Pro Choice And Pro Life Pdf

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The United States anti-abortion movement also called the pro-life movement or right-to-life movement contains elements opposing induced abortion on both moral and religious grounds and supports its legal prohibition or restriction.

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Attitudes toward abortion were investigated as being comprised of two dimensions: attitudes toward abortion as a procedure and attitudes toward choice. Dilemma people are those who are negative toward abortion but positive toward choice. Regulated individuals are those who are not negative toward abortion but believe that abortion should be strictly controlled rather than an individual choice. People in these situationist positional groupings were hypothesized to hold different abortion attitudes and exhibit different individual difference profiles relative to those endorsing the absolutist perspectives regarding abortion. Using a sample of university student participants, the study results partially supported the existence of the dilemma and regulated attitudinal groups.

Abolishing Abortion: The History of the Pro-Life Movement in America

In March presidential candidate Donald Trump argued that women who had abortions should be punished if abortion were made illegal. Trump quickly reversed himself, but the previously pro-choice candidate had stumbled into an argument that pro-life advocates have studiously avoided over the last forty years for fear of being labelled antiwoman. Some social observers looked at such statements and wondered if they signaled the declining importance of pro-life politics, and social conservatism more broadly, to the Republican party.

Is the antiabortion movement no longer relevant in the United States? Those who would answer yes might suffer from myopia. In the two centuries the movement has existed, its constituencies, tactics, and tools have all changed. In the end, the pro-life movement transformed ideas as it also restricted the real ability of American women to access reproductive healthcare.

Before abortion was a widespread, largely stigma-free experience for American women. During that period, the American legal system used the quickening doctrine from British common law to decide the legality of abortion. Quickening occurred when the pregnant woman could feel the fetus move, typically between the fourth and sixth month of pregnancy. This was the only sure way to confirm pregnancy; before this time, any fetus was considered only a potential life. Post-quickening abortion was a crime, but only a misdemeanor.

Some historians have suggested that laws against post-quickening abortions were primarily intended to protect the health of the pregnant woman—not fetal life—as it was much more common for women to die during abortions that used instruments rather than herbal abortifacients.

Whatever the rationale, few abortions were prosecuted before the mid-nineteenth century because quickening was so difficult to prove. Only women themselves could testify to fetal movement. This system of legal but quiet abortions fell apart in the mid-nineteenth century. Before then, physicians had been a largely unregulated bunch, without the institutional or cultural authority to corner the market on healing.

Physicians used anti-abortion laws, pushed in state legislatures, to increase their own stature and undermine their opponents. Of course, many would have narrated this story very differently. Some physicians claimed that this campaign was a product of superior medical knowledge.

Many argued that women and rag-tag group of healers who offered abortion did not have adequate embryonic knowledge to determine when life began. But historians have noted that this medical insight was not a result of any advancements in embryonic knowledge. In fact, there were none during these campaigns. This effort largely succeeded. By every state had a law forbidding abortion at any stage, whether through the use of drugs or procedures.

Almost all the laws passed during this time included a therapeutic exception, where licensed physicians could provide abortions at their own discretion as long as the abortion preserved the life of the mother. While this loophole allowed many women to obtain abortions, it also made doctors the ultimate arbiters of the morality and legality of abortions. These laws also created a large black market for women who could not access or obtain abortions through medical channels.

There was not much of an antiabortion movement between and because the state did its work. Police, courts, and lawmakers prosecuted abortionists and harassed women who procured the procedure. In the American Law Institute, a group of professionals that put together model legislation, advocated for the liberalization of abortion law.

They suggested that the law should make exceptions for women who were raped, whose fetuses were deformed, and whose mental or physical health was at stake. In the s Americans witnessed the heartbreak of infant death and extreme fetal deformity. Thalidomide, a sleeping pill, caused thousands of birth defects in Europe and the United States. Later, an outbreak of German measles produced thousands of stillbirths and cases of babies born with major abnormalities.

Images of white middle-class women and their deformed infants peppered American media, capturing the imaginations and parental fears of many Americans. Together these shifts helped push state legislatures to reform their abortion laws. Colorado was the first to amend its law in , followed quickly by others, most famously California in and New York in Small groups of Catholic doctors, nurses, lawyers, and housewives joined together to oppose liberalization. Early Catholic activists were often joined by a handful of non-Catholics, usually Protestants, Mormons, or Orthodox Christians.

The Roe vs. Wade decision, legalizing abortion in all fifty states, changed everything and nothing. In the s the anti-abortion movement remained heavily Catholic, and they continued to pitch their issue as a rights issue rather than a religious one.

But in other essential ways the movement changed. Before Roe , the anti-abortion movement was very small, geographically disperse, and focused on individual state legislatures. After activists and state legislators alike worried that Roe prescribed a one-size-fits-all abortion law that could only be addressed at the national level.

Thus, in the s, activists promoted the Hyde Amendment which successfully prohibited federal funding of abortions through Medicaid and pushed, unsuccessfully, a constitutional amendment banning abortion.

After the direction of pro-life activism changed, even as its demographics and core political arguments remained the same. While antiabortion activists retained their focus on individual fetal rights, they began to develop new ways to convey that message to the public that focused on the fetus and excised the woman.

