Abortion In The Media

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Media is a format for people to hide behind the true meanings of opinion or beliefs through creating a topical piece which metaphorically creates a reaction. By creating texts, articles, lyrics and cartoons which have been published in the media reflect the social, demographical, economical and environmental impacts on our society. Each author actively uses poetic devices and media techniques to send messages to the reader which communicates a deep scrutiny about the flaws intrinsic to humanity. Through creating a metaphorical political message, authors seek to inform, educate, shock and outrage viewers with media texts surrounding current issues exploring abortion. The media plays an important role in influencing public perspectives of health issues and abortion attracts continued media interest. Texts are constructed to create controversy in relation to the social problems in today’s society by addressing the topic of abortion. ‘An Argument that Abortion is Wrong’ by Don Marquis, Gary McCoy’s cartoon ‘Roe v Wade 38th Anniversary’ and ‘Why I Am Pro-Abortion, Not Just Pro-Choice’ by Valerie Tarico are creative endeavours that are intended to make a statement and force people to express their anger and discontent with the political and social issues in society in reference to abortion. Articles from the three sources will be studied for general framings of abortion and bourgeoning themes including possibly defaming broad constructs and language.

The abortion dispute is a major quarrel over a pregnant individual’s right to prefer to terminate a pregnancy. Mass media plays a vital part in modelling and providing perspective for public judgement. Abortion is found to be presented using primarily damaging language and perceptions were found to be vague or ostracised. One article analysed framed abortion as a valid and appropriate choice, whilst unconstructive media depictions subsidise to the stigmatisation of the method. The media is often more vivid, inexplicable and fantastical than real life and how abortion is interpreted in the media is no different. Abortion in the media is often inappropriately sourced and politically motivated, the portrayal of abortion is frequently misrepresented and the media has a significant role in abortion advocacy. The depiction of abortion publically, in the news and online has a substantial impression on ethnic, individual and civil beliefs.

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A substantial amount of information on abortion is conveyed in the media via bias. Articles were identified using the electronic databases Cagle Cartoons, Free Inquiry and University of Kansas. Each article address the inclusion that abortion was the main concentration and that the piece tackles the perspective of abortion. The analysis of the articles identified the representation of abortion in the media which contribute to stigmatisation and the use of negative language and discursive associations and the marginalisation of key perspectives as those presenting abortion as a positive and legitimate choice.

The leitmotif of controversy, exaggeration and integrity tackles the way in which grammatical choices and melodramatic framings propagate abortion stigma. Arguments against abortion tackles the ways in which abortion is fabricated both as psychologically and substantially threatening. Pro-Choice arguments examine the power of far-reaching influences and contrasts made between abortion. The cartoon that references abortion addresses the implications of the visual structure used to account for women having abortions and how it is situated in the modern society. The language used in the constructed essay by Don Marquis presented abortion as unquestionably and perpetually controversial. “The purpose of this essay is to set out an argument the claim that abortion, except perhaps in instances, is seriously wrong. One reason for these exceptions is to eliminate from consideration cases whose ethical analysis should be controversial detailed for clear-headed opponents of abortion.” This positioned abortion as something nonconforming and abnormal. By stating “abortion…is seriously wrong” frames abortion as a conflict of society as a feature of public discourse and the controversy and stigma of abortion are perpetuated.

Each article tends to rely on emotive language, with abortion presented as an explicit side of humanity. Why I Am Pro-Abortion, Not Just Pro-Choice’s extract “I believe that abortion care is a positive social good. And I suspect that a lot of other people secretly believe the same thing.” extends much of this emotive and explicitly moralising language. “An estimated 60 to 80 per cent of fertilized eggs self-destruct before becoming babies…” this focus on numbers implies that there is somehow an appropriate number for abortions and that 60 to 80 per cent is unsubstantial. Don Marquis states “women have the right to control their own bodies, but the right to life overrides the right of a woman…” which fails to recognise the complexities and stresses of termination or emotional difficulty, instead it dichotomises pregnancy by positioning the reader to think that “abortion is wrong for the same reason as killing a reader of this essay is wrong” which illustrates many narrow assumptions underpinning the presentation of abortion across modern society.

Abortion has been presented as an unacknowledged risk to women through subtle linguistic framings. “Despite the deliberate misinformation being spread by opponents, these methods are genuine contraceptives, not abortifacients.” The use of this statement in the article by Valerie Tarico might be seen to subtly imply that these claims are accepted and inarguable. The cartoon phrase states “Congratulations! You’re our 52,008,665th customer!” this indication presents that abortion providers were performing a ‘quick fix’. In this sense it can be aligned with the discourse of the medical establishment illustrated in the Roe V Wade 38th Anniversary cartoon or with a deliberate attempt by those in favour of abortion which is also illustrated in the cartoon featuring Planned Parenthood.

Predominant framings of abortion through the media are negative and abortion is constructed as being at odds with society. A discourse of abortion as a legitimate choice is largely absent in media since it plays a part in social norms. Contexts of normative constructs the women impact of negative representations of abortion. Ultimately, abortion stigma is pertinent for the impact on modern society through the prevailed exemplification in the media. The perception of abortion in the media is a pressing need which needs to challenge the notion that abortion stigma is unavoidable and to urge positive framings of abortion in media and other forms of public discourse.  


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