Monday, November 3, 2008
Washington Independent: Palin’s Coded Anti-Abortion Support, by Laura McGann:
During Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s last swing through battleground states this week, boisterous supporters cheer almost on cue when she delivers her stump speech.
Few lines get a more deep-felt roar of approval than her signature issue — support for children with disabilities.
Palin’s words strike deeper than just with parents who come to her rallies because one of their children has a disability.
Social conservatives cheer when Palin talks about the value of all children because her words are a subtle but clear signal of her staunch anti-abortion views. She talks about special-needs education in words and phrases generally associated with the anti-abortion movement, effectively reminding anti-abortion voters that she shares and supports their view.
The story references this blog:
Caitlin E. Borgmann, a professor at the City University of New York’s Law School who writes the Reproductive Rights Prof blog, says “special code words” and euphemisms have served anti-abortion activists well.
After the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade in 1973, the anti-abortion movement aimed to reduce access to abortion incrementally rather than by an outright ban.
Campaigns targeted seemingly narrow goals, including laws requiring 24-hour waiting periods or parental notification before a woman, or woman under 18, could undergo an abortion.
Anti-abortion voters tend to be more conscious of the broader strategy, while pro-abortion rights voters tend to see such initiatives as discrete measures.