Younger People Are Not More Pro-Choice
Douthat flagged the following graph by Razib at Secular Right, summarizing the views of Americans by age on abortion and homosexuality:
Granted, the phrasing of the question is more favorable to the pro-life position, but there is no reason to suspect that this would affect the comparison between younger and older voters. Also (paging Darwin), Douthat has some interesting thoughts on rights-talk and the success of the pro-life movement (and the debates about same-sex marriage). This passage from an old exchange between Douthat, Larison, and Millman stood out:
Yet allowing all this, and allowing that a Christian or a Jew or a conservative liberal might increasingly doubt the wisdom of rights-talk as the foundation of political order, we are nonetheless citizens of a country in which rights-talk is basically the only kind of talk there is – and I have a hard time seeing the case for pro-lifers abandoning the idea of a “right to life” in favor of a language of duties and obligations that might be philosophically closer to the truth but would definitely be less politically appealing. In so doing, they would be giving up the one great arrow in the pro-life quiver right now, which is that abortion isn’t consonant with American liberalism as originally conceived, and the original interpretation of American liberalism still has a lot of purchase on our country’s political mind, in a way that arguments based on duties and obligations just don’t. Indeed, by abandoning a “right to life” language, pro-lifers wouldn’t just be giving up on any short-term hope of changing America’s abortion laws, they would be effectively giving up on liberalism altogether. Some people think that time has come (or that liberalism was a mistake from the beginning); I’m not persuaded.