Abortion debate heating up going into 2014 election cycle

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22 2014 1:14 p.m. MST

Anti-abortion demonstrators gather on the snow covered National Mall in Washington in this Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 file photo, for the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion.

Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

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According to the pro-life organization, National Right to Life, more than 55 million abortions have been performed since 1973 — the year the Supreme Court handed down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Abortion is becoming an important issue heading into the 2014 midterm elections, wrote Jeremy W. Peters in the New York Times. “Republicans, through state ballot initiatives and legislation in Congress, are using it,” he said, speaking of abortion, “to stoke enthusiasm among core supporters.”

According to Peters, key Republicans, including party chairman Reince Priebus, are attending today's March for Life. “We thought it only fitting for our members to attend the march,” Priebus was quoted as saying.

Prominent conservative commentator and physician Ben Carson weighed in with an op-ed in the Washington Times. “As a society, we cannot be afraid to discuss important social and moral issues,” he wrote. “We the people must stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated by those with agendas that do not include regard for the sanctity of life.”

Conservatives are not the only ones addressing the abortion issue. Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, wrote in Politico that 2014 will be the year the "pro-choice crowd" gains more traction.

“We’re in the midst of a decades-long strategy by anti-choice activists to chip away at reproductive rights,” Hogue wrote. “The pro-choice movement has had enough of an extreme minority taking up a disproportionate amount of political space with an ideologically driven and outdated agenda. In 2014, the pendulum starts to swing back.”

However, a new Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll, coinciding with the annual March for Life, shows 62 percent of Americans believe abortion is morally wrong. It could be, therefore, the pro-life movement is indeed attracting more people to its cause.

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at:

eraymond@deseretdigital.com

@RaymondErik

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