Friday, June 1, 2012

Pro-Choice Americans at an All-Time Low

I tweeted this video last week, but I couldn't stop thinking about it for several reasons.
The link below is to a 4-minute segment on Morning Joe. They are discussing a recent poll that shows that pro-choice Americans are at a record low percentage. Please check out the video, and then check out the commentary below.

Now, if you watched the video, I want to walk through several very interesting elements of this story and how they covered it.
1. The disbelief of the facts by one member of the panel. As soon as the statistics were done being presented, that today 50% of Americans are pro-life and only 41% are pro-choice, one man on the panel asked if this was because the poll was using archaic methods of gathering information. When he was informed that this was not the case, he incredulously asked, "How do you explain that then?" His disbelief is informative. The pro-choice position has become such the accepted majority position in the public eye that this man thought that the statistics simply HAD to be mistaken. Important lesson: Media presentation of public opinion is not necessarily public opinion.
2. Technology's role in the pro-life movement. One panelist, Joe Scarborough, explains how advanced ultrasounds make it nearly impossible to deny that unborn babies are. . .babies. Several times he repeats the idea that it is simply undeniable that the unborn are persons. His most conclusive statement was, "You can call it what you want to call it, but that's a life in there." Something we complain about technology and the corruption it can bring. But thank God for the medical technology that has allowed us to see the reality of what is going on in the womb.
3. Seeing unborn babies makes it hard to be pro-choice. This is very similar to the point above, but I thought it deserved its own section. People are being swayed to the pro-life position because of what they see. In other words, when we are able to see reality we are compelled to lean to the pro-life side. None of us should be afraid to come face to face with the truth. The truth is sometimes unpleasant, but it should not be ignored or denied. The truth about what goes on in the womb informs our consciences concerning unborn children.
4. We are still unwilling to go all the way. The video ends with the entire panel agreeing that a person could be personally pro-life without being in favor of abortion being outlawed. Of course, they are right in the sense that people do claim that position. But this is not a rational or consistent position. If that is a person in the womb, it is NEVER okay for ANYONE to take that life. And, while grace and humility is needed, people need to be called out on this. It is not noble or balanced to say, "I would never personally kill that person, but I am in favor of protecting the rights of others to kill that person." If the unborn child is a person, he or she deserves full protection.

I pray that, through the courage of defenders of the unborn, and through the advances in medical and ultrasound technology, and through a reviving work of God in our hearts, we will embrace a full protection for unborn children. As, God-willing, we advance toward this, it is the calling of each person who embraces the pro-life position to actively promote the dignity and humanity of unborn children.


  1. Great article, Dan. I especially appreciate that last point because it's so fundamental to where our culture is at when all is said and done. It really shows our cowardice toward true social justice and that this position is a cop out. What good is social justice (protecting ALL life) if individual rights can override it (people can choose to kill unborn babies)?

  2. So I had typed out a longer, more elegant response, but then it got lost. I guess I took too long. What I wanted to say was that while the guy's motive for bringing up survey methods was perhaps not seeking truth but seeking justification for his own views, his question in and of itself was a good one to ask. He was trying to ascertain if people who have only a cell phone, who one would assume would run more pro-choice, were left out of the poll. This is a good question to ask of any survey. The problem is not that we ask that question too much, but too little when it comes to surveys. The full gallup poll is here ( It is worth a read, if you haven't been there already. It clarifies the results and shows some interesting trends. But it is also interesting to note that the margin for error is +/-3 points when applying these results to the nation. This tells me that the country is still essentially 50/50 split. I wouldn't take this shift as meaning anything significant for the pro-life movement in the long term until these results are repeated for several years. As the gallup website indicates, this swing may be a reaction to a president who is so supportive of abortion.

    Also, as regards technology and abortion, here is an interesting article I found today indicating the potentially negative role another kind of tech might have on abortions ( I agree with the ending statements that the panel seemed to agree on, that Americans are practical (and I would add, seek convenience) in the end. We don't tend to act based on ideals, but on what "works". Seeing a baby in the womb through ultrasound reduces abortions because it produces a feeling in us that "works" for us. On the other hand, aborting babies because they might cause serious hardship to our lives also seems to "work" for us.