Abortion acceptability data

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at jhu.edu
Tue Jun 2 11:41:11 PDT 1998

At 12:12 PM 6/2/98 -0500, Katha Pollitt wrote:
>Thanks for that interesting statistical material, Wojtek. I don't mean
>to quibble, but I wonder how relevant they are to what we are
>discussing, which is: what should the position of "the left" be on the
>issue of compromising on the LEGALITY and AVAILABILITY of abortion.
>Asking people how "acceptable" abortion is to them does not tell us what
>they think about what social policy should be. I find many things
>totally unacceptable--men leaving their middle-aged wives for younger
>models, for example, professors having sex with their students-- that I
>believe should be legal.Similarly, most Americans routinely tell
>pollsters that they think premarital sex, extramarital sex are ALWAYS
>wrong--that doesn't mean they want the govt to police the bedroom. I
>really think you and Max are a little too eager to give away the store
>on this issue.

I agree with the most part of the obove, except the giving away part. The reason I posted these figures is to give a rough assessement of the situation rather than a signal tpo retreat. The point I'm trying to make is that while access to abortion is a class issue, that issue need to be presented to the working class in a way that is acceptable to them. In other words, the Left should start speaking the language these people understand and relate to, or we can turn the lights off, go home and do the right wingers to do their hatchet job.

> An interesting fact: in the last decade (Alan guttmacher again) 12
>countries have liberalized their abortion laws , including Italy and
>some of the other countries you cite. Only ONE has made abortion law
>more restrictive: Poland.

That does not surprise me at all, if not anything else, governments are much more responsive to the concern of professional people than to those of the working class. Once you cite Poland, I think it is a prima facie case of manipulation from above to divert public attention from the looting of national ecenomy aka privatisation. Add to it the weakness of the Left, influence of the Catholic church there which, unlike US Catholics, is more right wing than the Nazis, demography (40% or so rural population) and you have the results.



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