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flo's avatar

Why would there be such a thing as being against capital punishment but pro abortion?

Asked by flo (13158points) November 24th, 2016

How can a person be against capital punishment but then be pro abortion simultaneously? In some places,even if the person is a cold blooded murderer, even if the person is unrepentant, there is no capital punishment. If that makes sense them, then how can they be pro abortion, esp. where it’s not a case of mother’s life in danger, rape, incest…? Added: I mean the unborn child didn’t do anything wrong/crime to anyone.

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52 Answers

BellaB's avatar

I am pro choice, not pro abortion.

I am against capital punishment.

Whole countries (Canada for example) run on that combination and it makes sense to me.


Abortion/miscarriage is not a crime.

Trying to find a polite way to explain how I feel about attempts to conflate abortion and a capital crime.

cinnamonk's avatar

“Pro-abortion” is a derogatory term used by the anti-choice crowd to slander those who are in favor of letting women control their own bodies. You will find very few people in this world to whom that label accurately applies.

kritiper's avatar

I suppose for the same reason a guy would be for or against abortion.

Mariah's avatar

A criminal on death row is not using a woman’s body to survive. Abortion is not about the innocence of the fetus, it is about the woman’s bodily autonomy.

josie's avatar

I am opposed to capital punishment
I am opposed to laws that would prevent woman from choosing abortion
Seems like a fairly consistent principle to me
Both have to do with the political state over stepping it’s authority

zenvelo's avatar

Capital Punishment is the state taking a life. An abortion is a woman controlling her own health.

A better question for you @flo is, “why are some people anti-choice, but pro death penalty? Is the sanctity of life only applied to a fetus?”

Strauss's avatar

To expand on @zenvelo‘s^^ thought:

How can some people consider themselves to be “pro-life” when it comes to a woman’s decision concerning her body, but against caring for the life and health of newborn children, toddlers, and adults, for that matter.

flutherother's avatar

Many people are against capital punishment on moral grounds and I am one of them. I don’t know of anyone who is “pro abortion” though again many support abortion in certain circumstances. What I find odd is that many who believe the unborn have a right to life believe they lose those rights once they are born.

Zaku's avatar

I’d say it’s the most common pair that goes together.

I’m one.

It’s very simple. I don’t consider unborn fetuses to be people. Their state of being is almost nothing like that of even a one-year-old child, let alone anyone old enough to be pregnant.

When I think of the existence of a fetus and its potential termination, I am mainly concerned for the emotional attachment/investment of the parents. A fetus may have some consciousness, but it’s very formative and is not itself attached to any dramatic stories or ideas about how it’s stopping being alive would be tragic. So if it dies for whatever reason, (unless perhaps it’s very long drawn out and painful), I don’t have any particular sympathy for it. I have less sympathy for a human fetus’ death experience (or loss of hypothetical potential future life) than I do for a young animal (though, I have more sympathy for animals than many people seem to).

Meanwhile, a pregnant woman has quite a few years of investment in her own life, past and future, is a fully developed human being, and has relationships with many people. Society has much invested in her. The impact on her and everyone around her of circumstances that would cause her to choose to terminate a pregnancy is very significant. Also, I consider the survival of her fetus to be pretty much entirely her concern.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I am pro-choice and anti-capital punishment. As @BellaB indicated above, that is probably a majority view in Canada.

You might find the stances easier to grasp if you call them what they really are: pro-choice (women make their own reproductive choices) and anti-choice (the state makes women’s reproductive choices).

No one is “pro-abortion”. That term makes no sense.

filmfann's avatar

I am against Capital Punishment in its current form.
As a Christian, I like to think people convicted of capital offenses might find the Lord and ask His forgiveness.
I am also against laws preventing abortion. I try not to force my beliefs and positions on others. I don’t know when embryos are ensouled (I suspect it’s at 40 days, but who really knows?), so I refuse to say when they should be recognized as humans.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The argument is simple, and certainly is one that should readily appeal to conservatives. Here it goes. You cannot trust THE STATE to be in the business of putting people to death. And that being said, the state must not be allowed to force a woman to bear a child.

Darth_Algar's avatar

People aren’t “pro-abortion” they are pro-choice.

And it’s an issue of bodily ownership. Who owns your body – you, or the state? If you do then the state cannot, morally, put you to death any more than it can force you to undergo any medical procedure. The state may confine you, it may restrict your ability to move about in society, but it cannot claim any moral basis for the authority to terminate your life.

