Abbott says "humane thinking" motivates his anti-abortion stance

Federal Health Minister and Catholic politician, Tony Abbott, has said it is difficult to support abortion and euthanasia because "proper humane thinking is rightly critical of those two measures".

He told ABC TV Insiders yesterday: "If you put human life on a pedestal, and I think all human beings, regardless of their faith or lack of faith, ought to do that, it's very hard to support measures which treat human life as essentially a disposable commodity or which detract from the dignity of the human person or the respect that has to be accorded to human potential.

Mr Abbott was strongly criticised last year for bring his Catholic faith to bear on his responsibilities as Federal Minister for Health and Ageing.

But he maintained that Australia's high abortion rate is a "tragedy".

"The last thing I would want to do is be personally critical of people who have had an abortion or people who are close to those who have had an abortion. An unexpected pregnancy is an incredibly difficult situation," he said. "There are no easy options in that situation. But nevertheless, I think it is tragic. I've said it before, let me say it again: I think the fact that we have about 100,000 abortions a year in Australia is a tragedy, and I think we're better than that."

Mr Abbott was speaking ahead of his participation in forum yesterday at the Wesley Mission in Sydney in which he chaired a forum with fellow Christian politician, Labor's Foreign Affairs spokesperson Kevin Rudd, to discuss politics and social responsibility.

Political gods-in-waiting appeal to the party faithful (The Australian 30/5/05)
Abbott discusses Christianity in politics (ABC TV Insiders 29/5/05)

Jesuit defends Abbott impartiality (CathNews 4/3/05)
Abbott backs new anti-abortion lobby (CathNews 1/2/05)
Liberals say Abbott will pay for commitment to faith before politics (CathNews 8/11/04)

30 May 2005