Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Priorities vs. Possibliities

So, I was browsing the web when I came across someone's blog that had this counter on it:

Is this figure right?
Unfortunately, it probably is. According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States there are somewhere between one and one-and-a-half million abortions in the United States annually.

Can we do anything about it?
Probably not. According to the consensus of polling data, not only do a mere one third of Americans favor banning abortion, but this number hasn't changed a bit since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

Compare this if you will, to the fall in support for the war in Iraq. According to New York Times polls, support for the war has plumeted since January 2003, when 64 percent of Americans said the United States did the right thing in taking military action in Iraq. Current numbers show a complete reversal, with 35 percent saying the United states did the right thing and 61 percent saying the country should have stayed out.

So — do we live in the real world, or what?

Do we, as Catholics continue to waste our political capital trying to change a law that the vast bulk of Americans agree with, or do we push for an end to our imperialistic adventure in Iraq?


Anchorite said...

Some fights can be won, but some have to be fought.
In both cases you mentioned we will be perceived as to be on the wrong side. There is also an issue of Catholicity of American Catholics. Aren't they are a mere conglomerate of Irish-Democrat-NeoCath-Anti-abortionist-Former-Evangelical-Centrists?
As Russian say: you cannot cook kasha with that bunch.

RobK said...

It isn't whether you can "win" it is doing what is right. Kind of like England in WWII before we got off our duffs and pitched in on that front.

And attitudes about abortion have changed. More people believe that there should be restrictions. There has been a definite move here.

While the Iraq war was wrong to get into (a position I held before the war) - we have a duty and obligation to that country now. Cutting and running as suggested by the Democratic leadership is a cowardly solution. It will take pain and sacrifice to set things right there.

I remember telling a friend who supported the war before hand that this would happen. The American people have no stomach for sacrifice and we do not want to be responsible for our mistakes.

I can't see ever supporting cowards who want to shirk responsibility AND are pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, pro-fetal stem cell research, and pro gay marriage.

The Dutchman said...

Really? Attitudes towards abortion HAVE changed? Not from what I can see and not from any opinion polls that I have seen.

If you have polling data that shows otherwise, please let me know!

RobK said...

But my point is that we need to do what is right regardless of polls or costs.

But here are some links I dug up on the fly. Of course, the numbers change with how questions get asked. But when a long view is taken, the results show an increase on a desire to limit abortion on demand.


The Dutchman said...


Thanx for taking the time to provide the linx, but all the same I still think that things are not changing.

Take your first link for example. The very first sentence on that site reads: "Public divisions over access to abortion are long-standing, and have changed only slightly over the past two decades."

The BPAS site makes it clear that opposition to abortion is strongest among those over 55 and support for abortion rights is largest among the younger cohorts. This means that, as the population ages, support ought to get stronger not weaker.

The record would also seem to bear this out. When South Dakota, the most anti-abortion state, passed their Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act it was repealed by referendum in less than a year.

I also have to wonder where is the concerted effort to restrict abortion? Virtually every pro-life organization that I know of (e.g. the Pro-life Action League, the Pro-Life Action Network, or Operation Rescue) take an all-or-nothing approach which, I believe, is unreasonable. I think the best we can hope for in our secular/hedonist country is a ban on second and third trimester abortions.

At this point I think the best thing to do is to pray that the horror of abortion becomes plain to people, since no prayer is wasted, but plenty of votes are.