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Vast Majority of Americans Uncomfortable with Roe’s Legacy, Seek Return to Traditional Values
Photo: Carl A. Anderson, Supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus
Today’s contributor is New York Times best-selling author Carl A. Anderson. As supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl A. Anderson is the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization, which has more than 1.8 million members. Mr. Anderson has had a distinguished career as a public servant and educator. From 1983 to 1987, he served in various positions of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, including special assistant to the President and acting director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. Following his service at the White House, Mr. Anderson served for nearly a decade as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
As the country remembers the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a recently released book presents polling data that shows Americans’ are increasingly at odds with that Supreme Court decision’s legacy of unrestricted abortion.
In Beyond A House Divided: The Moral Consensus Ignored by Washington, Wall Street and the Media, New York Times bestselling author Carl Anderson – leader of the Knights of Columbus – makes a compelling case that there is a wide consensus among Americans that is often missed in our national discussions.
“It is clear from these surveys of the American people that as a nation we are ready to move beyond the legacy of Roe v. Wade, and in a more moral direction in general,” said Carl Anderson. “On key issues, the nation’s political and media discussions ought to take into account the moral consensus of the American people and to realize that for Americans right and wrong matter much more than right and left.”
The book reveals that on the issue of abortion, far from being intractable, most Americans have found a significant unity that is at odds with the legacy of Roe v. Wade. In fact, the great majority would significantly restrict abortion. Nearly eight in ten Americans say it should be allowed at most only during the first three months of pregnancy. Two-thirds of self identified “pro-choice” Americans agree. And well over half of Americans would restrict abortion even further – to cases of rape, incest, life of the mother – or would not allow it all.
Americans also seek a return to traditional moral values. Polling done this summer and presented in Anderson’s book shows that while one in ten Americans looked to the November election as the best hope for this country, five times as many Americans saw a return to traditional moral values – the most often selected choice –as key. Similarly, a summer survey by Politico cited in the book found that nearly two-thirds of Americans saw “family values” as “very important” – a feeling shared by less than a quarter of “Washington elites.”