Sociology Paper on Pro Life Movement

Sociology Paper on Pro Life Movement

The pro-life movement, also known as the right-to-life movement, was established before the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade case in 1973 (Williams 138). The movement had major achievements that had limited the laws of abortion until the time the court ruled against its progress in America. Roe created the constitutional right to abortion, hence weakened the pro-choice and reinforced the pro-life movement. This process resulted in the rise of the major campaign of moral persuasion in America. Before Roe, the pro-choice movement planned letter-writing campaigns, challenged restrictive abortion laws, and established the ways of debating pro-life activists (Shields 22). This paper discusses the history, activities, and achievements of the pro-life movement.

The pro-life movement was majorly catholic, male dominated, and democratic in nature. In the year 1960s, Catholic priests and obstetricians mainly headed the movement. Doctors established the agenda for more-permissive abortion laws while the Catholic stated its disagreement with permissive abortions through church teachings that linked abortion to increased birth control. Developed feminism and counterculture positions on sexuality in the late 1960s made the movement to be defensive and started expanding its network of dedicated activists, majority of whom were women (Williams 138).

The outcome of Roe V. Wade and the development of the populist New Right in the 1970s made the pro-life movement to avoid initial party relationships and identify with the religious right and the developing Protestant evangelicalism. Some activists like Paul Weyrich, a Melkite Catholic, assisted in strengthening the new alliance of conservative evangelicals with the Catholic pro-life movement (Williams 138).

Many pro-life activists focused their lives on transforming the hearts and minds of other citizens instead of hindering them from conducting abortions. They offered them alternative solutions to abortion. Various groups have targeted college students, and campus activists have developed a way of using graphic images of a fetus and an embryo that have been aborted to incite logical discussions over the moral state of the embryo. The activists teach students about different phases of development from conception to birth (Shields 23). They assist in stopping the common myth that pro-lifers operate against the norms of a premeditated democracy by defending abortion through religion. The activists demonstrate the ethical case against abortion to show that the pro-life position is not just ignored as a religious issue. Groups that focus on moral suasion use a practical technique that benefits the working class people. Many pregnancy help centers with providers and volunteers offer millions of women in complicated pregnancies with alternatives to abortion by giving them resources and moral support (Shields 25).

There are more pregnancy centers than abortion clinics, and the clients are not asked to contribute funds to the centers. They are expected to engage in at least one of parenting, budgeting or health classes. The centers have dedicated their energies and funds to assist poor and unemployed women to meet their economic needs. They offer clothes and baby items to new mothers and children, and link clients with welfare services by partnering with health and social science departments (Shields 23).

The pro-life movement supports a strong ancient tradition that opposes the practice of abortion due to respect for human life. Pro-lifers believe that they are responsible for defending human life. However, those against the movement state that it does not protect traditional values, but it is a non-traditional traditionalism. They emphasize that traditionally, abortion could be conducted in hospitals and is legal. The pro-life movement is strongly rooted in traditional norms. It is based on a tradition that rated the protection of a fetus depending on its developmental stage. However, the tradition was founded on the belief that the fetal life could not be supported following medical findings in the beginning of the 19th century. Transformations in the state and religious laws in the 19th century are a sign of growth and not rejection of the tradition (Tracy 67).

Pro-life means pro-birth, and pro-choice denotes pro-abortion. Abortion-on-demand is part of the large old feminist movement, which has lost its positions. For pro-lifers, the efficient messages regarding abortion are those stated in a way that follows moral principles; for instance, abortion stops a beating heart. The statement uses a scientific fact of a beating heart and the ethical belief that killing is wrong as it stops a heartbeat. On the contrary, pro-abortion groups stress that an effective message uses the experience of a woman. Pro-abortion crusades focus on individuals and their experiences to justify abortion (Echevarria 30).

Planned Parenthood and groups that support it regard the war against abortion as a struggle for power by women, whereas pro-lifers consider it a battle over a moral truth (Echevarria 30). The objective of Planned Parenthood is to change the way the American women view the pro-abortion crusade and abortion concerns. The challenges for pro-lifers in the no-slogan method are the corruption of the philosophies behind the labels and high probability that Planned Parenthood will gain much support and votes through its new tactics (Echevarria 34). Planned Parenthood will try to make the pro-life movement appear strictly anti-abortion. By co-opting the term pro-life, individuals advocating for abortion feel good for backing abortion-on-demand. Their aim is to reduce the strength of the pro-life movement and support those that straddle in the middle. Efforts have been made to change the Americans’ perception of abortion (Echevarria 35).

Regardless of Planned Parenthood demanding to be pro-life, Americans should be reminded that pro-life is the only movement that is concerned with protection of the mother and the child. This is evident in real women who have faced life-and-death abortion decisions. The experiences of women who saved the lives of their children and those who regret abortions are useful in helping Americans to realize the genuine assistance present through crisis pregnancy centers and the pro-life movement (Echevarria 37). A pro-life media operation should be established to stop Planned Parenthood misinformation. The campaign should be responsive, proactive, and refined with ability to deal with changing Planned Parenthood strategies.

The pro-life movement has been described as a white, male-dominated, Evangelical Christian enterprise (Sheilds 17). Since some people have joined the movement for their personal gains, the new activists’ abortion opinions are fragmented and inconsistent. It is clear that counterintuitively, conviction about the pro-life ethic is not necessary for one to participate in the movement.

The determination of pro-life individuals indicates that Roe did not make them weak. Like the 19th century women, pro-life activities have shaped culture and political life without authorization. Roe signified the end of rapid relaxation of the position of abortion because of the fall of the pro-choice movement. Cases of abortion have reduced and many conservations nurtured by pro-lifers near abortion clinics, colleges, and pregnancy centers have been effective (Shields 23).


Works Cited

Echevarria, Laura. “From “Pro-Choice” To…?.” Human Life Review 39.3 (2013): 27-38. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 Sept. 2016.

Shields, Jon A. “Roe’s Pro-Life Legacy.” First Things: A Monthly Journal Of Religion & Public Life 229 (2013): 22-24. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 Sept. 2016.

Tracy McKenzie, Robert. “Our Forgotten Pro-Life History.” Christianity Today 59.10 (2015): 67-69. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 Sept. 2016.

Williams, Daniel K. Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-life Movement Before Roe V. Wade. Oxford University Press, 2015.