Supreme Court skeptical of abortion clinic buffer zones
January 16th, 2014
11:29 AM ET

Supreme Court skeptical of abortion clinic buffer zones

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

(CNN) - The Supreme Court waded cautiously back into the larger debate over abortion on Wednesday.

A number of justices raised concerns about a Massachusetts state law preventing activists from crossing a 35-foot buffer zone around reproductive health clinics.

During an intense hour of oral arguments, Massachusetts officials said the issue was more about public safety and pedestrian access on local sidewalks. Anti-abortion supporters countered their free speech rights were being violated.

What the high court decides in coming months could affect a broader range of free speech arenas - over issues such as war, taxes, corporate bailouts and elections - where the location of the message is often key.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Courts • Culture wars • Ethics • gender issues • Health • Protest • Women

soundoff (1,188 Responses)
  1. SCOTUS will save freedom. They attend the red mass, AKA the mass of red head deads.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    January 27, 2014 at 11:10 am |
    • midwest rail

      Good morning, lol??.

      January 27, 2014 at 11:16 am |
  2. Science Works

    The court can rule on free speech case brought on by a catholic- but where are the criminal charges for the....

    UN panel confronts Vatican on child se-x abuse by clergy


    The church is suppose to be a provider of morals ?

    January 24, 2014 at 6:28 am |
    • Well,

      Just read it. And they are still tap dancing.
      Pope needs to issue an edict: upon hearing about abuse, call the police before making the call to the church. When you make that call to the church, tell them you already called the police.

      Enough is enough.

      January 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • Science Works

        Agree – and is the internet a gift from god – NO -and they want to control life ? The pope just proved there is NO god with that stat-ement.

        In comments that will likely rile the more conservative wing of the church, Francis suggested that in engaging in that dialogue, Catholics shouldn't be arrogant in insisting that they alone possess the truth.


        January 26, 2014 at 11:45 am |
  3. AndyM

    So, wait, if a government official is attending a conference or convention, they can herd people speaking out into "free speech zones" far away, but if a private citizen wants to go about their business without being harassed, intimidated and abused, they're skeptical?

    Isn't the First Amendment supposed to allow for speech against the government, specifically?

    January 23, 2014 at 11:24 am |
    • Well,

      Funny how these same government officials have a gigantic buffer zone, which they consider perfectly legit.

      January 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
  4. mzh


    Islam teaches that every human born in a state of submission to its Lord and then the children gets the religion based on the environment and parents that child grow up with/in. As long as the human is under parent, will not be held accountable but as soon as that human becomes an adult and makes his/her own decision, will be held accountable…

    There is no concept in Islam as reborn…

    The Quran explains following states of a human life:

    Beginning of this earthly life
    40:67 – It is He who created you
    i) from dust, then
    ii) from a sperm-drop, then (stage-1.1)
    iii) from a clinging clot; then He brings you out as (stage-1.2)
    iv) a child; then [He develops you] that you reach your [time of] (stage-2: Child)
    v) maturity, then [further] that you become (stage-3: Young)
    vi) Elders (old age). (stage-4: Old)
    vii) And among you is he who is taken in death before [that], so that you reach a specified term; and perhaps you will think. (stage-5: end of life)

    Detail of number ii (stage-1.1) and iii(stage-1.2):
    Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators. – 23:14

    End of this earthly life
    62:8 – Say, "Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you about what you used to do."

    Resurrection on that day
    Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. – 3:185

    Peace to all!!!

    January 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • mzh

      The Female part:
      He created you (all) from a single person (Adam); then made from him his wife [Hawwa' (Eve)]. And He has sent down for you of cattle eight pairs (of the sheep, two, male and female; of the goats, two, male and female; of the oxen, two, male and female; and of the camels, two, male and female). He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation in three veils of darkness, such is Allah your Lord. His is the kingdom, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). How then are you turned away? – 39:6

      The meaning of creation after creation in three veils of darkness in the above verse:
      "creation after creation":
      – means everyone of you is originally a Nutfah (means a semen-drop which is mentioned in 22:5),
      – then he becomes an `Alaqah (means: clinging substance which is mentioned in 96:2),
      – then he becomes a Mudghah (means: the embryonic lump which is mentioned in 23:14 – this verse actually gives all the stages meaning mentioned Nutfah then 'Alaqah and then Madghah.... subhanallah glory be to Allah The Almighty who Created the human and the entire universe),
      – then it becomes flesh and bones and nerves and veins, and the Ruh (soul) is breathed into him, and he becomes another type of creation.

