Sunday, June 12, 2005

Focusing on abortion

Salon online has a fascinating article on NARAL's focus groups coming up with another PR plan to make abortion-on-demand more palatable to the general public. It's a doozy:
Thursday morning, the folks at NARAL Pro-Choice America hold a press conference in downtown Washington to release a poll and a new message they swear will shake up—really, truly this time—the abortion debate. They're going to talk about responsibility.

It's a great idea. I've hounded Democrats for years to talk about responsibility. But great ideas can be dangerous. The last time NARAL invented a new message, it came back to bite them. In 1989, when their backs were against the wall, they repackaged abortion rights as an issue of getting the government out of the family. That message won over millions of pro-family, anti-government people. But the pro-family, anti-government people thought pro-family meant supporting parental notification laws and anti-government meant opposing government funding of abortions. Pro-choicers got beaten with their own words.

Is it about to happen all over again?

Well, Mr. Saletan, it's hard to reconcile the idea of "responsibility" with a lifestyle of casual sex being maintained with the blood of children. The "Will Kill For Sex" crowd is evidently catching onto this fact and trying to come up with a way to dress it up. And NARAL's attitude of "Hey, if some slimebag 24-year-old Romeo wants to knock up your 13-year-old daughter then spirit her away for an abortion to keep their little romance a secret, he's got our phone number in his pocket and we'll pull out the stops to help him" isn't really attractive to the public, either.

You can put a tutu on that pig, but you can't make it dance.

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