Atheist WaPo columnist bemoans idea babies have souls, says she'd 'feel nothing' if mother aborted her

In a piece headlined, “‘How would you feel if your mother had aborted you?’ Easy. I’d feel nothing,” Cohen argued that aborted babies “feel nothing” because they wouldn’t have ever existed following the abortion, and that if it came down to a choice between her “potential existence” and her mother’s “freedom,” she would choose the latter every time.

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“When Elizabeth Spiers, an adoptee, wrote a thoughtful essay about the limits of adoption as a simple replacement for abortion (as suggested by Justice Amy Coney Barrett), she received a cascade of responses along the lines of: ‘If your mother felt she had a choice and chose differently you’d be fine with it?'” Cohen wrote while also referencing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an ongoing Supreme Court case challenging Mississippi’s recently enacted law restricting abortions.

“I’ve got the answer! She wouldn’t be anything — fine or not fine — because she wouldn’t be,” Cohen added. 

A anti-abortion demonstrator protests in front of the Supreme Court building, on the day of hearing arguments in the Mississippi abortion rights case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2021.

A anti-abortion demonstrator protests in front of the Supreme Court building, on the day of hearing arguments in the Mississippi abortion rights case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2021. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Cohen claimed that “not being” was a difficult concept for people to grasp or accept, and that “despite evidence to the contrary,” people in ancient times came up with “stories” explaining we existed before we were alive on Earth and that we’ll still exist once we pass away.

She cited a number of Bible verses that mentioned how God forms and creates people, as well as Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s, R-N.C., recent comments while speaking out against abortion, in which he described souls as being “eternal” and “sanctified by God.”

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“To those of us who don’t believe in God, this sounds fantastical. And a little scary coming from the House floor,” Cohen wrote. 

“Human lives, when seen this way, inhabit a strange kind of solidity even in the abstract: Before they live — even if they never live — these people were meant to be. And, if they do become (actual) people, their existence is retroactively deemed inevitable and necessary, ‘God’s will’ and not just one of a zillion possible combinations of sperm and egg and time and chance,” she added. 

UNITED STATES - MAY 14: Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., is seen in the Capitol Visitor Center before Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., won the election for House Republican Conference chair on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – MAY 14: Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., is seen in the Capitol Visitor Center before Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., won the election for House Republican Conference chair on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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