      "three veils of darknesses":
      veil # 1 – the darkness of the womb,
      veil # 2 – the darkness of the placenta which blankets and protects the child, and
      veil # 3 – the darkness of the belly.

      These three layers/veils are used to keep the child protected (belly, placenta and womb).

      Soul breathed:
      32:7 – Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his posterity out of the extract of a liquid disdained. Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His [created] soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful.

      January 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        And mzh again forgets to mention the passages in the Koran that make Islam the horror and terror religion that it is.

        To wit:

        http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/005.asp et al
        o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
        "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

        "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

        "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

        "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:29-)

        "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

        "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

        "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

        "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

        "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

        "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

        "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

        "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

        "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

        "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

        January 23, 2014 at 7:59 am |
        • Reality # 2

          And as a grim reminder:

          As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

          The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

          ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

          and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

          and more recently

          1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

          1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

          2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

          3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

          4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

          5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

          6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

          7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

          8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

          9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

          10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

          11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

          12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

          13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

          14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

          15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

          16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

          17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

          18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

          19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

          20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

          21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

          22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

          23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

          o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
          BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.

          The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

          25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

          (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

          26 ) September 12, 2012
          Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

          27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life.

          January 23, 2014 at 8:02 am |
        • Dandintac

          Nice job. Do you mind if I copy this and your other post below and use? I'm tired of the claims that Islam is a "religion of peace." It is not. I don't advocate discrimination against Muslims–everyone is equal under the law, but on the other hand, no one should be fooled and lulled into thinking that Islam is any better than Christianity. They are both horrible religions, and contain within their texts and doctrines everything their most zealous followers need to wreak their insanity upon the world.

          January 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
  5. hearties

    Not long ago, it was legal to round up Jews, put them in prison camps, and exterminate them. Strangely, people now are upset about it, like it was wrong to do that, when it was legal.

    January 21, 2014 at 3:07 am |
    • midwest rail

      It was never legal in the United States.

      January 21, 2014 at 3:14 am |
      • hearties

        It was legal where it happened, therefore it's right?

        January 21, 2014 at 3:21 am |
        • midwest rail

          Did I say that ? No, I did not. Do feel free to build some more straw men though, it's what you do best.

          January 21, 2014 at 3:24 am |
    • Ah

      Who is rounding up pregnant women against their will and aborting babies?

      Your analogy stinks.

      January 21, 2014 at 11:12 am |
      • hearties

        The analogy is poor because relatively few Jews died in the Holocaust per year. Only 1.5 million Jews killed per year in the Holocaust and it didn't last more than about 4 years. But that was the analogy given, and it was at the time, a legal thing to do. Looking back, it doesn't look all that good does it? I mean, there were people dying in the holocaust, not very many compared to those aborted each year, but still.

        There are about 33 times as many babies killed per year as were killed in the Holocaust, and it keeps going on and on every year. I don't know how many Jews were dropped into a wood chipper, but if any were, it would be interesting to see what they said about it before hand and while it happened. I think the babies aborted would say the same... if they had free speech rights, like everybody else that grew in a womb.

        I have the right to say what a sin is and the right to say who paid the price for others sins: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

        January 22, 2014 at 3:23 am |
        • Observer


          You certainly can't be too bright to compare the death of a partially-developed embryo with that of a person KNOWING what was to happen to them.

          Get an education. You are making a fool of yourself.

          January 22, 2014 at 3:30 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          We do round up people and kill them, though not in large numbers. Capital punishment, so unevenly applied as to meet the definition of unusual punishment, is thought to be right and proper. Why not fight against that?

          January 22, 2014 at 3:43 am |
        • hearties

          The most horribly deranged killers imaginable, sentenced to death, and they won't drop them into a wood chipper, it's too inhumane.

          But it is humane enough for your baby.

          January 22, 2014 at 3:45 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Why protect all human life in all stages of development? That's what you want to do. Most people disagree.

          January 22, 2014 at 3:57 am |
        • Dandintac


          I deeply disagree with the notion that aborted fetuses are the equivalent of murdered babies. They do not yet have a functioning brain. This is what makes us a human and subject to protection under the law.

