What should be our #1 priority?
Jill Stanek just closed a poll on the question “What needs to happen first for the pro-life movement to acheive its goal of stopping abortion?” I thought the results were pretty interesting.
The most popular answer, by far, was “Change public opinion on abortion,” at 36.6%. My own pick was “Get more media supporting the pro-life message,” because I see that as a prerequisite to changing public opinion (remember, the question is what must happen first). But only 6.1% agreed with me. Another closely related answer, “Change the image of the pro-life movement,” came in at 10.1%.
The second-place finisher was “Get more people praying to end abortion,” with 21.1%. Jill says she finds this “troubling,” while commenter Tony says “What would be troublesome is if the entire pro-life movement was made up only of Christians.” As for me: I have nothing at all against prayer, but if praying for an end to abortion is step #1, then we must already be at step #2, because there are already lots of people praying for an end to abortion (see, e.g., 40 Days for Life).
Coming in third was “Stop funding the abortion industry” at 11.8%. This may be due to the recent push to defund Planned Parenthood; would this have even been an option on the poll if it were conducted two years ago? Interestingly, only 1.5% chose “Close more abortion mills.” Perhaps they think that if closures come first– without a change in public opinion– there will be a backlash and the pro-life victory would be temporary. There may be something to that.
Relatively few voters (3.6%) went with “Open more pregnancy resource centers.” This may have to do with how the poll was worded; plenty of PRCs exist, and rather than building more, it’s probably better to focus our resources on improving those that already exist. 1.9% voted for “Get more people healed,” which I assume refers to post-abortion recovery.
Finally, I was surprised to see little interest in the political approach: 3.6% for “Reduce the power of the courts” and 3.6% for “Register more voters and elect more pro-life candidates.”
It's always weird to hear about "registering people to vote". I registered right after turning 18, and had been waiting to do so for years prior.
I think what we need to do is get more pro-life candidates into the Democratic Party. I'd find it very hard to vote for a Republican or a Democrat, because the Democrat is usually pro-choice, and the Republican is usually wrong on everything else.
Interesting that you didn't vote for "Change the image of the pro-life movement," which I would see as a prerequisite for your answer. Or maybe the two are really one and the same.
Nulono, I also registered right away, but not everyone is as civic-minded as we are!
Jameson, you're right, they're… maybe not one and the same, but at least intertwined.
Number one priority? Making sure that every woman has access to substantive, guaranteed alternatives to abortion, including free family planning and prenatal care. Individual level and private sector aid is important, but insufficient. A large commitment of public resources is necessary. Whether abortion is legal or not-the current high rates will continue as long as we collectively fail to give women reasons not to have abortions, through our withholding of life supports. I don't know why this priority is not absolutely at the center but instead gets shunted off to the side. If both women and unborn babies are human, not mention already-born kids-why is this marginal?
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