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New Debates over Abortion. The Evolution of the Debate. Main Arguments. Who Decides? Illegal Abortion Kills Women Abortion is a Women’s Rights Issue Abortion is Moral We care about the Fetus Too We care about the Woman. Abortion is Murder Abortion Kills the Unborn

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main arguments
Main Arguments
  • Who Decides?
  • Illegal Abortion Kills Women
  • Abortion is a Women’s Rights Issue
  • Abortion is Moral
  • We care about the Fetus Too
  • We care about the Woman
  • Abortion is Murder
  • Abortion Kills the Unborn
  • Abortion is a Civil Rights Issue
  • Abortion is Immoral
  • Fetal Life Needs Protection
  • We care about the Woman too
feminist for life
Feminist For Life
  • Launched in 1972
  • Current Mission:
main arguments1
Main Arguments
  • Challenge the automatic equation of feminism with the cause of abortion rights
  • Feminist foremothers were staunchly opposed to abortion
    • Early feminists never made claims against abortion laws
    • Instead celebrated motherhood as a site of power and reverence
      • Affirmed the experience of motherhood not the institution of motherhood
  • Understood devaluing of the fetus as an extension of the lack of human status for women
prochoice movements responses
ProChoice Movements Responses
  • Feminists were adhering to the norms of the time
    • ie , Petchesky “false consciousness”
    • Response: Early feminists were involved in other social movements of the time
    • Mohr’s adherence to Victorian sexual ethics)
    • Response: Early feminists acceptance of sex for pleasure and communication for women and men and support for sex education and family planning
  • Feminists were opposed to abortion because it was unsafe
    • Childbirth was riskier
separating feminists from other abortion opposition
Separating Feminists from Other Abortion Opposition

“Antiabortion sentiment was grounded in an acute sensitivity to the problems of women who bear and raise children. It is not to be confused with the misogynist diatribes of conservatives like Dr. Horatio Storer.”

(MacNair, 1995 p.11)

solution to abortion was addressing root causes
Solution to Abortion was Addressing Root Causes
  • Culturally enforced ignorance about sex and reproductive physiology (including pregnancy prevention and fetal development)
  • Men’s sexual and parental irresponsibility and coercion
  • The stigma of pregnancy outside marriage (for women but not men)
  • Lack of community supports for those with children
  • Vulnerability to the profiting industry
voluntary motherhood
“Voluntary Motherhood”
  • Abortion was not a right but an abrogation of rights
  • Women had the right to be free from sexual coercion and irresponsibility on the part of men
  • Voluntary motherhood would end abortion
  • Two types of response
    • Women need access to sex education and family planning
    • Women should practice sexual abstinence as contraception would encourage more male explotation
current feminists for life
Current Feminists for Life
  • Main message: “Women Deserve Better than Abortion”
  • Current Issues
    • Equality in the Workplace
    • Victory Over Violence
    • Right to Know
    • Child Abuse/Infanticide
    • Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
    • Father's Rights and Responsibilities
    • Women's History
    • Women's Rights Worldwide
position on contraception
Position on Contraception
  • “Feminists for Life's mission is to address the unmet needs of women who are pregnant or parenting. Preconception issues including abstinence and contraception are outside of our mission. Some FFL members and supporters support the use of non-abortifacient contraception while others oppose contraception for a variety of reasons. FFL is concerned that certain forms of contraception have had adverse health effects on women.”

http://www.feministsforlife.org/FAQ/index.htm#contraception

modern movement
Modern Movement

Part of a larger Women’s-Centered Strategy

http://www.feministsforlife.org/index.htm

focus on the fetus
Focus on the Fetus
  • Initial Focus on the Defenders of the Unborn
  • Graphic representations of abortion
  • Focus on the innocence and humanness of the fetus
  • Activities to “rescue” or save the fetus
  • Goal to establish the fetus as a person in law
insufficient success
Insufficient Success
  • Despite public opinions polls showing that most people believed that abortion took at fetal life and life begins at the moment of conception … ongoing public support for legal abortion
  • Women recent the fetal-centered strategy and perceive the anti-choice activists as uncaring and judgmental
  • A woman-centered focus re-positions the anti-choice movement as the defended (rather than the opponents) of pregnant women
david reardon
David Reardon
  • Architect of this approach
  • Founder of the Elliott Institute in Springfield, IL
  • Since 1987 –7 books and a dozen articles
    • Created conversation
    • Skilled at B.A.D. (biased—agenda driven science)
  • Leading spokes person for Post-Abortion Syndrome
slide20
Goal is to replace the fetus with the guilt-ridden, grief-stricken images of women victimized by abortion
compassion for women
Compassion for Women
  • Victims of society, men and the abortion industry
  • Promotion of restricted laws that prescribe the type and timing of information women receive related to abortion
  • Focus is on telling women about the psychological risks of abortion
  • Disassociation from the fetal-focused anti-abortion and violent parts of the pro-life movement
    • Cannold: Money demonstrates something different
mental health consequences
Mental Health Consequences

Texas Information Booklet: “A Woman’s Right to Know”

“You should know that women experience different emotions after an abortion. Some women may feel guilty, sad, or empty, while others may feel relief that the procedure is over. Some women have reported serious psychological effects after their abortion, including depression, grief, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, regret, suicidal thoughts and behavior, sexual dysfunction, avoidance of emotional attachment, flashbacks, and substance abuse. These emotions may appear immediately after an abortion, or gradually over a longer period of time. These feelings may recur or be felt stronger at the time of another abortion, or a normal birth, or on the anniversary of the abortion”

post abortion counseling
Post-Abortion Counseling
  • Can be absolved from moral responsibility through the act of seeking forgiveness
  • Use personal stories to show how “abortion hurts women” Promotion of law suits
validation from the supreme court
Validation from the Supreme Court

“Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child....While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained…Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.”

Gonzales v Carhart, 2007

the prochoice movement responds
The Prochoice Movement Responds:

Valuing the FetusAddressing the Harms

the moral value of the fetus
The Moral Value of the Fetus
  • “How to Think About the Fetus” by Francis Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice
  • Winder 2004-2005 issue of Conscience Magazine
  • 3 central values
    • Right of women to bodily integrity
    • A respect for human life and a moral presumption in favor of life
    • Action that do not promote more hostility
  • A fundamental belief that if the public saw the pro-choice movement as more compassionate it would be more supportive of legal abortion
the posited dilemma
The Posited Dilemma
  • If the fetus could be removed without harm and gestated elsewhere?
    • Do women have a right to a dead fetus?
caring for women after abortion
Caring for Women After Abortion
  • Formation of Exhale
    • http://www.4exhale.org/
  • Pro-Voice not Pro-Choice
    • “Exhale serves women who have abortions, and their partners, friends and family. We respect the cultural, social and religious beliefs of all our callers.”
  • The availability of e-cards
going beyond post abortion
Going Beyond Post-Abortion
  • Backline
    • Pre-counseling as well as post-
    • Adoption counseling
slide33

Men as the cause of abortion

    • Failure to assume responsibility
  • The Men’s Movement
    • Arthur Showstack
    • http://www.menandabortion.com/
  • Men are victims of abortion too
changing abortion s pronoun la times 1 7 08
“Changing abortion's pronoun” LA Times 1/7/08

Caption: “I hadn’t given it a thought,” Mark B. Morrow, shown with son Ross, said of long-ago girlfriends’ abortions. “ Now it all came crashing down on me — look what you’ve done.”