"Governor Palin took what the [crisis pregnancy] centers were doing at the local level and brought it to the national stage. Unlike any other politician in recent history, she spoke of the pro-life position from a position of experience. She walked the walk and it showed."He says that John McCain's decision to ask Gov. Palin to be his running mate in August of last year was the seminal event to forecast the shift:
I agree with Bill that the life-affirming governor is a major factor in an historic change in the hearts and minds of many Americans over the issue of abortion. I also agree with him that she was not the only factor:"What other massive pro-life event happened to signal such a shift?"
"Now, nobody can suggest that Governor Palin alone was responsible for the movement in the national position on abortion. It should be noted, however, that Governor Palin was the most prominent national pro-life spokesperson during a time in which the numbers dramatically shifted to the pro-life cause more so than any time in recent history. It is then reasonable to assume that the governor did have at least something to do with those numbers."Unfortunately, the poll did not include several questions designed to measure the reasons for the changes in attitude, but the pollsters were not expecting any such change. Perhaps some future polls can attempt to find the causes of the shift once it may be determined that the change is indeed the beginning of a major and lasting trend toward the pro-life view, as advocates for life so earnestly hope it is.
There are other players who deserve some credit. Although I am not one of his biggest fans, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas must be acknowledged for landing a weekend television talk show on the Fox News Channel, the highest-rated cable news outlet, and using it to speak rather eloquently for the pro-life cause. Radio talk show hosts such as Laura Ingraham, the election behind them, had more time to devote to promoting life, which they did. Michael Steele became the Chairman of the RNC, and he used the increased media attention to him to make compelling arguments for life. Many pro-Life organizations such as the Susan B. Anthony List ramped up their tireless pro-life efforts. Even Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion U.S. president in history, unwittingly advanced the cause by pursuing such an aggressive agenda against the cause of life for all of the innocent unborn that many who had not been part of the movement for life prior to his election recoiled in horror.
Until we have empirical evidence, however, we can only speculate as to what degree Gov. Sarah Palin influenced her fellow American citizens to be more sympathetic to the pro-life view. There can be no argument, however, that she has not taken the leading role on the national stage in the dramatic struggle for the cause of life.