Monday, March 23, 2009

One Side Tries New Strategy in Debate over Abortion

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune

A battle in S. Dakota showed the public is tired of polarized politics, an abortion-rights leader says.

Sarah Stoesz was standing in line at a car rental counter in Sioux Falls, S.D., when she felt the tectonic plates of abortion politics shift beneath her feet.

People around her were talking about abortion -- with strangers, in public. More shocking, they were embarrassed by the broad abortion ban their legislature had just passed. It made no exceptions for incest, rape or the health of the mother. "What kind of state are we from?'' one asked.

That was the moment when Stoesz, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, saw an opening in a fight long defined by those who see it as black and white.

What she heard that spring day in 2006 were the outraged voices of everyone else in the vast middle -- people who saw it as gray.

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