The timing couldn't have been better ... at least for the pro-abort side.
As hundreds of thousands of young people prepare to arrive in Washington for the annual March for Life parade, NBC News in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal released a poll showing that, "for the first time ever" (Really? Perhaps you mean "the first time ever this year"), the majority of Americans favor legality for abortion under most circumstances, and that 70% don't want Roe v. Wade overturned. The Conventional Wisdom concerning these disturbing numbers is that the election-year struggles over contraception have allowed further education on the subject, shifting many people off center and into more solidly pro-abortion positions.
You'll pardon me if I don't bust a gut laughing. The only education that took place came from the opponents of contraception and abortion. The only contribution the pro-death side made to the national discussion was the creation of a new meme: the "war on women", the paranoid fantasy that hordes of "misogynists" are massing to strip women of all their hard-won victories and shove them back into domestic slavery and forced birth. As analysis or as argument, it was as patently absurd as the Mayan Apocalypse ... or even the Zombie Apocalypse. But that was the only side we were allowed to hear from the MSM, who repeated it breathlessly as the Gospel According to Sandra Flake.
The Anchoress remains calm, even phlegmatic, in the wake of this revelation, reminding us of Sr. Mary Walsh's point: "It's all in how you ask the questions." The NBC/WSJ poll tells us that 54% of the respondents want abortion always or mostly legal; a month ago, a Marist poll said the exact opposite: 83% favored illegalization or significant restriction. And the NBC report lightly skips over the fact that, in an earlier question, over forty percent of the respondents "didn't know enough about Roe v. Wade to have an opinion". It's all in the questions, the sampling methods, the methodology of the interviewers ....
"It's all in who's paying for it," someone in the back of the class mutters.
Yes, yes, my precious, it's possible both Hart/McInturff and Marist Poll are telling their respective stakeholders, MSNBC and the Knights of Columbus, exactly what each wants to hear because they're the ones paying for it. It's also possible that we're committing the sin of rash judgment against them by questioning their intellectual integrity without cause or evidence.
But I think the most frightening number to come out recently is in the graphic from Planned Barrenhood to the right. It isn't that 40% of the people believe the rightness of abortion "depends on the situation"; that segment has been around forever, and is almost wholly responsible for keeping the Great Western Atrocity alive. No, the really disturbing number is the 20% who believe that "it is not a question of morality".
I'm sorry, I don't get it: good and evil, right and wrong, are irrelevant!?
Don't get me wrong; I don't think the people who gave this answer are necessarily bad people. When I say they don't know what morality is or means, I'm not saying they have the sexual habits of alley cats, or that they lie, cheat and steal without reflection or regret. I'm saying they don't know what morality is or means because they're f***ing idiots. And that's as charitable as I can be just now; I say it with nothing but love.
This much I will say for the hard-core pro-aborts: they do have a sense of morality. It's a twisted, dysfunctional morality, corrupted by years of revisionist history, bad sexual theory, bogus science and a subtle hatred of womanhood as something distinct and different from manhood. But from their perspective, they're trying to preserve something good and beneficial to women; that is their tragedy. They don't think that morality is irrelevant — they think their morality is superior.
So I think that all the recent polling and surveying simply demonstrates that the labels are losing their effectiveness on both sides of the issue, largely because our common moral map has had a lot of landmarks and reference points bulldozed over in the name of "progress", "tolerance" and "rights". We're not really a more tolerant and inclusive people; we're simply in the middle of exchanging one set of intolerances for another, redefining who gets included and who excluded.
But has the abortion football really moved in one direction or the other? I guess it depends on whom you ask, doesn't it?