Abortion Essay References Page

An abortion research paper is a piece of academic writing that requires a critical level of inquiry into the subject of terminating pregnancy.  Writing a thorough paper involves finding sources produced by experts on this controversial topic.  By carefully examining literary works such as books, magazines, encyclopedias, and journals, researchers can discover and interpret facts and opinions about the issue of abortion.

Abortion research papers are usually longer than abortion essays because the writer makes an in-depth study and then presents the findings.  Moreover, the writer should compare his/her thoughts on the topic of abortion with the information obtained from the references.  Through careful analysis and synthesis of key information on the topic of abortion, writers can influence the ways in which readers think about the subject.

There are two main types of abortion research papers.  The first type is analytical because it uses evidence for the purpose of analyzing the sides of the issue.  The second type is argumentative, and it uses evidence for the purpose of convincing the reader to choose a side in the abortion debate.  For instance, if a reader is an anti-abortionist (i.e., pro-life activist), he/she is more likely to agree with an abortion project that presents the disadvantages of the murderous procedure.

When completing analytical research papers, the researcher must survey the references for important information and views.  This involves both critical thinking and reading.  By carefully analyzing information, the writer maintains objectivity and asks questions that lead to reflection.  By the end of the document, the writer can contribute his/her own thoughts to the abortion debate by drawing conclusions.

Next, when writing argumentative research papers, the researcher must lay out exactly what he/she considers to be the best position in the abortion debate.  Then, the researcher or writer can select only the evidence that supports his/her position.  During this process, writers can compose abortion research papers that give their insights and document their reference sources.

An effective abortion research paper is comprised of both fact and opinion; it's an academic writing that serves the main purpose of informing the reader about the concept of abortion, which is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy.

Abortion Essays

An abortion is the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus to end a pregnancy.  An abortion essay is a writing that either defends or refutes this act.  Pro-life advocates usually don't condone abortions due to religious or political reasons.  On the other hand, individuals who support abortions are called pro-choice activists.  People who write abortion essays often take a side and try to influence readers to accept or deny the premise of abortions.  Because an essay is a short literary composition about a particular subject, writers often choose this type of writing to discuss controversial topics such as abortion.

An abortion essay that denounces abortions usually gives facts or reasons against this medical procedure.  The writer's purpose, in this case, is to sway the reader's judgment.  Pro-life advocates believe that human life begins at conception and that embryos and fetuses should be protected against abortion.  Hence, the writer presents arguments against this medical procedure and comments positively on the issue of right-to-life.

Abortion essays that defend abortions present details and examples that show why women deserve the right to control what happens to their bodies.  The writer's main objective, in this case, is to persuade others to believe that it's a woman's right to choose abortion.  Therefore, this style of writing is very persuasive because it attempts to change the reader's views.

Then, there's the neutral abortion essay that neither refutes nor supports abortion.  In this general report, the writer attempts to remain impartial by presenting both sides of the case.  This type of writing doesn't try to sway the reader's opinion.  Instead, it presents the overall facts of abortion and allows the reader to choose a side.

All abortion essays appeal to the emotions and intellect of the readers.  Writers can influence the way people react to abortion by their word choice or vocabulary, tone, scope, and point-of-view.  Furthermore, the style, content, and grammar used by the writer will usually affect the way a reader interprets the given information.  For instance, when writers offer significant personal opinion, it's better for them to support their ideas with a few facts or some statistics.  This allows readers to carefully analyze details and come up with their own conclusions.

Writing a Term Paper on Abortion

Term papers on abortion may be assignments for many different types of classes, including biology, history, psychology, and even English.  Also, a student may write a term paper on abortion for many different levels of courses, from high school through graduate school.

Term papers on abortion should follow the same basic format and writing instructions that term papers on any other subject follow.  However, the exact angle of the report may vary depending on the course for which the student is writing the document.  For example, a term paper on abortion for a history class may be very different from a term paper on abortion for a psychology class.

In order to complete an effective project on abortion, a student needs to first research and understand as much information about abortions as possible.  As the student researches, he/she should keep in mind the angle.  Term papers on abortion can also be difficult for some students to study, as they may be exposed to some graphic and disturbing information.

