Home > Uncategorized > Abortion: The Conversation is changing

Abortion: The Conversation is changing


The  conversation is changing. When my grandparents were growing up, abortion was illegal, frowned upon, and kept silent. When my parents were growing up the conversation changed with the rise of the feminist movement. The rights of women in all spheres of life were brought to bear perhaps most poignantly on abortion. In the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade, the court ruled that a woman’s right to privacy under the 14th amendment extended to her decision to have an abortion. And the conversation became about the rights to womens health vs. the ‘potentiality’ of life.  I was born 9 years after Roe in 1982 yet the conversation was far from “settled.” Over the next two decades ultrasounds, medical videos, and entrenched opinions turned the conversation into an all out single-issue voter level fight. Debate swirled around whether or not a fetus was a ‘viable’ human life, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.

The conversation my kids are growing up in is changing again. It is changing because, as I outlined in a previous post, influencers in the pro-abortion camp have come to agree the fetus is indeed a human. The abortion discussion is no longer about whether the fetus is a human life, but whether human life is worth protecting over and above a woman’s right to privacy.


This shift has occurred over the past several years and, like all cultural shifts, provides an opportunity for people to advocate change. There are a few things we all need to be aware of if we are going to influence change:


1. The morality of abortion. All citizens must weigh both the act of abortion and the act of legislating on abortion. We must understand the moral and legal discussion so we can better engage the discussion.


2. The normalcy of abortion. In 2010, the most recent year the Center for Disease Control reported on abortion surveillance, 765,651 abortions were performed in these United States. That is 1.5 abortions per minute. Regardless of where you stand, something so weighty yet so normative in our culture calls you to be more informed on it.


3. The faces & names of abortion. Numbers aren’t enough to fully grasp this issue. This is a human issue that weighs much more heavily on those who’ve experienced abortion personally or as a close friend of someone who has. We must as a culture respect the weight of what we are talking about. We must become familiar with the great courage many young women are showing & the great support many organizations are giving.


4. How to influence the discussion today. Something I’m reminded of in this discussion is that it is easier than ever, in the land of social media, to be a pseudo-advocate. That is, you can align yourself with a position with relative ease, but not personally give of yourself to that very cause. Imagine if the civil rights activists would have written letters (ancient form of tweeting) about their concerns instead of marching on Washington on August 28, 1963.


The conversation is indeed changing. I’m going to give my best attempt to give a more thorough treatment of each of the points above over the next four posts. My hope is that it will mobilize your heart & mind to take action at some level, in some way.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of NARAL—formerly the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws and now the National Abortion Rights Action League, said this:

    “It was in the late 60’s when we organized NARAL. Most of our activity and our activism were predicated or premised on the fact that the clergy and Church was not vigilant. The Church was virtually sleeping on the subject that they could not envision such a social revolution as legalizing abortion. We took great advantage of that because once the clergy and Church were caught napping and we moved ahead of them, by the time they woke up to the fact that we were miles ahead of them, it was Roe v. Wade time and suddenly abortion was legal.”

  2. June 30, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Great post. I will be facing many of these issues as well..

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