Pro-Life Advocate: Supreme Court Pick a Chance for Common Ground on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 25, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocate: Supreme Court Pick a Chance for Common Ground on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 25
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — If President Barack Obama is serious about his claims to want to find common ground on the abortion issue with pro-life advocates, then the head of the Knights of Columbus says his upcoming Supreme Court appointment is a good chance for him to demonstrate that.

Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, tells that Obama can either nominate someone who is not a pro-abortion activist or he can go against his common ground rhetoric with one of several abortion advocates.

"The headlines for weeks were filled with the drama that unfolded over the propriety of President Obama’s speech at Notre Dame," Anderson says. "But there was an even bigger – if less noticed – story: the growing consensus among Americans on abortion, and its relationship to a looming decision that could affect abortion law for decades."

Anderson says the five different opinion polls released during the last month showing either a pro-life majority on abortions or public opinion moving in the pro-life direction, shows Americans don’t support Roe v. Wade.

"Roe v. Wade, which has been interpreted to allow abortion without restriction, is at odds with the overwhelming majority of Americans according to several recent public opinion polls," he said in an opinion piece posted at Headline Bistro.

"And in light of this, as the president and Senate consider an appointment to the Supreme Court, they should not the waste the chance to embrace a growing American consensus by moving away from the absolutist position of Roe and its increasingly few adherents," Anderson added.

Anderson pointed to a Pew poll that found only 18% favored legalized abortion “in all cases," which is the finding of Roe and something a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court still supports.

"In other words, 72% of Americans are against the abortion on demand regime that followed Roe, while only 18% are in favor of it," he said.

Anderson also cited the Gallup survey, showing more Americans than not referring to themselves as pro-life. Gallup also showed just 22% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in any circumstance.

"The totals: 75% of Americans don’t agree with the Roe regime, while only 22% of those polled do agree," he said. "Though the debate has been framed in terms of an all or nothing issue, the fact is – as these polls show – Americans by a more than 3:1 margin, want to move away from Roe and want some restrictions on abortion."

Anderson concludes, "As the president and Senate consider a replacement for David Souter, they will be pressured by a vocal minority to pick someone who passes a pro-Roe litmus test. Politically and legally – let alone ethically – that is not the right move."

"As the plans to fill the Souter vacancy on the Supreme Court take shape, the president and Senate should consider the will of the people and the integrity of the constitution – as well as political common sense – over narrow interest group politics. If they do, the vast majority of the American people will be on their side," he said.

Related web sites:
Anderson’s op-ed –

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