Critical Analysis Of The Abortion Debate

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An analysis of the effectiveness of framing techniques utilised by both pro-choice and pro-life groups within the abortion debate in the US.
Literature Review:
Globally there has been much controversy surrounding the issue of the legalisation or criminalisation of abortions, this debate is especially prevalent within the United States. It has been an argument that has sharply divided the American population since the 1970s (Ginsburg, 1998). However, as widespread and predominant as this issue is there has been only a limited number of critical analyses done on the tactics that the pro-life and pro-choice groups have utilised to further their cause, and little if any prior research has been done on the effectiveness of these techniques on swaying the general public to either side. This report aims to fill this gap in the literature on the abortion debate.
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For example, the pro-choice movement uses human rights and social justice for women frame to explain their position, comparatively the pro-life movement frames their position in terms of the rights for the unborn child (Reese, Gandy, and Grant, 2001). While both of these master frames bring up emotional reactions and tie in to the values of the targeted audience; the stronger frame will ultimately dominate. Having your frame become the accepted norm, essentially, means winning the debate (Reese, Gandy, and Grant, 2001).
Likewise, the critical importance of controlling the language used to talk about a social movement can also be seen in the abortion conflict. As both pro-life and pro-choice organisations struggle to promote their own definitions of what it means to female in order to gain the sympathy and membership of their key target, women (Ginsburg, 1998).

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