Abortion in religion and politics
Photo By: slate.com
Grace Schoeniger, Staff Writer
With Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court making headlines, I would argue that abortion stands as one of the biggest issues in religion and politics today. Kavanaugh was Donald Trump’s nominee for the new Supreme Court Justice and although Kavanaugh hasn’t given a solid stance on the topic, many believe that Trump would not have chosen him if he wouldn’t vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Kavanaugh’s hearings highlighted how big of an issue abortion still is in this country. While the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t the only reason for the disruptions, but it seems to be a major drive. Over 200 demonstrators were arrested during the four-day process of confirming Kavanaugh, as reported by NPR, with over 70 arrests occurring in the first day. Many of these demonstrators were linked to the Women’s March and Planned Parenthood, proud supporters of women’s rights and the legality of abortion. This was even before the sexual assault allegations were raised against him.
Abortion has been around for as long as sex and unwanted pregnancies have been around for, which is essentially forever. However, it didn’t become the hot topic that it is today until the 1800s, with roots in sexism and racism. The Catholic church also began voicing their opinion on abortion during this time. Before this, abortion was viewed as a sin because of its tie to sexual sin, but it wasn’t viewed as a homicide. Abortion later began to be viewed in a more negative context, with the threat of excommunication if it was performed. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1900s that abortion was spoken of as homicide instead of a sexual sin. The current Pope continues to condemn abortion in all cases, even saying that caring for the poor is as holy a pursuit as opposing abortion in April of 2018.
Since the mid-1900s, the debate of abortion has remained largely religion-oriented. Many Christians, both Protestant and Catholic believe that humanity begins at the time of conception and, therefore, abortion equates to murder. Opposers of this view will argue points along the lines of it is unknown when consciousness starts within a fetus, that the rights of the mother should outweigh the rights of the fetus, or that women would turn to dangerous illegal abortions if legal abortions were no longer accessible.
In today’s current political times, politicians can easily be judged on a few key stances, one of which is abortion. Knowing their stance on abortion is an easy way to infer their religious views and political stance, with the majority of conservatives against the legality of abortions and liberals for the legality of abortions. The opposite can also be said, as shown through the disruptions of Kavanaugh’s hearings.