Abortion Essays With Work Cited

Abortion; not only is it one of the most divisive issues in American politics, but it is also one of the most commonly assigned essay topics. Professors take different approaches to the topic. Some might ask you to write an argumentative essay supporting either the pro-life or pro-choice positions; others may ask you to write an expository essay explaining those positions; and some might even suggest that you decide what approach to take to the topic. However, whatever type of essay you are asked to write, you will be expected to back up your position with facts that bolster your position so that it is not merely an essay describing your personal thoughts and beliefs. In fact, you may not even understand your own personal thoughts about the issue. While the media likes to portray pro-life and pro-choice forces as diametric opposites, the reality is that many people have ambiguous feelings about the procedure. Very few people believe that abortion should be permitted for any reason up until a pregnancy is full term; on the other end of the spectrum, few people believe that abortion should be not be permitted in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or when the pregnancy has been determined to be non-viable. The fact that such a seemingly clear-cut issue is actually far more complex than most people believe can make it very difficult to know where to start your abortion essay.

Because students often have a very difficult time writing essays on divisive topics like abortion, we are providing this guide to give you a step-by-step approach to completing this essay. We will not tell you whether to take a pro-choice or a pro-life position, but, instead, will tell you how to approach sources and craft a successful essay that defends whichever position you choose to take. If you follow these steps, your end result should be a high-quality essay that highlights all of the strengths of your writing, and results in your best possible grade.

How to Write an Abortion Essay

With any highly politicized issue, one of the potential pitfalls you face as a researcher is that advocates on both sides of the issue will use highly prejudicial language to describe things in an attempt to sway your position, rather than simply to inform you of facts. Therefore, it is important to know some vocabulary before you begin your abortion paper. Key terms to know for an abortion paper include abortion, partial-birth abortion, viable, late-term abortion, embryo, fetus, rape, and incest. In addition, because so many of the arguments against abortion are rooted in religious beliefs, if you intend to use religious beliefs to bolster your argument, it is important to understand what the relevant holy books for the religion you are using actually say about abortion. The best source for that information is the holy books themselves, because a quick Google search reveals that holy books can be used to support both pro-life and pro-choice positions. For example, The Skeptics Annotated Bible suggests that the Bible is essentially pro-choice, while the Catholic Answers website provides several Bible quotes that suggest that abortion is a sin. Therefore, while a web search for information about those passages may be helpful, the bias apparent in most sources makes it imperative that you go to the source material and read the passages in context so that you can evaluate whether they support or oppose your position.

Types of Abortion Essays

When you are assigned an essay, you may also be told what type of essay to write. The main types of essays assigned in academic writing are: persuasive essays, analytical essays, expository essays, and argumentative essays. Because abortion is a divisive issue, many people write persuasive or argumentative essays on the topic, even when told to write a different type of essay. An expository essay discusses abortion without drawing any conclusions about the issue. An analytical abortion essay analyzes something related to abortion, again without drawing a conclusion about a position. Persuasive and argumentative essays both support a particular position, but persuasive essays are less forceful than argumentative essays. A persuasive essay tells the reader why he or she should share your position on abortion, but an argumentative essay goes further and tells the reader not only why they should support your position, but also why the opposing position is wrong. Many reasonable people have compromise positions on abortion; if you choose to take a compromise position, then a persuasive essay might be the right approach. However, if you take an absolute pro-life or pro-choice approach, then you would choose an argumentative essay.

Topics For Abortion Essay

While abortion may be your general topic, there is such a wide variety of research on abortion and so many divergent topics to discuss under the general abortion heading that you will need to narrow your position in order to write an effective essay. Depending on how much knowledge you have about abortion and the abortion debate, you may be able to come up with a thesis-statement that will guide your writing. If you know little about the abortion debate, you may need to do additional research before you can develop your topic and focus on your thesis statement. Some issues that people consider when writing abortion essays include:

-The use of abortion as birth control;

-Abortion for preferential fetal gender-selection;

-Abortion in multiple pregnancies;

-Abortion and sexual assault or incest;

-Abortion and maternal health;

-Is abortion murder;

-The post-abortion impacts on maternal mental health;

-Abortion rights and fathers; should fathers be able to compel or prevent abortions; and

-Abortion and Christianity.

