USA (MNN) — Pro-choice has been the prevailing stance when it comes to abortion in the past. However, the pendulum is swinging back.
Last month, Gallup reported their latest polls found a tie between Americans who identify as pro-life or pro-choice. Each group comprised 48 percent of the polled population.
This finding is significant compared to previous years. Gallup has conducted polls on abortion topics since the mid-1990s. From 1995 to 2008, the pro-choice population outpolled the pro-life camp 18 consecutive times. But then pro-life ideals started to gain steam, and since 2009, Gallup has found a pro-life plurality six times, a pro-choice plurality six times, and a tie twice.
Eric Verstraete, President of Life Matters Worldwide, says, “This doesn’t surprise us. It’s certainly been our hope for years that people see the value of the human life [and] they see the horrific truth that’s behind abortion and abortion procedures. I think as we move forward, we can only build on this…momentum towards more of a pro-life view.”
This latest poll by Gallup was also the first time they asked how people felt about abortion in cases where the unborn infant is diagnosed with Down syndrome. Their findings show that many Americans these days support more legal protections for the unborn.
So what has been the cause of this noticeable shift in modern thinking towards pro-life?
Verstraete suggests, “I think a lot of folks on the pro-choice side have always tried to use science in their favor and I think science is beginning to come into our favor. Through the science of embryology, we can begin to show this is when life begins. That’s the ultimate question that most people have to come down to — when does a baby in the womb, when are they a part of the human race? When do they have the same rights as you and I outside of the womb?
“So, science is beginning to help us prove what we’ve known all along — that life starts at conception. Therefore, that life that has started is a member of the human race and…should have all the rights and be just as significant as folks who are outside of the womb.”
Critical tools have also been developed to help people understand and articulate the pro-life stance. One such tool is the SLED Test, which summarizes fundamental differences between an unborn baby and a baby who has been born. The acronym stands for:
- Level of development
- Degree of dependency
“These very specific tools say it doesn’t matter about the size of the person, it doesn’t matter about their level of development or even their environment or degree of dependency. These things have given us really interesting places [and] points of reference [so] that we can simply just engage in a discussion and all of these answers to these questions don’t have to come with hostility.”
As Americans — and especially Christians — continue to have conversations about abortion and the lives of the unborn, the most convincing discussions will be the ones that balance truth with compassion and love.
The truth is that God has created every human being in His image with inherent value. Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Verstraete encourages, “Compassion is a huge thing. I think a lot of people have frankly been misinformed when it comes to a lot of this information. So giving the proper information [and] doing it with compassion I think is going to be our best bet.
“I believe that…focusing on our similarities, focusing on our commonalities rather than focusing on our differences is going to be one way that we can bring the two sides together to begin to have conversations and to not be afraid of conversations.”
(Header courtesy of Elvert Barnes via Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic: https://goo.gl/Ie0iBo)