Today’s annual “March for Life” on the Mall in Washington marks 36 years since the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion and it takes place against concerns about “abortion fatigue” among the public, and “battle fatigue” among the troops, as this Christianity Today story notes.
“Redefining marriage is a bigger deal to Americans,” said Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin…[snip]…Evangelicals under age 35 are shaped by growing up in an era of legalized abortion, said Charles Colson. “Younger evangelicals remain pro-life, but I don’t think they have the same fire in the belly about the issue that older evangelicals have had,” he said.
There is also disappointment over now-former President Bush’s track record, and of course Barack Obama–who is pro-choice, or “pro-abortion,” if you prefer the language of his opponents–won the election and just two days ago was sworn in as president before a crowd on this same Mall that far outstrips the pro-lifers marching today.
So what will pro-lifers do? Some want to rally against the Freedom of Choice Act that candidate Obama pledged to sign, though FOCA is widely recognized as a phantom menace, for the time being. Others are galvanized by reports (Amy Welborn posts them) that Obama will do a Clinton move and pick this date to reverse executive orders on the “Mexico City” policies barring federal funding for international aid groups that back abortion and family planning.
What remains to be seen is whether, for all his talk of post-partisanship and working together, Obama can make headway on the abortion issue. The debate is being framed by two ads being promoted today, one by the “Third Way” collective of evangelicals who are promoting a “reasoned” approach to reducing abortion and addressing other moral problems. They are running radio and print ads in Washington today, which you can see at their web site, RealAbortionSolutions.org, which aims at results “not rhetoric.”
Will the red-meat crowd at the March for Life go for such reasoning–and the desire to try to end the Culture Wars?
They may prefer to fight on, rallying behind another ad, this from CatholicVote.com, which will broadcast it on Black Entertainment Television (BET) in the Chicago market.
As Dan Gilgoff at U.S. News notes, it’s a tiny buy in terms of market reach, but CatholicVote’s 2008 campaign video ad against abortion and gay marriage went viral and was watched by more than 4 million.
The latest ad is controversial as it uses Obama’s own life story, implying that if abortion were legal, his own mother would have aborted him and African-Americans (and the rest of us) never would have been celebrating on Tuesday. The ad flashes clips of a fetus in the womb with this text:
“This child’s future is a broken home…
he will be abandoned by his father…
his single mother will struggle to raise him…
despite the hardships he will endure…
this child…will become…The 1st African American President…
Life…Imagine the Potential…”
…And it ends, with a musical crescendo, with a photo of Barack Obama. Ta-dum! Watch it here.
So which approach do you prefer?