The law of unintended consequences? - Macleans.ca

The law of unintended consequences?

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Support for unrestricted abortion has apparently increased over the last eight months.

A Forum Research poll for the National Post recently asked 1,735 randomly selected Canadians 18 years of age or older when abortion should be legal. A full 60% of Canadians said always. That’s surprisingly high. Even more surprising: That number’s skyrocketed in recent months. In a similar Forum poll conducted last February, only 51% of Canadians took that position…

But why the blip? Forum president Lorne Bozinoff has a theory: “In the absence of anything else happening, it appears [Conservative] MP Stephen Woodworth’s attempt to re-open the abortion debate had the effect of hardening opinion in favour of legal abortion.”

In a recent print edition of the magazine, Charlie Gillis looked at how the anti-abortion movement is trying to shape its message. At a conference in Toronto last month, Mr. Woodworth explained it this way.

But Woodworth does not completely blame the failure on those MPs pre-occupied with abortion — pro-lifers are at fault too for not being able to adapt how they communicate their message. “If you simply go in with your truth and you fail to recognize the truths that others are concerned about, you won’t make that connection, you won’t develop that relationship and you won’t be listened to,” he said. “If you cannot convince someone that a child is a human being before birth you are not going to convince them about abortion.”