Thesis Statements For Abortion Essay

The tone of your thesis statement is highly dependent on the type of essay that you are trying to write. After each of our suggested thesis statements, we have included the type of essay it would support.

Abortion is routinely used as birth control in a number of locations around the world. (Expository).

While abortion is an effective tool for preferential fetal gender selection in families with sex-linked genetic diseases, its overuse for gender selection in healthy fetuses has led to large disparities in male and female populations in certain areas. (Analytical).

Although many people argue that rape or incest should provide exceptions to abortion regulations, how a fetus was conceived does not mitigate the moral arguments surrounding abortion. (Persuasive).

Though pro-choice advocates try to couch abortion in terms of a mother’s rights, the end result of every abortion is the end of a life; abortion is murder. (Argumentative).

Abortion Essay Sources

Once you have determined the type of essay, your topic, and your thesis statement, you need to find sources to support your claims. Abortion is probably one of the most-searched topics on the internet and there is a plethora of resources available. However, it is very difficult to find objective sources on the topic. Therefore, you should evaluate each source that you contemplate, and, if you choose to use a source that is biased, acknowledge that bias when citing the source. One source for objective material is the procon.org website’s abortion page. There, you can find information supporting both arguments. Another good source of information is the Balanced Politics abortion page. If you do choose to use a biased source, attempt to verify that information through a non-biased source.

General rules about sources also apply. Ideally, sources should be less than three years old. Because many abortion essays are going to touch on legal issues, you may be citing case law that is decades old; this is permissible, but you need to ensure that you have included any changes or modifications that have been made to those laws, or, at the very least, acknowledge that changes have been made. In addition, your university may provide specific guidelines about what types of sources are or are not acceptable. Because there is so much information about abortion available in so many different types of media, if you have a question about whether a source is acceptable, the best advice is not to use that source. One source that your college may specifically prohibit is Wikipedia. The open-source editing format of Wikipedia makes it a difficult source to rely upon, but there is no question that Wikipedia provides some wonderful overviews of a wide-variety of topics, including abortion. While we would not suggest directly citing a Wikipedia article in your research paper, Wikipedia’s abortion article provides a great overview of the topic and links to some high-quality academic sources. Google Scholar and Encyclopedia Britannica also provide good starting-points for your research.

Citing Sources for Abortion Essay

Wherever you find your information, it is critical that you provide citations for any writing that is not your own and any ideas, facts, or figures that, even if you are presenting them in your own language, you derived from a source. If you are in doubt about whether or not something requires citation, err on the side of citation; while citing something that did not actually require citation may result in you losing some points on your essay, failing to cite something that did require citation can result in you receiving a failing grade and facing potential punishments for plagiarism.

When citing material, you will choose a style for your paper and use that style consistently throughout your essay. The most commonly used academic writing styles are MLA and APA, but you may also be asked to use Turabian or Chicago styles.

MLA Style:

In-text Citation:

“Clinton’s views on abortion are more nuanced and reflect her religious commitments to a greater degree than partisans on either side of the issue may realize” (Renaud).

Source Format for Work Cited / Bibliography:

Renaud, M. “Hilary Clinton’s Moral Conflicts on Abortion.” The Atlantic August 6, 2016.

Web, 28 Sept. 2016. < http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/hillary-clinton-abortion/494723/>.

APA Style:

In-text Citation:

“In the church, we face the challenge of upholding the sanctity of life, while simultaneously ministering to women who feel overwhelming shame about their abortions” (Roys, 2015).

Source Format for Work Cited / Bibliography:

Roys, J. (2015, February). The secret shame of abortion in the church. Christianity Today.