It's important to draft the outline of the report before the student actually begins to write the document.  By drafting the outline, the learner will have a format to follow that will make it easier for him/her to plug in appropriate information where it's needed.

The first paragraph of the document should be the introduction, which will focus on giving background information about the subject of abortion.  The introduction can also introduce key concepts that the learner will cover.

The introduction should be followed by body paragraphs that state new information or ideas about abortion.  Term papers on abortion may be subjective or objective, depending on an instructor's guidelines.

Finally, the report on abortion should have a conclusion in which the student recaps information shared throughout the report and provides a conclusive statement about his/her research.

How to Write a Research Paper on Abortion

Students may have to write research papers on abortion for a wide variety of reasons, courses, and grade levels.  However, the topic of abortion is so common the chances are good that students will have to write at least one report on abortion at some point during their careers as students.  Regardless of the course or the grade level, learners should follow the same basics steps in order to complete an effective project on abortion.

It's important to develop a certain process that makes tackling the researching and writing part of the research paper assignment easy and predictable.  By following a process, learners will not only be able to gauge their time properly, but they will increase their chances of writing effective research papers.

In order to complete an effective project, learners should begin by making sure that they understand the nature of the topic.  If students have to write research papers on abortion, then they need to determine whether or not the professor requires the students to write the assignment from a particular perspective.  The topic will also vary based on the course that the student is taking.

For example, students in biology courses may have to complete a very different report on abortion than students in an ethics or political science course.  Therefore, the type of course makes a significant impact on the direction.

Once students understand the topic and the project requirements, they should begin the research process.  The focus of research for research papers on abortion may vary based on the course.  For example, a student studying ethics may want to perform interviews as part of his/her research for the reports on abortion.  However, a student in a biology class may want to use research methods that focus on periodicals, studies, and journals.

Once a student has performed a significant amount of research, he/she should apply the research by developing an outline for the document.  The outline should include basic information that the learner will include.  Many students also prefer to write comprehensive outlines before they begin the drafts.

There are significant differences in the way that students will write research papers on abortion and essays on abortion.  Because a research paper on abortion is generally scientific, it should also be as objective as possible.  However, an essay is designed to provide a point-of-view.  Therefore, both types of academic documents will contain different types of information.

Abortion Term Papers

An abortion term paper is a record of information gained by a student during a course.  Usually completed by a college or university student over an academic term or semester, this writing is quite extensive.  Instructors typically evaluate abortion term papers very carefully because they account for a large portion of students' grades for the course.  Academic courses such as biology, human development, psychology, political science, and other social sciences often focus lessons on the controversial subject of abortion.  Students in these classes must be able to analyze, synthesize, and draw conclusions about the issue of abortion—the termination of pregnancy.

An important initial step in the procedure for completing an abortion term paper is searching for materials that will provide ample information on the particular topic being examined by the student.  Depending on the topic of the student's investigation of abortion, research of literature will provide useful sources for gathering information and note taking.  Finding reliable sources that are credible and current is a major task for college students.  After reviewing notes and considering the purpose of research, learners can proceed to formulate a thesis statement.  Thesis statements let readers know what issues abortion term paper will cover.

Next, most accurate abortion term papers begin with an outline, which is framework for the student to follow in order to create an effective composition.  For example, if a student is completing a document that compares the advantages and disadvantages of abortion, the outline would contain sections on the pros and cons of abortion.  From the outline, it's easy for the writer to compose each section.  He/She must guide the reader by giving the statement of purpose (or thesis), discussing key information (main body), and making conclusions (statement of summary).  Consequently, the student's first draft must be carefully edited and proofread in order to maintain the quality of the document.

Because abortion term papers are long, they also should be formatted and word processed according to APA, MLA, or Harvard style guidelines.  Furthermore, sections should be arranged logically and chronologically.  An abortion term paper must have different parts, such as a title page, table of contents, introduction, body parts, conclusion, and a reference page.  Most college instructors provide grading criteria for their students to follow when formatting these reports for final submission.  Students must be sure to heed their professors' instructions as they prepare and present these academic works.

