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Living the Gospel of Life -- Study Guide

Paragraph Thirty-one


This paragraph speaks about the "political penalty" some may pay for living out their pro-life convictions in public office. Yet it also points out that "many voters are hungry for substance." Statistical polls in recent elections have in fact demonstrated that taking a pro-life position on abortion is advantageous for the candidate.

For example, a Wirthlin poll taken immediately after the elections of 2000 asked voters whether the abortion issue affected their vote. Some 42% said yes. Those who voted for the candidate who opposed abortion were 23% and those who voted for the candidate who favored abortion were 19%.

Two years later, after the mid-term elections of 2002, a Zogby International/Buffalo News Nationwide poll showed that 40% of voters voted for pro-life candidates or at least tended to favor them, while only 23% voted for or favored the pro-choice candidates. Another Zogby post-election poll that year showed that 25% of all voters chose pro-life candidates while only 13% chose pro-abortion candidates. When viewed just among those who voted on the abortion issue, 61% chose the pro-life candidate, and only 31% chose the pro-abortion candidate.

Discussion Questions

What are some examples of ways in which politicians witness to the dignity of life -- or compromise that witness -- in the course of carrying out their duties?

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