Retrieved September 28, 2016 from the Christianity Today website: http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2015/february/secret-shame-of-abortion-in-church.html

Abortion Essay Examples

Many students learn best by following examples, which is why example essays are an invaluable resource for many students. Example essays can help you develop a topic, narrow your theme, or learn which topics or themes to avoid. They can help you hone your arguments and point you to valuable resources. They are also a great way to learn how to properly format an essay in a specific academic style.

Pros and Cons of Abortion Essay – This specific essay which was completed in 2017, discusses the pros and cons of having an abortion.  It also discusses the pro life movement and the future of Roe vs Wade.  This essay is a total of 10 pages with 24 sources.

Abortion Should Not Be Legal Essay – This specific essay discusses the reasons why Abortion should not be legal on the grounds that it is immoral to take the life of a fetus. It specifically goes into the case of Roe vs Wade and discusses specific reasons why Abortion should be illegal. This essay is a total of 6 pages with 6 sources

Abortion and Religion Essay – This essay discusses the debate of Abortion with the Church and how many religious groups have been vocal on condemning this medical procedure. This essay is a total of 4 pages and 4 sources.

Write My Abortion Essay

We hope that this abortion essay article has helped you find the tools and tips you need to write your best essay, ever. However, we know that writing is a very intimidating task for some students. If you need additional help with your abortion essay, you can request help from one of our tutors. Our writing tutors are professional writes who will work with you to provide you a customized one-of-a-kind essay that follows your specific instructions. You can use this example as a reference while writing your own paper. If you are interested in learning more about this very popular student assistance program, click here.

Latest APA Format (6th edition)

Abortion Essay Writing Guide. (2017, April 15). Retrieved from https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essay-writing/abortion-essay-writing-guide/

Latest MLA Format (8th edition)

"Abortion Essay Writing Guide." Aceyourpaper.com. Student Network Resources Inc, 15 April. 2017. Web. 8 March 2018.

Latest Chicago Format (16th edition)

Student Network Resources Inc. "Abortion Essay Writing Guide." Aceyourpaper.com. https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essay-writing/abortion-essay-writing-guide/ (accessed March 8, 2018).

Potential Topics:

The Impact of the Pro-Life Movement on Abortion Rates

The Impact of the Pro-Choice Movement on Abortion Rates

The Future of Roe v. Wade

When Does Life Begin?

Titles: [1]

A Comparison of Abortion Practices in Different Countries and the United States

The Current Status of the Abortion Debate in the United States

How Will the Trump Administration’s Stance on Planned Parenthood Affect Abortion Rates in the U.S.?

How the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Movements have Affected Americans Public Opinion about Abortion [2]


I.  Introduction

II.  The Pro-Life Movement

III.  The Pro-Choice Movement

IV.  Conclusion


Despite becoming the law of the land in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision made abortion legal, pro-life advocates continue to hammer away at the laws concerning the status of human embryos and fetuses in an effort to eventually reverse this landmark decision. In response to the growth of pro-life organizations, a number of pro-choice groups have emerged to protect the fundamental right to abortion established in the Roe v. Wade case. Proponents on both sides of the abortion debate have used marketing techniques that are designed to evoke powerful responses from the American public in an effort to sway opinion in their favor, but the pro-life movement in particular has resorted to some methods that rise to the level of scare tactics as well as being deceptive and misleading. This essay reviews the literature concerning the origins of the pro-life and pro-choice abortion movements including how their marketing methods have been used in an effort to influence public opinion. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings about these political movements and their implications for the future of abortion are presented in the conclusion.


Abortion is the termination of a human pregnancy, resulting in the death of an embryo or fetus.  This highly controversial  procedure is normally done within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.  The termination of the pregnancy is either done with the assistance of a pill or surgery.

Introduction: [3]

Perhaps no other issue evokes such powerful emotion-filled responses on both sides of an argument than legal abortion in the United States today. Even otherwise progressive thinkers who publicly support a woman’s freedom of choice concerning whether to abort or not may hold sharply opposing views when their own family members are involved. Nevertheless, abortion became a “fundamental right” for American women on January 22, 1973 with the 7-2 decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade[4](Should abortion be legal?, 2017).

