A new poll from Gallup indicates that 58% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s decision to allow funding for overseas family planning groups that provide abortions.
This was one of seven items covered by the poll, which surveyed American approval for some of Obama’s first actions as president. It received the lowest approval of all seven items–only 35%, compared with 74 – 76% approval for decisions such as limiting interrogation techniques on prisoners (74%) and tightening ethics rules for administration officials (76%).
I’m no optimist, but I see glimmering rays of hope in this. It means that 58% of Americans don’t want their money funding abortions overseas (i.e., 58% of Americans don’t view abortion as so “fundamental” a “right” that we have an obligation to finance it). How many of that 58% wouldn’t want their money funding abortions in the U.S., either?
We in the pro-life movement often emphasize the humanity of the unborn child in arguing against abortion. This is emphatically true. But, for whatever reason, this approach doesn’t always change minds. On the other hand, some election commentators suggested that people’s pocketbooks really impacted their vote. So what if the abortion conversation began with the individual taxpayer’s pocketbook? Do you want your money funding abortions? Why not? Get people to articulate their thinking . . . and then encourage them to act on their convictions. (You think abortion is wrong? Would you consider volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center? Would you write to your elected representatives and let them know?)
It also means that some of the people who voted for Obama disagree with him on abortion (in the presidential election, Obama won 52% of the popular vote). Those people especially need to let their voices be heard.