The following comes from a January 25 story in the National Catholic Register
I am happy to see so many of you here today. Your optimism and enthusiasm are inspiring. Yesterday, Jamila Evans, in charge of our women’s and pro-life campus ministry, did an interview with Catholic TV. She said that the pro-life cause is the issue of your generation. So it is….
I wish I could say things are getting better, but there is plenty of bad news out there. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll indicates that 7 in 10 Americans think we should keep Roe v. Wade. That is the highest level of support since polls began tracking it in 1989.
Planned Parenthood recently reported with pride that it had performed a record number of abortions in 2011 — 333,964. Nearly half its revenues, more than half a billion dollars, come from government funding. And in a state whose abortion rate is already double the national average, New York’s Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo has proposed measures that even fellow Democrats call “out of touch with the views of most Americans.” He wants to lift restrictions on late-term abortions, eliminate cautionary measures for young people seeking abortion (like parental notifications) and authorize people who are not doctors to perform abortions. To cap it off, he would include a fundamental right “to terminate a pregnancy” in state law.
Planned Parenthood and its ilk are refining their social agenda as well. They realize that, in order to improve their abortion pitch to a new generation, they will have to bundle it with other messages that are easier to sell. Younger abortion advocates have re-described their message as one of “reproductive justice,” a program that includes the promotion of “gay rights,” health care and contraception, among other things.
They are also having success in one area where the pro-life movement has long had a natural advantage: the public’s attitude about abortion itself, not just the right to have one. “Choice” is a message that sells. But “abortion” has long made people uncomfortable. Even though big stars like Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore campaign for Planned Parenthood, TV and movie producers and writers have been reluctant to write abortions into their scripts. In fact, several big movies from the 2000s — Juno, Bella, Knocked Up — promoted an explicitly pro-life message.
But that tide may be turning. Two popular shows pitched at 20-something audiences have recently depicted abortions. Last season, Grey’s Anatomy on ABC featured an abortion prominently in its script. This season on NBC’s Parenthood, a high-school senior (the girlfriend of a main character) got pregnant and chose to have an abortion. The producers of the show went so far as to show the young, sad couple sitting together in the tidy waiting room of Planned Parenthood. These follow NBC’s show Friday Night Lights (which introduced the abortion storyline in 2010) in beginning a new trend.
In each case, abortion is shown to be difficult. It is dramatic. But, then, so is everything else in the lives of these characters. “Don’t sweat it” is the message. Getting an abortion is just another adventure — like premarital sex — in the lives of modern young people.
So, that is the bad news. But the reality of abortion is too grotesque to be suppressed.
Stories like the one about Kermit Gosnell force people to face the fact that abortion kills a child. Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in west Philadelphia and has been charged with murder for delivering at least six children alive, then cutting their spines or slitting their throats with scissors. Despite the efforts to normalize or sanitize the practice, we can’t ignore the fact that abortion is a moral choice, not just a political one. And, in fact, about 43% of the public, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, do think that abortion is immoral.
Click here to read the entire story.