Correctly Writing Research Papers on Abortion

A research paper on abortion is one that a student has to write specifically on the topic of abortion.  There are many reasons why a student might have to complete a research paper on abortion.  For example, some students may need to write about abortion for an English class in which they have the opportunity to think critically about a subject.  Other students may have to complete a research paper on abortion for a history class.  Still other students may need to write research papers on abortion for biology classes.

Regardless of the class for which a student needs to complete a research paper on abortion, he/she will still follow the same basic steps to research and write the document.  The first step is to research the subject of abortion within the bounds of the topic.  The student should always keep the topic in mind when writing about abortion, because there are so many sub-topics related to abortion.

Next, students completing research papers on abortion need to compile their research into notes.  These notes will be helpful when the student has to go back to reference his/her research during the writing process.

In order to actually write the report, the student needs to first outline the document.  The research paper outline should show, in detail, what information will be incorporated.  Students can modify their outline more easily than they can modify the drafts.

Once the student is comfortable with his/her outline, he/she can begin with the report drafting.  The first draft is usually not the last draft, so students should be sure to leave enough time for revisions.  Editing is the final process in completing research papers on abortion.

When a student has to complete a research paper on abortion, he/she should be aware in advance that the topic may be sensitive.  Students may have to see images that could be scary to them and they may learn about some medical practices that are heartbreaking.  Therefore, learners should be emotionally prepared when they complete a research paper on abortion.

A research paper on abortion is different than an essay on abortion.  A research paper should be based in facts and provide very little subjective information, if any at all.  However, an essay on abortion should provide a point-of-view based on research and the student's own opinions.

Term Papers on Abortion

While there are countless term paper topics, one of the most controversial topics revolves around term papers on abortion.  There are many different abortion term paper topics about which students may choose to write.  In fact, students in all grade levels and various courses of study may need to write abortion term papers during a given semester.

Students may need to write term papers on abortion for several different courses.  For example, students studying biology may need to write about the biological effects of abortion.  Students may need to write term papers on abortion for political courses.  Students may also need to write term papers on abortions for psychology or sociology courses.  Regardless of the course, learners should follow similar steps when they go about researching and writing their documents on abortions.

The first thing that students need to do in order to create effective projects on abortion is to research the report requirements.  Most professors will give students a hand-out with information about the style of the report, topic of the report, page count, and any other relevant information that students need to be aware of in order to write good term papers.

Next, the students need to plan a researching and writing schedule.  With the schedule in place, learners can begin their research into term papers on abortion by using as many resources as possible that pertain to their topic.  Different topics about term papers on abortion may require different resources.  For example, students writing term papers on abortion for a biology course may not focus on the same resources as students who are writing term papers on abortion for a political science course.

After the student has performed a suitable amount of research, he/she should complete an outline for the document.  This outline will provide the structure and help learners to ensure that they include the right amount of content.

Next, the student needs to begin writing the reports on abortion.  The first draft is usually not the last draft.  Therefore, students need to set aside plenty of time for revisions to their documents.

A term paper on abortion isn't the same thing as an essay on abortion, though both are common assignments in all grade levels.  A term paper is based on factual information and is objective.  An essay can also be based on factual information, but it's usually subjective and provides more opinions and points-of-view.

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Potential Topics:

The Impact of the Pro-Life Movement on Abortion Rates

The Impact of the Pro-Choice Movement on Abortion Rates

The Future of Roe v. Wade

When Does Life Begin?

Titles: [1]

A Comparison of Abortion Practices in Different Countries and the United States

The Current Status of the Abortion Debate in the United States

How Will the Trump Administration’s Stance on Planned Parenthood Affect Abortion Rates in the U.S.?

How the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Movements have Affected Americans Public Opinion about Abortion [2]


I.  Introduction

II.  The Pro-Life Movement

III.  The Pro-Choice Movement

IV.  Conclusion


Despite becoming the law of the land in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision made abortion legal, pro-life advocates continue to hammer away at the laws concerning the status of human embryos and fetuses in an effort to eventually reverse this landmark decision. In response to the growth of pro-life organizations, a number of pro-choice groups have emerged to protect the fundamental right to abortion established in the Roe v. Wade case. Proponents on both sides of the abortion debate have used marketing techniques that are designed to evoke powerful responses from the American public in an effort to sway opinion in their favor, but the pro-life movement in particular has resorted to some methods that rise to the level of scare tactics as well as being deceptive and misleading. This essay reviews the literature concerning the origins of the pro-life and pro-choice abortion movements including how their marketing methods have been used in an effort to influence public opinion. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings about these political movements and their implications for the future of abortion are presented in the conclusion.