          January 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Ah

          No, your analogy just stinks.
          No women are being rounded up against their will and having forced abortions.

          It is curious that you would use Germany as an example, where they in fact DID force women to give birth. I guess following that part is all right though, fräulein?

          Save your hyperbole. It's all about personal liberty, which is a gooood thing, isn't it?

          January 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • doobzz

          "There are about 33 times as many babies killed per year as were killed in the Holocaust"

          Do you mean fetuses? A fetus is not an infant. Of course the term "killing babies" is a lot more emotionally manipulating, but it's not accurate.

          Everyone is pro life. You are only pro fetus. Get back to us when you start caring about what happens to the infants.

          January 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
  6. Alias

    Roe vs. Wade was a comprimise.
    It allowed abortions only within a set of restrictions.
    BTW – the article was about free speech.

    January 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
    • Sarah Waits

      Yes. Should people be free to approach others as they will and say what they will?

      January 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
      • Saraswati

        Should they be allowed to call your home at 3am with religious messages, political propaganda and sales pitches?

        January 20, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
  7. Dandintac

    You know what I think this is really about? The perennial abortion issue?

    It’s not about human life. It's not about "paying for it." It’s not even really about choice.


    It’s about the desire of religion to control our lives in the most intimate and profound manner possible, and the prudish att-itudes that seem to go hand-in-hand with this. Face it: a lot of Christians cannot stand the realization, that right at this very moment, thousands of young women are engaging in DIRTY FILTHY NASTY SE-X! (shudder)

    I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush, there are certainly exceptions to this–there are Christians who walk the walk when it comes to "respect for life" I admit that. But, I find those who are often so much against abortion, are also against birth control, and public efforts to expand access for young single women with limited means. I find all too many people who are “pro-life” are also against se-x education, which is proven to reduce unwanted pregnancies. All too many “pro-lifers” also have no problem being pro-war, for which our pockets seem to be bottomless, yet complain about every dime spent on programs for family planning, support for single mothers such as day care assistance, Head Start, WIC, education–things that help young single mothers and their children.

    If you are absolutely convinced a fetus is truly the full moral equivalent of an extant human baby, then any political or ideological qualms you have about helping out with things like birth control and child care, or including se-x education in school classrooms. It would be a moral imperative to not only demand these things of your politicians, but also to pay the taxes for them.

    Those who are sooo much against abortion should be the very first in line to adopt every black crack baby born. That's not what we see. Pro-life women should be lining up, offering to take embryos from mothers who don't want them, and pay the cost to have them implanted in themselves. Pro-lifers should be willing to pony up the money for it. It should be a moral imperative. We have the technology to do this. Where are the privately funded programs for this?

    This is why I don’t think most Christians who demand laws against abortion are sincere about it being about “respect for human life”. It’s really about DIRTY FILTHY NASTY SE-X.

    “What really bothers me is se-x without consequences!“ many of them will freely admit–although there’s a bit more of a shriek behind it.

    These sl-uts must be punished! And if they can’t be locked in the stocks, or perhaps burn a few of them as an object lesson, then at least they can be punished by forced parenthood Raise that screaming brat on your own for failure to keep your legs closed and engaging in DIRTY FILTHY NASTY SE-X!!

    January 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
    • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

      You don't have to be religious to oppose taxpayer money being spent on family planning, day care assistance, Head Start, WIC and employers being compelled to fund birth control.

      January 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • Dandintac

        If it were just about money, birth control and se-x education are far cheaper for everyone than having the baby are. This is a false issue.

        January 20, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Not if all government financial support for children were withdrawn.

          January 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • Destra

          Then, of course, abortion must be kept legal, and the anti-abortion lobby would have less of a leg to stand on.

          We don't get a choice on what our tax dollars are spent on...whether it's special pork deals or Head Start...

          A country that ignores the welfare of its citizens will fall. Witness Somalia.

          January 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
    • Vic

      We are ALL sinners.

      January 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
      • Science Works

        If so where is purgatory Vic ?

        January 20, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
        • Vic

          I don't believe in purgatory.

          January 20, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • Science Works

          How about HELL ?

          January 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • Anthony Crispino

          Vic – "I don't believe in purgatory."

