As Staggenborg discusses in the text, the "second wave" of the women's movement that occurred during the protest cycle of the 1960s recruited many individuals and provided a great deal of social change (p.71). One of the issues that got a great deal of attention was the women's health and reproductive right. As a result of this, abortion rights became a very popular topic of discussing. As Staggenborg points out in Chapter 5, women were not as educated on topics such as sexuality, contraception, childbirth, and abortion (p. 78). However, because of the second wave of the protest cycle women started to become more educated on these topics and took more of an interest in the topic of abortion Feminists started to begin to fight for their rights to their body. As Staggenborg points out, in 1969 a group of women that were connected to the Chicago Women's Liberation Union formed a collective group that was referred to as " Jane" (p.74). This group made a list of doctors that were considered "safe" to get abortions from. In addition, the group worked with an abortionist who provided and taught many women how to perform abortions themselves. This was essential to women that were too poor to travel to a doctor. This whole project was aimed at protecting women and their choice to do what they want with their bodies. As a result of feminists coming together, abortion was legalized in all fifty states on January 22nd, 1973 through the court case of Roe v. Wade. As a result of abortion being legalized, March for Life was an organization that was started that fought for the right to life. The March for Life in Washington D.C. was first held on January 22nd, 1974. This was exactly one year after the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade. On the March for Life website, it states that the vision of this movement is to fight for a world where every human life is valued and protected. The Mission of the March for life is to provide all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person. This March originally began as a very small protest, but over the past years people of all ages, gender, and races are all represented at the March. It becomes larger every year. As it states on the March website, the organization will continue to protest every year until their mission and vision is met.
This news article discusses the growth that the March for Life has had from the very first protest up until present day. Nellie Grey was and still continues to be a very influential member of the March for Life. Nellie Grey retired from being a lawyer in 1973 when abortion was made legal. She made it her new mission to focus on how she could get the decision overturned. She knew it was going to be challenging, because during this time period many women supported the pro-choice movement because they wanted to have control over their bodies (Ryan,2013). However, the March for Life was an idea that came to Grey in the comfort of her own home. At the beginning of the march, it was a very small crowd. Grey acknowledged that she needed to add assets to make the march successful. As Staggenborg discusses, tangible and intangible assets are part of what makes a movement successful. An example of a tangible asset is funding. In 1976, Nellie Grey partnered with the Defense Fund Board. As a result of this, Grey was able to use that funding to build upon the March (Ryan,2013). On the other hand, this movement also has intangible assets. Nellie Grey is an example of an intangible asset to the movement. As this article states, " Grey thought that no matter how a baby came into existence, it had the right to life. Grey really stood for that" ( Ryan,2013). At the very beginning, Grey showed her commitment to the March by ensuring that the March took place every year by getting permits Grey was successful in finding resources to use in order to gain more people. As Terri Scalon from the Defense Fund Board stated " Each year, it got larger and larger" (Ryan,2013). Scalon goes onto discuss about how the movement became strong because it brought in speakers that people could relate to. In addition, the movement continued to grow when it got public support from political administration. Staggenborg defines recruitment when individuals commit to movements when they involve individual resources such as their time, money, and skills to a cause (p. 27-32). Every year, many people were joining the march in January. They were devoting their time to protest. In addition, many of these people had to travel long distances to spend just a short time protesting. As this article says, “ Many colleges, high schools, churches and other organizations charter buses to Washington” ( Ryan,2013). In addition to individual support, the March For life has gained support of many other pro-life causes. As the article states, “ The March for life has been an advisor and inspiration for other pro-life causes in other states and countries, including Crossroads Walk and a U.S. cross-country annual summer walk to protest abortion” (Ryan, 2013). Scalon and Grey both believe that with the March growth each year, it will cause legalized abortion to end one day.
Religion is a big factor that affects they way a person views abortion. Since Abortion was made legal, it has sparked cultural conversation. There has been intense focus regarding abortion by many religious affiliations. However, the Catholic Church has been well known for adopting pro-life has the universal concept. In addition, many people from the Catholic Church attend the march annually. As Staggenborg states, “Cultural activities and everyday life provide additional venues for the spread of movement ideology and the maintenance of movement networks”(pg.47). The Catholic Church has expressed through different venues that they believe that life begins at conception. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops discusses how they as priests and teachers of the catholic faith view the gift of life. They state, “ We proclaim that human life is a precious gift from God; that each person who receives that gift has responsibilities toward God, self, and others; and that society through it’s laws and social institutions, must protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence”(United State Conference of Catholic Bishops). By the Catholic Church endorsing this way of thinking, it has cultured the younger generations to also endorse this way of thinking. March of Life is an example of an activity that they have attended that has given them their specific viewpoint on the topic of abortion.
