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United States pro-life movement

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Title: United States pro-life movement  
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Subject: Abortion in the United States, Christianity and abortion, Human Life Amendment, Anti-abortion movements, R v Davidson
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United States pro-life movement

Demonstrators at the 2004 March for Life

The United States pro-life movement (also known as the United States anti-abortion movement or the United States right-to-life movement) is a social and political movement in the

  • National Right to Life Committee
  • Americans United for Life
  • American Life League
  • Physicians for Life
  • Family Research Council

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Schultz, Jeffrey D.; Van Assendelft, Laura A. (1999). Encyclopedia of women in American politics. The American political landscape (1 ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 195.  
  2. ^ Staggenborg, Suzanne (1994). The Pro-Choice Movement: Organization and Activism in the Abortion Conflict. Oxford University Press US. p. 188.  
  3. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (2010). Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling. Kaplan Publishing.  
  4. ^ Susan Welch, John Gruhl, John Comer, Susan M. Rigdon (2009). Understanding American Government (12 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 150.  
  5. ^ "Democrats for Life". Democrats for Life. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  6. ^ Oaks, Laury (Spring 2009). "What Are Pro-Life Feminists Doing on Campus?".  
  7. ^ "We need your help".  
  8. ^ (98–1856) 410 U.S. 113 (1973)Roe v. Wade. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Hidden Persuaders". 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  10. ^ "A feminine face for the anti-abortion movement". 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  11. ^ "States Enact Record Number of Abortion Restrictions in First Half of 2011". 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  12. ^ Holland, S. (2003). Bioethics: a Philosophical Introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press. 
  13. ^ Finn, J.T. (2005-04-23). Birth Control" Pills cause early Abortions""". Pro-Life America — Facts on Abortion. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  14. ^ "Emergency 'Contraception' and Early Abortion". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 1998-08-01. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  15. ^ Crockett, Susan A.; Donna Harrison; Joe DeCook; Camilla Hersh (April 1999). "Hormone Contraceptives Controversies and Clarifications". American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  16. ^ Wallace, James Matthew. "Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League Homepage". Retrieved November 4, 2006. 
  17. ^ "Secular ProLife". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  18. ^ [1]"Atheist, Secular, and Pro-life"
  19. ^ "Feminists for Life". 
  20. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church para.2271, "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: 'You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish'". Vatican website. Accessed 2011-02-05.
  21. ^ ANALYSIS September 30, 2008 (2008-09-30). "Pew Forums". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  22. ^ Munson, Ziad W. (2008). The making of pro-life activists: how social movement mobilization works. University of Chicago Press. p. 85.  
  23. ^ a b c They Kingdom Come pg. 12, a book by Randall Herbert Balmer, Professor of Religion and History at Columbia University.
  24. ^ They Kingdom Come a book by Randall Herbert Balmer, Professor of Religion and History at Columbia University.
  25. ^ McKeegan, M. (1993), "The politics of abortion: A historical perspective", Women's Health Issues 3 (3), pp. 127–131
  26. ^ Baptist Press"Sparks fly in Land’s appearance at black columnists’ meeting"
  27. ^ Mapping the social landscape: readings in sociology By Susan J. Ferguson
  28. ^ Sex, Politics, and Religion: The Clash Between Poland and the European Union over Abortion by Alicia Czerwinski in the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, 2003
  29. ^ "Официальный сайт Русской Православной Церкви". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  30. ^ True to the Faith (LDS) article on abortion. Retrieved 2006-05-06.
  31. ^ a b c "Religious Groups’ Official Positions on Abortion" Pew Forum
  32. ^ "Abortion 1973". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  33. ^ "Abortion 2010". 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  34. ^ The rebirth of orthodoxy: signs of new life in Christianity.  
  35. ^ Krier Mich, Marvin L. (1998). Catholic Social Teaching and Movements. Twenty-Third Publications. p. 216.  
  36. ^ Kaczor, Christopher Robert (2006). The Edge of Life: Human Dignity and Contemporary Bioethics. Philosophy and Medicine 85. Springer. p. 148.  
  37. ^ Hester, Joseph P. (2003). The Ten Commandments: A Handbook of Religious, Legal, and Social Issues. McFarland. p. 221.  
  38. ^ 2004 Republican Party Platform: A Safer World and a More Hopeful America p. 84.
  39. ^ Its connected Candidate Fund increases the percentage of pro-life women in politics., Retrieved 25 September 2008.
  40. ^ "SBA List Mission: Advancing, Mobilizing and Representing Pro-Life Women". Susan B. Anthony List. 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2010. To accomplish our ultimate goal of ending abortion in this country... 
  41. ^ By PATRICK O'CONNOR (21 March 2010). "Historic win close after Bart Stupak deal". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  42. ^ "Choice, Life Groups Slam Obama Order on Abortion Funding". Fox News. 2010-03-21. 
  43. ^ "Pro-Life Groups Help Stupak's GOP Opponents". 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  44. ^ "Stupak: From Prolife Groups' Hero to Villain 'In a Nanosecond' | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction". Christianity Today. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  45. ^ "Bart Stupak's Retirement Stirs Mixed Reactions, Christian News". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  46. ^ Parker, Kathleen (2010-03-24). "Stupak's fall from pro-life grace". The Washington Post. 
