Protest Waves of Collective Action and Policing in the United States

793 words | 3 page(s)

The purpose this paper is to compare the pro-choice and pro-life movements. Focus will be laid on their strategies, techniques, objectives, infrastructure, action impact, success decision makers, the legacy of the gold standard of movements, as well as the civil right movement. A set of primary and secondary sources will be used to inform this particular research.

In his research article, Rohlinger (2015) discussed the media strategies used by pro-choice and pro-life movements in America. According to the scholar, pro-choice movements tend to avoid direct portrayal in the mainstream media. At the same time, the scholar reveals that pro-choice movements usually affect the manner in which issues are covered by the media by using their clout to steer the journalists not only to individuals but also organizations, which represents issues in ways that the pro-choice movements prefers. Pro-life movements, on the other hand, usually capitalize on their prominence to create media programming, which they use to bring out their ideas and to mobilize the sympathetic audiences.

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The second comparison sphere is the techniques used. At the heart of pro-life techniques is to mobilize people (especially the religious individuals) to do something. For instance, Pro-Life Action League (2016) claims that, as a pro-life movement, the organization is convinced that the only means through which the issue of abortion can be eliminated in the society is for faith-oriented persons to put their pro-life convictions into action on the abortion clinics, sidewalks, and churches among others. Joffe (2004) claimed that pro-choice movements in most cases apply logic to move the debate. Take an instance of abortion. These movements often create an appeal against abortion by citing several logical reasons as to why the practice should be a choice for women.

The two movements can also be discussed based on their objectives. Maxwell (2002) described the pro-life objective as seeking to protect and preserve the dignity of the life of a person. According to these movements, a person should have no choice when it comes to issues that threaten his/her life or that of others such as abortion. To them, abortion should not be an option in the American society. In stark contrast, Ahmed (2000) clarified those pro-choice movements usually strive to have the American law recognize the role of a person to make a choice when it comes to life matters.

The two movements can also be compared based on their infrastructure. On one hand, as it was documented by Munson (2010), pro-life movements usually see the church as the main infrastructure through which to make their advances. According to the researcher, each pro-life initiative usually starts at the church level in which the church leaders and members are targeted to initiate a fight against some issue. Anti-Palindrome (2015) claimed that pro-choice movements, on the other hand, uses advocate groups as their primary infrastructure. The researcher indicated that these supporters are mostly secular in their nature.

Based on action impacts, Efurd (2016) claimed that pro-life action impacts are often facilitated through negative stories regarding some institutions. For instance, the movements can publish an article that clarifies how a certain institution’s decision or action threatens the life of an individual. It is through this impact action that the pro-life movements then adopt to mobilize people. In stark contrast, the pro-choice movements’ action impacts are founded on a debate. As such, after the pro-life movements advance an argument, the members of the pro-choice movements are often quick to provide a response (Pro-Choice Action Network, 2016).

Regarding success decision makers, the pro-choice usually refers all people with pro-choice convictions to make a decision on what should be the way forward. The members of the church, in stark contrast, are the most critical success decision-makers for the pro-life movements. As it can be derived from the article by Wihbey (2014), the pro-choice movements are fit well within the description of a civil right movement. This is primarily due to the notion that the movement usually advocates for a person to have a right of choice in his/her life. Pro-life movements, on the other hand, seek to suppress such a right. Therefore, it is right to determine that the movement is not a civil right group.

  • Ahmed, S. (2000). Transformations: Thinking through feminism. New York, NY: Psychology Press.
  • Anti-Palindrome A. (2015). The Pro-Choice Movement Has a White Supremacy Problem – And Anti-Choice Advocates Are Using It to Their Advantage. Everyday Feminism. Retrieved from everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/pro-choice-white-supremacy/
  • Efurd, D. (2016). 7 Ways You Can Have an Impact in the Pro-Life Movement. Christian Headlines. Retrieved from www.christianheadlines.com/
  • Joffe, C. E., Weitz, T. A., & Stacey, C. L. (2004). Uneasy allies: pro‐choice physicians, feminist health activists and the struggle for abortion rights.Sociology of health & illness, 26(6), 775-796.
  • Maxwell, C. J. (2002). Pro-life activists in America: Meaning, motivation, and direct action. London, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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