Stephanie Gray is a pro-life advocate who makes an argument regarding the purpose and function of the uterus and its effect on the abortion discussion. It is an argument that many atheistic pro-life advocates disdain because it appears to have religious overtones; however, I believe this objection to the argument to be mistaken. Because a position is compatible with religious thought does not make it a religious argument, anymore than arguing that the unborn are human beings is a religious argument. I would like to present a defense of the argument that secular people can use, and I certainly welcome discussion on the argument in the comments.
Take the word teleology. Many people think of the Teleological Argument for God's existence (the argument from design/fine-tuning), so they believe it to be a religious term. But the word itself comes from the Greek words telos, meaning "end, purpose," and logia, meaning "a branch of learning." It traces its root all the way back to the ancient Greeks (specifically Aristotle and Plato). It's true that the ancient Greeks believed in a pantheon of gods, but we also have to remember that the Greeks believed in keeping religious out of the public sphere, such as politics, science, and the acquisition of knowledge (for more on this, see Victor Davis Hansen and John Heath's book Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom, Encounter Books, New York, 2001, pp. 28-35).. In fact, teleology was also defended by Immanuel Kant, who was an agnostic. Teleology is not an inherently religious term.
In order to see design in nature, one does not have to be religious. Biologist Richard Dawkins even realizes that the universe appears to be designed, and in order to study nature design is even assumed: "[Daniel] Dennett has offered a helpful three-way classification of the 'stances' that we adopt in trying to understand and hence predict the behaviour of entities such as animals, machines or each other...For an object that really is designed, like a washing machine or a crossbow, the design stance is an economical short cut. We can guess how the object will behave by going over the head of physics and appealing directly to design...Living things are not designed,  but Darwinian natural selection licenses a version of the design stance for them. We get a shortcut to understanding the heart if we assume that it is 'designed' to pump blood. Karl von Frisch was led to investigate colour vision in bees (in the face of orthodox opinion that they were colour-blind) because he assumed that the bright colours of flowers were 'designed' to attract them." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Mariner Books, New York, NY, 2006, pp. 211-212). In fact, seeing teleology in nature seems to be necessary for scientific advancement. This is what accounts for the characteristic regularity of natural change.
Aristotle posited that there are four different types of causes: a material cause is that out of which something is made; a formal cause is the form of something, or "the form of what it is to be"; the efficient cause is the primary source of the change or rest; and the final cause is the end, that for the sake of which a thing is done. So if we consider Michaelangelo's David, the material cause is the marble that the statue is carved from, the formal cause is the shape that the statue takes, the efficient cause was Michaelangelo (the sculptor), and the final cause might be enjoyment, or to instill a sense of divine wonder or awe in a person (for a more concrete example, the final cause of exercise is losing weight). Teleology is concerned with the final cause of any given thing.
The Womb Teleology Argument
Stephanie's argument goes like this: the uterus is an organ that, while a part of the woman's body, was not made for the woman, herself. In Judith Jarvis Thomson's famous essay "A Defense of Abortion," she speaks of an imagined scenario in which you are forced, against your will, to be connected to an ailing violinist to use your kidneys to keep him alive. Sometimes the thought experiment is amended to argue that if the right to life trumps the right to bodily autonomy, then we should force kidney donations (blood transfusions, etc.).
The function of the uterus is to keep the unborn child alive during pregnancy. It serves no other purpose than that. Conversely, her kidneys do serve a purpose, to filter her own blood. The function of the kidneys is to work toward the good of your own body, but the purpose of the uterus is to work toward the good of another's body, the unborn child. The way she describes the argument in the linked article above is that "the kidneys exist for the health and proper functioning of the body in which they reside. In other words, kidneys exist in a body, for that body. In contrast, the uterus exists in one body, to be around -- and for -- another body." To illustrate this, we can see that the woman can survive without her uterus but the unborn child can't. This is one reason why we should not force kidney donations but it is not wrong to force a woman to remain pregnant, assuming the pregnancy is not life-threatening.
This fact of the uterus existing for the unborn child also tells us something about women: they are to be mothers. In fact, during the nine-month pregnancy the child and mother begin to bond in a way that is simply not possible for the father and child. And this mother-child relationship also necessitates that there are obligations the mother has toward the child. She may not be obligated to do extraordinary things, like take her child to Disneyland or donating kidneys, but it does obligate her to provide the basic essentials for the child's life: nourishment and a proper environment.
There is one objection to this argument that I hear often, which is that the womb teleology argument commits the naturalistic fallacy. It does not, but in the interest of space I will end my article here. In my next article, I will talk about the naturalistic fallacy and show why this argument does not commit the fallacy.
 As a Theist, I disagree with Dawkins' assertion that living things are not designed. However, I kept that sentence in the quote because I did not want to make it seem Dawkins was saying something that he was not.
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