Of all the blows delivered to progressivism last week, perhaps the most devastating one was the least mentioned: a survey conducted by the Knights of Columbus with The Marist Institute for Public Opinion found that 56% of Americans consider abortion "morally wrong."
For progressives, who believe that morality is "relative" or "personal," such a revelation must be intensely galling. For the last 27 years, the left has endeavored mightily to convince Americans that "terminating a blob of tissue" is about as morally consequential as choosing what color to paint one's house, or what to have for dinner.
Apparently a majority of Americans are now rejecting such ideological bankruptcy.
Why? The bet here is a combination of three factors: technology, personal experience, and media exposure.
Technologically speaking, a sonogram reveals that what the progressives refer to as a "cluster of cells," or the aforementioned "blob of tissue," bears a disturbingly striking resemblance to a human being. The progressives other fallback position, "viability," the idea that any fetus which cannot survive outside the womb can be aborted without remorse, is also being hammered by technology: the survival rate of prematurely born babies has increased dramatically.
As for personal experience, many Americans now know someone personally who has been adversely affected by terminating a pregnancy. No doubt many of these women have come to realize that they were sold a load of progressive, morality-free hogwash, and that terminating a life isn't the "easy peasy, lemon-squeezy" experience they were told to expect.
Genuine remorse allows for many "teachable moments," as liberals like to say.
And then there is media exposure, as in you'd have to be living under a rock not to know that millions upon millions of abortions have taken place in the last three decades. This reality makes a complete mockery of the left's assertion that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare."
Two-out-of-three is apparently no longer cutting it for most Americans.
It's about time. To say the morality of abortion has been skewed leftward for three decades is a gross understatement. There is no other surgical procedure in existence that can be procured by a minor, absent parental permission, notification, or both. There is nothing that has been as purposefully minimized as a late-term abortion, in which the head of a fetus must be crushed before it is removed from the womb. There is nothing more intellectually dishonest than talking about "choice," when the first choice having unprotected sexual relations is completely removed from the equation.
And there is nothing that has been more successfully propagandized than Roe v. Wade. If you ask a hundred people what would happen if it's overturned, ninety-nine of them will say incorrectly that abortion would be made illegal. It would not. Overturning Roe would do nothing more take a one-size-fits-all federal law and allow each state to decide how loose or restrictive they want abortion statutes to be.
Perhaps a more interesting question is not why Americans are turning away from abortion, but why now? The bet here is that, like virtually all of the progressive agenda, excess has been its undoing. Americans may be getting tired of having a Godless, disposable, anything-goes culture rammed down their throats under the banner of "enlightened thinking" by a cabal of intellectual snobs. The very same snobs who have trouble hiding their contempt for those Americans who "cling" to guns, religion, patriotism, and traditional views of marriage and family.
I can't think of another issue in which the left has invested more political capital than abortion. For many, it is the only issue with respect to choosing who will represent them in government. Countless times I've heard someone say they could never vote for a pro-life politician, because they want to make sure their daughter has access to abortion.
That most of these people can casually dismiss the overwhelming moral cynicism that attends such a statement is astounding.
On the other hand, that such people apparently now represent a minority of Americans is highly encouraging. While I am not in favor of America boomeranging into a radical right theocracy, it certainly warms my heart to see secular progressives in retreat for a change. The abortion-on-demand crowd has overplayed its hand, and Americans are having second thoughts.
I can only think of one phrase that applies to such thoughtfulness: hope and change.
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