Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Interesting Defense of the Tebow Ad

Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for Choice, published an interesting defense of the Tebow ad in the Washington Post, analyzing it as an example of how effective the pro-life movement has been in changing people's mind about abortion.They conceded that: "Today, all sorts of well-educated and progressive people are comfortable calling themselves pro-life. [editorial comment:  Imagine that!!]  In the public eye, the term seems to encompass a broader and more moderate vision, not focused solely on what it opposes."

Among the reasons they give for this shift in public opinion are scientific advances giving everyone visual evidence of early fetal development and making fetal surgery possible, and Congressional action:

The "partial birth" abortion ban was introduced in 1995, shifting attention from the choice movement's effective "who decides" message -- which became the key question after the Supreme Court's 1989 Webster v. Reproductive Health Services decision -- to what the Catholic bishops had always wanted America to ask: "What is being decided?"  

The main focus of the article, though, is the effectiveness of the rhetoric of the advocacy messages of groups like one of my favorites, Feminists for Life.  Michelman and Kissling explain:

Groups such as Feminists for Life started out relatively small but invested heavily in reaching out to college students, talking not about making abortion illegal but about helping college women keep their babies. Their pro-life message wasn't exclusively anti-abortion; it was anti-capital-punishment, antiwar, for saving the whales, for not eating meat and for supporting mothers. It wasn't the mainstream of the antiabortion movement, but it had its appeal.

Now, I don't think FFL really takes a position on eating meat or killing whales, but it certainly has done yeoman's work in saving babies and supporting mothers!


Schiltz, Elizabeth | Permalink

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