Likewise, the state cannot claim any moral basis to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term anymore than it could force a person to host a cancerous tumor.

If the state can terminate your life at its whim, or can force you to undergo any procedure, or make you carry within you anything you do not wish, then the state, not you, owns your body. And if you do not have ownership over your own body, if you are not sovereign over your own flesh, blood and tissue, then what rights do you truly have? Bodily autonomy is the most basic, most fundamental right there is.

It is on this basis, bodily autonomy, that I oppose the death penalty, support legal availability of abortion services for those who choose it, and oppose laws prohibiting drugs and prostitution. There is no contradiction there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Nobody is “pro abortion.”

flo's avatar

Why do people have a problem with the term pro abortion? It says what it is about doesn’t it? What do you all think it means? The anti abortion side is also pro choice. They choose to not abort, they choose to give the baby up for adoption, etc. That’s just for starters.
See here for more:

BellaB's avatar

As long as the anti-abortion side believes that anyone other than the parents has anything at all to say about the pregnancy, it is not pro-choice.

That means the government has NO rights whatsoever related to any pregnancy. It is the mother’s decision (in my opinion preferably in conjunction with a health care provider and the father but still the mother’s decision at base).

flo's avatar

@BellaB The anti abortion side is about choosing to not abort, choosing to give it for adoption instead of letting the child live in least ideal situations etc. The state doesn’t have to come into it.

BellaB's avatar

@flo , being anti-abortion is not about choice. It is about limiting choices.

None of their business. None.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@flo The word “choice” in the term “pro-choice” specifically means the choice between aborting a pregnancy and not aborting a pregnancy. It does not refer to the choice to put a baby up for adoption, or any other choice surrounding pregnancy.

People who call themselves “pro-life” want to deny women the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. It is an anti-choice stance.

People who are “pro-choice” want to allow women the right to choose whether or not to abort. This is not the same thing as being “pro-abortion”, which would mean that they want women to have abortions. They don’t. They want women to be free to choose for themselves, without state interference.

A woman who is “pro-choice” is not going to have an abortion every time she gets pregnant. She is not also not going to recommend that everyone who gets pregnant should have an abortion. The term “pro-abortion” implies that she will do these things. That’s why it’s inflammatory rhetoric, and should be avoided, unless you are trying to intentionally insult someone.

Many, many, many women who are pro-choice have had children and/or want children in the future. Many, many, many women who are pro-choice would never want an abortion for themselves. But they want the right to choose, and they want every other woman to have the right to choose.

Darth_Algar's avatar


I can’t tell if you’re being obstinate or if you honestly don’t understand the terms you’re using.

Pro-choice isn’t “pro-abortion”. Nobody is advocating for women to get abortions, they’re advocating for woman to have that legal option should the woman choose it. Hence pro-choice, not pro-abortion.

And the anti-abortion, or pro-life, crowd certainly are not pro-choice. They’re for restricting choice.

To have an abortion or not is a personal decision made for and in consideration a numbers of reasons including ones own health, personal and financial situation, and one’s own moral beliefs. The government has no business and no right dictating what a person does with one’s own body, and the government has no business dictating morality.

rojo's avatar

Look at the question from the opposite viewpoint; that is how can you be anti-abortion and yet pro capital punishment and for me it helps make sense of this particular stance.

In being anti-abortion you are saying that you are the one that makes the choice of over who lives and who dies and the same goes for being pro capital punishment; to wit, again it is you who gets to decide who lives and who dies.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@flo “Pro-abortion” would suggest that we go around encouraging people to have abortions. We’d rent billboards encouraging people to have abortions. We’d have commercials and groups encouraging abortion. But we don’t.

I had an abortion. Nobody’s business but mine and the father’s.

As my daughter said, personally she’s anit-abortion, and that’s why she has 4 kids now (half of them are a set of twins,) and has never been married. But politically she’s pro-choice.

Nobody else’s business.

There is a huge difference between this and this

flo's avatar
The state says no abortion after a certain number of weeks, because it’s murder.

There’s been one or 2 posts here: I think it’s all there.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Took the words out of my mouth.

cinnamonk's avatar

If after a “certain number of weeks” an abortion becomes a murder, how would you term an abortion that happens right before that amount of time has passed? If an abortion becomes a murder at 12:00, is an abortion that happens at 11:59 not a murder? Then what is it?