Abortion is the termination of a human pregnancy, resulting in the death of an embryo or fetus.  This highly controversial  procedure is normally done within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.  The termination of the pregnancy is either done with the assistance of a pill or surgery.

Introduction: [3]

Perhaps no other issue evokes such powerful emotion-filled responses on both sides of an argument than legal abortion in the United States today. Even otherwise progressive thinkers who publicly support a woman’s freedom of choice concerning whether to abort or not may hold sharply opposing views when their own family members are involved. Nevertheless, abortion became a “fundamental right” for American women on January 22, 1973 with the 7-2 decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade[4](Should abortion be legal?, 2017).

Thesis Statement: [5]

Given the significance of the ongoing heated debate over legal abortion in the United States, this paper reviews the relevant literature to define the respective positions of the pro-life and pro-choice movements and how these movements have influence American views about abortion, followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning the recent and current trends on the future of legal abortion in the conclusion.


Unfortunately, there is little or no common ground between Americans concerning their conflicting views about legal abortion, and the issues are so profound that they defy a universal consensus or even some degree of compromise. For example, according to one authority, “As the Pro-choice faction screams accusations of backward thinking, religious fanaticism, and male domination; the Pro-life group counters with cries of baby killers, Satan-worshippers, and inhumanity” (Alexander, 1993, p. 271). Indeed, many pro-life advocates are even opposed to abortion in extreme cases such as rape or incest, citing the sacredness of all human life in support. Conversely, pro-choice advocates argue that women have a fundamental right to make choices about what happens to their bodies.

Part of the problem relates to how each movement defines life and when it begins and how these conflicting views affect women’s right to make decisions about their own bodies. According to the definition provided by Black’s Law Dictionary (1990), abortion is “the spontaneous or artificially induced expulsion of an embryo or fetus; as used in legal contexts, usually refers to induced abortion” (p. 7). The abortion debate therefore also extends to the stage of pregnancy, with women’s rights to legal abortion being restricted by various definitional issues as discussed further below.

The Pro Life Movement:

The pro-life movement originated in the mid-1960s when religious and academic leaders in the U.S. began arguing that the human fetus was fully imbued with personhood and was entitled to the same protections that are afforded all members of the human community (Beckwith, 2001). In support of this position, pro-life proponents initially cited the growing body of scientific evidence and more enlightened philosophical views that they maintained the fetus is already a human person (Beckwith, 2001). During this period, the growth of the pro-life movement was fueled in large part by the establishment of the United States Catholic Conference’s Family Life Bureau’s National Right to Life Committee and a number of other pro-life groups emerged in the mid-1960s and became affiliated with this national organization (Crescio, 2015). Since that time, there have been dozens of pro-life groups established with different goals but sharing a common anti-abortion message (Crescio, 2015).

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion-right groups have sought to incrementally “whittle away” at the fundamental right to abortion established by the Court. In fact, it was not until the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey that reconfirmed women’s fundamental right to abortion, anti-abortion advocates largely abandoned their calls for overturning the decision in Roe v. Wade and convincing national lawmakers of the need to pass a “Human Life Amendment” that would classify human fetuses and even embryos as constitutional persons (Bergmann, 2013.

Despite this setback, it is reasonable to posit that the pro-life movement is having some effects on abortion rates in the United States based on current statistics. For example, the results of a 2014 study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute determined that both abortion rates and ratios have experienced a modest decline in recent years. The study found that in 2011, 1.05 million abortions were performed in the U.S. compared to 1.6 million in 1990, the peak year for abortions in this country (National Right to Life, 2017). This decline may be attributable, at least in part, to the aggressive anti-abortion marketing efforts that are used by some pro-life organizations that can border on scare tactics (Pavone, 2007), such as the example pro-life poster shown below.

