Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Overheard: Pro-choice movement knows motivations matter in how public views abortion

From a Slate article on mothers who abort:
Of course, when it comes to public opinion, it’s one thing for a mother to choose an abortion out of desperation, and another to do it out of preference. Feldt says the motivations behind a mother’s choice to terminate place her on a sliding scale of public opinion. Recalling her days polling voters at PPFA, she describes the American view of who gets to have an abortion like this: “The less in control of a woman’s life she is, the more the public supports her right to make that choice [to have an abortion]. The more she is in control of her life, saying this is the life I choose, the less people support it.” So if a mother who is destitute chooses to abort, we might accept her decision. But someone like me, who could support another child if only I moved to a less expensive ZIP code and got a job with a steadier paycheck? I’d be a moral pariah.
This is why the pro-choice movement has slowly been abandoning the "choice" rhetoric and they often use "need" language when referring to the reasons why women have abortions. It's not because women actually "need" abortions, its because the public is much more accepting of women "needing" abortions as opposed to "choosing" abortions.

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