I happy to see that others are coming around to the idea that the abortion debate is ultimately about the establishment of religion (italics mine):
She [Keenan] was saying more that the people in the mushy middle feel like they’re in a moral quandary about abortion, because it’s all mixed up with various other issues about sex, commitment, self-image, family, ickiness, and other touchy subjects and thus most people refuse to really think the issue through and come to the correct conclusion: Anything so complex and personal should be a matter of personal conscience. The term “moral complexity” is a way of saying to those people, “Yes, we’re aware that all these buttons are pushed for you, but you should really talk and think this through anyway, and ask, should the government really be making the decision to force you to have a child?” In fact, she went on to talk about faith and god, which is again something that often makes me get my back up in soundbite terms, but in a full-length speech it was clear she was arguing that abortion is best framed as a 1st amendment issue in the face of Bible-thumpers who want to put their god on your body.
When I made this point a couple of years ago in “Why Does the South Dakota Legislature Hate Jews?“, I think a lot people became hung up on the argument that even the most conservative Jewish opinion on abortion–if carrying the pregnancy to term would harm the welfare of the mother or prevent her from being able to bear children (the latter part viewed as patriarchal, which it is), the moral option is to abort the fetus–would be in violation of South Dakota’s draconian anti-abortion ban.
The broader point was that people, even within what appear to be similar religious traditions will reach very different moral conclusions regarding abortion*, and the government should not be involved in this decision, thereby establishing religion.
Finally, I leave you with this aside from that post:
I hope someone out there is preparing an amicus brief based on the separation of church and state. Yes, it’s like nailing Al Capone on income taxes, but take it where you can get it.
Always listen to the Mad Biologist….
*There is a more ‘liberal’ Jewish tradition, which is centuries old and is not an “Americanization”, regarding abortion which allows abortion in the case of “great suffering”, which in practice has been permitted abortion in many circumstances (i.e., economic hardship). This suggests that there has never been a consensus on this issue within Judaism.