Friday, June 20, 2008

The Social Conservative Tony Abbott

I became an admirer of Tony Abbott after the conscience vote of 2006. As the former Health an Ageing Minister, he (and previous Health Ministers) had regulatory control of the abortion medication RU486, Abbott was steadfast in his belief that this remain the case adding,

"... we have a bizarre double standard, a bizarre double standard in this country where someone who kills a pregnant woman's baby is guilty of murder but a woman who aborts an unborn baby is simply exercising choice."

Instead, he called for funding of alternative counseling as made available through church groups.

Last week he once again demonstrated his conservative thinking. In an article appearing in The Weekend Australian Magazine, The Mission he outlines the pontiff’s challenge in terms of widespread secularism in Australia ahead of a visit to Sydney for this years World Youth Day; a commendable excerpt:

“The Australia that will welcome Pope Benedict is as relentlessly secular as any other western country. In 2006, the national parliament passed laws further extending scientists’ capacity to experiment on human embryos (despite the opposition of the then prime minister, deputy prime minister, prime ministerial heir apparent and alternative prime minister). When Cardinal Pell questioned the Catholic credentials of NSW MPs voting in favour of embryo experimentation laws, he was threatened with being called before the parliamentary privileges committee.”

“Before the last election there was a flurry of excitement among the religious-minded when then opposition leader Kevin Rudd claimed Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer as his political inspiration and called for religious faith to be in the centre of the “public square”. Earlier, the Howard government had overturned the Northern Territory’s euthanasia laws, legislated against gay marriage, enabled a big expansion of Christian schools, improved the financial position of single-income families and funded a national phone hotline to provide women with alternatives to abortion. Critics duly denounced the rise of the “religious right” even though, quite correctly, all of these positions were argued on secular grounds. Post election, it’s secular politics as usual with Rudd reassuring the ABC’s new Q&A program that religious views are “not relevant to the (political) equation”.”

As a right inclined social conservative, he is also opposed to embryonic stem cell research, therapeutic cloning, and a defender of the constitutional monarchy.

Visit Tony Abbott's website here