The Common Good
March 2009

Check Your Terms

by Brigit M. Barnes | March 2009

[Regarding “A New Faith Coalition,” by Jim Wallis, January 2009]: Those who characterize abortion as “single-issue politics” often use the goal to “reduce the ...

[Regarding “A New Faith Coalition,” by Jim Wallis, January 2009]: Those who characterize abortion as “single-issue politics” often use the goal to “reduce the number of abortions” as justification to support a pro-choice candidate. Neither term has any place in the social justice discussion. The phrase “reduce the number of abortions” implies there is an acceptable number with which the culture may be satisfied. Social justice proponents do not use the term “reduce the number of children dying by starvation” or “reduce the number of partner abuse.”

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The terms “reduction” and “single-issue politics” demonstrate an unacceptable equivocation of the issue and a complete misunderstanding of the effect of the pro-life discussion in such areas as disability rights and the rights of the elderly. Equi­vocation of the rights of the un­born guarantees equivocation of the rights of all.

Brigit M. Barnes, Dubuque, Iowa

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