Thesis Statement: [5]

Given the significance of the ongoing heated debate over legal abortion in the United States, this paper reviews the relevant literature to define the respective positions of the pro-life and pro-choice movements and how these movements have influence American views about abortion, followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning the recent and current trends on the future of legal abortion in the conclusion.


Unfortunately, there is little or no common ground between Americans concerning their conflicting views about legal abortion, and the issues are so profound that they defy a universal consensus or even some degree of compromise. For example, according to one authority, “As the Pro-choice faction screams accusations of backward thinking, religious fanaticism, and male domination; the Pro-life group counters with cries of baby killers, Satan-worshippers, and inhumanity” (Alexander, 1993, p. 271). Indeed, many pro-life advocates are even opposed to abortion in extreme cases such as rape or incest, citing the sacredness of all human life in support. Conversely, pro-choice advocates argue that women have a fundamental right to make choices about what happens to their bodies.

Part of the problem relates to how each movement defines life and when it begins and how these conflicting views affect women’s right to make decisions about their own bodies. According to the definition provided by Black’s Law Dictionary (1990), abortion is “the spontaneous or artificially induced expulsion of an embryo or fetus; as used in legal contexts, usually refers to induced abortion” (p. 7). The abortion debate therefore also extends to the stage of pregnancy, with women’s rights to legal abortion being restricted by various definitional issues as discussed further below.

The Pro Life Movement:

The pro-life movement originated in the mid-1960s when religious and academic leaders in the U.S. began arguing that the human fetus was fully imbued with personhood and was entitled to the same protections that are afforded all members of the human community (Beckwith, 2001). In support of this position, pro-life proponents initially cited the growing body of scientific evidence and more enlightened philosophical views that they maintained the fetus is already a human person (Beckwith, 2001). During this period, the growth of the pro-life movement was fueled in large part by the establishment of the United States Catholic Conference’s Family Life Bureau’s National Right to Life Committee and a number of other pro-life groups emerged in the mid-1960s and became affiliated with this national organization (Crescio, 2015). Since that time, there have been dozens of pro-life groups established with different goals but sharing a common anti-abortion message (Crescio, 2015).

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion-right groups have sought to incrementally “whittle away” at the fundamental right to abortion established by the Court. In fact, it was not until the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey that reconfirmed women’s fundamental right to abortion, anti-abortion advocates largely abandoned their calls for overturning the decision in Roe v. Wade and convincing national lawmakers of the need to pass a “Human Life Amendment” that would classify human fetuses and even embryos as constitutional persons (Bergmann, 2013.

Despite this setback, it is reasonable to posit that the pro-life movement is having some effects on abortion rates in the United States based on current statistics. For example, the results of a 2014 study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute determined that both abortion rates and ratios have experienced a modest decline in recent years. The study found that in 2011, 1.05 million abortions were performed in the U.S. compared to 1.6 million in 1990, the peak year for abortions in this country (National Right to Life, 2017). This decline may be attributable, at least in part, to the aggressive anti-abortion marketing efforts that are used by some pro-life organizations that can border on scare tactics (Pavone, 2007), such as the example pro-life poster shown below.

Figure 1. Representative pro-life poster http://www.theprolifeyouth.com/uploads/2/6/0/4/26042819/6529945_orig.png

In fact, some pro-life organizations have even advocated violent means to achieve their goals in addition to the twin “legislation and litigation” strategies that are commonly used in their arguments again abortion (Mason, 2002). These tactics have a long history, dating most especially to the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 that legalized abortion in the United States. For instance, one pro-choice organization emphasizes that, “Since the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in 1973, reproductive health clinics and health care providers across the United States and Canada have become the targets of violence by anti-abortion extremists” (Clinic violence, 2017, para. 3). Likewise, a press conference sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1979 was conducted in an effort to identify ways for the pro-life and pro-choice movements to collaborate and compromise. In response to this call for reason, young anti-abortion activists actually presented an aborted baby at the conference, a tactic that essentially doomed these early efforts at compromise (New, 2015).

