Thursday, September 17, 2009

Abortion is different

There are those who decry abortion "single-issue" voting, arguing that abortion is only one among many of the issues Christians should consider when choosing a candidate. David Koyzis explains "Why abortion is different":
.... In the current policy debates in the United States, a number of activists are claiming that health care too is a moral issue, as are the environment and the minimum wage. It would not do to belittle such claims, because there is a large measure of truth in them. ....

Nevertheless, not all issues necessarily have the same import or significance – something the language of morality may mask. In fact, there is a qualitative difference between abortion and the cluster of issues touched on above. In the case of the latter, no one disputes that the environment must be protected; the current debate revolves around how best to do so. Some favour a market-oriented approach, while others are convinced that government must play a central role. Again no one denies the desirability of furnishing the best health care to all citizens. Disagreement arises over whether this is best done through private or public insurance plans. Though Canadians and Americans have taken different paths on the issue, both approaches have their flaws – serious flaws, as it turns out, which illustrates that calling health care a moral issue cannot itself resolve the political debate.

Abortion is different. Here the quarrel is not over the best way to protect the unborn; it is precisely over whether to do so at all. Those believing women should have the right to terminate a pregnancy hold this position despite the presence of the vulnerable child. Those who believe that the unborn deserve protection do so because of the child’s presence. This fundamental disagreement over what is at stake is what sets the abortion issue apart from most others. .... [more]
Thanks to Joe Carter for the reference.

Notes from a Byzantine-Rite Calvinist: Why abortion is different

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