MAISTROS: Pro-Lifers Shouldn’t Worry About The Polls

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Bob Maistros Chief Writer, Reagan-Bush '84 campaign
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So you think Planned Parenthood trims its abortion positions based on the latest polls? Think again.

“Abortion poll: Most Americans oppose ‘fetal heartbeat’ laws,” a recent USA Today headline screamed. The story featured a survey where 55 percent of respondents opposed legislation that would prohibit abortion as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

Yet in a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, 41 percent of participants said abortion should be allowed “only in case of rape and incest,” a standard more restrictive than heartbeat proposals. Another 29 percent felt that abortion should only be available only “until the end of the first trimester.” The survey found another 36 percent believe the Supreme Court should modify Roe. v Wade, while 18 percent believe the court should outright reverse  it.

Clearly, Americans are all over the place on abortion. What they want depends on what’s being asked and how — and how it’s presented in the media. After all, when passage of heartbeat bills generates overwhelmingly favorable coverage of protests — not to mention celebrity calls for sex strikes — it’s unsurprising that respondents would react negatively to the phrase.

Planned Parenthood and its lap dogs, on the other hand, are all in. Even as former Vice President Joe Biden abandoned a 40-year conviction in order to announce he now favors taxpayer-funded abortion, Democratic New York Sen. “Kowtow Kirsten” Gillibrand oozed in Iowa that there is “no fair other side” opposing abortion.

Gillibrand’s side knows opinion on social issues is malleable — and often, government-led. Courts impose a social mandate under the guise of “rights.” Society accepts and adjusts.

Consider: in 1996, Gallup found 66 percent opposed same-sex marriage. But polls reversed virtually overnight between 2010 and 2011, once courts started overturning state marriage amendments.

As for abortion, ascendant pro-life forces defeated 25 state abortion legalization proposals in 1971 alone. Yet by 1975, two years after Roe, Gallup found overwhelming support for abortion in some or all circumstances. Biden justified his funding flip-flop with the observation that “times have changed.”

Shifting opinions merely distract from the underlying reality: abortion is not a matter for poll-watching. It’s about right — or wrong.  Which isn’t decided by surveys.

That’s why social liberals work so hard to flip the narrative and seize the moral high ground.  Even some conservatives bought into the core argument for same-sex marriage as expressed by Jeter Loving, whose mixed-race union was upheld in a landmark case: “If someone loves someone, they have a right to marry.”

Plus religion is enlisted: Newsweek famously insisted on a “Religious Case for Gay Marriage.” South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s recent statements about his marriage typify this posturing: it “made me a better man” and “moved me closer to God.”

Which brings us full circle to abortion advocates’ apocalyptic and absolutist moral posturing on any and all restrictions. To answer the opening query, here’s Planned Parenthood’s unflinching stance: “Abortion must be safe, legal, and accessible. Period.”

And to Gillibrand: “I do not believe there is a moral equivalency when it comes to changing laws that deny women reproductive freedom.”

Well, naturally, New York’s junior senator is correct. There is no moral equivalency between human extermination and human potential. Between protecting sex-selection abortion and fighting for girls’ ultimate right: survival. Between death — and life.

Which why it’s so important to keep pushing to enact bills that give courageous jurists, maybe even a High Court majority, the opportunity to break down Roe’s vaunted ““super-precedent”” status. To use legislative debates and action to buck up the public’s courage to challenge the Democratic abortion-industrial complex.

Most important, to stand not on polls, but rather on moral truth: abortion isn’t just wrong — it’s damaging to politics, fertility (and therefore, the economy), the family and of course, marriage.

Because to paraphrase a popular aphorism: one man — or movement — with courage and the truth is a majority.

Bob Maistros is president of RPM Executive Communications, Inc., which provides high-level message development, communications strategy and crisis support to firms ranging from the Fortune 500 to tech startups, and he is of counsel at the Alexandria, Va.-based Strategic Action Public Affairs. He was chief writer for the 1984 Reagan re-election campaign and also wrote for Sens. Charles Grassley and Orrin Hatch

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.