Even the major National Right to Life organization is not above using alarmist rhetoric of this nature to convince women that abortions are not in their best interests due to the physical and emotion problems that can result. The National Right to Life organization also disregards the lifetime burden that is caused by unwanted pregnancies, focusing only on the gestation period as evidence of the price paid by women. For example, the National Right to Life’s publication, “Some medical facts,” cautions women that, “Nine short months of pregnancy is a relatively small cost to pay in light of a lifetime of potential physical and mental health problems” (2017, para. 2). These types of aggressive and seemingly deceptive marketing efforts have been used to highlight the moral requirement to protect the unborn as well as the purported harm that women experience from abortions, with pro-life organizations offering their spiritual and even material support for pregnant women (Beckwith, 2001). For example, the Pro-Life Action League reports that, “Pregnancy resource centers nationwide provide free services, including confidential counseling, help dealing with family problems, medical care, housing assistance, and job placement assistance. They also provide free maternity and baby clothes, diapers, and baby furniture” (Learn the facts, 2017, para. 3). This shift in anti-abortion marketing strategy was specifically intended to reduce abortion rates as well as change the American public’s views about the need for legal abortion (Beckwith, 2001).

In response to the negative public image caused by their former overly aggressive marketing tactics, many pro-life groups have started rebranding their image by focusing on women’s rights in ways that align them with “feminist” and “liberal” views as a strategy for securing legislative initiatives that are intended to limit access to abortion (Leinwind, 2015). Given their propensity for using scare tactics and even violence to achieve their goals, it is not surprising that pro-life organizations have attempted to improve their image and the acceptability of their ideological arguments. In sum, this more recent strategy is designed to make “antiabortion sentiment appear more palatable to a broader swath of women while enabling the pro-life movement to soften its image and improve its appeal” (Leinwind, 2015, p. 530).

This rebranding effort has also been advanced through the twin strategies of “legislation and litigation” to reframe their arguments against abortion in terms of women’s rights (Leiwind, 2015). These strategic marketing efforts that have incrementally whittled away at abortion rights have also included active support for like-minded political leaders and calls for abortion that are used solely for sex-selection purposes (Leiwind, 2015). In addition, some pro-life organizations have maintained that the United States does not need legalized abortion for population control purposes and numerous community-based resources exist to help them during and following their pregnancies. Besides the aggressive and sometimes-deceptive and/or mislead marketing practices that have been used by anti-abortion groups to “change the hearts and minds” of the American public concerning legal abortion, they have also succeeded in achieving other incremental changes that are intended to compel Americans to no longer regard abortion as a fundamental right but rather as an “unacceptable legal anomaly” (Borgmann, 2013, p. 246). These efforts have included seeking measures that also enhance the legal status of human embryos and fetuses in other contexts, including stem-cell research and anti-cloning legislation (Borgmann, 2013).

Despite the major setback to the pro-life movement represented by the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, movement leaders remain convinced that this incremental approach to changing public opinion will eventually succeed in once again outlawing abortion in the United States (Borgmann, 2013).

Although pro-life groups such as the Pro-Life Action League concede that the overall abortion rate in the United States has declined over the past 20 years, they also emphasize that pro-choice organizations, most especially Planned Parenthood, have experienced significant increases in the numbers of abortion they perform during this period (Learn the facts, 2017). In sharp contrast to pro-life movement, the pro-choice movement has also used emotion-laden but more factual marketing tactics in calling for greater accessibility for abortions in the U.S. as discussed further below.

