Presentation Title

The Catholic Church’s Issue Framing and Mobilization Strategies Surrounding Abortion

Faculty Mentor

Sean Kelly

Start Date

18-11-2017 12:30 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 1:30 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 3

Session

Poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Roe v. Wade (1973) was a polarizing Supreme Court case that divided the United States based on people’s moral beliefs on abortion: pro-choice or pro-life. Prior to Roe, abortion rights were guided by state statutes. The ruling, which held that laws criminalizing abortion except when medically necessary are an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, “federalized” abortion policy, upsetting the policy equilibrium provided by state laws. Anti-abortion groups, like the Catholic Church, quickly mobilized in favor of a Constitutional amendment nullifying Roe. Using archival resources from multiple repositories, we examine internal documents that reveal the development of the Church’s political strategy to achieve an amendment. Our research focuses on two important issues: issue framing and mobilization strategies. First, we examine how the Catholic Church sought to define the abortion issue, framing the issue to mobilize support from American Catholics. Second, we focus on mobilization strategies. Outside of Congress, the Church sought to mobilize public opinion and thus put pressure on members of Congress to support pro-life positions. Inside of Congress, the Church created a lobbying operation, searching out willing allies and policy entrepreneurs that would advance the cause of an amendment. We conclude that, while the Church did not achieve an amendment, they were able to advance their interests in Congress, helping to change the face of American politics over the intervening two generations.

Tags: abortion, Roe v. Wade, pro choice, pro life, Catholic Church, issue framing, mobilization, lobbying, Supreme Court, healthcare

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Nov 18th, 12:30 PM Nov 18th, 1:30 PM

The Catholic Church’s Issue Framing and Mobilization Strategies Surrounding Abortion

BSC-Ursa Minor 3

Roe v. Wade (1973) was a polarizing Supreme Court case that divided the United States based on people’s moral beliefs on abortion: pro-choice or pro-life. Prior to Roe, abortion rights were guided by state statutes. The ruling, which held that laws criminalizing abortion except when medically necessary are an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, “federalized” abortion policy, upsetting the policy equilibrium provided by state laws. Anti-abortion groups, like the Catholic Church, quickly mobilized in favor of a Constitutional amendment nullifying Roe. Using archival resources from multiple repositories, we examine internal documents that reveal the development of the Church’s political strategy to achieve an amendment. Our research focuses on two important issues: issue framing and mobilization strategies. First, we examine how the Catholic Church sought to define the abortion issue, framing the issue to mobilize support from American Catholics. Second, we focus on mobilization strategies. Outside of Congress, the Church sought to mobilize public opinion and thus put pressure on members of Congress to support pro-life positions. Inside of Congress, the Church created a lobbying operation, searching out willing allies and policy entrepreneurs that would advance the cause of an amendment. We conclude that, while the Church did not achieve an amendment, they were able to advance their interests in Congress, helping to change the face of American politics over the intervening two generations.

Tags: abortion, Roe v. Wade, pro choice, pro life, Catholic Church, issue framing, mobilization, lobbying, Supreme Court, healthcare