          Oh gimme a break already, Vic. Haven't you ever been out late and tied one on with the boys and turned your stomach inside out?!*?

          January 20, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • Science Works

          So Vic what about the – since the beginning of TIME deal ?

          January 21, 2014 at 11:24 am |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        No we aren't because it doesn't exist.

        January 20, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
      • Sarah Waits

        How do you know I'm a sinner Vic? What sins do you imagine I'm guilty of?

        January 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
      • sam stone

        Sin is a religious concept that only applies to members of that religion, Vic

        So, get off your knees and keep that self-loathing prattle to yourself

        January 21, 2014 at 5:04 am |
    • Saraswati

      I think it was historically about the right wing losing control and trying to build a rallying point for their more gullible masses. Problem is their religious fanaticism has turned off the financial conservatives and driven them to splinter parties that are leaving these guys dead in the water. Because they tied the same ideology up with the anti-gay ploy it's go ing to be a hard sell for any of these folks to make it back on the national political scene.

      January 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
  8. Vic

    The way I look at it is that it should be that if "it" has a "heartbeat," it is a "human life" and should not be aborted, except for the safety of the bearer, a mother or a surrogate. Late term abortion is out of the question, no doubt.

    January 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
    • Vic

      Meant as a reply below.

      January 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

      I agree about late term abortions. I'd advocate for legislation against late-term abortions. I disagree with your definition of human life though. Brain-dead people have heartbeats but they're basically just a sack of organs.

      January 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
      • Vic

        I believe an unborn with a "heartbeat" and a deceased born are both human beings.

        January 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
    • point of disagreement

      I'd argue in favor of if a nervous system is involved, no nervous system no pain.

      January 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm |

      • Maybe we can have deferred abortion. Wait and see what becomes of that nervous system. If it avoids Tea Party Conservatism and Scientology, then well and good, else abort.

        January 20, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Or if they shop at W

          January 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Or if they shop at Whole Foods.

          January 20, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • ?

          Issue with the keyboard or your nervous system? Too many preservatives?

          January 20, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Let's chalk it down to vitamin deficiency.

          January 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Chalk up, rather. Christ, I need to get some vitamin supplements.

          January 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • ?

          lol. Just watch out for those chalky vitamin supplements.

          January 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
  9. Tango

    @C>HL- Are you referring to "selective abortion"?

    January 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
    • Tango

      That is a response to "Choice > " below .

      January 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
      • Choice>Human Life

        Where was the word selective abortion used? Lack reading comprehension???

        January 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Tango

          You probably didn't use that word.
          But your post was referring to aborting female babies which is commonly referred to as "selective abortion. What is not clear is that if you are a man advocating killing female babies then you are a misogynist. If you are female supporting abortion, then you seem to lack respect for your own kind.
          Either ways, you are one pathetic individual for advocating abortion in the name of "abortion", selective or not.
          Your handle is a perfect example of your depravity.

          January 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Choice>Human Life

          It's not babies, you moron, it is called female fetuses. Learn the difference.

          January 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Hansel

          You truly should be ashamed of yourself for supporting abortion whether it is a female fetus in particular or male fetus in general or both.

          Your callous disdain for human life is just awful.

          January 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • Gretel

          do u propose that the religious support other people's children until they've finished college? u know have some skin in the game not just impose their religious beliefs on others

          January 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
  10. rhaj

    I am atheist and I want to know what is my friends Atheists'stand on abortion (and why).

    In general, I think everything is a "social convention". There is a respect of the majority rule but with the checking that minority is not to be denied of their fundamental rights.

    So for abortion... I think, and to my knowledge, the actual ruling of the Court (Roe vs Wade) is the "convention". That means, I am pro-choice.

    Note: I am considering as "society" the world (from US to Europe and Asia ...)

    January 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
    • Choice>Human Life

      Pro-choice. It must be okay to abort female babies. Abortion is often a great tool in culture. 😉

      January 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Agnostic atheist, here. I am pro choice because I don't think society or "the state" should have the right to force someone to incubate a living thing inside their body. I would be fine with a law that said that a person should attempt to turn over the embryo or fetus to the state so that the state can incubate it and care for it at its own cost until it is eighteen.

      January 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
      • rhaj

        I see.. so neither "the state" nor "the church"... It is one's body and no one else, in the name of "..." should decide about what it can or cannot do... I assume every one of us is a rational person.

