to make abortion illegal. The subject of this article is a strictly moral one because people get so distracted by the political side of things that they never discuss the deeper issue of whether abortion is right or wrong.
Perhaps the best way to start is telling you a brief history of how I came to be an antinatalist and vegan. I grew up in Christianity like most Americans and was constantly obsessed with believing the right things when it came to god, jesus, heaven, hell, and that sort of thing. However this was all interrupted one day when I got something in the mail telling me to vote for Claire Mccaskill instead of Todd Akin. The reason was because Todd Akin was pro-life. I was greatly upset by this because I really hadn’t known much about the abortion debate and so I started searching online and I read many things from pro-life and pro-choice people.
This led to many changes in my life. First, the lack of consistency among different people all claiming to be Christians and yet having different opinions on abortion. The question “What Would Jesus Do” is one I thought about. Eventually I discovered that I didn’t know who to believe about religion anymore than I knew who to believe about abortion. Jesus never showed up to settle differences between the different Christians and they each interpreted the Bible in whatever way pleased them and conformed to what they wanted to do. I had to find my own path which eventually led me out of Christianity and religion entirely. I figured God would have had the power to end the abortion debate once and for all and I only felt very motivated to speak on that subject after I was convinced God did not exist.
The only thing I knew was that I did and to this day see the unborn as no different than those who are born. I never did care about whether it was called a child, baby, embryo, or fetus. I still saw it as murder and to this day I still do.
Whether I am right about abortion being murder is something you may agree or disagree with me on, however my own opinion on abortion led to other changes in my life. Somebody asked me once if I was vegan. I didn’t know what a vegan was but I was vegetarian at the time. They told me that unless I was vegan I was a hypocrite to be anti-abortion. This led to me learning all I could about veganism. It didn’t take me very long to see that I had to do it if I am against killing. And the important thing to remember is that I have always been uncomfortable with killing, although I didn’t know that food choices really had such an impact on who lives or dies(both humans and animals). I learned and I changed.
A few years later I met and anti-natalist named Trick Slattery. He introduced me to the concepted of anti-natalism. I also did a lot of reading and watching of videos about anti-natalism. I know that the anti-natalists are right about the various reasons why procreation is unethical and I can call myself an anti-natalist. My primary reasons for being against procreation are as follows.
1. Each person brought into this world is forced into it without their permission or consent. They may or may not enjoy their life but it is still wrong for us to assume that they will and it carries great risk that they will suffer greatly and commit suicide anyway later.
2. The attitude towards procreation being a good idea is not a rational one nor is there justification for bringing people into an already overpopulated world with people who already exist who need families to adopt them and/or lack food, water, and shelter. Our focus should be on helping those already here rather than procreating while ignoring all the other people who need help. Basically the act of procreating is a slap in the face to others and giving them the message that we don’t care about the.
3. By promoting the message of anti-natalism, my hope is that people will focus more on preventing pregnancy in the first place with the effect that abortion will become a thing of the past as people are educated and technology improves to sterilize those who want to have sex while allowing others to remain celibate if they prefer that to surgery.
4. Each new human who lives out their life has the choice to either be vegan or contribute to the animal suffering like the majority just by eating and purchasing the same food that others around them do. I cannot justify taking the risk of doing something that will create another human with the power hurt the animals. It’s important to not view anti-natalism as just about reducing suffering of humans but all sentient beings as much as possible.
There are of course other reasons for anti-natalism other than the reasons that are important to me. David Benatar is famous for his book: “Better Never to Have Been” which I never finished reading because I was repulsed by his pro-abortion views but I do agree with the asymmetry argument he presented and it’s worth mentioning.
Because of my reasons For me personally I’ve vowed celibacy for life to make sure I don’t force others into this miserable world of suffering without their consent. This was the natural solution for me because I lack sexual desire or attraction. However I do realize that I am a rare case. I soon found out that other anti-natalists don’t commit themselves to celibacy or abstinence. They instead use various types of contraception and when those methods fail, they plan to go for an abortion. I however could never do such a thing because I am pro-life. I would never do something that could result in something consider murder.
With my personally history in mind, perhaps you can at least understand why I believe the way I do. You may be pro-life or pro-choice legally or morally. Personally I am morally against abortion because while I believe that bringing others into this world without their consent is wrong, I equally believe that it’s wrong to force them out of this world by an act of murder.
The end result is that I am probably the only anti-abortion anti-natalist vegan you have ever met. However I wish more anti-natalists would at least understand that being anti-natalist is not a synoynm for being pro-abortion. I am both at the same time and there are others. I would at least ask anti-natalists to respect the views of pro-life people and not stereotype us all as caring only about the unborn or only caring about humans and not the other animals. While humanity may never come to an agreement on what the laws regarding abortion should be, my goal is to at least make the case that being against abortion is part of the same type of philosophy as anti-natalism because it’s about prevention of harm.
Whether or not the unborn feel pain may be a matter of what stage of development it’s currently in. Abortion is also not harmless to women. Women do sometimes die or experience other complications of psychological trauma after having an abortion and so it is with great respect to the women we should take action to prevent this from happening. For me the answer is celibacy but for some of you the answer may be a vasectomy or other method of preventing pregnancy. Some people view abortion as their “Plan B” but I say that we should use a Plan A that is foolproof. The obvious solution is celibacy but if people can find other ways that are 100% effective then the abortion debate would end not because we came to an agreement on the legality or morality but because pregnancy is prevented in the first place. Pro-life and pro-choice anti-natalists should hopefully be able to agree on that.
I also do believe that more pro-life people would be able to agree with anti-natalism if they see that it does not conflict with being pro-life. Some criticize my views and think it’s a total contradiction to be against procreation and yet be either pro-life or anti-abortion. However the reason I do not see it this way is primarily because my anti-natalism only happened because I was against abortion. I also had to go vegan to be consistent with my views and the result is not only removing the cognitive dissonance I used to feel but my health has also improved as a result.
And to me I would feel like I was living a double standard if I was pro-choice and indeed I do have respect more for the pro-abortion view than I do the position of simply being pro-choice. I think being pro-choice is a quick and simple way to please everybody by just giving them the message: “I don’t care what you do, choose whatever you want.” This for me would be dishonest because I care greatly and I think that it’s better to be honest about that rather than taking a weak watered down position that makes somebody popular. And so it’s good when people can be honest about how they feel about abortion or any other issue because otherwise nothing will get solved. People who openly admit to being pro-life or pro-abortion are at least making a clear statement of where they stand that then opens up the discussion so that they can explain their reasons.