A new Time magazine cover story contends that pro-life advocates have been “winning the abortion war” through legislative successes, changes in public opinion and new ultrasound technology that shows the unborn baby.
“Pro-choice activists have been outflanked by their prolife
counterparts, who have successfully lobbied for state-based regulations
that limit access,” writer Katie Pickert said on the Time website Jan.
3. “The pro-life cause has been winning the abortion war, in part,
because it has pursued an organized and well-executed strategy. But
public opinion is also increasingly on their side.”
Pickert made her case in the Jan. 14 Time cover story “What Choice?”
The magazine cover says: “40 years ago, abortion rights activists won an
epic victory with Roe v. Wade. They’ve been losing ever since.”
“In many parts of the country today, obtaining an abortion is more difficult than at any point since the 1970s,” Pickert said.
Fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions and the number of
abortion clinics has declined from 2,908 in 1982 to 1,793 in 2008. The
venue for abortions has shifted from hospitals to specialized clinics,
which are easier targets for pro-life advocates and legislators.
In Pickert’s reckoning, pro-life legislative successes include various
requirements including mandatory counseling, ultrasounds and waiting
periods for women considering abortion; parental notification
requirements for minors; and new regulations on what clinics and
abortionists may perform abortions.
In 2011, a record 92 bills that regulate abortions passed in 24 state legislatures.
Pickert cited surveys that report about 75 percent of Americans believe
abortion should be legal in some or all cases, but most Americans also
support state regulations and only 41 percent of Americans self-identify
“In a dynamic democracy like America, defending the status quo is always harder than fighting to change it,” she said.
She said there is a “generational divide” with young pro-abortion
rights feminists not joining the feminist organizations that advanced
legal abortion. However, she said these activists have an advantage over
their elders in being more adept at internet activism and being more
relatable because of their age.
Pickert’s article said that pro-abortion activists are expanding their
work beyond the term “pro-choice,” which some of them say is limited and
outdated. They are now joining legal abortion to a broader agenda that
includes child care, health insurance and economic opportunity, as well
as contraception access and homosexual rights.