Marvin Olasky

Last week's big pro-abort march in Washington set off alarm bells in pro-life quarters: After several years of pro-life gains, is the culture swinging left again? No need to worry, for five reasons, with the most important reason last.

 1. This was the first big pro-abort Washington rally in 12 years, so organizers could tap into a lot of pent-up gotta-move-my-legs sentiment, as well as some weird thinking evidenced in this Associated Press quotation from Carole Mehlman, a 68-year-old Tampa, Fla., woman who came to march: "I just had to be here to fight for the next generation and the generation after that." Think about it.

 2. Second, take a look at -- no, save your money or time, I'll summarize his thesis for you -- a book by William Saletan, "Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War" (University of California Press, 2003). The subtitle is misleading, since Saletan actually shows how liberal pro-aborts gained an edge in the late '80s and the early '90s by appealing to anti-government sentiment. But the success of those appeals, the author worries, makes it harder to get government funding of abortions and to fight parental notification laws, and undercuts liberalism's big-government penchant generally.

 3. The older generation of pro-aborts has had to relinquish its ideological purity to retain not only some general public support but contact with the younger generation, as well. Two-thirds of 18-to-24-year-olds in one poll said a young woman seeking an abortion should have to wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure and, if younger than 18, obtain her parents' consent. And take a look at this heresy uttered by Grayson Crosby, 24, who started volunteering at a Planned Parenthood clinic when she was 13 and is still on the pro-abort side: "I was talking to a lot of groups who were incredibly feminist, who would say things like, 'I don't feel comfortable with late-term abortion' ... When a national spokeswoman says, 'It's just a woman's right to choose,' she's not acknowledging the questions such women have." Ouch. Better watch that, Crosby.

 4. Your SAT question for today is, "Which of the following four does not go with the other three?" (a) Heroic soldier Pat Tillman, (b) A Yankelovich survey showing that 89 percent of Gen Xers think modern parents let kids get away with too much, (c) A 66 percent decline in juvenile burglary from 1993 to 2001, (d) An abortion surge over the next decade. 

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
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