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Have We Reached the Tipping Point in the Abortion Debate?

Trevin Wax
Trevin Wax
2011 19 May


"Has the pro-life cause reached a tipping point?" Patheos.com has brought together a number of Catholics and evangelicals to ponder the state of the pro-life/pro-choice divide in the United States. I contributed an article called "Five Signs the Pro-Life Cause is Winning" in which I elaborated on several reasons we have indeed reached a tipping point:

  1. Public Opinion (Twenty years ago, many of those who considered themselves "pro-life" were a little hesitant to say so publicly. Today, the reverse is true.)
  2. The Media (Filmmakers and television writers have discovered that fictional abortion not only kills a fetus, but kills a story as well.)
  3. Young People (The sea of young faces at this year's annual "March for Life" in Washington has NARAL president worried.)
  4. The Third Wave (Abortion will fall when Black and Hispanic Christians not only join this movement, but lead it.)
  5. Abortion Advocates on the Defensive (Legislators in numerous states have begun chipping away at the implications of Roe v. Wade.)

My conclusion:

The tipping point in favor of the pro-life cause is not evident to all. Time magazine recently chose Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards for their 100 Most Influential List (a decision akin to choosing segregationist George Wallace over crusader Martin Luther King, Jr.). There is much work to be done.

The abortion debate will not go away. The fundamental issue at stake is not reproductive freedom but the desire to extend human rights to all -- even the smallest and most vulnerable human beings among us. Those who continue to ignore or deny the humanity of the unborn are increasingly on the defensive because new technologies are opening the window into the womb. What we find there are not tissues to be discarded, but human lives worth protecting.

Others have also weighed in on the debate. Of particular interest is an article called "Turning the Tide in the Abortion Struggle." Author Timothy Dalrymple discerns two main reasons why younger Americans are more pro-life today: technology and truth. Of technology, he writes:

Ignorance on "the difficult question of when life begins" is an even tougher sell now. Today's younger generations have grown up with breathtaking images and videos of babies developing and maneuvering within the womb, media that are spread around the world and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. It's all but impossible to watch an ultrasound video of an abortion and not concede that it takes a life, and the more honest supporters of abortion "rights" will admit as much.

He then shows technology leading people to recognize the reality of what is going on in the womb.:

What characterizes the imaging, video, and communications technologies that are turning the tide in the abortion debate is that they merely capture and disseminate the truth. Pro-abortion rhetoric is crashing against the shoals of reality. The womb is no longer a black box. The only way to countenance abortion is to shut our eyes to the very real miracle of life inside the womb. The more that open minds are exposed to the truth, the more they are prepared to defend life.

What do you think? Have we reached a tipping point in the abortion debate?