The four pictures they put in their book, collected from sympathetic doctors and pathologists, were quickly reproduced and used in all parts of the movement. Their work built on a longer, medical history of viewing and personifying the fetus. After World War II, new medical technologies allowed doctors to view and treat fetuses in new ways, while others examined fetal development for the cures to persistent human problems, ultimately personifying and individualizing the fetus.

They became sure that images helped people to understand a fetus, legally and culturally, as a baby. Thus the movement continued to develop new tools and technologies to this end: pictures of fetuses, in utero and aborted, fetal models, and fetuses in jars in the s; fetal pins, dolls, jewelry, and clothes in addition to a proliferation of pro-life movies in the s; and ultrasound visuals of fetuses in the s and s. Using these images, activists made a political pitch and moved fetal bodies squarely into American political culture.

As activists moved the fetus into the political spotlight, they tried to keep the pregnant woman behind the curtain. Increasingly in the s, they attempted to link their campaign to civil rights and human rights work, which led to increasingly heated rhetoric. Some activists said legal abortion was worse than the Jewish Holocaust.

Others argued that the Roe decision was akin to the Dred Scott decision, which ruled that black people—slave or free—were not U. While not actually working on civil rights and human rights issues, pro-life activists used those causes to make the fetus a sympathetic victim and pro-life activists into modern day abolitionists. But activists avoided discussing what would happen to American women if abortion became illegal.

They tried to silence those in their midst who voiced the old argument that pregnancy punished women for promiscuity. Activists instead claimed that abortion providers and the feminists who condoned legal abortion were truly to blame. In the late s and early s, evangelical Christians joined the movement in great numbers, rejuvenating and eventually radicalizing the movement. Previously, in the late s, evangelical scholars, pastors, and physicians could not agree on whether or not abortion was sinful.

But by late s and early s, this sentiment had changed. Many evangelical laypeople and clergy opposed legal abortion and joined the fight to end it. Some simply joined existing pro-life groups; others formed new, more radical groups that rejected the politics of legislative reform.

Their national media spectacle sought to attract reporters and stun the American public. Extremists in the movement went even further. Between the early s and the s, there were assaults, death threats, 3 kidnappings, 18 attempted murders, and 9 murders related to abortion providers.

As rescues captured the imaginations, enthusiasm, and anger of many anti-abortion activists, others continued to do the quiet work of incremental legal change. In the s and s, many pro-lifers, especially those who remained in more mainstream right to life groups, focused on making access to abortion more difficult on the state level. Casey , crafting a new rationale to determine the constitutionality of laws regulating abortion.

The radical and moderate groups differed in terms of strategy, but together they succeeded at reorienting the conversation about abortion. Both types of groups worked to make pro-life politics central to social conservatism and by extension the Republican party.

They made fetal life central to how many Christians viewed their religion and their politics. In all these efforts, activists were successful, not for all Americans but for enough to build an expansive movement with the defense of fetal life as its core. Feminists, they argued, had persuaded women to deny the fundamental truth of fetal life.

Women, they argued, were traumatized by abortion and like veterans, suffered from a form of post-traumatic stress. Only the pro-life movement could turn the tide against the psychological and physical damage of abortion and feminism. But his words also gave the misperception that this movement is increasingly unimportant. Women living in poverty, in rural areas, and in red states, trying to use their constitutionally guaranteed right to an abortion, would tell you a different story.

She specializes in the histories of the North American West, gender, sexuality, and race. She is currently writing a book about the modern anti-abortion movement in four western states. Forgot your username or password? Bryan Ave. The American Historian. Holland In March presidential candidate Donald Trump argued that women who had abortions should be punished if abortion were made illegal. Notes [ 1 ] James C. Want to read more articles just like these? Subscribe Today!

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United States anti-abortion movement

Describes the research methodology used and how the data was analysed, testing for attitudinal change by age, gender and race, through a comparison of mean scale scores, longitudinal analysis, and multiple regression. Indicates that racial differences on abortion are declining. Misra, R. Report bugs here. Please share your general feedback. You can join in the discussion by joining the community or logging in here.

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The two groups differed signficantly on 12 of 18 Rokeach terminal values and on eight of 13 NORC instrumental values. Salvation was the value which most successfully differentiated the two groups. The two groups were used to establish the construct validity of 18 abortion attitude items. Members of the two groups also differed significantly on each of 18 beliefs, indicating that they tend not only to accept assertions made by their own group but also to reject assertions made by the other group. Anti-abortion were more likely than pro-abortion respondents to expect an increase in restrictions on abortion five years from now.

In March presidential candidate Donald Trump argued that women who had abortions should be punished if abortion were made illegal. Trump quickly reversed himself, but the previously pro-choice candidate had stumbled into an argument that pro-life advocates have studiously avoided over the last forty years for fear of being labelled antiwoman. Some social observers looked at such statements and wondered if they signaled the declining importance of pro-life politics, and social conservatism more broadly, to the Republican party.

He defends the view that, except in unusual circumstances, abortion is seriously wrong. The purpose of this essay is to set out an argument the claim that abortion, except perhaps in instances, is seriously wrong. One reason for these exceptions is to eliminate from consideration cases whose ethical analysis should be controversial detailed for clear-headed opponents of abortion. Such cases include abortion after rape and abortion during the first fourteen days after conception when there is an argument that the fetus is not definitely an individual.

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