Views on abortion are basically binary: you're essentially either pro-life or pro-choice. And Americans are almost evenly divided. According to the Gallup Poll:
[W]hen the entire issue is distilled to the labels most commonly used on each side of the debate -- pro-choice vs. pro-life -- the public is split nearly down the middle.Under these circumstances, it would seem logically impossible for one of the positions to be inherently "more moderate" than the other. But consider this sentence from a New York Times article of today, Opponents Attack Giuliani’s New York Record:
Mr. Giuliani’s candidacy has always been considered somewhat unorthodox, given his more moderate views on social issues like abortion, which put him at odds with many in the Republican base.Are Rudy's positions on abortion and other social issues more liberal than those of the Republican base? No doubt. But more "moderate"? If a pro-life Democrat were running for president, it would make as much sense for the Times to say "Mr. X’s candidacy has always been considered somewhat unorthodox, given his more moderate views on social issues like abortion, putting him at odds with many in the Democratic base." But hey, the Times isn't in the sense-making business. It simply wants to portray its positions as the default, "moderate" ones.