NRL News

Millennials and Abortion: What Say They?

by | Jan 3, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

NancyKeenanDemConvoIf you or I had announced this truth—that among the younger generation [the Millennials] there is greater intensity among pro-lifers than among pro-choicers—not a single “mainstream” reporter would have given our assertion the time of day. But ever since outgoing NARAL President Nancy Keenan first broached this in an interview with then-Newsweek reporter Sarah Kliff in 2010, it’s been like a burr under the saddle. {See our coverage.}

In an interview with Salon’s Irin Carmon, published today, Keenan returned to that topic as well as others worth commenting on (see

Let me summarize what Keenan argued, based on what she said and what she meant and what she was busy hiding.

1. They did well in the 2012 elections in no small part because of pro-life “extremism.” NARAL et al. exploited what NRLC Executive Director David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., has described as “unfortunate and politically disastrous comments by some candidates who oppose abortion.” As a result pro-abortionists were, in Dr. O’Steen’s words, “able to redefine in the public arena what pro-life and pro-choice mean and by being able to have their message amplified by vastly greater resources and a media eager to carry their message.” Once Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin made his comments on rape and abortion, “from that point on for the media the abortion issue was ONLY about rape.” This not only put pro-life candidates on the defensive it assured that the genuine abortion extremist—President Barack Obama—would never have to answer for his record.

2. They will make another pass at eliminating the Hyde Amendment which has saved at least a million babies since first enacted.

3. It is impermissible for pro-lifers, the Catholic Church, business people of faith, and faith-based institutions to oppose the mandate from Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services. The HHS mandate are regulations adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services under a provision of ObamaCare that force employers to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for items and procedures, such as contraceptives, that they have moral or religious objections to. (There are over 40 legal challenges to the mandate.) According to Keenan, you can’t oppose abortion and recognize anyone’s freedom of conscience.

4. The Democratic Party is the party of abortion which loves Keenan and Cecile Richards, president of PPFA, and the rest of the Abortion Establishment. (If you have any lingering doubts, you missed last summer’s Democratic National Convention.) As for President Obama, “I think he has held those pro-choice values since the time he was a [Illinois] state legislator. He has never wavered from those.”

5. There is lots more, but just to return to what Carmon called Keenan’s “controversial comments in Newsweek about millennials being less pro-choice.” Keenan did not back off, although she clarified that she obviously wasn’t talking “about the young women who have committed their lives and dedicated enormous energy to this movement, men and women. I’m talking about that group of millennials out there under 30 who have not connected the personal to the political on this issue.” Her muted criticism was/is that “They are pro-choice, but they don’t put the issue of protecting this decision at the top of their list. So there is an intensity gap. If you put five pro-choice millennials in a room, probably one of them would vote their pro-choice values as a very critical factor for them, but if you put five anti-choice millennials in a room, almost two of them would vote their anti-choice values [based on our research]. By 2020, the millennials will be about 40 percent of the voting population in this country.”

NARAL and Keenan just announce as if no one could disagree that the generation under 30 is “pro-choice.” If so, then the problem is only getting more of the majority to make abortion “a critical factor for them.”

In fact, the younger generation is intuitively pro-life and growing more so. Remember in every generation only a percentage will make a candidate’s position abortion their priority reason for voting for (or against) them.

What makes this doubly uncomfortable for pro-abortionists is this. The self-aware portion of the Millennials is already twice as dedicated to their values as their pro-abortion counterparts. With a field ripe for harvest, that can only mean a future bumper crop of champions for life.

[See also “MSNBC’s Alex Witt Asks: ‘What’s It Going To Take To Get Abortion Rights Back On Track?”]

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Categories: NARAL