The renowned physicist Max Planck once said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
And this isn’t just true of science: the same principle holds true in the political arena. Most progressive advances don’t come about because vast numbers of people are persuaded to drop their prejudices, but because younger generations to whom new ideas seem normal and familiar eventually replace the old guard. To name the obvious example, this is what’s happening right now with marriage equality, as young people who are overwhelmingly comfortable with GLBT rights grow up and replenish the electorate.
But there’s one political issue that seems to be an exception to the trend of progress over time, and that issue is abortion. A recent poll found anti-choice views in the slim majority for the first time in decades. What’s worse, the anti-choice side is far more aggressive and well-funded, partly because they’re not burdened by providing actual medical care and can spend all their donations on propaganda, and they’ve been hard at work creating hurdles for women’s rights throughout the country.