As those in the pro-life movement gear up to observe the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on January 22 with peaceful events, such as the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., a spirit of optimism prevails among those laboring to restore legal protections for the unborn.
This spirit is reflected in commentaries posted on pro-life websites such as LifeNews.com, LifeSiteNews.com, Lutherans for Life.org, and Priests for Life.org, where articles have cited numerous national polls indicating that a growing number of Americans favor at least some restrictions on abortion. National surveys also show that a growing percentage of Americans self-identify as “pro-life” compared with surveys taken just a few years ago.
Conversely, the view expressed by those defending legal abortions (which “pro-choice” adherents prefer to describe as “reproductive health and rights”) is decidedly apprehensive. This concern was reflected in the headline of a January 2 article posted on the website of the Guttmacher Institute, headlined: “More State Abortion Restrictions Were Enacted in 2011–2013 Than in the Entire Previous Decade.”
The Guttmacher Institure was founded in 1968 by former Planned Parenthood president and former vice president of the American Eugenics Society, Alan F. Guttmacher. It was originally a Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of American but became an independent, non-profit corporation in 1977.
A pair of articles posted by Life News on January 2 and 7 commented on the Guttmacher report. In the latter article, Janice Shaw Crouse (executive director and senior fellow, Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute) observed: “Clearly, the relatively small pro-life organizations are winning the hearts of the American public — and its legislators — over the giant abortion industry and its powerful allies in the government and the media, and among the elites.”
Crouse also quoted Charles Krauthammer’s remarks made on the Fox News Channel, in which the syndicated columnist described Americans’ changing attitudes toward abortion as the “story of the year, culturally.” Krauthammer offered this explanation for the change: “The fact that people are becoming aware of how late-term abortions are so near to infanticide. And also how the new technology and the ultrasounds are giving people awareness of how much an infant has developed in the womb. So the movement has stopped, and I think reversed, especially among young people.”
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