Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Study Sees 'Turnaround' in Young Adults' Positions on Abortion

I've noticed this trend as well:

(CNSNews.com) - Younger voters, especially women, are embracing a pro-life position in surprising numbers and in sharp contrast to attitudes that held sway 15 years ago, according to a new study.


Over 30,000 survey interviews were conducted in the state between 1992 and 2006. Participants were asked: "On the debate over abortion policy, do you consider yourself to be pro-life, pro-choice or somewhere in between?" Those who gave a definitive answer were then asked how strongly they held their view.

Results in 1992 were largely in step with what study authors Christopher Blunt and Fred Steeper call the "self-interest hypothesis." Women and men under 30 were the most ardently "pro-choice" (39 percent) and the least likely to be strongly "pro-life"( 23 percent).

Today, by contrast, among the current generation of 18- to 29-year-olds, 36 percent say they are strongly "pro-life," while just 18 percent say they are strongly "pro-choice," the study authors said.

The trend was particularly evident among women in that age bracket. Forty 40 percent identify themselves as strongly "pro-life" and only 20 percent as strongly "pro-choice."


Blunt, who is president of Overbrook Research, told Cybercast News Service in an interview that "Generation Y" voters have a very different frame of reference on abortion now than was evident in 1992.

"The most surprising and compelling findings we have are on young people," he said. "They've grown up with high-quality ultrasound images of unborn babies, and their passage into adulthood coincides with the ascendance of partial-birth abortion as the issue's dominant frame."

I remember when I was a kid, one of the things that I was unsure of was the true nature of the unborn child. I hadn't seen any ultrasounds. When I got to college and look at obstetric textbooks of unborn babies, it became clear to me that those who supported abortion either were ignorant of the unborn child, lied, or didn't care about what happened to this voiceless human being.

"As grisly details of partial birth abortion procedures replaced confrontational and often violent clinic protests on the evening news, voters seemed to have changed their minds about who the 'abortion extremists' were," they wrote in their analysis.

I do think that the end of the abortion clinic confrontations was very providential to our cause.

Repeated attempts to get reaction to the study from major abortion-rights groups were unsuccessful.

Ann Stone, chairperson of Republicans for Choice, was dismissive of the poll results, saying in an interview that the public's fundamental support for "the right to choose" has not changed.

I don't believe that for one minute. I think that in the Blue States, support for legal abortion is strong, but for most of America, most of them want it majorly restricted.

"What has shifted is the public's perception of the pro-life label," she said. "So you have a lot of people who are really pro-choice saying they are pro-life. But you can be pro-choice and be personally opposed to abortion. It's about allowing individuals to decide for themselves instead of the government, which is a Republican position."

There is some truth to that. I do think these public opinion polls should have a question on fetal rights. While it's true that it may result in less favourable poll results, I think the pro-life movement has to be honest with itself. If we can convince people that unborn children have rights, that would show that people have a deeper commitment to the unborn.

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