Friday, January 21, 2005

Abortion debate continued

According to two recent polls, collegians have turned into the most conservative generation in a long time - at least on the abortion issue....A Zogby International poll reports that young adults are more likely than their parents or grandparents to support a total ban - that’s right, a total ban - on abortion.... A University of California, Berkeley poll found a similar trend. In that one, young people (ages 15 to 26) were about 10 percentage points more likely to support abortion restrictions than their elders, by a margin of 44 percent to 34 percent. That’s a mere 7 percentage points away from a majority.


First, college students have a unique view of abortion - as survivors. Whereas the Gloria Steinems and Ted Turners of the world had their existence practically guaranteed, college students today are here because, frankly, their mothers did not head to a local clinic. The thought that "it could’ve been me, or my brother, or my friend" rings true.

"There’s a sense that we have survived," Michael says. "And also remembering the people that aren’t here. We’re missing them, without knowing who they are and who they would have become if given the chance to have life."
Second, many college students have experienced the pain of abortion - either themselves or through close friends.

These statistics, from online "webzine" Boundless, are linked by Eric Seymour, In the Agora. Now-historic photos of in-utero surgery showing a tiny hand squeezing the finger of a surgeon are also linked. The cliche of a picture's being worth a thousand words is true in this case.

The Roe decision, which never contemplated abortion on demand, has come to symbolize exactly that. A hyper-emotional argument continues with both sides still circling their respective wagons. Images such as these sharpen the issue.

I continue to advance the argument for legal restrictions after viability, with the debate shifting to a clear, constitutionally admissable legal definition of what the term "viability" means. The chances of "overturning Roe" are virtually non-existent, politically, but the swelling numbers of late-term abortions makes the need for reform more compelling than ever. The courts continue to be whipping boys for a problem that should be laid squarely at the feet of legislators, both nationally and in the states.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

That's certainly encouraging campus news!