The Pro Choice Movement:

The origins of the pro-choice movement can be traced to the mid-1950s when abortion advocates began calling for reforms in the nation’s abortion laws (Kerrer, 2011). While most Americans remained unaware of these efforts at the time, there were a number of seminal events that helped to fuel the growth of the pro-choice movement, including an abortion conference in 1955, the emergence of some articles in law journals in support of abortion law reform and the efforts of a growing number of doctors who supported abortion (Kerrer, 2011). In addition, other changes in American society helped to fuel the growth of the pro-choice movement, including an increase in the number of illegitimate births as a result of higher rates of premarital sex, the use of contraceptives that contributed to a mindset that made abortion an acceptable alternative to terminating an unwanted birth when contraceptive methods failed, and the need to eliminate the practice of dangerous illegal abortion that were performed in less-than-optimal “back alley” settings (Kerrer, 2011)

Coined by a Madison Avenue advertising agency, the term “pro-choice” was specifically selected by the movement after the 1973 Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade to counter the growing influence of numerous pro-life organizations (Echevarria, 2013). In diametric opposition to the pro-life views about abortion, the pro-choice movement has more recently advocated abortion as “a matter of choice,” a positive right, which was a significant shift from their “right to choose” or negative right stance prior to the decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973. In her arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, the attorney for the plaintiff in this case, “Jane Roe,” called for “liberty from being forced to continue the unwanted pregnancy” (as cited in Kramlich, 2004, p. 784). The negative right argument essentially sought to eliminate governmental inference with a woman’s abortion decision rather than the positive right to have access to abortion services or an entitlement from the government (Kramlich, 2004).

The impact of Roe v. Wade on American public opinion about abortion has been significant, and since 1973, a slight majority of the American public have become pro-choice as a result (Hickcox-Howard, 2008). The pro-choice movement also received additional momentum during the early 1990s when American public opinion about abortion became even more favorable and larger numbers of politicians began to describe their stance as “pro-choice” (New, 2015). Some indication of this trend can be seen in the numbers of congressmen and senators who have changed their position on abortion. For instance, according to French (2016), just “one in three Democrats is pro-life, there are very few pro-life Democrats in the state and federal governments, and the number is diminishing” (p. 10). In fact, in 2010, 20 Democrat congressmen and senators were pro-life but the number of diminished to just three of four today (French, 2016). In addition, the positive right to abortion which has emerged in recent years has also translated into growing recognition and acceptance by the American public and policymakers concerning the fundamental right that women have to make their own decisions about their bodies (Crescio, 2015).

One important pro-choice organization is NARAL Pro-Choice America, headquartered in Washington, DC which characterizes legal abortion as women’s “fundamental right.” According to NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Web site, “The right to choose abortion is essential to ensuring a woman can decide for herself if, when and with whom to start or grow a family. We’ll never stop fighting to protect and expand this fundamental human right” (Abortion access, 2017, para. 2). Another influential pro-choice organization, the National Abortion Federation, likewise cites the deceptive tactics that have been used by pro-life groups to advance their ideology and enlist the support of politicians. As the National Abortion Federation puts it, “Throughout the history of legal abortion, anti-abortion extremists have used propaganda, misinformation, and outright lies to dissuade women from choosing abortion. Women have the right to make fully informed decisions about their reproductive health care free from these anti-choice myths” (Abortion myths, 2017, para. 1).

These anti-choice myths have been reinforced through marketing tactics that have traditionally framed the pro-life position in terms of moral absolutes (e.g., abortion = death). By contrast, the types of marketing tactics used by pro-life advocates that tend to ignore women’s experiences while focusing on the moral issues, the pro-choice movement has used marketing methods that focus on the lived experiences of women to encourage and reinforce pro-abortion views on the part of the American public and policymakers (Echevarria, 2013). This shift in policy on the part of the pro-choice movement was largely in response to the aggressive and sometimes-deceptive marketing efforts that were being routinely employed by the pro-life movement as well as the need to educate young American women who have lived all their lives in the wake of Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion has been firmly established in American jurisprudence (Baumgardner, 2001). The marketing messages that were deployed at this time were also in response to efforts by the pro-life movement to effect changes in the law such as the 1992 ballot initiative in Arizona that sought to criminalize abortion, Operation Rescue “Summer of Mercy” in Wichita, Kansas in 1991 and the siege of Fargo, North Dakota by the Lambs of Christ in 1991 (Baumgardner, 2001).

