Anti-abortion movements

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Date published 2021-10-29
Curation date 2021-10-29
Curator Dr. Victoria A. Stuart, Ph.D.
Editorial practice Refer here  |  Date format: yyyy-mm-dd
Summary Anti-abortion movements, also referred to as pro-life movements, are involved in the abortion debate advocating against the practice of abortion and its legality. Many anti-abortion movements began as countermovements in response to the legalization of elective abortions.
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  • This is a draft article [additional content pending ...].

  • Background

    Anti-abortion movements, also referred to as pro-life movements, are involved in the abortion debate advocating against the practice of abortion and its legality. Many anti-abortion movements began as countermovements in response to the legalization of elective abortions.

    Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus.

    Canadian Anti-Abortion Movement

  • Main article: Abortion in Canada
  • A Conservative MP, Cathay Wagantall, introduced a bill in 2020 seeking to ban abortions for the purpose of choosing a child's sex. Abortion in Canada is legal at all stages of pregnancy and funded in part by the Canada Health Act. In 2013, the Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, barred the members of Parliament from discussing the matter in the Commons. Harper's move was linked to his repeated declarations that he wouldn't allow the abortion debate to be re-opened. Since the 1980s, at least forty-three private member bills that are against abortion have been sent to the House of Commons yet none of them have been passed. Canadian anti-abortion discourse increasingly "aims at changing cultural values more than legislation; is explicitly framed as 'pro-woman'; largely avoids appealing to religious grounds; and relies on a new 'abortion-harms-women' argument that has supplanted and transformed traditional fetal personhood arguments".

    Since 1998, Catholics  [Christian Right] and allies have held national anti-abortion >March for LifeParliament Hill. Two have gathered over 10,000 protesters. In addition to the national protests, anti-abortionists protest abortion clinics across the nation in attempts to stop abortions from continuing.

    United States Anti-Abortion Movement

  • Main article: United States anti-abortion movement
  • The United States anti-abortion movement formed as a response to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton   Supreme Court of the United States decisions, with many anti-abortion organizations having emerged since then. There is also a smaller consistent life ethic movement, favoring a philosophy which opposes all forms of killing, including abortion, war, euthanasia, and capital punishment.

    The current movement is in part a continuation of previous debates on abortion that led to the practice being banned in all states in the late 19th century. The initial movement was led by physicians, but also included politicians and feminists. Among physicians, advances in medical knowledge played a significant role in influencing anti-abortion opinion. Quickening, which had previously been thought to be the point at which the soul entered a human was discovered to be a relatively unimportant step in fetal development, caused many medical professionals to rethink their positions on early term abortions. Ideologically, the Hippocratic Oath and the medical mentality of that age to defend the value of human life as an absolute also played a significant role in molding opinions about abortion.

    Meanwhile, many 19th-century feminists tended to regard abortion as an undesirable necessity forced upon women by thoughtless men. The "free love" wing of the feminist movement refused to advocate abortion and treated the practice as an example of the hideous extremes to which modern marriage was driving women. Marital rape and the seduction of unmarried women were societal ills which feminists believed caused the need to abort, as men did not respect women's right to abstinence.

    Evangelical organizations like Focus on the Family  [see also: Focus on the Family Canada] are involved in anti-abortion movements.

  • This is a draft article [additional content pending ...].

  • Additional Reading

  • [, 2022-11-10] In Every State With Abortion on the Ballot, Voters Defended Reproductive Rights.

  • [, 2022-09-01] Poll: One year after SB 8, Texans express strong support for abortion rights.

  • [, 2022-03-04] Abortions after 15 weeks are one signature away from being banned in Florida.

  • [, 2022-03-03] Idaho's state Senate just voted to adopt a Texas-inspired abortion ban.  The bill, which has to be voted on by Idaho's House of Representatives, could make Idaho the next state to effectively ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

  • The Anti-Abortion Movement Is Desperate to Protect the Filibuster.  Anti-abortion forces can't win by democratic means, so they are campaigning to protect the filibuster and crush voting rights - and Democrats may be content to let them win.

  • [, 2021-11-15] How the Texas ban on most abortions is harming survivors of rape and incest.

  • [, 2021-11-05] Anti-abortion rights lobbying at high as Supreme Court hears challenges to Texas law.

  • [, 2021-11-03] Supreme Court's hearings on abortion bans are an ominous sign of what's coming.  This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two cases concerning the Constitutionality of Texas's infamous "heartbeat bill," and the proceedings have reproductive rights advocates worried.  |  It is increasingly clear to reproductive rights activists nationwide that Roe, as we know it, has a limited shelf life with this Court.  |  In addition to anti-abortion activists expanding their targets, their tactics - from loudspeakers and door blockades to targeted harassment and even physical violence outside of clinics - are also likely to be repurposed and redeployed on other battlefronts.

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