06/19/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Aborting Abortion Debate's Tone

In his speech at Notre Dame, President Obama asked for a change in tone in the nation's debate over abortion, somehow missing the point that the debate's main appeal IS the awful, strident tone. Nevertheless, abortion debaters wishing to tone it down can adopt some new ideas immediately.


Redefine "When Does Life Begin?" Some believe life begins at conception. Others say that life begins at 40. Like most things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. From now on let's say that life begins when you've completed your high school gym requirement or when you no longer have to live with a roommate.

Choose More. The pro-choice movement is ironically filled with women who cannot pick out a dress or decide what shoes to wear on a Saturday night. The deal should be that women have the right to choose what they do with their bodies, but men no longer have to help them choose what goes on them.

Politicize Other Personal Issues. Abortion used to be a personal matter that became political. We should inflame other bodily procedures, like dental hygiene. The Anti-Floss movement could congregate on sidewalks and taunt passers-by with posters of innocent bacteria being killed by waxed and unwaxed nylon ribbons.

Update the Propaganda. Americans are embracing new media from FiOS to Imax, yet pro-life forces are umbilically attached to old school agitprop - the truck that drives around with a giant billboard showing fetus photos. Give these nameless, unborn models hip tags and let people follow them on Twitter.

Cultivate New Protests that Seem Similar. For example, instead of protesting Abortion on Demand, protest HBO on Demand. A sidewalk rally could be just as big, but passers-by wouldn't be repelled by pictures of Big Love or True Blood.

Oppose Other Forms of Abortion. The first step toward uniting pro-lifers and pro-choicers is to focus on other things that have been aborted. The U.S. government prematurely removed $700 billion - yet this abortion has been barely protested. Other unfairly aborted items include Boston Legal and the Virgin Megastore.