This year marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

This year marks a transition for the annual March for Life. In the 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, Nellie Gray marshaled March for Life demonstrators. Now, after Gray's death in August, March for Life has a new leader: Jeanne Monahan.

One production company took President Barack Obama's tearful remarks after the Newtown, Conn., shooting and applied them to abortion in an advertisement for the recent March for Life. The headline to a story about the advertisement reads, “President Obama challenges pro-lifers to join March for Life! (sort of).”

And 20 European countries have come together in the “One of Us” campaign, a petition initiative to ask the European Parliament to recognize that life begins at conception.

Yet according to a recent poll, 63 percent of Americans don't think Roe v. Wade should be completely overturned. (The same poll reports that 47 percent of Americans believe having an abortion is morally wrong.) One of our partner sites has its own poll, asking whether the decision should be overturned.

But when it comes to talking about abortion, the conversations can quickly become polarized. As one article notes, “Abortion ranks as one of the most intractably divisive issues in America, and is likely to remain so as rival camps of true believers see little space for common ground.”

What do you think people need to keep in mind when having conversations about abortion? How can we have honest, respectful and productive dialogues with each other on this subject? What are some steps we can take to reach a resolution? (And is any of that even possible?)

Responses to this Viewpoint

People already have their minds made up on abortion

Eric Blauer |

The Viewpoints question presented on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is how can we have a respectful, productive dialogue?
I think the manner in which people talk about this subject is key but in the end it seems people have made up their mind and come to the issue to fight more than find new paths forward.

Abortion rights is a matter of opinion

Joe Niemiec |

There are legislatures that cannot pass budgets that adequately fund public education, health and welfare but have the time to debate laws that have been in effect for 40 years. We have crippling debt from war and we are one of the few, if not only, industrialized countries that still has the death penalty.

1 Comment

  1. What I think people need to keep in mind when having conversations about abortion is: pro-life concern should focus on the needs of live children rather than embryos.

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