  47. ^ Eckholm, Erik (December 4, 2011). "Anti-Abortion Groups Are Split on Legal Tactics". The New York Times. 
  48. ^ .  
  49. ^ Maxwell, Carol J.C. (2002). Pro-life activists in America. Cambridge University Press.  
  50. ^ Munson, Ziad (2008). The making of pro-life activists. University of Chicago Press.  
  51. ^ Chamberlain, Pam and Jean Hardisty. (2007) "The Importance of the Political 'Framing' of Abortion". The Public Eye Magazine Vol. 14, No. 1. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  52. ^ "The Roberts Court Takes on Abortion". New York Times. November 5, 2006. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  53. ^ Brennan 'Dehumanizing the vulnerable' 2000
  54. ^ Getek, Kathryn; Cunningham, Mark (February 1996). "A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing – Language and the Abortion Debate". Princeton Progressive Review. 
  55. ^ "Example of "anti-life" terminology" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  56. ^
  57. ^ Goldstein, Norm, ed. The Associated Press Stylebook. Philadelphia: Basic Books, 2007.
  58. ^ Saad, Lydia (May 15, 2009). """More Americans "Pro-Life" Than "Pro-Choice" for First TimeAlso, fewer think abortion should be legal "under any circumstances. Gallup, Inc. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  59. ^ "Majority of Americans now ‘pro-life,’ poll says". Associated Press. May 15, 2009. 
  60. ^ "Americans Think New State Laws Will Reduce Number of Abortions". Rasmussen Reports, LLC. March 10, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-15. While the country remains closely divided between those who call themselves pro-life and those who view themselves as pro-choice, the majority of Likely U.S. Voters think abortion is morally wrong in most cases. 
  61. ^ "Half of U.S. Voters are Pro-Choice, But 53% Say Abortion's Usually Morally Wrong". Rasmussen Reports, LLC. February 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  62. ^ "46% Are Pro-Choice, 43% Pro-Life". Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  63. ^ a b Smith, Joanna (August 7, 2010). "Deception used in counselling women against abortion". Toronto Star. 
  64. ^ Bryant AG, Levi EE (July 2012). "Abortion misinformation from crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina". Contraception 86 (6): 752–6.  
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  68. ^ "WHO – Induced abortion does not increase breast cancer risk". Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  69. ^ Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems (PDF) (2nd ed.).  
  70. ^ "Abortion, Miscarriage, and Breast Cancer Risk". National Cancer Institute. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  71. ^ "Politics & Science – Investigating the State of Science Under the Bush Administration". Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  72. ^ "Is Abortion Linked to Breast Cancer?". American Cancer Society. Archived from the original on 31 January 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  73. ^ Committee On Gynecologic, Practice (June 2009). "ACOG Committee Opinion No. 434: induced abortion and breast cancer risk". Obstetrics and Gynecology 113 (6): 1417–8.  
  74. ^
  75. ^
  76. ^ a b Stotland NL (2003). "Abortion and psychiatric practice". J Psychiatr Pract 9 (2): 139–49.   "Currently, there are active attempts to convince the public and women considering abortion that abortion frequently has negative psychiatric consequences. This assertion is not borne out by the literature: the vast majority of women tolerate abortion without psychiatric sequelae."
  77. ^ Lazzarini Z (November 2008). "South Dakota's Abortion Script – Threatening the Physician-Patient Relationship". N. Engl. J. Med. 359 (21): 2189–2191.  
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  80. ^ Stotland NL (October 1992). "The myth of the abortion trauma syndrome". JAMA 268 (15): 2078–9.  
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  83. ^
  84. ^ 'Le Figaro'', 17 October 2009"'". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  85. ^ Retrieved 25 September 2008.
  86. ^ Pavone, Frank A."Should We Use Graphic Images?" Priests for Life Retrieved September 7, 2007. Quote: "Even among those who oppose abortion, answers to this question [Should we use graphic images?] vary".
  87. ^ "NAF Violence and Disruption Statistics" (PDF). National Abortion Federation. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  88. ^ a b Hill v. Colorado (98-1856) 530 U.S. 703 (2000). Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  89. ^ , August 2000Pro-Life Action News"Controversy in the Activist Movement", .
  90. ^ "The "Chicago Method": Sidewalk Counseling that appeals to the Mother's concerns for her own well-being," Priests for Life.
  91. ^  
  92. ^ a b c Chandler, Michael Alison (2006-09-09). "Antiabortion Centers Offer Sonograms to Further Cause".  
  93. ^ a b Gibbs, Nancy (February 15, 2007). "The Grass-Roots Abortion War". Time. 
  94. ^  
  95. ^  
  96. ^ Lewin, Tamar (April 22, 1994). "Anti-Abortion Center's Ads Ruled Misleading". The New York Times. 
  97. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (2006-03-22). "Grants Flow To Bush Allies On Social Issues".  
  98. ^ Burge, Kathleen: "Driving force" Boston Globe, May 5, 2006
  99. ^ Madigan, Erin: "Choose Life Car Tags Spark Debate", November 25, 2002
  100. ^ Violence at US Abortion Clinics.
  101. ^ "An Abortion Battle, Fought to the Death" NYT 25 July 2009, New York Times 25 July 2009
  102. ^ "Clinic Killings Follow Years of Antiabortion Violence". 1995-01-17. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  103. ^ "Pro-life Leaders Respond to Tiller Shooting". 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2014-10-13. 
  104. ^ James Risen and Judy L. Thomas: Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War, Basic Books, 1998.
  105. ^
  106. ^