Figure 1. Representative pro-life poster http://www.theprolifeyouth.com/uploads/2/6/0/4/26042819/6529945_orig.png

In fact, some pro-life organizations have even advocated violent means to achieve their goals in addition to the twin “legislation and litigation” strategies that are commonly used in their arguments again abortion (Mason, 2002). These tactics have a long history, dating most especially to the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 that legalized abortion in the United States. For instance, one pro-choice organization emphasizes that, “Since the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in 1973, reproductive health clinics and health care providers across the United States and Canada have become the targets of violence by anti-abortion extremists” (Clinic violence, 2017, para. 3). Likewise, a press conference sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1979 was conducted in an effort to identify ways for the pro-life and pro-choice movements to collaborate and compromise. In response to this call for reason, young anti-abortion activists actually presented an aborted baby at the conference, a tactic that essentially doomed these early efforts at compromise (New, 2015).

Even the major National Right to Life organization is not above using alarmist rhetoric of this nature to convince women that abortions are not in their best interests due to the physical and emotion problems that can result. The National Right to Life organization also disregards the lifetime burden that is caused by unwanted pregnancies, focusing only on the gestation period as evidence of the price paid by women. For example, the National Right to Life’s publication, “Some medical facts,” cautions women that, “Nine short months of pregnancy is a relatively small cost to pay in light of a lifetime of potential physical and mental health problems” (2017, para. 2). These types of aggressive and seemingly deceptive marketing efforts have been used to highlight the moral requirement to protect the unborn as well as the purported harm that women experience from abortions, with pro-life organizations offering their spiritual and even material support for pregnant women (Beckwith, 2001). For example, the Pro-Life Action League reports that, “Pregnancy resource centers nationwide provide free services, including confidential counseling, help dealing with family problems, medical care, housing assistance, and job placement assistance. They also provide free maternity and baby clothes, diapers, and baby furniture” (Learn the facts, 2017, para. 3). This shift in anti-abortion marketing strategy was specifically intended to reduce abortion rates as well as change the American public’s views about the need for legal abortion (Beckwith, 2001).

In response to the negative public image caused by their former overly aggressive marketing tactics, many pro-life groups have started rebranding their image by focusing on women’s rights in ways that align them with “feminist” and “liberal” views as a strategy for securing legislative initiatives that are intended to limit access to abortion (Leinwind, 2015). Given their propensity for using scare tactics and even violence to achieve their goals, it is not surprising that pro-life organizations have attempted to improve their image and the acceptability of their ideological arguments. In sum, this more recent strategy is designed to make “antiabortion sentiment appear more palatable to a broader swath of women while enabling the pro-life movement to soften its image and improve its appeal” (Leinwind, 2015, p. 530).

This rebranding effort has also been advanced through the twin strategies of “legislation and litigation” to reframe their arguments against abortion in terms of women’s rights (Leiwind, 2015). These strategic marketing efforts that have incrementally whittled away at abortion rights have also included active support for like-minded political leaders and calls for abortion that are used solely for sex-selection purposes (Leiwind, 2015). In addition, some pro-life organizations have maintained that the United States does not need legalized abortion for population control purposes and numerous community-based resources exist to help them during and following their pregnancies. Besides the aggressive and sometimes-deceptive and/or mislead marketing practices that have been used by anti-abortion groups to “change the hearts and minds” of the American public concerning legal abortion, they have also succeeded in achieving other incremental changes that are intended to compel Americans to no longer regard abortion as a fundamental right but rather as an “unacceptable legal anomaly” (Borgmann, 2013, p. 246). These efforts have included seeking measures that also enhance the legal status of human embryos and fetuses in other contexts, including stem-cell research and anti-cloning legislation (Borgmann, 2013).

Despite the major setback to the pro-life movement represented by the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, movement leaders remain convinced that this incremental approach to changing public opinion will eventually succeed in once again outlawing abortion in the United States (Borgmann, 2013).

Although pro-life groups such as the Pro-Life Action League concede that the overall abortion rate in the United States has declined over the past 20 years, they also emphasize that pro-choice organizations, most especially Planned Parenthood, have experienced significant increases in the numbers of abortion they perform during this period (Learn the facts, 2017). In sharp contrast to pro-life movement, the pro-choice movement has also used emotion-laden but more factual marketing tactics in calling for greater accessibility for abortions in the U.S. as discussed further below.

