New at Live Action – A Berkley Professor Wonders Why More Americans Don’t Accept Abortion

My latest Live Action post:

Implicit in most pro-abortion commentary is a certain level of frustration that there remain people who disagree with them. “It’s the 21st century and the Supreme Court has spoken; can’t you anti-choice yahoos get with the program?” This leads to all sorts of outlandish speculation about what really makes pro-lifers tick.

Yesterday, UC Berkley sociology professor Claude Fischer published his thoughts on the “abortion puzzle,” attempting to figure out why Americans are growing “notably more laissez-faire on most sexual issues,” but not abortion:

Before the Roe v. Wade decision on behalf of abortion rights perhaps 25% to 30% of Americans were inclined to say yes [abortion is acceptable for any reason]. Then opinions shifted a bit in the liberal direction. Since that initial shift, however, the distribution of opinions has changed little. The trend since Roe v. Wade is displayed in the blue line in the graph below. About 37% of Americans said yes to abortion on demand at the end of the 1970s and about 41% said yes at the end of the 2000s.
Contrast that to the change, three times greater, in the percentage who said that “sex relations before marriage… [is”] not wrong at all” — the red line — from about 38% at the end of the 1970s to about 51% at the end of the 2000s. And contrast that to the shift, five-fold greater, the green line, in the percentage of Americans who disagreed with the proposition that “Women should take care of running their homes and leave running the country up to men.” Another perspective on this compares generations of Americans. The generation born in the 1970s was far more liberal than the generation born in the 1910s on whether women should stay at home and on premarital sex (by over 30 points on each question). But the 1970s generation was only a bit more liberal on abortion than the 1910s generation (only 7 points more).   

To begin with, the premise’s question is flawed in two ways.

Read the rest at Live Action.


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