What Exactly Is Pro-Life?

In an essentially meaningless finding, the Gallup Poll found that more than half of Americans are pro-life. What does this mean practically? Absolutely nothing. So, why bother posting on such an insignificant result? Answer: to show that labels are almost worthless to reflect actual values.

Apparently, both liberals and conservatives may claim victory and both analyze the same poll but reach a completely diametric conclusion as to its implications. Conservatives, on one hand, can claim this is a societal trend which perhaps will herald the beginning of the end of King – President Obama. Given that Obama has begun to open up the fiscal flood gates gates to fund abortion, perhaps the only thing standing between him and the Freedom of Choice Act is public opinion. As long as the public opinion is more against the Act than for it, the legislation may not advance.

On the other hand though, liberals can find this poll comforting as well. After all, the concept of “pro-life” is being redefined (or “changed” as Obama might call it). How is it that after lifting the abortion funding ban (Mexico City Policy) that more citizens are hopping over to Obama’s side of the fence? Like anything, the more a substance is diluted, the less potent it becomes. Such it is with the concept of “pro-life”. I posit that the new definition of “pro-life” merely denotes an idealistic, abstract conception of life – much akin to the non-combative, “I don’t believe in abortion personally, but I don’t impose my viewpoint on others” mentality.

I’d like to believe that this Gallup Poll represents a precursor of the changing attitude in America. I would also like to believe that the moral decline in America, especially on such a basic issue of life will rebound beginning now. But the cynic in me holds otherwise.


2 thoughts on “What Exactly Is Pro-Life?

  1. Ben- while I think your comments are largely on point, I think the significance of that poll, while minor, is still telling in some ways. For example, the number of people polled who favor life under all circumstances (the position I, and I presume you, hold) is statistically equal with those who support unrestricted abortions (roughly 20% each). The remainder of those polled favor some restrictions on abortion, a category that is commonly defined as including the incidental restrictions upheld in ,Casey, etc. What is also telling, as evidenced by the fact that a strong majority of Americans favor at least some restrictions on abortion, is that the Democrats have stopped advertising their position on abortion–it has ceased to be a winning electoral position for them. Whether that’s a good thing (for example, as you noted Obama is a radical pro-abortionist, though viewed as “moderate”) remains to be seen.

  2. Eliot – Thanks for the comment. I just came across an article by conservative writer, David Frum.


    His basic position is that it oversampled Republicans.

    One of my main problems in polls of this nature are the types of questions asked. They come across as quite broad and subject to a range of interpretations (e.g. Do you support abortions when the health of the mother is at stake?).

    In posting, I only mention it for curiosity’s sake and maybe a quick comment, not that I hold any position in the veracity of the results.

    Is the poll telling? Sure, maybe in some ways, but it’s not telling enough for to me extrapolate some form of conclusion from the statistics.

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