In this particular news article, the author Charles Clymer discusses how religion should not be used as a reason to defend the reason to be pro-life. He states, “ My religion or anyone’s religion has no place in the affairs of other people" (Clymer,2016). He is not saying that people cannot believe in a certain religion, but he is saying that people do not have the right to push their religious beliefs onto other people. He believes the religious preferences should not dictate other’s choice. He believes that by using religion, as a reason to be pro-life, it is an attack on women and their families. He says, “ You say your heart is full of Christ’s love but why does that only manifest itself on particular issues?”(Clymer,2016). Throughout the article, he goes onto explain how he thinks its wrong of religious affiliation to endorse a certain viewpoint on the debate. He believes the religion should be left out of it. Furthermore, Clymer believes that abortion will always be legal because the March for Life movement will never have the full support of all of the people it needs to make abortion illegal.
As Staggenborg discussed, the framing perspective is when leaders or organizations frame issues in a particular way to identify injustices, attribute blame, propose solution, and motivate collective action” (p. 23). Staggenborg goes onto to discuss how movements often compete with each other to form the most convincing frame. In this scholarly article, the author discusses the different approaches each of the sides takes to the abortion argument. Roe v. Wade focused on the due process clause under the 14th amendment( Medoff, 2016). This clause deals with the privacy of a woman. It was decided that it was liberty right of a pregnant woman to decide for herself whether or not to have an abortion outweighs the right of the fetus of life (Medoff, 2016). The pro-choice and the pro-life movement each frame the value of a fetus in a different way. Pro-choice supporters frame their movement in a way that values the mother’s life over the fetus. They argue that the value of the life of the mother outweighs the non-human fetus (Medoff, 2016). They believe that there is no moral obligation to the fetus because it isn’t physically living outside of the women. However, the pro-life movement frames their argument in a different way. Opponents of abortion believe that life begins at conception. They consider abortion to be murder, because they believe the fetus is a person with the same moral obligations as a “living person” (Medoff, 2016). Both sides have been successful in framing, because they continue to gain support using these techniques.
One problem with the topic of abortion is the way that it is portrayed in the media. On both ends of the spectrum, things can get quite extreme in some instances. . As Staggenborg discusses social media, she says, “ Often movements resort to dramatic tactics that will secure media coverage, but the difficulty is that the standards of the coverage may escalate”(p.52). Maria Gallagher, the Director of the Pro-Life Federation discussed how when the movement first emerged, Dr. Nathason released false statistics regarding abortions. His motive was to get eliminate all of the anti-abortion laws. He said, “ I confess that I knew the figures were totally false. The overriding concern was to get laws against abortion eliminated and anything within reason as permissible”(Gallagher,2017). Dr. Nathason was caught giving false statistics on the amount of abortions being conducted and the amount of lives loss to abortion. Throughout the article, Gallagher cautions all women that are interested in abortion to make sure they do their full research. She discusses how in many cases the media and different organizations like Planned Parenthood do not always portray the facts.
This article focused on the constant cycle of contention that the March for Life has encountered since it began by Nellie Grey in 1974. Staggenborg defines a cycle of contention as being “ a phase of heightened conflict across the social system" (p.21). White discusses how when the March for Life first began, it got attention from many news articles. People from the East and West Coast were joining rapidly. Nellie Grey was extending her efforts to get legislators involved. She was thinking that that would be the heightened conflict that the organization needed to get the law overturned. In 1981, Grey believed that the end of the March was in sight because Ronald Reagan had just been elected into election. Things were looking very good for the organization. As a result of Reagan getting in office, many people were joining. However, through the years the March continued but there wasn’t much conflict going on. Things seemed to stand still and not progress much further. Grey kept fighting up until her death in 2012. However, this past presidential election the cycle of contention started again. With new presidential power and a fresh start, the March for Life believes that if they keep fighting the end will soon end.
As Staggenborg discusses political opportunity is a way that a movement can advance( p.24) . This past presidential election has provided more opportunity for the movement to advance. This article discusses how Vice President Michael Pence was the first presidential administration to ever address the march in person. He spoke at the march ( Zauzmer & Bailey, 2017). He provided a great deal of hope to the thousands of protestors. He provided many incentives to them. He gave the group a purposive incentive. He talked about how the March for Life protest has been the main reason in which President Donald Trump is going to nominate a Justice for the new Supreme Court Justice position that is pro-life. This gave many of the people the satisfaction that their years of hard work was starting to pay off. Much of the March for Life’s work can be seen as having solidary incentive (p.35). There aren’t as many tangible awards, but by being part of a group people tend to feel a sense of satisfaction for fighting for something they truly believe in. There are not many material incentives involved in this movement, because most of the rewards are intrinsic. Many people join this movement because they believe that it is their duty to protect the lives of unborn babies. Throughout Pence’s speech to the crowd, many of the people express gratitude for him for showing up and being a supporter of something they believe so strong in.