“Let's set aside our differences and look for common ground.
By working together to reduce the need for abortion,
we could lower the number of abortions.”
It sounds so reasonable, so mature, and so appealing. After all, we're human – we want to like and be liked. We want to sit in the stands at a baseball game and enjoy the company of the guy next to us even when he's rooting for the other team. It's an aspect of human nature by which we are all often seduced and seldom harmed.
But when you take up the cause of the unborn, you soon learn that the normal rules of human engagement do not apply. You come to realize that it is a world where the failure to question motives can be disastrous. And nothing is a better example of that than the suggestion that we look for common ground with those who defend abortion.
First, the abortion lobby knows that they do not have to convince the public that their position is morally superior to ours. It doesn't even have to be seen as morally equal. All that's necessary is that it is considered morally defensible. The problem is, when the public sees us working in concert with them to find common ground, we help create that perception. We signal that even we believe their position has some moral validity. It is no different than if the Jewish people would have agreed to look for common ground with the Nazis while the ovens at Auschwitz were burning day and night. That would have simply given credibility to the Nazi position.
Second, it is no secret that the American people are increasingly uncomfortable about abortion. What the offer to search for common ground does for the abortion lobby is to connect them with the public by creating the illusion that even they don't like abortion and are working to reduce its numbers. It's a cynical public relations scheme that only works if we go along with it. It is also based on a lie. To think that the abortion lobby wants to reduce the number of abortions is like saying that McDonalds wants to reduce the number of hamburgers being sold. In short, it's roughly equivalent to believing in the tooth fairy.
Third, our enemies have always understood that their future is far more secure when the public perception is that abortions are done out of “need” rather than the simple desire not to be pregnant. But the truth is that even studies conducted by hardcore abortion advocates prove that almost every abortion in America is done for non-medical reasons and involves a healthy baby who was not conceived by rape or incest and a healthy woman whose pregnancy does not threaten either her life or health. In other words, there are virtually no abortions done in America that the public would conclude are being done out of need.
However, every time we take the common ground bait, we help the abortion lobby conceal that fact from the American people. It is simple deductive reasoning that, by agreeing to join them in this search for ways to reduce the need for abortion, we are, by definition, conceding that there is sometimes a need for abortion. After all, rational people don't go looking for ways to reduce the need for something unless they have concluded that such a need exists. So when we agree to these common ground efforts, we help to cover up the fact that, even if every abortion being done out of need was eliminated, any reduction in the number of abortions would be too small to measure.
Another flaw in the common ground approach is that it always requires us to accept the fundamental premise of the abortion lobby. In all such discussions, the opening statement is something like, “We have all agreed to set aside any discussion about whether abortion should be legal and concentrate on finding ways to reduce the need for abortions.”
But if the real goal of these discussions is to find common ground, it would be equally legitimate to say, “Everyone has agreed that abortion should be made illegal, so our goal today is to look for ways to reduce the incidence of illegal abortions once that happens.” Of course, that statement would never be made because the abortion lobby would never agree to discuss their position on their opponent's terms. We seem to be the only ones who fall for that little trick.
Now, if you think I'm too cynical about all this, I have a suggestion. The next time you are approached about participating in such an event, point out that the most effective way to lower America's astronomical abortion rate would be to concentrate on the areas where big numbers are. That means the focus should be on finding ways to reduce the number of abortions that are being done because the woman just doesn't want to be pregnant or because she is using abortion as back-up birth control. Also propose that the discussion looks for ways to reduce the number of multiple abortions. That’s legitimate since, by abortion industry figures, about 40 percent of all abortions are done on women who have had at least one prior abortion – and often several.
Of course, there are other “big number” areas we could look at, but it really doesn't matter since we all know that such a proposal would be dead on arrival. Common ground discussions simply don't happen unless they are conducted by abortion lobby rules. That's because the actual goal is not to reduce the number of abortions but to neutralize the pro-life movement and divert attention away from the core issue.
Let’s also remember that, when we drink the common ground Kool Aid, we are signaling that we think we have lost this battle. That is particularly obvious in light of the fact that these discussions are always held on our enemy's terms. In most venues, that would be translated as meaning “unconditional surrender.”
But the fact is that we are winning; we just need to act like it. As long as the killing continues, we have no common ground with these people nor should we seek any. Remember, prior to World War II we had long discussions with the Japanese trying to avert the war. But at Pearl Harbor, the talking ended. Our leaders understood that when people are threatening to do evil, discussions with them are a reasonable thing. But once they have begun doing that evil, there is nothing more to talk about. From that moment on, the only goal is to stop them.
That must always be our goal as well. When those who slaughter the unborn – and those who defend it – come to us with big toothy grins and an invitation to some Common Ground Beer Summit, we would be wise to remember that when a wolf shows his teeth, he isn't smiling.