The Pro Choice Movement:

The origins of the pro-choice movement can be traced to the mid-1950s when abortion advocates began calling for reforms in the nation’s abortion laws (Kerrer, 2011). While most Americans remained unaware of these efforts at the time, there were a number of seminal events that helped to fuel the growth of the pro-choice movement, including an abortion conference in 1955, the emergence of some articles in law journals in support of abortion law reform and the efforts of a growing number of doctors who supported abortion (Kerrer, 2011). In addition, other changes in American society helped to fuel the growth of the pro-choice movement, including an increase in the number of illegitimate births as a result of higher rates of premarital sex, the use of contraceptives that contributed to a mindset that made abortion an acceptable alternative to terminating an unwanted birth when contraceptive methods failed, and the need to eliminate the practice of dangerous illegal abortion that were performed in less-than-optimal “back alley” settings (Kerrer, 2011)

Coined by a Madison Avenue advertising agency, the term “pro-choice” was specifically selected by the movement after the 1973 Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade to counter the growing influence of numerous pro-life organizations (Echevarria, 2013). In diametric opposition to the pro-life views about abortion, the pro-choice movement has more recently advocated abortion as “a matter of choice,” a positive right, which was a significant shift from their “right to choose” or negative right stance prior to the decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973. In her arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, the attorney for the plaintiff in this case, “Jane Roe,” called for “liberty from being forced to continue the unwanted pregnancy” (as cited in Kramlich, 2004, p. 784). The negative right argument essentially sought to eliminate governmental inference with a woman’s abortion decision rather than the positive right to have access to abortion services or an entitlement from the government (Kramlich, 2004).

The impact of Roe v. Wade on American public opinion about abortion has been significant, and since 1973, a slight majority of the American public have become pro-choice as a result (Hickcox-Howard, 2008). The pro-choice movement also received additional momentum during the early 1990s when American public opinion about abortion became even more favorable and larger numbers of politicians began to describe their stance as “pro-choice” (New, 2015). Some indication of this trend can be seen in the numbers of congressmen and senators who have changed their position on abortion. For instance, according to French (2016), just “one in three Democrats is pro-life, there are very few pro-life Democrats in the state and federal governments, and the number is diminishing” (p. 10). In fact, in 2010, 20 Democrat congressmen and senators were pro-life but the number of diminished to just three of four today (French, 2016). In addition, the positive right to abortion which has emerged in recent years has also translated into growing recognition and acceptance by the American public and policymakers concerning the fundamental right that women have to make their own decisions about their bodies (Crescio, 2015).

One important pro-choice organization is NARAL Pro-Choice America, headquartered in Washington, DC which characterizes legal abortion as women’s “fundamental right.” According to NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Web site, “The right to choose abortion is essential to ensuring a woman can decide for herself if, when and with whom to start or grow a family. We’ll never stop fighting to protect and expand this fundamental human right” (Abortion access, 2017, para. 2). Another influential pro-choice organization, the National Abortion Federation, likewise cites the deceptive tactics that have been used by pro-life groups to advance their ideology and enlist the support of politicians. As the National Abortion Federation puts it, “Throughout the history of legal abortion, anti-abortion extremists have used propaganda, misinformation, and outright lies to dissuade women from choosing abortion. Women have the right to make fully informed decisions about their reproductive health care free from these anti-choice myths” (Abortion myths, 2017, para. 1).

These anti-choice myths have been reinforced through marketing tactics that have traditionally framed the pro-life position in terms of moral absolutes (e.g., abortion = death). By contrast, the types of marketing tactics used by pro-life advocates that tend to ignore women’s experiences while focusing on the moral issues, the pro-choice movement has used marketing methods that focus on the lived experiences of women to encourage and reinforce pro-abortion views on the part of the American public and policymakers (Echevarria, 2013). This shift in policy on the part of the pro-choice movement was largely in response to the aggressive and sometimes-deceptive marketing efforts that were being routinely employed by the pro-life movement as well as the need to educate young American women who have lived all their lives in the wake of Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion has been firmly established in American jurisprudence (Baumgardner, 2001). The marketing messages that were deployed at this time were also in response to efforts by the pro-life movement to effect changes in the law such as the 1992 ballot initiative in Arizona that sought to criminalize abortion, Operation Rescue “Summer of Mercy” in Wichita, Kansas in 1991 and the siege of Fargo, North Dakota by the Lambs of Christ in 1991 (Baumgardner, 2001).

