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Atheists joining anti-abortion fight

Published January 25, 2013 1:20 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For many Christians, abortion is a conscious choice to kill a child whom God created. Their pro-life position is deeply religious, built on respect for the Almighty and his designs for humanity.

With the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion, are there abortion opponents who don't believe in God?

Apparently so — and not just a few.

Kelsey Hazzard, a 24-year-old University of Miami alumna and recent graduate of the University of Virginia law school, has her doubts about deity, but she's sure about the value of each human.

"I was pro-life the instant I learned what abortion was," Hazzard, a legal fellow at Americans United for Life, told Catholic World Report. "But my position became much stronger in college, when I took a course on prenatal development."

Still, Hazzard noticed that the anti-abortion movement is awash in religious imagery, a fact that is off-putting to nonbelievers who might be allies. So she launched Secular ProLife (SPL), whose goal is "a world in which abortion is unthinkable, for people of every faith and no faith."

The group bases its message on biology and human rights, not theology.

"When the sperm meets the egg, a genetically complete human being is formed, and all that is required for maturation is time and nutrition," SPL member Julie Thielen told the magazine. "As complete human beings in the most vulnerable stages, there should be protections afforded. As a society, we are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable—the young, the aged, the infirm, those who can't speak for themselves. The unborn belong here."

Peggy Fletcher Stack