See also

Pro-life activists have been the targets of criminal intimidation and violence, which included the murder of James Pouillon.

Nearly all pro-life leaders condemn the use of violence in the movement, describing it as an aberration and saying that no one in their organizations was associated with acts of violence.[102][103] There is, however, a small extremist fringe element of the right-to-life movement in the USA, which supports, raises money for, and attempts to justify anti-abortion violence, including murders of abortion workers, which the fringe element calls "justifiable homicides".[104][105][106]

Violent incidents directed against abortion providers have included murdered in his church in 2009.[101]


In the United States, some states issue [98][99]

Specialty license plates

  • Heartbeat International, and Birthright International), with hundreds in other countries. By 2006, U.S. CPCs had received more than $60 million of federal funding, including some funding earmarked for abstinence-only programs,[97] as well as state funding from many states.[92]
  • Sidewalk counseling: "Sidewalk counseling" is a form of pro-life advocacy which is conducted outside of abortion clinics. Activists seek to communicate with those entering the building, or with passersby in general, in an effort to persuade them not to have an abortion or to reconsider their position on the morality of abortion.[88] They do so by trying to engage in conversation, displaying signs, distributing literature, or giving directions to a nearby crisis pregnancy center.[88]
    • The "Chicago Method" is an approach to sidewalk counseling that involves giving those about to enter an abortion facility copies of lawsuits filed against the facility or its physicians. The name comes from the fact that it was first used by Pro-Life Action League in Chicago.[89] The intent of the Chicago Method is to turn the woman away from a facility that the protesters deem "unsafe", thus giving her time to reconsider her choice to abort.[90]


