Last year I attended the Vita Institute run by the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame. It was one of the most educational and inspiring events of my adult life. There, I met Michael New who delivered a speech on the pro-life movement. He’s a smarty pants type who’s fun to talk to afterwards. But the thing that amazed me most about him is his optimism that the pro-life side might eventually win.
And this isn’t pie in the sky stuff. He’s got numbers to prove it. Like I said, he’s a smarty pants type.
Today, he wrote for NRO:
the results of the Marist poll indicate that there is greater opposition to abortion than many realize. For instance, 53 percent of Americans think that abortion should either be illegal or legal only in the cases of rape, incest, or to save life of the mother. Furthermore, this finding is consistent across demographic groups. Fifty-two percent of young adults (18-34) and 53 percent of women share this view. Furthermore, 58 percent of African Americans and 59 percent of Hispanics also think abortion should be either illegal or legal only in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.
The results also indicate that Americans are less polarized on the abortion issue than many realize. Indeed, many incremental pro-life laws enjoy a great deal of support. The Marist poll finds that 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. Well over 70 percent support stronger regulations for abortion clinics — including requirements that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Finally, 56 percent of respondents support the conscience rights of health-care professionals who do not wish to participate in abortions.
Even Democrats support some restrictions on abortion, according to the numbers.
The question is why can’t the Republicans sell these issues? Why are they frightened to death about this issue when the polling is in their favor?
One of the reasons is that the media goes after pro-lifers viciously. Look what happened to Todd Akin. He said something stupid but lost his career over it. Look at Democrat Hank Johnson who recently called Jews “termites.” Ain’t nothing happening to him.
Look at David Daleidin of the Center for Medical Progress who was responsible for those revealing undercover videos of abortion organizations. He was brought up on charges for goodness sakes while Planned Parenthood skated free. Yeah, he got off but the message was sent. If you oppose abortion you will be subject to character assault in the media and quite likely charges. It’s pure head on a pike politics.
Add on top of that you have many so-called pro-life politicians who only care about their own re-election. No. Let me fix that. It’s not that they ONLY care about re-election but that they care primarily about election. They are politicians first. It’s like “pro-life Democrats.” As long as you understand that “Democrat” is of primary importance and “pro-life” is subservient.
And in the end, I’ve always suspected that for many Republicans, it’s the opposite of that old Goldwater slogan, “In your heart, you know he’s right.” I think maybe because they’re surrounded by liberals and the media, too many Republicans in power think, “In my heart I know I’m wrong.”
I would love to see a day where we can get meaningful restrictions on abortion at the federal level. I’m not sure it’ll happen while the Republican party still exists. Or the USA for that matter. But I certainly don’t believe it’ll happen until there’s a massive conversion to Christianity throughout the country.
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