Over at the Corner, Michael New draws attention to a recent op-ed by Frances Kissling of the oxymoronic group Catholics for a Free Choice:
In a column that appeared in last Friday’s Washington Post, Frances Kissling, who served as president of Catholics for a Free Choice, offers some advice for supporters of legal abortion. Kissling acknowledges that recent pro-life efforts — specifically our focus on fetal development and our efforts to pass incremental laws — have been effective in shifting public opinion in a pro-life direction. She acknowledges that supporters of legal abortion are now losing, and that the pro-choice arguments that were persuasive in the 1970s are no longer working today.
As a result, Kissling suggests a shift in strategy. Specifically, she urges her pro-choice allies to support some restrictions on late-term abortions. She states that supporters of abortion rights need to “firmly and clearly reject post-viability abortions, except in extreme cases.” She even says that abortions in the second trimester “need to be considered differently.” Kissling encourages an approach that would mandate counseling for women seeking abortion in these circumstances.
The fact that even staunch pro-choice activitists feel constrained to hem in their support for abortion rights suggests to me that pro-lifers have been winning the battle for hearts and minds on the abortion issue. And as Kissling herself admits, a big part of this success has been the tactic of focusing on incremental issues which, while small in themselves, highlight the humanity of the unborn. In my view, the recent Arizona bill banning race and sex selective abortions falls into that category.