        January 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          "The church" isn't involved. Separation of church and state. If they want to shame people and manipulate them into following their "morals" then that's their game. No, the state should not require that someone incubate another life inside their body. As long as we are letting people choose when and who to have s3x with, and as long as we are allowing anyone to get pregnant, the correct path is clear. Pro-choice.

          January 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        At the state's own cost? Aren't we paying for enough? If you get pregnant and don't want to have an abortion, you'd better be prepared to pay for the baby's upbringing.

        January 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Ummmm.... The state already pays for babies that people give birth to and don't have the money to care for. Are you that ignorant of the laws of the land?

          January 20, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Yes, I'm aware of that. Do we really need more?

          January 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious


          January 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin


          January 20, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Vic

          It's worth noting Child Support Laws as well.

          January 20, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Darn tootin'.

          January 20, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "Darn tootin'"

          How quaint. I haven't heard that term in decades–certainly not since my grandmother died. I'd forgotten about it, but it's nice to see that it hasn't become extinct. People need to dust it off and use it once in a while to ensure it stays in our language, since it's a funny and colorful expression.

          January 21, 2014 at 12:25 am |
    • Vic

      Since you are looking for the "majority rule" here, which is against abortion in the US, it is worth noting that the "majority rule" was overridden by the SCOTUS in Roe versus Wade.

      January 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        We should all be very happy that there are safeguards against majority rule on certain issues.

        January 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Actually the majority support Roe vs Wade.

        January 20, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • Science Works

        Did you want to say the moral majority Vic ?

        January 20, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin


          January 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
      • Vic

        The population majority, which happens to be Christian.

        January 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • Vic

          Now and back then, mind you.

          January 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Observer

          The HUGE majority of people don't like abortion, but the REAL issue here is CHOICE.

          If ALL abortions were to be outlawed, it's a safe bet that the majority of people would oppose it.

          January 20, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Many, if not most, Christians are nominal. Well, apathetic (or cafeteria) anyway. I know lots of Christians who are pro-choice.

          January 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Science Works

          But Vic remember this one you are in the what at 33% ?

          Polling and Analysis
          December 30, 2013
          Public’s Views on Human Evolution


          January 20, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Vic

          You mean lukewarm. Whatever the case may be, most Christians stand strong for the "Sanctity of Human Life." The base can easily be solidified on that.

          January 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • Vic

          The 33% figure is for Americans who believe in "God's Creation" without 'Evolution of Species.'

          January 20, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • Science Works

          According to a new Pew Research Center an-alysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” The share of the general public that says that humans have evolved over time is about the same as it was in 2009, when Pew Research last asked the question.

          January 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • Science Works


          Origins of US by BBC 2 check it out there is a blue link that cycles above !

          January 20, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • Destra

          Vic, the vast majority of women in this country who obtain abortion ARE Christian. How do you reconcile this?

          January 20, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • Human

          Destra, it's not about religion it's about morality.

          January 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • Science Works

          Vic is that you ?
          “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”

          January 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • Destra

          @Human: I was commenting on Vic's post about the majority being Christian and how the majority of women getting abortions are Christian, but do you think states should be able to legislate morality? If so, based on what? And wouldn't that infringe on our personal liberty and freedom?

          January 20, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • Vic

          The simplest way I can put it is that although many Christians abort their unborn because it is legally available, it remains an individual decision. In other words, it is a spoil.

          If Christians were called to vote on the issue, I have no doubt in my mind that the majority would not elect to make abortion legal, except for the safety of the bearer, a mother or a surrogate.

          January 20, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • Vic

          Regarding morality, this is not about legislating morality. This particular issue is about protecting what we Christians believe is human life. It standouts as a life or death matter.

          January 20, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          But a significant number don't believe a mass of cells const.itutes human life (arguably late term abortions would qualify as ending human life). It is legislating morality

          January 20, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It's good of you, Vic, to remain constrained by the laws of men when, before your God, it's a matter of life and death for the most innocent and unprotected members of it's most cherished creation.

          January 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • Vic

          The way I look at it is that it should be that if "it" has a "heartbeat," it is a "human life" and should not be aborted, except for the safety of the bearer, a mother or a surrogate. Late term abortion is out of the question, no doubt..