Drawing on the same methods used by the pro-life movement, the pro-choice movement also enlisted the support of a Madison Avenue advertising agency, DeVito/Verdi, to design a series of public service advertisements termed the “Pro-Choice Public Education Project” in 1999 (Baumgardner, 2001). The sponsor of this initiative as was a consortium of women’s rights organization, including a steering committee that included Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Ms. Foundation (Baumgardner, 2001). Although not rising to the same level as some of the scare tactics that have been used by the pro-life movement, the Pro-Choice Public Education Project’s advertisements and posters were also clearly designed to evoke a strong emotional response to help overcome the growing complacency of young women concerning their fundamental right to legal abortion. For instance, as shown in Figure 2 below that features several stern-looking white men, one poster reads, “77 percent of anti-abortion leaders are men [and] 100 percent of them will never be pregnant.” The poster also adds that, “It’s your body. It’s your decision. It’s pro-choice or no choice.”

Figure 2. Representative public awareness campaign poster by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project Source: https://i0.wp.com/usilive.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ProChoice.jpeg?ssl=1

Likewise, as shown in Figure 3 below, a second poster depicts a young modern American woman with tattoos and piercings and reads, “You think you can do what you want with your body? Think again.”

Figure 3. Representative public awareness campaign poster by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project. Source: https://www.autostraddle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/body.jpeg

While it is difficult to discern the precise impact that this marketing campaign had on public opinion, most authorities agree that it was effective in further intensifying the abortion debate over the past several years (Baumgardner, 2001). In fact, it is noteworthy that the pro-life movement responded to this marketing campaign with a series of advertisements of their own, but they once again returned to their former strategy of scare tactics by using disturbing graphic images of fully developed human fetuses to communicate their anti-abortion arguments (Baumgardner, 2001).

Taken together, it is little wonder that abortion remain such a divisive issue among Americans, with both sides of the argument using powerful marketing messages to convince them of the appropriateness and legitimacy of their respective positions. Nevertheless, and to their credit, it is clear that the pro-choice movement has largely taken the high – or at least higher — road compared to the anti-abortion movement in advancing their cause. Based on the pro-choice movement’s recognition that complacency about abortion rights may result in increased incremental limitations and the highly organized approach being used by anti-abortion groups, it remains unclear whether the pro-choice movement’s efforts will be sufficient to prevent further erosion in this fundamental right. .


The pro-life movement argues that abortion in most if not all circumstances is morally repugnant and unborn persons are entitled to the same legal protections that are afforded all members of the human community. Conversely, the pro-choice movement maintains that American women have a fundamental right to make decisions about what happens to their bodies, including the decision to abort. In the past, pro-life advocates resorted to violence and deceptive marketing tactics to advance their goals, but the movement has recently recognized the need to reframe its messages in ways that will make them more acceptable to the American public. The pro-choice movement emerged at roughly the same time as the pro-life movement, due in large part to the increased involvement of the legal and medical communities which called for reforms in the nation’s draconian anti-abortion laws that drove thousands of women to illegal abortionists at great risk to their health. The research was consistent in showing, though, that there is no middle ground between these opposing positions, and the efforts to do so to date have been marred by extremism on the part of pro-life advocates. The research was also consistent in showing that both of these movements have had a major impact on public opinion due to their marketing efforts, but the pro-choice movement continues to receive the support of a majority of Americans today. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the abortion debate has not been resolved, but has only intensified as pro-life proponents continue to call for the overturn of Roe v. Wade and recriminalize abortion in the United States.

Bibliography / References (APA): [7]

Abortion access. (2017). NARAL Pro-Choice America. Retrieved from https://www.prochoic eamerica.org/issue/abortion-access/.

Abortion myths. (2017). National Abortion Federation. Retrieved from https://prochoice.org/ education-and-advocacy/about-abortion/abortion-myths/.

Abortion statistics. (2071). National Right to Life. Retrieved from http://www.nrlc.org/ communications/abortionnumbers/.