Drawing on the same methods used by the pro-life movement, the pro-choice movement also enlisted the support of a Madison Avenue advertising agency, DeVito/Verdi, to design a series of public service advertisements termed the “Pro-Choice Public Education Project” in 1999 (Baumgardner, 2001). The sponsor of this initiative as was a consortium of women’s rights organization, including a steering committee that included Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Ms. Foundation (Baumgardner, 2001). Although not rising to the same level as some of the scare tactics that have been used by the pro-life movement, the Pro-Choice Public Education Project’s advertisements and posters were also clearly designed to evoke a strong emotional response to help overcome the growing complacency of young women concerning their fundamental right to legal abortion. For instance, as shown in Figure 2 below that features several stern-looking white men, one poster reads, “77 percent of anti-abortion leaders are men [and] 100 percent of them will never be pregnant.” The poster also adds that, “It’s your body. It’s your decision. It’s pro-choice or no choice.”

Figure 2. Representative public awareness campaign poster by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project Source: https://i0.wp.com/usilive.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ProChoice.jpeg?ssl=1

Likewise, as shown in Figure 3 below, a second poster depicts a young modern American woman with tattoos and piercings and reads, “You think you can do what you want with your body? Think again.”

Figure 3. Representative public awareness campaign poster by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project. Source: https://www.autostraddle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/body.jpeg

While it is difficult to discern the precise impact that this marketing campaign had on public opinion, most authorities agree that it was effective in further intensifying the abortion debate over the past several years (Baumgardner, 2001). In fact, it is noteworthy that the pro-life movement responded to this marketing campaign with a series of advertisements of their own, but they once again returned to their former strategy of scare tactics by using disturbing graphic images of fully developed human fetuses to communicate their anti-abortion arguments (Baumgardner, 2001).

Taken together, it is little wonder that abortion remain such a divisive issue among Americans, with both sides of the argument using powerful marketing messages to convince them of the appropriateness and legitimacy of their respective positions. Nevertheless, and to their credit, it is clear that the pro-choice movement has largely taken the high – or at least higher — road compared to the anti-abortion movement in advancing their cause. Based on the pro-choice movement’s recognition that complacency about abortion rights may result in increased incremental limitations and the highly organized approach being used by anti-abortion groups, it remains unclear whether the pro-choice movement’s efforts will be sufficient to prevent further erosion in this fundamental right. .


The pro-life movement argues that abortion in most if not all circumstances is morally repugnant and unborn persons are entitled to the same legal protections that are afforded all members of the human community. Conversely, the pro-choice movement maintains that American women have a fundamental right to make decisions about what happens to their bodies, including the decision to abort. In the past, pro-life advocates resorted to violence and deceptive marketing tactics to advance their goals, but the movement has recently recognized the need to reframe its messages in ways that will make them more acceptable to the American public. The pro-choice movement emerged at roughly the same time as the pro-life movement, due in large part to the increased involvement of the legal and medical communities which called for reforms in the nation’s draconian anti-abortion laws that drove thousands of women to illegal abortionists at great risk to their health. The research was consistent in showing, though, that there is no middle ground between these opposing positions, and the efforts to do so to date have been marred by extremism on the part of pro-life advocates. The research was also consistent in showing that both of these movements have had a major impact on public opinion due to their marketing efforts, but the pro-choice movement continues to receive the support of a majority of Americans today. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the abortion debate has not been resolved, but has only intensified as pro-life proponents continue to call for the overturn of Roe v. Wade and recriminalize abortion in the United States.

Bibliography / References (APA): [7]

Abortion access. (2017). NARAL Pro-Choice America. Retrieved from https://www.prochoic eamerica.org/issue/abortion-access/.

Abortion myths. (2017). National Abortion Federation. Retrieved from https://prochoice.org/ education-and-advocacy/about-abortion/abortion-myths/.

