The Redirect: Why facts matter on both sides of abortion debate (video)

Abortion is deeply tangled up in politics, personal beliefs, and individual experience. The key is to have every conversation grounded in facts.

When Americans talk about abortion, they often do so in terms of binaries: “pro-life” versus “pro-choice,” “anti-life” versus “anti-choice.” It’s a framework that divides the public, elevates the most extreme voices, and creates an environment in which people are primed to believe only the side with which they agree.

Such a climate becomes a breeding ground for misinformation. For example, although the partisan gap in views around legal abortion has widened in recent years, surveys over the past four decades show that most Americans’ opinions fall somewhere in the middle of the debate. Despite all the fervor around the issue, the most recent studies have found that the number and rate of abortions are lower than at any time since 1973, when the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure nationwide. Data show that it’s not because there are more laws restricting abortion – a growing reality in many states. In fact, abortion rates are higher in countries where the practice is illegal.

And despite growing concern that abortions are becoming more common in the final weeks of a pregnancy, all but 1.3% occur before the 21st week.

Abortion is deeply tangled up in politics, personal beliefs, and individual experience. But the key is to have every conversation, no matter how contentious, grounded in facts.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to The Redirect: Why facts matter on both sides of abortion debate (video)
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today