Alexander, M. S. (1993, Fall). Defining the abortion debate. ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 50, 271-275.

Baumgardner, J. (2001). The pro-choice PR problem. The Nation, 272(9), 19.

Beckwith, F. J. (2001, Fall). Taking abortion seriously: A philosophical critique of the new anti-abortion rhetorical shift. Ethics & Medicine, 17(3), 155-159.

Borgmann, C. E. (2013, Winter). Roe V. Wade’s 40th anniversary: A moment of truth for the anti abortion-rights movement? Stanford Law & Policy Review, 24(1), 245-254.

Clinic violence. (2017). NARAL Pro-Choice America. Retrieved from https://prochoice.org/.

Crescio, A. (2015, January 1). Abortion: A threat to the actualization of the mother. The Human Life Review, 41(1), 57-61.

Echevarria, L. (2013, Summer). Pro-abortion rhetoric: From “pro-choice” to.? The Human Life Review. 39(3), 27-31.

French, J. (2016, December 8). Pro-life Dems need to be more vocal about their beliefs. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10.

Hickcox-Howard, M. B. (2008, April 1). The case for pro-choice participation in drafting fetal homicide laws. Texas Journal of Women, Gender, and the Law, 17(2), 317-319.

Katter, R. N. (2011, July). The National Right to Life Committee: Its founding, its history, and the emergence of the pro-life movement prior to Roe V. Wade. The Catholic Historical Review, 97(3), 527-531.

Kramlich, M. (2004, March). The abortion debate thirty years later: From choice to coercion. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 31(3), 783-790.

Learn the facts. (2017). The Pro-Life Action League. Retrieved from https://prolifeaction.org/ fact/ppannualabortions/.

Leinwind, T. B. (2015, July 22). Strange bedfellows: The destigmatization of anti-abortion reform. Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, 30(2), 529-531.

Msaon, C. (2002). Killing for life: The apocalyptic narrative of pro-life politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

New, M. (2105). An insider’s view of the pro-life movement. The Human Life Review, 41(2), 80-84.

Pavone, F. (2007, Summer). How law students and attorneys can help the pro-life movement. Ave Maria Law Review, 5(2), 469-473.

Should abortion be legal? (2017). ProCon.org. Retrieved from http://abortion.procon.org/

Some medical facts. (2017). National Right to Life. Retrieved from http://nrlc.djcweb.net/ abortion/medicalfacts/.

Works Cited (MLA): [8]

“Abortion access.” NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2017,

https://www.prochoic eamerica.org/issue/abortion-access/. Accessed [date of access].

[9] Borgmann, Caitlin. E. “Roe V. Wade’s 40th anniversary: A moment of truth for the antiabortion-rights movement.” Stanford Law & Policy Review, vol. 24, no. 1, 2013, pp. 245-254.

[10] Mason, Carol. Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro-Life Politics, Cornell University Press, 2002.


Guidelines for Writing an Essay on Abortion:

[1]  Titles should be 15 words or less

[2] This title applies to the sample paper provided below.

[3] The introduction should grab the audience’s interest and provide some background for the thesis statement that follows.

[4] Legal cases are italicized.

[5] A thesis statement can be one or two sentences. Complex topics typically require two sentences.

[6] The conclusion should provide a summary of the research and important findings but should not introduce any new information.

[7] This page provides a list of references cited in APA format.

[8] This page provides examples of the foregoing APA style citations in MLA format.

[9] Format for a peer-reviewed journal article. Note the use of the author’s full name if available.

[10] Format for a book or text. Note the use of the author’s full name.

Latest APA Format (6th edition)

Abortion Essay. (2017, March 10). Retrieved from https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essay/abortion-essay/

Latest MLA Format (8th edition)

"Abortion Essay." Aceyourpaper.com. Student Network Resources Inc, 10 March. 2017. Web. 8 March 2018.

Latest Chicago Format (16th edition)

Student Network Resources Inc. "Abortion Essay." Aceyourpaper.com. https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essay/abortion-essay/ (accessed March 8, 2018).

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