This evening I was thinking further about the anti-Green scare campaign being targeted at Christian voters, particularly the claim that a vote for the Greens is a vote for abortion on demand. I find myself asking, don’t we already effectively have that now under the Labour government, and didn’t we effectively have that under the Liberal government as well?
So, here’s the big question: if Christians think a vote for Liberals is a vote against abortion, tell me, what practical difference did a decade of the Liberal government achieve?
If you’re an American reading this, take it that I’m asking the same question about the Republican government under Bush. What practical difference did he make?
I ask this because even the Christian party comparison sheets acknowledge that Liberal and Labour both effectively pro-choice as far as legislation goes.
9 thoughts on “Are Liberal and Labour any different on abortion?”
In both major parties there are a range of views, and neither side is likely to change things much.
I’m not even sure whether abortion counts as a federal or state issue, given that in the SA election this year we had an anti-abortion candidate.
Who we elect often doesn’t make much difference to what happens in the country. When 20% of South Australians vote for No Pokies independents (2006) and we still have poker machines, it’s hard to be optimistic about affecting history with our vote.
Yeah, someone pointed out to me recently — health is by and large a state issue, so abortion is something of a red herring in the federal election.
But I’d love to see Christians, especially groups like Australian Christian Lobby, taking the hot air out of the so-called abortion debate and start making constructive suggestions. ‘Abortion is wrong’ is not one of them! We live in a messy world — so what is a Christian ethic of life?
In fairness to my conservative countrymen, Matt, I don’t think your question to them is entirely fair. Roe v. Wade effectively made abortion an Constitutional issue. This leaves them with two basic choices:
1. Amend the U.S. Constitution to do an end run around Roe v. Wade. Amending the U.S. Constitution is a tricky business in any case. With an issue as controversial as abortion, it’s nearly impossible.
2. Get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. And this is where the Presidency comes in. The theory is that in time, there will be enough Republican presidents in office during times when new Supreme Court Justices are appointed that they can “stack” the Supreme Court with the kind of judges that will overturn Roe v. Wade. To be frank, I don’t think this is a realistic plan, either.
So the only other thing a president (or anyone else) could do about abortion is to find a way to reduce the number of abortions without actually trying to criminalize abortions.
Jarred, if Bush couldn’t stack the courts enough, who could? This is entirely my point, for all the blustering it makes no practical difference.
Isn’t a better approach for churches to break new ground by offering a social-welfare model for abortion? Provide accommodation and allowance for the mother, job assistance, medical assistance, adoption assistance, relationship assistance for the mother and father (if desired), and so on?
Simply criminalizing abortion (or making it inaccessible to only the poor by removing health-care subsidies) would create a black market, and so risk harming people who try it anyway. It would allow the issue to be shouted up into one of oppressing women and depriving them of their rights, rather than acting in the interests of both the mother and the child. There are ministries that do this, but they have a very low profile.
Kalessin you are exactly right!! My wife has dreams of doing this one day.
Mat, I’ve felt the same way. Since Roe v. Wade we’ve had 8 years of Reagan, 4 of Bush Sr. and 8 of Bush Jr. I really don’t think the Republicans will ever do anything about this because it’s too divisive an issue that gets them easy votes at election time.
I think you are probably right about the voting making no difference in abortion issues at this point. I think Christians would be best off at this poinnt working on providing opportunities for change. Remember that the early church made a name for itself for rescuing babies abandoned at birth (the old way of abortion). Can we as a church step forward and care and love for abandoned children and help mothers make different decisions than abortion?
INHO each of us as Christians needs to decide how we are going to step forward and start feeding the hungry, clothing the naked etc…Are we going to care for others even at our own expense?
Kalessin, I totally agree. Merely seeking to unmask the hollowness of some of the major party propoganda.
Great post Matt