          January 20, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          I agree about late term abortions. I'd advocate for legislation against late-term abortions. I disagree with your definition of human life though. Brain-dead people have heartbeats but they're basically just a sack of organs.

          January 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Vic, if we protected "life" based on a heartbeat, we would all be vegetarians and keep brain-dead people's hearts pumping forever at $500,000/year...essentially starving out the earth of all resources.

          January 20, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
        • Alias

          Actually the legal issue is about rights.
          I love discussions where two groups of ignorant people argue over emotional topics.

          January 20, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • Destra

          Really, Alias? And what two groups would those be?

          January 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
    • Dandintac

      I think se-xual and reproductive choices for women are a cornerstone of the liberty we enjoy, particularly for women. But there are limits–including murder. I don't necessarily see a fetus as a person to be murdered though. I see abortion as a morally grey issue. The closer to birth, the darker the grey. So where does one draw the line? When there is a brain.

      So I am "pro-choice" up to the point where there are measurable brain waves. I am "pro-life" after that point. As I understand it, viability is pretty close to where the brain starts functioning, so I'm satisfied with the existing legal line.

      As an atheist, I do not believe there are souls, and even if I did, I see no reason to believe why conception is the point at which "ensoulment" occurs. So I'm not moved by claims of a soul in a zygote. However, I do believe in laws prohibiting murder, because I do believe in right and wrong, and murder is harmful for the victims and the rest of society–therefore it is wrong. But laws apply to PERSONS. So when is a person a person? When he/she has a functioning brain.

      In our culture, and many others, we recognize that when a person is brain-dead, they are gone. Most people do not hesitate to "pull the plug". Even Senator Tom Delay of Texas, so famously pro-life, didn't hesitate to pull the plug when his father became brain-dead. I see no reason why this logic should not apply to the beginning of life as well as the end.

      When there are measurable brain waves–there's a human person there, subject to the protection of the law. This seems clear, logical, and scientific, and it protects the rights and freedoms we enjoy, and at the same time protects actual human life. The only downside is for religion, which loses some power to control people's lives.

      January 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
      • Saraswati

        A couple of questions:

        1. Are you a vegetarian?

        2. Do you oppose all animal research?

        January 20, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • Dandintac

          1. No, not a vegetarian, but not an "anything goes" person with regards to treatment of animals either.
          2. Opposed to some, but not all.

          January 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Why do you ask?

          January 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
        • Saraswati

          I ask because you talk about drawing a line when there is a brain, but the earliest neural clusters in an embryo are smaller than many non-human animals, so I'm not sure where you make the distinction?

          January 20, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I am predominantly a modified rule utilitarian. The end is maximization of positive consciousness, wherever we find it. Rules (laws) help us achieve this end. General prohibitions against murdering what we see as "people" are useful and productive laws.

      What we see as "people" is, however, socially defined. While a fetus is a human, it is not a person, and I do not believe it logically or socially beneficial to consider it one. At the early stages of a pregnancy an embryo has fewer neurons than many animals we eat or experiment on. It doesn't even have a brain during early divisions, and yet this is what many religions want to protect.

      So we have a balance. We need laws agains murdering "persons" and a reasonable definition of what a "person" is that does not interfere with a woman's health or productivity or force women to carry non-viable enti.ties just for some religious idea they should give birth. We need a cut-off, and I don't say it has to be birth, but it should be at least several months into a pregnancy, and options for termination should be easily available before that time.

      January 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
      • Sarah Waits

        What is consciousness? Positive consciousness? How do you quantify it (since your goal is to maximize it)? Is there an energy equivalent to it?

        January 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • Saraswati

          The fact that we can't define consciousness doesn't mean we can ignore it – that's the hard problem. Energy? So far we have evidence that matter is tied to consciousness, which can convert to energy. Beyone that, it is unknown. But if we are to develop ethics we have to talk consciousness, imperfect though that conversation is. And ethics implies an assumption of consciousness outside ourselves based on evidence of similar observable characteristics. You don't have to believe in it, but if you don't, you have no hand in the ethics debate.

          January 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Kurt Gödel, when he tried to advance an ontological proof for the existence of God, came up with an axiomatic system for positive properties. Is that what you have in mind?

