By Dave Andrusko
Among the many articles this month that I wanted to comment on but time did not allow was a piece that ran January 2 in the New York Times under the headline “The Abortion Stereotype.” When three letters to the editor appeared about it today, that was a heads-up to get back to Razib Khanjan’s op-ed.
There is very little in Mr. Rhanjan’s commentary that would surprise pro-lifers. But—remember—this appears in the unofficial flagship publication of the Abortion Establishment. There are some good points but a few clunkers as well.
For example, referring to the stereotype that women are more pro-abortion than men are, it’s important that the Times’ readers know
The polling confounds such stereotypes. The General Social Survey, which has been tracking American opinions for decades, includes the question of whether a woman should be allowed to get an abortion if she “wants it for any reason.” In 17 of the 23 years that this question has been asked, men have answered “yes” to a greater extent than women. The average difference was about 1.5 percentage points — a small but consistent gender gap, if not the one people seem to expect.
He digs deeper
While, on the whole, there isn’t a major difference in the sexes’ attitudes toward abortion, there is one when we separate men and women by ideology. If we look at the data since 2000 (to get a more contemporary perspective), on the liberal end of the ideological spectrum men are consistently less supportive of abortion on demand than women. On the conservative end of the spectrum, it’s women who like abortion on demand less than men do.
In other words, conservative women are the most anti-abortion segment of the population, and liberal women are the most in favor of abortion rights. You might say that the more significant difference here is not between men and women, but among women.
There are many qualifications even to this generalization.
So, yes, there is a large gap between these ideologically polarized positions [“extremely liberal” women and “extremely conservative” women], but we miss a substantial proportion of the electorate if all we apprehend is the stylized cartoon. Nuance goes out the window when slogans about the “war on women” or the “liberal media” dominate public discourse. …
A greater engagement with the facts would enable those who support abortion rights to consider why so many women do not, rather than dismissing their political opponents as motivated by misogyny or false consciousness.
Two quick points, the first of which is two sided. The “war on women” was an imaginary construct that existed in the heads of the abortion movement but given plausibility by its willing collaborators in the media. It appears to have run its course, but, of course, it will be dredged up in the next election cycle perhaps using some slightly altered phraseology.
So Khanjan got the hype about the ‘war on women’ correct but chooses (perhaps to appear “balanced”) to ignore that the war on women meme would never have achieved liftoff without most of the major media treating it as if it was spot on, rather than bogus from start to finish. In fact, of course, the real war on women is sex-selection abortion which pro-abortion feminists refuse to do anything about.
Second—and I am not blaming Khanjan for not addressing it—is that members of the younger generations (male and female) are so very pro-life. We’ve run many stories in NRL News Today and NRL News demonstrating how this true, both as measured by public opinion polls and activism.
I’m going to re-post an article that I wrote way back in 2006—“More Data Showing That Young People Are Pro-Life.” While it’s older, nothing has changed, including the way the analyst of the poll taken of students at Hamilton College tries to wiggle out of the conclusion, or at least diminish the impact. I was reminded of that post because the Senior Director of Media Relations for Hamilton College wrote one of the letters to the editor.
There is going to be many, many stories posted today. Please read them all and pass them on via social media.
Please also read “More Data Showing That Young People Are Pro-Life“