The University of Notre Dame is not a conservative institution. They’ve been called out in the past for their leftism, including their advocacy for radically strict gun control. They have several professors who are open socialists, and of course they sing the same songs from the same wokeness hymnals as the rest of leftist America, pushing for “social justice” and “inclusion.” Ideologically and culturally, the University of Notre Dame has a lot more in common with the University of California Berkeley than it does with Hillsdale College. It is for this reason that the backlash from Notre Dame students and faculty against the idea of President Joe Biden speaking at the university’s commencement ceremony this past Sunday is noteworthy… significantly noteworthy.
In addition to being an athletics powerhouse, Notre Dame has long been considered one of the premier academic institutions in the country, and presidents and vice-presidents have acted accordingly. During the Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush presidencies, either the presidents themselves or their vice-presidents spoke at Notre Dame’s graduation during their first year in office. But the Biden Administration has managed to interrupt this trend after a letter signed by over 4,300 members of the university’s ‘community’ objecting to Biden’s “pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty agenda” resulted in Biden not being invited to participate.
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Generally speaking, voters care about economic issues, particularly when those issues affect their own well-being. They also care about topics such as immigration, foreign policy, and national security. But nothing generates passion from voters like social issues, and abortion is the single-hottest flashpoint in that category. Want to see fireworks? Watch a couple of pro-abortion and anti-abortion advocates mixing it up.
With some social issues, gun control in particular, public opinion tends to remain steady. Based on certain events or tragedies, we may see temporary shifts in public sentiment, but mostly Americans stand pretty firm on the issue. Many others, however, have shifted in favor of the left in recent years, most notable of which are gay rights and the environment. But abortion is clearly different.
Opinions are shifting to the right in the abortion debate, and what happened with President Biden would have been unthinkable not long ago. The idea of a left-leaning university like Notre Dame caving to pressure from anti-abortion activists within their own faculty and student body to turn down an appearance by a sitting, Democratic president would have been laughable. But that’s where we are with the abortion debate, and we should expect the trend to continue.
Many attribute the swing in public opinion to the advent of ultrasound, which is a point with some validity. Anyone who’s ever had the honor of being present when an expectant mother goes through the procedure understands the magic of ultrasound. Being able to see a child in the womb is a marvel, and is enough to make one weepy; God’s handiwork on full display. But the ongoing alteration in people’s views on abortion is about more than just ultrasound. It’s about science, or as those on the left would say, it’s about Science; with a capital “S.” And it is this point which becomes highly problematic for our friends on the left.
Here’s a good approach for anyone who is anti-abortion and is debating with someone who is pro-abortion. First of all, don’t play into their game of semantics, call your positions what they are. You’re not pro-life, you’re anti-abortion. And those who profess to be pro-choice are no such thing; they are pro-abortion.
Then, ensure the debate is focused on the singular question of “when does life begin?” It’s the only question that truly matters on the subject. Clouding the discussion with questions of incest and rape are a distraction upon which the pro-abortion crowd relies. Don’t fall for the trap and insist on the topic being tabled. After all, less than 1% of all abortions are the result of incest and rape, and it should be a peripheral topic, at best.
Finally, explain to your fellow debater that you’re going to list the science-based facts on why a fetus is a human being, and then ask your opponent to list the science-based facts on why a fetus is not a human being. Your list supporting why a fetus is human could include:
- From the moment of conception, that zygote/fetus/baby has utterly unique DNA. There has never been another human being with that genetic makeup. Ever. That is science, and that is a baby.
- At eight weeks old, the fetus usually will have a heartbeat. It’s very own, beating heart. That is science, and that is a baby.
- At seventeen weeks old, it’s the baby’s own brain which is controlling that heartbeat. His/her own central nervous system is controlling its functions. That is science, and that is a baby.
- And at twenty-two weeks, or younger, a fetus can be viable. That baby can live outside of the mother’s womb and grow to be a happy adult. That is science, and that is a baby.
Now it’s time for the pro-abortion activist to cite their rationale, and to list their science-based facts on why a fetus is not a human being. That response will normally go something like this:
- Umm, because it’s not a baby. It’s just not. It’s, umm, human tissue, or something.
That’s it. No science. No logic. No facts.
It is for this reason that the pro-abortion crowd must rely on the aforementioned distractions. They must try to frame the debate around the extremely rare instances of rape and incest. They must use inane terms such as “reproductive justice” and “a woman’s right to choose.” They must tell baseless stories about how common it was for women to die from “back alley” abortions prior to Roe V. Wade in 1973. The pro-abortion argument is a losing argument because the pro-abortion argument is a lie.
Times are changing, and the public’s views continue to move against abortion. In just the last month, states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Idaho have implemented laws that set strict limitations on abortions. There is a large anti-abortion contingent within the feminist movement. Younger Americans are increasingly likely to oppose abortion. And now we have a president who claims to be Catholic being uninvited to speak at the top Catholic university in the nation, in a development that never would have happened even a few short years ago.
For those of us who oppose abortion, the takeaway from these changes is clear. Don’t bend. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t apologize. Abortion is wrong. Abortion is murder. The tide is turning, and now is not the time for weakness.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Human Events, the Western Journal, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.