Abortion statistics. (2071). National Right to Life. Retrieved from http://www.nrlc.org/ communications/abortionnumbers/.

Alexander, M. S. (1993, Fall). Defining the abortion debate. ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 50, 271-275.

Baumgardner, J. (2001). The pro-choice PR problem. The Nation, 272(9), 19.

Beckwith, F. J. (2001, Fall). Taking abortion seriously: A philosophical critique of the new anti-abortion rhetorical shift. Ethics & Medicine, 17(3), 155-159.

Borgmann, C. E. (2013, Winter). Roe V. Wade’s 40th anniversary: A moment of truth for the anti abortion-rights movement? Stanford Law & Policy Review, 24(1), 245-254.

Clinic violence. (2017). NARAL Pro-Choice America. Retrieved from https://prochoice.org/.

Crescio, A. (2015, January 1). Abortion: A threat to the actualization of the mother. The Human Life Review, 41(1), 57-61.

Echevarria, L. (2013, Summer). Pro-abortion rhetoric: From “pro-choice” to.? The Human Life Review. 39(3), 27-31.

French, J. (2016, December 8). Pro-life Dems need to be more vocal about their beliefs. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10.

Hickcox-Howard, M. B. (2008, April 1). The case for pro-choice participation in drafting fetal homicide laws. Texas Journal of Women, Gender, and the Law, 17(2), 317-319.

Katter, R. N. (2011, July). The National Right to Life Committee: Its founding, its history, and the emergence of the pro-life movement prior to Roe V. Wade. The Catholic Historical Review, 97(3), 527-531.

Kramlich, M. (2004, March). The abortion debate thirty years later: From choice to coercion. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 31(3), 783-790.

Learn the facts. (2017). The Pro-Life Action League. Retrieved from https://prolifeaction.org/ fact/ppannualabortions/.

Leinwind, T. B. (2015, July 22). Strange bedfellows: The destigmatization of anti-abortion reform. Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, 30(2), 529-531.

Msaon, C. (2002). Killing for life: The apocalyptic narrative of pro-life politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

New, M. (2105). An insider’s view of the pro-life movement. The Human Life Review, 41(2), 80-84.

Pavone, F. (2007, Summer). How law students and attorneys can help the pro-life movement. Ave Maria Law Review, 5(2), 469-473.

Should abortion be legal? (2017). ProCon.org. Retrieved from http://abortion.procon.org/

Some medical facts. (2017). National Right to Life. Retrieved from http://nrlc.djcweb.net/ abortion/medicalfacts/.

Works Cited (MLA): [8]

“Abortion access.” NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2017,

https://www.prochoic eamerica.org/issue/abortion-access/. Accessed [date of access].

[9] Borgmann, Caitlin. E. “Roe V. Wade’s 40th anniversary: A moment of truth for the antiabortion-rights movement.” Stanford Law & Policy Review, vol. 24, no. 1, 2013, pp. 245-254.

[10] Mason, Carol. Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro-Life Politics, Cornell University Press, 2002.


Guidelines for Writing an Essay on Abortion:

[1]  Titles should be 15 words or less

[2] This title applies to the sample paper provided below.

[3] The introduction should grab the audience’s interest and provide some background for the thesis statement that follows.

[4] Legal cases are italicized.

[5] A thesis statement can be one or two sentences. Complex topics typically require two sentences.

[6] The conclusion should provide a summary of the research and important findings but should not introduce any new information.

[7] This page provides a list of references cited in APA format.

[8] This page provides examples of the foregoing APA style citations in MLA format.

[9] Format for a peer-reviewed journal article. Note the use of the author’s full name if available.

[10] Format for a book or text. Note the use of the author’s full name.

Latest APA Format (6th edition)

Abortion Essay. (2017, March 10). Retrieved from https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essay/abortion-essay/

Latest MLA Format (8th edition)

"Abortion Essay." Aceyourpaper.com. Student Network Resources Inc, 10 March. 2017. Web. 8 March 2018.

Latest Chicago Format (16th edition)

Student Network Resources Inc. "Abortion Essay." Aceyourpaper.com. https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essay/abortion-essay/ (accessed March 8, 2018).

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