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Archive for Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pro-life movement is gaining momentum

May 19, 2009

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Put aside the question of whether a distinctly Catholic institution like Notre Dame should award an honorary degree to a man who stands against any restrictions on abortion; put aside the notion of academic freedom, which liberals favor as an intellectual premise, but rarely practice when it comes to conservative speakers, whom you very rarely see standing at the lectern at commencement ceremonies anywhere in the United States this time of year.

Focus, instead, on President Obama’s remarks and whether he is serious, or can be made so, about actually reducing the number of abortions in America, which, according to the National Right to Life Committee, has reached 50 million since its legalization in 1973. Don’t put aside, however, the argument that there is only one reason to even want to reduce the number of abortions and that is that what is being killed, terminated, evacuated (choose your term) is, in fact, human life.

At Notre Dame, the president gave an eloquent and well-crafted speech, full of Christian rhetoric and self-deprecating humor. He made a strong case for civility in the abortion debate, but curiously noted that the advance in civil rights legislation came only after confrontation, some of which turned violent. Without that confrontation, he seemed to suggest, there might not be laws that liberated blacks and made it possible for him to become president.

In speaking of “original sin,” the president hit upon why abortion has been so easily tolerated for so long. He spoke of “self-interest” and “crass materialism,” but he did so in the context of economics, not abortion. Possibly without meaning to, he correctly diagnosed the underlying rationale that has caused so many to willingly, sometimes casually, snuff out another life.

The president listed these goals, “Let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions; let’s reduce unintended pregnancies.” (Watch for this to include a new push for contraceptives and the kind of sex education in schools that has failed to reduce and some believe encourages sexual activity.) “Let’s make adoption more available. Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term.”

The thousands of pregnancy centers in America today, which offer material and spiritual help to women, did not exist at the time of Roe v. Wade. Will the president raise their visibility and encourage women to seek their help? Will he encourage women who don’t want their babies to carry them to term so that others can adopt them? Fewer American women are giving their babies up for adoption. There are approximately 1.2 million abortions each year in the United States and at least that many people/couples waiting to adopt.

There is heartening news for pro-lifers as evidence has emerged of a slight cultural shift. For the first time since the Gallup organization began measuring opinion on the subject, more Americans self-identify as “pro-life” (51 percent) than “pro-choice” (42 percent). Just one year ago, those self-identifying as pro-life stood at 44 percent and those who were pro-choice at 50 percent. That is a dramatic reversal. In part, it is because of the tireless efforts by pro-lifers through pregnancy help centers, sonograms, testimonies of women who regret having had an abortion and TV commercials. It is also because a new generation has rejected the old arguments about coat hangers and back alleys.

Politicians are sensing this, which is why Obama is trying to have it both ways and possibly further divide the Catholic vote. But at least he is giving credibility to the moral argument, unlike most of his pro-choice peers. His speech was an appeal for discussion and respect for people with different views. That’s a good beginning, but the ending is what counts and the initial actions of this president when it comes to abortion and stem cell research have not been pro-life.

Let’s see if he can produce some fruit from what has so far been a dead stump.

Comments

Daniel Kennamore 5 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the recent gallup poll has been proved as an outlier:

"The latest Gallup (5/7-10/09) poll has party identification tied at 32-32 and caused an immediate howl of "outlier!" in the comments at Pollster.com. In this case, the howl is justified. Compared to all recent Gallup polls (so we compare apples to apples) this latest stands out quite a bit from the rest."

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/05/abortion-poll-roundup.html

You can only put any stock in that recent poll if you honestly think there are as many democrats as republican's in the country...and if you actually believe that you are far too delusional to be reasoned with...

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 7 months ago

danny,

Following your logic, any poll conducted by Gallup must be based on outliers and, thus, ignored. Is that correct? Also, are you stating that there isn't a strong shift toward the pro-life point of view in America?

mom_of_three 5 years, 7 months ago

" There are approximately 1.2 million abortions each year in the United States and at least that many people/couples waiting to adopt." What about the millions of kids in foster care? Could those couples wanting to adopt look at those kids?

gogoplata 5 years, 7 months ago

This whole complicated issue boils down to when life begins. If life begins before an abortion then abortion is murder. The babys individual right to life trumps a womans right to choose. If at the time an abortion takes place life has not yet begun then the woman should have the right to choose. So when does life begin?

Daniel Kennamore 5 years, 7 months ago

Settingtherecordstraight,

Actually no, my point is if you look at other polls conducted even by Gallup, the partisan breakdown in this life/choice poll is out of line with their other work.

