A woman's place: The role of the mother in the rhetoric of abortion activists



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Texas Tech University


It might seem obvious that abortion is inherently a woman's issue (Blanchard, 1994; Kaplan, 1995; Simonds, 1996), and it would seem to follow that abortion rhetoric should reflect that. However, upon examination of the persuasive statements of both sides, it becomes clear that this is not always the case. In fact, sometimes the pregnant woman, the mother, is ignored entirely or becomes a part of the background in the abortion debate. Sometimes this is tme even for those who take the pro-choice position (Kaplan, 1995).

This thesis is devoted to examining the rhetoric of the current abortion controversy. I explore the rhetoric of activists from both sides of the issue, the socalled "pro-choice," and the "pro-life" groups, of which there are many, for both viewpoints. The questions guiding this study are "What is the role of the mother within the rhetoric of abortion activist groups?" and, "What does the role of the mother within their rhetoric reveal about the group behind it?"



Description (Rhetoric), Motherhood -- United States, Abortion -- Political aspects, Women -- United States -- Social conditions