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With a Growing Pro-Life Majority, Can Middle Ground Be Found on Abortion Issues?

Supports of an abortion bill cheer during an anti-abortion rally at the Texas Capitol, Monday, July 8, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The fight over access to abortion in Texas resumed Monday with thousands expected to attend a marathon Senate hearing and a nighttime anti-abortion rally at the Capitol. (AP)

The Texas state bill regarding abortion that has been drawing national attention following the 10-hour filibuster from State Senator Wendy Davis last month that forced the bill to be voted again in a special session, passed earlier this week in the Texas House and is once again heading for a vote in the State Senate Friday night or early Saturday. The law would ban most abortions after 20 weeks in the state, and has drawn crowds of protesters from both sides to Austin. Governor Rick Perry and the Republican Senate Majority are confident the bill will be signed, and Democrats have conceded they will not be able to stop them.

States with laws already in place like those in consideration in Texas now include Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin and Arizona. Passage of the measures in Texas, the second most populous state, would be a major victory for the pro-life movement. A Nation Journal poll released earlier this month reveals that Americans favor a bill like the one being debated in Texas 48 percent to 44. A result inside the National Journal poll that may surprise some: among those surveyed, women support the 20-week abortion ban 50 percent to 44, and younger voters between 18 and 29 support the ban 52 percent to 39.

Several op-eds and studies in recent years have noted trends that indicate the American public is becoming more pro-life, Daniel Doherty theorizes why in TownHall:

If America is indeed becoming a more pro-life nation I think there are several reasons why: first, the horrors of the Gosnell trial are probably a major catalyst. The witness testimony as well as the graphic photos convinced me that late-term abortion is a great moral evil that must be outlawed as soon as possible. I’m sure many Americans now feel the same way, if they hadn’t already. And second, the recent fight to outlaw abortion after 20 weeks gestation (although the Gallup survey was conducted months before the farce down in Texas) is bringing the issue of abortion back into the public’s consciousness. Forty years of abortion-on-demand is no longer morally acceptable given what we now know about personhood and fetal pain

On 'Real News' Friday the panel discussed trends showing a more pro-life America, or at least a growing majority that support limits on abortion. Can a political middle ground be reached on such a controversial issue that both sides see as a moral one?

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