Thinking Out Loud

May 20, 2009

Why The Life/Choice Stats are Shifting: Time Magazine

Filed under: family, issues — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 1:15 pm

Time Magazine Nancy Gibbs May 18_09“…When the folks at Gallup announced that, for the first time, more Americans are pro-life than pro-choice, there were all kinds of ways to misunderstand what that means.

“..Most people are neither pro-choice nor pro-life, but both; we cherish life, we value choice, and we trade them off with great reluctance. Good luck explaining that to someone who is politely requesting a binary answer over the phone.

“…For 35 years, a majority of Americans have wanted abortion to be, essentially, legal with limits. But the movement toward greater restraint is clear.

“…I think the numbers, inadequate and simplified though they may be, reflect deeper changes — some generational, some legal, some technological. People under 30 are more opposed to abortion than those who are older, perhaps because their first baby pictures were often taken in utero. I also wonder if younger women are now sure enough of their sexual autonomy and their choices generally that they don’t view limits on abortion as attacks on their overall freedom.

“…The President appeared to understand this… addressing the possibility of common ground and the need for ‘…open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words….I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away,’ he said.  ‘Because no matter how much we may want to fudge it — indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory — the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.'”

Read the entire Time Magazine article by Nancy Gibbs here; complete with an observation in the final paragraph I’ve left unquoted for you to consider on your own.

I have nothing to add to this… now it’s your turn…


  1. “Just because he was glib doesn’t mean he was wrong.”

    Glib has the tendency to indicate triviality. I find his trivializing the question inexcusable.

    Comment by Judith — May 21, 2009 @ 8:43 am

  2. Is President Obama saying pro choice is willing to compromise more?

    Comment by askingquestion — May 23, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

    • He’s certainly saying that both sides need to tone down the rhetoric. He’s also stating what everyone has known all along, the two views are, by definition, irreconcilable. So, no; different voices are not being asked to compromise, nor are they likely to.

      I think you can ‘spin’ his words different ways, but ultimately he is a peacemaker. By stressing ways we can avoid the need for abortion he is finding the common ground that was previously buried under the barrage of words.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — May 23, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

  3. Is President Obama looking for pro choice to back off of abortion on demand as birth control and pro life to back off of prenatal life claim?

    Comment by askingquestion — May 24, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

    • Don’t forget, this blog originates in Canada, so we can only take the Obama factor in the equation so far, at least on the blog.

      Personally, I think that with everything Obama says, you have to remember his background as a community organizer, and assume that the message he is sending is to the people at the grassroots.

      As with the broader “good news” shared on this blog, it’s not what what some key people say that matters, but what everyone else does with the message that counts.

      I think the first part of your statement is more true than the second part; in other words, I think he’s asking pro-choice to a greater degree of, to use your earlier word, compromise.

      Comment by Paul Wilkinson — May 24, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

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