America's Opinion on Abortion is Changing

The Pew Forum on Religion released the results of a new pole they conducted concerning the topic of abortion. The results are very interesting and give some insight on how Christians can better conduct themselves in the debate over abortion. One of the more interesting points of the article was:
This shift in attitudes is also evident on other measures of public opinion about restrictions on abortion. For instance, four-in-ten Americans (41%) now say they favor making it more difficult to obtain an abortion, up six points from 35% in 2007. Similar movement is seen on the question of whether it would be good to reduce the number of abortions in this country; in 2005, 59% of respondents agreed it would be good to reduce abortions. Today 65% take this view, an increase of six points. And three-quarters (76%) continue to favor requiring minors to obtain the permission of a parent before having an abortion.

This gives three important points of information. First, many people truly want to see the number of abortions performed to go down. Second, there is an overwhelming consensus that minors should be required to get parental consent before being able to obtain an abortion. Third, a good number of people want to make it more difficult to obtain an abortion in the U.S. What does this mean for us in the debate? Well, in order to answer that question one more thing from the article must be quoted.
The survey also reveals continued polarization over abortion. Even as the public expresses support for finding a middle ground, most Americans are quite certain that their own position on abortion is the right one, with only a quarter (26%) saying they ever wonder about their views on the issue.
Nearly everyone is convinced that they are 100% correct on their position. In order to bring about change in their minds, we first have to affirm their position in such a way that does not compromise our own position. That is where those three important notes come into play. We as Christians would love to see it become more difficult to obtain an abortion, for the number of abortions to decline, and for minors to be required to have parental permission before obtaining an abortion. So we begin on these points. Ask the person whom you are talking with if they would like to see the number of abortions reduced. Explain to them that you would also like to see this happen. Spend some time discussing this building common ground with the individual. After they see you aren’t some “religious nutjob,” they will be more open to hear your other points.

You can even use that to lead into other topics they would most likely agree with you. Ask them if they would like to see those abortions already being performed become safer? Chances are they would agree and support this.

Ask them if they support our President’s stance on abortion? The Pew Forum poll discovered that about 40% of Americans don’t even know Obama’s position on the issue. Dovetail into explaining his decision in January of 2009 to lift restrictions on abortions. Then ask them if they support his decision to allow tax-payer money to fund organizations overseas who “performs or actively promotes abortions.” The problem with this is the fact that there is no oversight. These overseas clinics could be killing women left and right from bad medical practices and taxpayer money is funding it.

There is a shift taking place in our culture concerning the issue of abortion. I think this is because the issue is no longer one of those abstract issues. Many Americans personally know someone who has had an abortion. They now know what women undergo; not just physically, but emotionally—and the emotional trauma is often far worse than the physical trauma. There is more sensibility coming to the issue. There truly is a desire by many to reach a common ground on the topic. I wrote a book review some time back on Common Ground Without Compromise. It is an excellent resource and I would once again recommend it to anyone looking to find better ways to approach the abortion debate. An excellent website with many resources on the abortion debate is the Life Training Institute. The best reasource, however, is simply to get out there and engage people and their views.
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