          January 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
      • Dandintac

        My views on abortion are highly influenced by an article written by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan and published in Parade in 1990. For large scale linking up of neurons, necessary for any capacity for human thought, Sagan puts it at 24-27 weeks into pregnancy–about the sixth month. Measurable brain waves such as are found in people who are already born don't usually appear until around the 30th week.

        Regarding vegetarianism generally, I don't believe animals are the full moral equivalent of human beings. Our capacity for intelligence, thought, reasoning, ability to assume responsibility–sets us apart. That does not mean that it is "anything goes"–animals are in a grey moral zone for me–with murder of whales, Dolphins and apes being black, and Earthworms and shellfish being white. I also have no problems using rats to test potential cures for cancer. .

        I consider myself to be a modified rule utilitarian myself, but not based on consciousness–but on human well-being, and by extension, the well-being of our biosphere. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "positive" consciousness, or how you would measure that on a large scale. I'm intrigued. Is all consciousness equal?


        January 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • Observer


          Good source. Thank you.

          January 20, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Is the distinction you are making human vs. non-human or are you separating consciousness out somehow from well-being?

          No, not all consciousness is equal in my view. More complex systems are more conscious. I am open to change here, however, as I follow the panpsychism vs emergentism debates and consider the ethical implications interesting.

          January 20, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Sara, I'm not separating consciousness at this time. I'm not sure if we even have a clear definition, or the ability to reliably detect and measure it in organisms significantly different from ourselves, or make a determination as to what forms of consciousness a higher value should be placed on. I'm willing to keep an open mind though, and will have to research this further. Thank you so much for bringing some of these ideas to my attention.

          I know "well-being" is somewhat murky also, but there are many things we can draw a broad consensus as to regards to well-being–such as life is preferable to death, pleasure preferable to pain, literacy preferable to illiteracy, freedom preferable to slavery, knowledge preferable to ignorance, good health preferable to bad–just for starters. Many of these, perhaps all, are measurable, and I would argue they would give us a superior morality compared to anything religion has to offer.

          Thanks for the comments and good night to you.

          January 21, 2014 at 12:20 am |
        • Science Works

          Someone mention – Consciousness ?

          Discovery of Quantum Vibrations in 'Microtubules' Inside Brain Neurons Supports Controversial Theory of Consciousness

          Jan. 16, 2014 — A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons.


          January 21, 2014 at 6:25 am |
    • rhaj

      Thank you all for sharing your stance on abortion.. I understand the "line" from abortion to murder is still grayish.. I am comfortable with the uncertainty.. we will figure it out some day. Thanks again for sharing any latest scientific view on abortion.

      January 21, 2014 at 8:33 am |
  11. not dodo

    go to school b4 u die of lung cancer. u could write a book u wouldn't have to publish, perhaps

    January 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
  12. Cultures shouldn't turn mommies into Diana of the Ephesians.

    🙂 $$$$$$ 🙂

    January 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Good afternoon, lol??.

      January 20, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  13. Destra

    I sure wouldn't want to revisit my mom's womb...

    January 20, 2014 at 11:46 am |
  14. I have a dream...

    I have a dream,that one day, you will not be deliberately targeted for annihilation inside the womb!

    January 20, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I haven't been in the womb for some time.

      January 20, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • Destra

        I sure wouldn’t want to revisit my mom’s womb…

        January 20, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
    • Caviar


      January 20, 2014 at 11:45 am |
      • Caviar

        oops! That statement needs to be qualified as follows:

        All for pro-choice in your decision to not have a baby and have your tubes tied!!!

        January 20, 2014 at 11:48 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        I'm pro choice in that I don't think the state should force a person into being a incubator for something alive that they don't want living inside them.

        January 20, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Reality # 2

          Which brings us once again to "The Brutal Effects of Stupidity". See page one.

          January 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Crunch

          Using yourself as an authority to support your position is not terribly persuasive. Self-absorbed, but not persuasive.

          January 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • Nilla Vanilla

          @Crunch, the same state that can force you to have a baby is the same state that can force you to have an abortion. That's why choice is so important.

          January 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Ensign Crunch, demoted


          January 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Were you addressing that to whatever god exists since nearly 80% of fertilized embryos do not implant in the uterine wall and are naturally aborted by the body? Are you sure you should dream or pray about something that obviously is not god's will?

      January 20, 2014 at 11:47 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.