This year marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
At this time every year, thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gather in Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life. This year's rally is scheduled for Jan. 25.
This year marks a transition for the march. In the 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, Nellie Gray marshaled March for Life demonstrators. Now, after Gray's death in August, March for Life has a new leader: Jeanne Monahan, who finds hope in the youth that turn out for the event.
As the date of the march approaches, momentum is building. One production company took President Barack Obama's tearful remarks after the Newtown, Conn., shooting and applied them to abortion in an advertisement for March for Life. The headline to a story about the advertisement reads, “President Obama challenges pro-lifers to join March for Life! (sort of).”
And 20 European countries have come together in the “One of Us” campaign, a petition initiative to ask the European Parliament to recognize that life begins at conception.
Yet according to a recent poll, 63 percent of Americans don't think Roe v. Wade should be completely overturned. (The same poll reports that 47 percent of Americans believe having an abortion is morally wrong.) One of our partner sites has its own poll, asking whether the decision should be overturned.
But when it comes to talking about abortion, the conversations can quickly become polarized. As one article notes, “Abortion ranks as one of the most intractably divisive issues in America, and is likely to remain so as rival camps of true believers see little space for common ground.”
What do you think people need to keep in mind when having conversations about abortion? How can we have honest, respectful and productive dialogues with each other on this subject? What are some steps we can take to reach a resolution? (And is any of that even possible?)