Abortion opponents have a new voice
In the often heated debate over abortion, a less confrontational, more pragmatic force is behind a record number of antiabortion laws and pro-choice's 'bad year.'
(Page 8 of 8)
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says antiabortion congressional Republicans are overstepping. They gained power at the state and federal level last year on a message of job creation and fostering a healthy economy, not on a radical social agenda. Ms. Lake says tea party candidates, in particular, won the hearts of voters because of their small-government libertarian bent, but, she adds, they were selling a bill of goods. And with the economy still lagging, the focus on antiabortion legislative activity could come back to haunt conservatives in the 2012 contests – especially with young single women being a key swing voting bloc.
"There's a lot of buyer's remorse going on out there," Lake says. "Voters didn't vote for this. When it comes to the abortion issue in particular, we've had 30 years of fighting about this issue, and enough is enough. Voters are really tired of it."
The Monitor on Facebook SOUND OFF: How surprised are you at how Americans feelings on abortion have stayed fairly consistent?
It's harder to forecast if the issue will become a matter of major debate in the 2012 presidential contest. The economy and jobs are still voters' overwhelming first concern, polls indicate. Yoest says AUL isn't interested in advocating for a candidate. Any of the GOP hopefuls are better on the abortion issue than President Obama, she says during an interview in her office, where photos of her family at the March for Life in Washington adorn her bookshelves.
In AUL's front waiting room, meanwhile, visitors won't find drawings of babies in different stages of development or graphic leaflets. They can browse The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal. Or watch the television, which is turned to Fox News. Or perhaps take in the irrefutable wisdom – scripted, at Yoest's direction, in large lettering on one wall – of one of the nation's great Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson:
"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."
Yoest frames her argument similarly. "You either believe it's a life or you don't," she says. "The intellectual underpinnings really do matter. And they matter for our culture. If you can't draw the lines, you lose your bearings. You lose true north if you can't defend innocent human life."