NPR’s Fresh Air had an interview with the author of Absolute Convictions, the soon to be released book by an award-winning journalist whose father was an abortionist, and whose colleague and fellow abortionist, Barnett Slepian, was shot and killed in his home in 1998.
Although the author is pro-choice, his honest exploration of both sides of the issue is very interesting. He actually sat down with some of the clinic protesters many years later and interviewed them. Well worth the listen.
On the "middle ground" of abortion:
"For the vast majority of Americans, they don’t fall on the extreme ends on either side of the abortion debate. Most people have more ambiguous feelings. They maybe believe abortion should be legal but restricted in many ways….My book is an effort to engage that sort of middle of America."
On misperception of pro-lifers:
"[Interviewing the protesters] forced me to confront some of my own assumptions about the protesters. Growing up, my image of them was of sort of angry white males, holding aloft their signs, and insisting that their morality [should be] imposed upon everyone else – this sort of very familiar stereotype. Many of the activists I ended up meeting were actually women….I came with lots of assumptions. I assumed I would be meeting a religious zealot who would quote the bible to me….I met this very relaxed person who wants to engage me in dialogue, and it really struck me that I came to the meeting with the very assumptions that I thought only the other side had."
On how pro-life tactics have changed:
"I think that in some cases, [abortion protesters used to be more confrontational, using] the tactic of "house calls". These were protests in front of doctor’s homes….by the time I had met with [them, they] had reconsidered that tactic."