Clearly, there is a desire amongst abortion supporters to shift the focus away from abortion.
When the early debate around partial-birth abortion began in the 1990's and the images and descriptions got around and Congress began introducing evidence into the record against it, the public heard the debate, saw the images, read the testimony and duly recognized that this was something they could not live with. Hence, the ban on partial-birth abortion, which passed twice under President Clinton (who vetoed it both times) and then finally passed under President Bush.
This was a great success and a real pushing forward point forward for the pro-life movement for the simple fact that the more we expose the truth about what abortion really is, and what it really does to women, the more people we rally to our side. We know this not just from a thorough analysis of polls, but from personal experience accumulated over periods of time working in the pro-life movement.
Now we see that abortion supporters are actively working to change the focus of the debate
. Aids to Senator Hillary Clinton are advising abortion-rights supporters to "change the debate on abortion away from issues such as "partial-birth abortion" to a discussion about providing safe choices for women. " Why? Because they know that abortion, as seen in its true light, hurts and does not help women and that this is becoming more clear. So they desperately desire to change the focus to something that is a little less tangible in order to maintain their power base.
Are they succeeding in this? According to Martin Gillespie, Director of Catholic Outreach for the Republican National Committee, "the issue of moral values, which was the number one concern of voters in 2004, moved to number five in importance, below Iraq, terrorism, corruption, the economy, and immigration
." There may be many reasons for this drop in concern for moral values like abortion, but one of them certainly can be attributed to the work of abortion-rights groups to change the focus on the debate in the public square.
We need to redouble our efforts to keep the focus on abortion where it is easiest to see how horrible it really is, like in partial-birth abortion. Now that the Supreme Court has heard the arguments for and against the ban on partial-birth abortion, look for the abortion rights groups to shift the focus to other topics. Stay the course, don't let them pull the rug out from underneath you.
Here are some further thoughts
from Fr. Frank Pavone about this same subject.