Saturday, August 13, 2022

Religion and the wrong defense of abortion rights

Andrew Koppelman

It is commonly claimed that restrictions on abortion illegitimately impose some people’s religious beliefs on the rest of us. This is the wrong way to defend abortion rights. It implies that religious motives have no legitimate place in lawmaking. In fact, we all have normative commitments that we have trouble articulating – you could call them matters of faith – and we sometimes support legislation because of those commitments. (The point is particularly relevant today, because for the foreseeable future we are going to be talking about abortion a lot.)

With respect to many issues, including some involving abortion, Americans who differ on moral fundamentals should be able to work together. We will inevitably disagree about whether personhood begins at the moment of conception. But defenses of abortion should focus not on the allegedly improper ideals of those who would restrict it but on the liberty and equality of women.
I elaborate in a new column at The Hill, here.

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