Forgive me, but that seems moronic.

flo's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 Exactly what the anti abortion/pro life side is asking the pro abortion side.

BellaB's avatar

@flo, you have been told numerous times there is no pro abortion side yet continue to use that incorrect language.

Everyone is pro life. Full stop.

flo's avatar

@BellaB See m’y most recent OP re.. “That’s saying nothing”

flo's avatar

@BellaB Being Pro choice sounds like it has nothing to do with ending a life., giving people a choice, sounds like a nice thing right?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes, allowing people choice is a nice thing. Taking choice away from people is not a nice thing.

cinnamonk's avatar

@flo, in your estimation, @Dutchess_III and I are murderers because we’ve had abortions.

Now explain to me why you think murderers should be allowed to raise children? Since that is the alternative to abortion you’d prefer to force upon women.

You’re not pro-life. You’re pro-forced birth.

flo's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 See my response to your last post.

By the way being pro choice and giving everyone choice means nothing.

cinnamonk's avatar

@flo I don’t know what you’re referring to.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@flo “Being Pro choice sounds like it has nothing to do with ending a life., giving people a choice, sounds like a nice thing right?”

Sounds like you’re catching on!

flo's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 You worded the anti-abortion position: “If an abortion becomes a murder at 12:00, is an abortion that happens at 11:59 not a murder? Then what is it?”

cinnamonk's avatar

@flo, so when is the cut-off point as far as you’re concerned? Are you saying it’s possible to murder something that doesn’t have self-concept? That has the same amount of self-awareness as a potato or a chair?

rojo's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 the cut off is never.

Even 18 years after birth your overlords are sending your kids to war in what amounst to a state sponsored retroactive abortion.

So, seriously, does it matter whether it occurs at 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 8 months or 216 months.

Response moderated (Spam)
zenvelo's avatar

^^^flagged 1;25 p.m. PST 12/7

flo's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 what @rojo wrote.
You’re still arging with yourself.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She’s not arguing with herself. She’s asking questions that you don’t seem to want to answer.

Should neither she, nor I, have been allowed to have children because we are, by your account, murders of children?

flo's avatar

I don’t want to know who had abortion and who didn’t and address that kind of thing. @Dutchess_III You can post the question, if you want, “Anti abortionists, do you think that…”
You will get more than one answer.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You’re the one who started this discussion @flo. If you’re certain of your stance, you shouldn’t be ready to bow out at the first hint of a bit of difficulty in determining, for your self, where that line is, between abortion, capital punishment, and murder. You should be ready to stand up and say, with certainty….what ever you have to say.

You want to hear again which women on this thread had an abortion? No? You don’t want to know? Why not?

LogicHead's avatar

It would only heighten the immorality of your stance toward life. Someone murders someone and you protect them from death !! And then an innocent baby who did nothing wrong gets ripped out of the womb. Think, man

Irukandji's avatar

@LogicHead “And then an innocent baby who did nothing wrong gets ripped out of the womb.”

baby (noun)
1. an infant or very young child
2. a newborn or very young animal

It is literally impossible to abort a baby. Furthermore, since 91% of abortions occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, and over half of abortions occur in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, it’s fairly rare to even abort a fetus. It is nearly always an embryo or a zygote that gets aborted. And lastly, induced abortions are far rarer than spontaneous abortions (aka “miscarriages”), meaning that God/nature/whatever ends far more pregnancies than humans ever have or will.

You are also assuming that one’s position on whether capital punishment and abortion should be legal must be rooted in an underlying stance toward life. But that is not necessarily the case. Like @josie said, it could also be rooted in a belief about the limitations of state power. And in fact, this should be even more true for conservatives since conservative philosophy is based on the work of thinkers who argued that the whole point of the state was to end the brutal “justice” of the state of nature (such as executing those who have wronged us) and protect our basic rights (including ownership and control over our own bodies).

Dutchess_III's avatar

And God is responsible for far more abortions than humans are.

flo's avatar

@Irukandji I think it’s a good idea to use the @... feature so it’s obvious who you’re addressing.

flo's avatar

@LogicHead I think it’s a good idea to use the @... feature so it’s obvious who you’re addressing.

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