There isn't as much coverage as there used to be of the annual anti-abortion protest/rally at the Minnesota Capitol, this year marking the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Part of that is because there isn't much new to say about the issue that hasn't been said before. Nonetheless, thousands of people came to St. Paul in wind chills not fit for humans today.
About 2,000 people (my estimate) showed up this year.
The speeches were cut short, but many of them focused on the national, rather than the state debate, possibly due to a revamped Supreme Court on the issue.
One thing that's hard to miss about this year's crowd. It was young.
Part of that is because a lot of schools bussed their kids to the rally.
Still, is abortion becoming a generational issue?
The L.A. Times looked at that question today, determined that young people are more likely to be anti-abortion in greater numbers than older people, and that it didn't happen by accident.
Pew Research Center polls dating back a decade show that 18- to 29-year-olds are consistently more likely than the general adult population to favor strict limits on abortion. A Pew survey over the summer found 22% of young adults support a total ban on abortion, compared with 15% of their parents' generation.
Looking specifically at teens, a Gallup survey in 2003 found that 72% called abortion morally wrong, and 32% believed it should be illegal in all circumstances. Among adults surveyed that year, only 17% backed a total ban.
Wait wait wait wait. Schools BUSSED their kids to the rally? What schools? I'm assuming not public (holy crap, it better not have been public). But even if they were private religious schools ... well, I'd like to think high schoolers have better things to do with their time, but I guess I'm biased. I sure hope it wasn't mandatory though. Plenty of religious folk are pro-choice. Did the kids who didn't want to go feel safe in saying so? Can you do a story on that, Bob? Pleeeeease?
And regarding a younger generation being more pro-life, it makes sense. To these kids, coat hangers and coke bottles are something they buy at Wal-Mart. (Show me the company that still makes metal coat hangers and I'll show you some forward-thinkers.)
I heard a young woman state that she didn't think a woman should be president. Who burned their bras? Not her. Her mom or grandma may have, though. And what kid wants to be like their elders?
I think it comes down to the younger generation not having to fight for these rights. The right of choice was won. The fight was supposed to be over. So the only kids who care anymore are the ones fighting to change the law.
It's unfortunate that the silent majority remains largely silent on abortion, but I have to say that a part of me takes perverse pleasure in seeing the Right standing out in the bitter cold protesting for a change.
Well, Al-I remember being in 5th grade at a Catholic Grade School going to the Capitol for the Pro-Life Rally. The year 1975, we were bussed and toured around the Capitol. I remember ditching my school group with my pal and going over a couple blocks to the Taystee Bread Discount Outlet where we bought a huge bage of Doritos. We were the heros on the bus on the way home with that bag of chips. Oh yeah the rally, well I also remember some guy telling us young girls that we should be home breeding men. At 10 I had no clue what that meant. I knew it was something not so nice because our teacher had us sing Amazing Grace after that man made the breeder comment. I was happy that I had a bag of Doritos.
And this trend is exactly the opposite of what the "Pro-Life" folks intended. They want to abolish abortion, but where are they when a crack baby needs a home.
Why do they say they are pro-life and yet reduce assistance for single mothers? Why is it that all the billboards about pro-life from here to Duluth, Brainerd or anywhere else in Minnesota only show white "miracles". And even then, who is caring for those white "miracles"? Usually a teenager who hasn't finished school, who's "partner" has disappeared, etc.
This is where the "Pro-Life" folks should step in with help for education, housing, parenting, etc. But it seems too much of their energy has already been spent on making sure that "miracle" is born. Who cares after that? Well, with all the money that is spent lobbying for Pro-life... I propose 50% of it be put towards support of those women who chose to give birth. In other words..."Put your money where your mouth is and then... and only then can I believe that you are truly "Pro-life".