  • The truth display: Involves publicly displaying large pictures of aborted fetuses. Some pro-life groups believe that showing the graphic results of abortion is an effective way to dissuade and prevent others from choosing abortion. The Pro-Life Action League has used this form of activism in its Face the Truth displays. Members of one group, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, are known for setting up truth displays on university campuses. This group has faced legal battles over the use of such graphic imagery, and they have generated debate regarding the protection of such displays, by freedom of speech. "Truth displays" are a controversial, even within the pro-life movement.[86]
  • Picketing: The majority of the facilities that perform abortions in the United States experience some form of protest from pro-life demonstrators every year, of which the most common form is picketing. In 2007, 11,113 instances of picketing were either reported to, or obtained by, the National Abortion Federation.[87]
A pro-life van parked outside of an abortion clinic.
  • Mass demonstrations: every year, American pro-life advocates hold a March for Life in Washington, D.C., on 22 January, the anniversary date of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States. Similar events take place on a smaller scale in other U.S. cities, such as the Walk for Life in San Francisco, California. In Spain, over a million people took part in a demonstration on 17 October 2009 protesting the legalization of abortion.[84] On a lesser scale, the Paris March for Life gathers thousands of French pro-life marchers every year in January. Also, thousands of Pro Life supporters hold a march for life in Ottawa, Canada every May, the anniversary of R v. Morgertaller
  • The life chain: The "Life Chain" is a public demonstration technique that involves standing in a row on sidewalks holding signs bearing pro-life messages. Messages include "Abortion Kills Children", "Abortion stops a beating heart" or "Abortion Hurts Women". Participants, as an official policy, do not yell or chant slogans and do not block pedestrians or roadways. Many Right to Life chapters hold Life Chain events yearly[85] and the annual worldwide 40 Days for Life campaigns also use this technique.
  • The rescue: A "rescue operation" involves pro-life activists blocking the entrances to an abortion clinic in order to prevent anyone from entering. The stated goal of this practice is to force the clinic to shut down for the day. Often, the protesters are removed by law enforcement. Some clinics were protested so heavily in this fashion that they closed down permanently. "The rescue" was first attempted by Operation Rescue. Ever since President Bill Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act into law, the rescue has become prohibitively expensive, and has rarely been attempted.

Demonstrations and protests

Pro-life protesters make a silent demonstration in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Pro-life advocacy involves a variety of activities, from promoting the pro-life position to the public in general, lobbying public officials, or attempting to dissuade individual women to forgo abortions. Some efforts involve distributing literature, providing counseling services, conducting public demonstrations or protests and private or public prayer.

Types of advocacy

Some right-to-life advocacy groups allege a link between abortion and subsequent mental-health problems.[76] Some American Psychological Association.[81][82][83]

[75][74] Some states, such as Alaska, Mississippi, West Virginia, Texas, and Kansas, have passed laws requiring abortion providers to warn patients of a link between abortion and breast cancer, and to issue other scientifically-unsupported warnings.[73][72][71][70][69][68] Some right-to-life organizations and individuals disseminate false medical information and unsupported

Abortion health risk claims

The Associated Press encourages journalists to use the terms "abortion rights" and "anti-abortion".[57] In a 2009 Gallup Poll, a majority of U.S. adults (51%) called themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion—for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995—while 42% identified themselves as "pro-choice",[58] although pro-choice groups noted that acceptance of the "pro-life" label did not in all cases indicate opposition to legalized abortion, and that another recent poll had indicated that an equal number were pro-choice.[59] A March 2011 Rasmussen Reports poll concluded that Americans are "closely divided between those who call themselves pro-life" and those who consider themselves as "pro-choice".[60] In a February 2011 Rasmussen Reports poll of "Likely U.S. Voters", fifty percent view themselves as "pro-choice" and forty percent "say they are pro-life".[61] In a July 2013 Rasmussen Reports poll of "Likely U.S. Voters", 46 percent view themselves as "pro-choice" and 43 percent "say they are pro-life".[62]

. Abortion debate#Terminology See also [56] Both "pro-choice" and "pro-life" are examples of terms labeled as

Pro-life advocates tend to use terms such as "unborn baby", "unborn child", or "pre-born child",[51][52] and see the medical terms "embryo", "zygote", and "fetus" as dehumanizing.[53][54] Pro-life individuals may also prefer to refer to the pregnant woman as a "mother", while some pro-choice individuals consider this inappropriate.

Controversies over terminology

More recently, sociologist Ziad Munson studied the characteristics of both activists and non-activists who considered themselves pro-life. The pro-life activists of Munson’s sample were 93% white, 57% female, 66% Catholic, and 71% had a college degree. Of non-activists who considered themselves pro-life, Munson found that 83% were white, 52% were female, 45% were Catholic, and 76% had a college degree. In Munson’s analysis personal moralities and worldviews are formed as a consequence of participation in pro-life activism. Munson’s analysis differs from previous scholarly work in its assertion that beliefs result from activism rather than causing activism. For Munson, life course factors make an individual more or less likely to become an activist.[50]

A 2002 study by Carol J.C. Maxwell drawing on decades of survey and interview data of direct-action activists within the pro-life movement found that 99% of the sample was white, 60% was female, 51% had a college degree, and 29% were Catholic. Like Granberg’s 1981 study, Maxwell concluded that pro-life and pro-choice activists held two different worldviews which in turn are formed by two different moral centers.[49]

A 1981 survey of dues paying members of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) by sociologist Donald O. Granberg found that survey respondents held conservative views on sex, sex education, and contraception. Additionally, Granberg’s survey provided basic demographic characteristics of his sample: 98% of survey respondents were white, 63% were female, 58% had a college degree, and 70% were Catholic. Granberg concluded that conservative personal morality was the primary mechanism for explaining an individual’s involvement in the pro-life movement.[48]

Studies indicate that activists within the American pro-life movement are predominantly white and educated, with a majority of pro-life activism constituted by women. Scholars continue to dispute the primary factors that cause individuals to become pro-life activists. While some have suggested that a particular moral stance or worldview leads to activism, others have suggested that activism leads individuals to develop particular moral positions and worldviews.