When most every poll they put out have a partisan lean of dems +4-7 and more indies than GOP...then they have one poll where dems & GOP is even and less indies, it's a sure fire sign of an outlier.

MyName 5 years, 7 months ago

The problem with all of this is that the Gallup polls don't matter. The only poll that matters is the Supreme court and their decisions are based on precedent, and a look at public policy.

You would have to get something like 2/3 or 3/4 of the country to want to criminalize abortion before you could hope change the status quo, and that isn't happening.

So Cal, once again, is missing the big picture in favor of partisan digs at a President who is going to keep things the way they've been for 30 years.

Confrontation 5 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, but those 1.2 million people are waiting to adopt a healthy white baby.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 7 months ago

MyName,

A valid point. But this poll also reveals that more Americans are adopting a values sytem that cherishes birth over abortion. And since everyone (except Margaret Sanger, who was a eugenicist) seems to agree that fewer abortions is a good thing, there's nothing to fear by the pro-life trend.

I'm just glad that my contributions to the Kansans for Life education fund is producing a change for the better - more babies, fewer abortions.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 7 months ago

originalme, you're describing something south of 5% of american abortions. and note that in those, many of them actually serve to protect the abuser, the man who impregnates an underage girl, the family member who impregnates a girl.


Don’t put aside, however, the argument that there is only one reason to even want to reduce the number of abortions and that is that what is being killed, terminated, evacuated (choose your term) is, in fact, human life.

very good Cal.

now, if we can change the self-indulgent foolish hearts of the hypocrites who think themselves prolife, believing that life begins at conception, who voted for Obama. Alan Keyes, a truly great man, said that Obama is now the central focus of the evil of abortion in our world today.
thanks to Obama, we are now exporting abortions, providing money to abort children in other countries. Obama overturned the Mexico City convention that prevented american money from going overseas to fund abortions.

shame on Notre Dame.

notajayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

BABBOY (Anonymous) says…

"Yeah, whatever, did you miss the elections? The prolife party got its butt kicked."

Uh, yeah, babs, that was what the election result was about.

"Which of the following issues will be MOST important to you when you decide how to vote for president?"

Economy 57% War in Iraq 13% Health Care 13% Terrorism 10% Illegal immigration 5% Other 2% Unsure 1%

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/index.html

Yep, big deciding issue that was in the election.

It was the economy, stupid.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a senior Palestinian politician in an interview to be broadcast by the BBC later this month.

Mr Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

Mr Bush went on: "And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And, by God, I'm gonna do it."

Mr Bush, who became a born-again Christian at 40, is one of the most overtly religious leaders to occupy the White House, a fact which brings him much support in middle America.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

===========================

It is irresponsible how little americans know about their government,the candidates they vote for and embarrassing how much more those abroad know about our government for they many times are the victims.

It all depends on which news sources one chooses to use. Mainstream news is either on the side of government or afraid of government.

Which is why I choose these sources:

http://www.thenation.com/

http://www.democracynow.org/

http://www.lauraflanders.com/pages/bio.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

http://antiwar.com/ - brings news from a variety of mainstream sources around the world

http://www.corpwatch.org/

http://www.dollarsandsense.org

http://www.inthesetimes.com/

http://www.motherjones.co

http://www.laborradio.org/ - Union News

http://www.jimhightower.com/

madameX 5 years, 7 months ago

bearded_gnome,

While I am in no way defending an abuser who would go so far to force the woman/girl being abused to have an abortion when she didn't want one, I hardly think that's a good reason for banning it. I doubt that a small detail like abortion being illegal and/or unsafe would be likely to stop someone that insensitive from doing what they want to do. There would probably just be a sudden spike in pregnant girls who "accidentally" fall down the stairs. The problem in this case is the abuse itself, not that one of the forms it takes is a forced abortion. Banning abortion won't stop that.

KansasVoter 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh, please. The anti-choice IS NOT gaining any momentum. They're the same small number of fringe lunatics that they've always been, but they're whipped into a frenzy now that Obama is president. It's the same story with the gun-nuts. Now that the republicans are out of power they are forced to fall back on the issues that get their base riled-up. The fact is that the majority of Americans still want abortion to be legal.

KansasVoter 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh, please. The anti-choice movement IS NOT gaining any momentum. They're the same small number of fringe lunatics that they've always been, but they're whipped into a frenzy now that Obama is president. It's the same story with the gun-nuts. Now that the republicans are out of power they are forced to fall back on the issues that get their base riled-up. The fact is that the majority of Americans still want abortion to be legal.

KansasVoter 5 years, 7 months ago

(sorry for the double-post. I tried to correct a mistake, but it was too late)

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