NPR ran a story this morning about how, particularly in the South, opposition to abortion has increased over the years. The story suggested that most people are ambivalent about abortion and can be influenced by various legislative proposals to restrict the practice if they seem consistent with, for example, the religious views of those people.
The report made me ask myself why acceptance of homosexuality has increased, whereas, at least in some areas, acceptance of abortion has decreased.
It is widely believed that the acceptability of homosexuality has been fueled by the increasing willingness of homosexuals to come out of the closet. It was easy to demonize a group of people that was largely invisible. That became much harder when people knew people who acknowledged their homosexual orientation. When you know friends, co-workers, or children who are homosexual and who otherwise seem to be good people, it becomes difficult to condemn them and others of their ilk.
Now, consider the class of women who have had abortions. How many women do you know who you know have had abortions? I don’t know any, although some high-profile women from time to time have admitted to having had an abortion. I suspect that women would have an easier time naming abortion clients, but I suspect that even women do not speak about their abortions any more than necessary.
There are no Abortion Pride parades. There are no I Had an Abortion T-shirts. I suspect that we will not be able to put the abortion fights behind us until women who have had abortions come out of the closet.