The New York Times reported in 2011 that the pro-life movement in the United States has been undergoing a disagreement over tactics. Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the movement has usually focused on chipping away at Roe through incremental restrictions such as laws requiring parental consent or women to see sonograms, restricting late-term abortions, etc., with the goal of limiting abortions and changing "hearts and minds" until there is a majority on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. However, some activists are calling for "an all-out legal assault on Roe. v. Wade", seeking the enactment of laws defining legal personhood as beginning at fertilization or prohibiting abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable at six to eight weeks in the hope that court challenges to such laws would lead the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. They believe that Justice Anthony Kennedy, who nearly decided to overturn Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, is open to rethinking Roe. Others fear that the Court would not only strike down the laws in question but other state laws as well, and take the opportunity to solidify the ruling in Roe. Evangelical Christian groups tend to be in the former camp and Catholic groups in the latter.[47]

[46][45][44][43] The United States

Democrats for Life of America demonstrates at the 2006 March for Life.

Legal and political aspects

Supporters of the consistent life ethic also oppose abortions as one of the acts that end human life. In 1979, Juli Loesch linked anti-abortion and anti-nuclear weapons arguments to form the group Prolifers for Survival. In 1987 this group defined an ethic of the sanctity of all life, and formed the group Seamless Garment Network. This group was against abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, militarism, poverty and racism.[35] Beginning in 1983, American Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin argued that abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and unjust war are all related, and all wrong. He said that "to be truly 'pro-life,' you have to take all of those issues into account."[36] Paul M. Perl studied 1996 voter statistics and found that the consistent life ethic is difficult for religious leaders to promote because it combines the generally conservative anti-abortion stance with a liberal social attitude.[37]

Consistent life ethic

The National Association of Evangelicals and the LDS Church oppose abortion on demand. However, the NAE considers abortion permissible in cases with clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, dire threat to the life/physical health of the pregnant woman, or when a pregnancy results from rape or incest.[31][32][33] The Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality (TUMAS) was formed in 1987 to further the pro-life ministry in The United Methodist Church.[34] The Southern Baptist Convention believes that abortion is allowable only in cases where there is a direct threat to the life of the woman.[31] Other Mainline Protestant denominations in the United States, such as the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the United Church of Christ, are pro-choice.[31]

Much of the pro-life movement in the United States and around the world finds support in the Roman Catholic Church, the Christian right, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the Church of England, the Anglican Church in North America, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).[27][28][29][30] However, the pro-life teachings of these denominations vary considerably. The Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church consider abortion to be immoral in all cases, but may in some cases permit an act which indirectly and without intent results in the death of the fetus in a case where the mother's life is threatened. In Pope John Paul II's Letter to Families he simply stated the Roman Catholic Church's view on abortion and euthanasia: "Laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law."

[26], said that making abortion illegal is more important than any other issue.Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land In 2005, [25] Before 1980, the

The only coordinated opposition to abortion in the United States during the early 1970s before the Roe v. Wade decision was from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its Family Life Bureau. Mobilization of a wide-scale pro-life movement began immediately after in 1973 with the creation of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).[22]

A monument to the unborn in Sainte Geneviève, Missouri.

Christian groups

The variety in opinion on the issue of abortion is reflected in the diverse views of religious groups. For example, the Catholic Church considers all procured abortions morally evil,[20] while traditional Jewish teaching sanctions abortion if necessary to safeguard the life and well-being of the pregnant woman.[21]

Views in opposition to abortion

Attachment to a pro-life position is often but not exclusively connected to religious beliefs about the sanctity of life (see also culture of life). Exclusively secular-humanist positions against abortion tend to be a minority viewpoint among pro-life advocates; these groups (such as Secular Pro-Life) say that their position is based on human rights and biology, rather than religion.[16][17][18] Many holding the pro-life position also tend toward a complementarian view of gender roles, though there is also a self-described feminist element inside the movement.[19]

