A Quick Observation
We’ve had two really interesting comment threads today on abortion-related posts written by Will Truman and myself. I remarked, as did commenter Chris, that both have been remarkably civil. Both posts were lengthy and heavy on facts and numbers (the accuracy of those two items is open to dispute) but neither Will or myself waded into the dangerous waters of abortion itself. Instead we are poking around at the policy surrounding abortion access, contraception, etc.
My guess is that I could have posted a single sentence that said, “Abortion is murder!” and Will could have posted a single sentence which said, “Abortion is not murder!” and we would have generated easily twice as many comments and maybe even some buzzz around the web due to the League’s healthy readership. We also would have generated a lot of anger and the comment threads, which are the most important part of the League (in my opinion) would have degenerated into something ugly.
I guess my obvious point here is that at its core abortion is something that brings out the worst in public discourse. Even as a pro-life conservative I willingly admit that abortion will probably never go away and it probably shouldn’t completely. Where there is a lot of room for civil discussion is in the weeds of policy surrounding abortion as a legal institution. I believe both sides have some space to maneuver if they approach things with calmer heads. I’m not surprised that the League is ahead of the curve on this but here’s hoping others might follow our lead.