Newsweek posted an interesting piece on April 16, “Remember Roe!”, with the byline, “How can the next generation defend abortion rights when they don’t think abortion rights need defending?”
march for life young people.jpgHow ironic. As I commented to a millennial who wrote an article at RH Reality Check attempting to refute Newsweek, “Elise, just one question: What in the world draws you to join a movement that tried every way possible to ensure your mother could kill you, unrestrained by any law or regulation whatsoever?”…

The entire Newsweek article was interesting, albeit slanted left. For instance the author, when assessing why young people aren’t enthusiastic about legalized abortion, failed to note that one reason may be they themselves are abortion survivors, which obviously changes the dynamic.
I’ve pulled several key excerpts…

When the history of the 21st century is written, March 21, 2010, will go down as the day Congress cleared the way for health-care reform. Yet for those in the abortion-rights community, March 21 will mark a completely different turning point: the day when they became acutely aware of their waning influence in Washington….
Rep. Bart Stupak pressed for stringent abortion restrictions. While Stupak’s desired language did not ultimately survive, the final health-care law was more than a psychological setback: it requires separate payments for abortion coverage on the public exchange. The strict accounting rules could well prove so onerous that insurers drop abortion coverage altogether.
So if Democrats won’t stand strong for abortion rights, who will? The predicament weighed particularly heavily on NARAL….
NARAL president Nancy Keenan had grown fearful about the future of her movement even before the health-care debate. Keenan considers herself part of the “postmenopausal militia,” a generation of baby-boomer activists now well into their 50s….
Today they still run the major abortion-rights groups, including NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the National Organization for Women….
[W]hat worries Keenan is that she just doesn’t see a passion among the post-Roe generation – at least, not among those on her side.
This past January, when Keenan’s train pulled into Washington’s Union Station… she was greeted by a swarm of anti-abortion-rights activists. It was the 37th annual March for Life, organized every year on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe. “I just thought, my gosh, they are so young,” Keenan recalled. “There are so many of them, and they are so young.” March for Life estimates it drew 400k activists to the Capitol this year. An anti-Stupak rally two months earlier had about 1,300 attendees.
New NARAL research, conducted earlier this year and released exclusively to NEWSWEEK, only amplified Keenan’s fears….
Millennials are more likely than their boomer parents to see abortion as a moral issue….
Certainly, the anti-abortion movement helped fuel this shift in the attitudes of the young by reframing the abortion debate around the fetus rather than the pregnant woman. Millennials also came of age as ultrasounds provided increasingly clear pictures of fetal development. “The technology has clearly helped to define how people think about a fetus as a full, breathing human being,” admits former NARAL president Kate Michelman. “The other side has been able to use the technology to its own end.”
So what might prompt the next generation to take up the cause? “If Roe were overturned, that would certainly be a game changer,” NARAL pollster Anna Greenberg mused at a recent meeting. Of course, no one in NARAL wants it to come to that. Instead, within the abortion-rights community there’s a growing consensus on a promising path forward: start an open discussion about the moral, ethical, and emotional complexity of abortion that would be more likely to resonate with young Americans. “It’s a morally complex issue that both sides have tried to make black and white,” says Greenberg. “We have to recognize the moral complexity.”
Abortion-rights activists have traditionally hesitated on this front, viewing it as a slippery slope toward their own defeat. Instead, they often go to extremes to fend off even the smallest encroachments, opposing popular restrictions like parental-notification laws and bans on late-term procedures. Lately, though, Keenan has been more convinced that NARAL must adopt a more nuanced stance. On the 35th anniversary of Roe… she bluntly told a crowd… in Austin, TX… that “our reluctance to address the moral complexity of this debate is no longer serving our cause or our country well. In our silence, we have ceded moral ground.”

[HT: Susie Allen; photo via]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...