Twogaa Topic – Abortion

Posted on May 25, 2019 by Diana Roberts

Left out of the abortion debate is the recognition that the philosophy to abort or not is a religious theological issue versus a privacy-First Amendment violation. The debate comes in disparate premises and each has divergent shades of white, black and gray as to word definition, base philosophical choice, and application. 

According to Pew Research Survey 1995 – 2018, nearly six-in-ten Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, yet politically, we know that the minority pro-life is the most vocal and influential. The polarization in the political arena on the subject has clouded where the real debate should lie, addressing the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its applicability. 

The question becomes that since this is clearly a theological issue on one side should the government be involved at all, criminalizing or de-criminalizing, financially subsidizing, or not. 

From an extensive review of philosophical, theological and scientific treatises on abortion and “life,” no conclusive argument exists against the morality of abortion. Biblical theological interpretation can pusthe envelope across the board as to what is Holy and what is not acceptable. 

Many laws involve and affect moral practice among the general public. It is how we get along with each other as a society. Moral principles call for compliance with laws that prohibit immoral behavior (mala in se). One does not have the moral right to assault, cheat, coerce, harass, imprison, or kill another human being. Of course, in law, there are numerous exceptions to these protections in the attempt to balance justice and the moral scale.  

In a new paper published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Queensland University of Technology Law School argue that, despite decades of debate, advocates and opponents of abortion have been unable to demonstrate conclusively that either side’s view is false, or agree on when life starts. 

They argue that this impasse means morality should be taken out of the equation, with law-makers instead recognizing that pregnancy is a risk for any woman and that women have the legal right to reject that risk. 

But while morality as to how we as a population get along with each other structured through our legal and legislative system is inherent, it is always a balancing act on a sliding scale, the moral requirement plus the justified exceptions. 

What has not been addressed in the Right-To-Life/Right To Choice debate and polarization is the application of the First Amendment to the Constitution, separation of religion and government. It is impossible after looking at the Right-To-Life arguments to say this is not religious based. However one might interpret relevant passages of the Bible, the defense against abortion is religiously grounded. Should federal and state governments be involved in legislating and/or funding this religious polarization? 

Twogaa urges a consideration that the Constitution prohibits government involvement at all. Placing religious debate into the Constitution is exactly what the drafters of the First Amendment were trying to avoid, albeit at that time it was a power struggle between protestant denominations. Of course, applying the First Amendment principle leaves both sides of the debate unhappy. Governments cannot then fund abortions but neither can governments criminalize the same. Private sector remedies would still be appropriate.