Some pro-life advocates also oppose certain forms of birth control, particularly hormonal contraception such as emergency contraception (ECPs), and copper IUDs which prevent the implantation of an embryo. Because they believe that the term "pregnancy" should be defined so as to begin at fertilization, they refer to these contraceptives as abortifacients[13] because they cause the embryo to starve. An embryo gets its nourishment off the uterine wall and "dies" if not attached. The Catholic Church endorses this view,[14] but the possibility that hormonal contraception has post-fertilization effects is disputed within the scientific community, including some pro-life physicians.[15]

Pro-life individuals generally believe that human life should be valued either from fertilization or implantation until natural death. The contemporary pro-life movement is typically, but not exclusively, influenced by Conservative Christian beliefs, especially in the United States, and has influenced certain strains of bioethical utilitarianism.[12] From that viewpoint, any action which destroys an embryo or fetus kills a person. Any deliberate destruction of human life is considered ethically or morally wrong and is not considered to be mitigated by any benefits to others, as such benefits are coming at the expense of the life of what they believe to be a person. In some cases, this belief extends to opposing abortion of fetuses that would almost certainly expire within a short time after birth, such as anencephalic fetuses.

There are many socially conservative organizations in the U.S. that support the pro-life movement. Some groups focus solely on promoting the pro-life cause, such as the Live Action, among many others. Other groups support not only the pro-life cause but the broader family values cause, such as Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, and Concerned Women for America, among many others.

The pro-life movement includes a variety of organizations, with no single centralized decision-making body.[1] There are diverse arguments and rationales for the pro-life stance.


The pro-life movement has been successful in recent years in promoting new laws against abortion within the states. The Guttmacher Institute said eighty laws restricting abortion were passed in the first six months of 2011, "more than double the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions enacted in 2005—and more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010".[11]

Barnes also discussed the rise in opposition to abortion among the younger generations, especially the Live Action.[9] Lisa Miller of The Washington Post wrote about the younger, more feminine face of the pro-life movement with the rise of leaders such as Lila Rose of Live Action, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, and Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, all "youngish Christian working mothers with children at home" who seek to combat the image of the anti-abortion movement as made up of "old white men" who cannot relate to the experience of pregnant women.[10]

That the pro-life movement is bigger is a given. It’s also younger, increasingly entrepreneurial, more strategic in its thinking, better organized, tougher in dealing with allies and enemies alike, almost wildly ambitious, and more relentless than ever. Pro-lifers have captured the high moral ground, chiefly thanks to advances in the quality of sonograms. Once fuzzy, sonograms now provide a high-resolution picture of the unborn child in the womb. Fetuses have become babies.[9]

Some in the media have noted a revitalization of the pro-life movement in the 21st century. In 2011, Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard wrote:

Roe v. Wade was considered a major setback by pro-life campaigners. The case and the overturning of most anti-abortion laws spurred the growth of a largely religious-based pro-life political and social movement, even as Americans were becoming, in the 1970s and 1980s, increasingly pro-choice. The first major pro-life success since Roe's case came in 1976 with the passing of the George H. W. Bush – were elected.

[1] The description "pro-life" was adopted by the

In the late 1960s, a number of organizations were formed to mobilize opinion against the legalization of abortion. In the United States, the National Right to Life Committee was formed in 1968, while in Australia, the National Right to Life formed in 1970.[7]



  • History 1
  • Overview 2
  • Views in opposition to abortion 3
    • Christian groups 3.1
    • Consistent life ethic 3.2
  • Legal and political aspects 4
  • Demographics 5
  • Controversies over terminology 6
  • Abortion health risk claims 7
  • Types of advocacy 8
    • Demonstrations and protests 8.1
    • Counseling 8.2
    • Specialty license plates 8.3
  • Violence 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

On the other side of the abortion debate in the United States is the pro-choice movement, which argues that a woman is the only person with a right to chose whether or not to have an abortion.

Before the [2][3] In the United States, the movement is associated with several Christian religious groups, especially the Catholic Church, and is frequently, but not exclusively, allied with the Republican Party.[4][5] The movement is also supported by non-mainstream pro-life feminists.[6] The movement seeks to reverse Roe v. Wade and to promote legislative changes or constitutional amendment, such as the Human Life Amendment, that prohibit or at least broadly restrict abortion.[1]

There are diverse arguments and rationales for the pro-life stance. Some anti-abortion activists concede arguments for permissible abortions in exceptional circumstances such as incest, rape, severe fetal defects or when the woman's health is at risk. [1]

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