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Seattle, Washington, University of Washington, Seattle Population Research Center, 1997 Jun.  p. (Seattle Population Research Center Working Paper No. 97-9)There have been tremendous changes in congressional debate and federal policy focusing on work, family, and gender since the end of World War II. This paper considers how Congress defined and redefined the "problem" of work, family, and gender; the policies it considered; and how policy changed in response to public opinion and the internal logic of the policy process. Congressional action generally moved together with public opinion, as both became more "liberal" and egalitarian over time. But critical aspects of congressional action depended on how Congress happened to view the problem and possible solutions at times when action of some kind seemed relatively urgent. Congressional action stimulated evaluation of current policies and proposals for policy innovation, by women's organizations, intellectuals, federal bureaucrats, and members of Congress, and these evaluations led to calls for further action. Changing views of pregnancy played a key role in moving policy debates from a focus solely on the workplace to a broader focus on how both men and women can balance the competing obligations of work and family. (author's)
STATUTES OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES. 1990; 23-6.This Canadian Act establishes a Status of Women Council to represent the women of the Northwest Territories. The objects of the Council are "a) to develop public awareness of issues affecting the status of women; b) to promote a change in attitudes within the community in order that women may enjoy equality of opportunity; c) to encourage discussion and expression of opinion by residents of the Northwest Territories on issues affecting the status of women; d) to advise the Minister on issues that the Minister may refer to the Council for consideration; e) to review policies and legislation affecting women and to report its findings to the relevant government departments or agencies; f) to provide assistance to the Minister in promoting changes to ensure the attainment of equality of women; and g) to provide the appropriate assistance to organizations and groups whose objectives promote the equality of women." Further provisions of the Act set forth rules on the composition, administration, organization, and financing of the Council, among other things.
Owings Mills, Maryland, MPT, 1994. , 67,  p.This report describes the Maryland Public Television (MPT) Women's Global Film Project (WGFP). WGFP developed a 5-part documentary television series on the lives of women around the world for national prime time broadcast, outreach, and education in the US and for distribution abroad. The project produced a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural assessment of the global impact of policies and practices on women. The series revealed the common interests of women globally, common goals, and innovative solutions to problems. The series was scheduled for airing in 1995, in conjunction with the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women. A delegation of 6 female producers planned to host a screening of the series at the Beijing conference. The International Fellowship Program provided for the training of 13 female film-makers from around the world in film production at MPT for 6 weeks. Community and grassroots women's groups or film-making institutes will have free access to the series. A semiannual newsletter will link women film-makers with each other. Other resources available include an online computer description of the series content and production resources. A computer database will contain an international, multidisciplinary listing of all organizations and individuals that were involved in the project. Lessons plans are available for college level women's studies courses. A permanent film archive will contain all of the interviews conducted. This report is organized into chapters on project content and format, outreach and distribution, the qualifications of the production team, financing and donor support, and progress to date. Appendices include lists of advisors, film-makers, and interviewed persons.
CHRISTIAN CENTURY. 1990 Feb 21; 107(6):180-4.Following the Webster decision of the Supreme Court, both sides of the abortion debate have stepped up their efforts to attain their goals. The abortion battle has become a full fledged political war. Currently the pro-choice side is winning as more and more politicians are discovering that an anti-abortion stance will not get them elected. Governors wilder (VA) and Florio (FL) both ran and won with pro-choice position. However the Catholic Bishops have announced that abortion is their top priority and their primary concern, not poverty, racism, or global conflict. They are using their 28 professional state wide lobbying offices to try to reverse or restrict Roe. The pro-choice side has found a new strategy by focussing attention from choice to government involvement in decision making. While this may be effective in gaining supporters, it does very little to help reach compromise with the anti-abortion groups. Pro-choice advocates must realize that fetal life has some value and that openly recognizing this will lead to an end of the abortion war. Policies must be supported by the pro-choice side that recognize the value of fetal life, but that do not restrict access to abortion. Currently any attempt to place value on the fetus is attacked by pro-choice advocates that feel threatened by such an action. Ultimately abortion will only go away when the problem of unwanted pregnancies goes away. Abortion is a symptom of a larger problem and the war is currently focussing on this symptom and ignoring the problem. Funding for counseling and contraception must be increased so that women do not have to have abortions. Funding for adoption and childbearing must also be increased so that when a women becomes pregnant she has the full spectrum of choices. These choices must be more or less equal so that abortion is not seen as a necessity. All this change would mean a significant departure from how our society is currently structures. But it is only through this kind of commitment to change that the abortion war will end.
Hastings Center Report. 1986 Feb; 16(1):33-42.The prochoice movement in its most political manifestation is particularly vulnerable to recent medical and scientific developments. It has never made sufficient room in its public stance for a serious consideration of the fetus. Simultaneously, by deliberately cultivating a supposedly neutral, therapeutic language toward the medical act of abortion, calling it a "procedure," a "termination of pregnancy," and so on, it mistakenly seems to think it can pacify and comfort the conscience, minimizing and denaturing some unmistakeable realities. Medical and scientific developments which threaten the prochoice movement include the lowering age of viability, the emergence of neonatal medicine, the use of the sonogram, embryological knowledge, and late abortions. In attempting to understand the possible impact of the medical developments on the abortion debate, their interaction with other crucial ingredients in the debate will be important. Of special significance are public opinion, the question of the personhood of the fetus, pertinent court decisions and trends, and feminist arguments and political tactics. There is still time for prochoice adherents to show themselves as willing in practice as in theory to concede the moral uncertainty of abortion decisions. If that is not done, the combination of the new medical developments and too many people for too long holding their doubts at bay may well begin shifting opinions. In that event, the prochoice movement will have done itself far more damage than those who try to stop it by bombing abortion clinics.
In: Women in the family and the economy: an international comparative survey. Edited by George Kurian and Ratna Ghosh. Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1981. 179-195.Add to my documents.
Quarterly Journal of Speech. 1984 Nov; 70(4):410-24.This article traces agruments about abortion during the crucial decades of the 60's and 70's and shows major changes in the public arguments used to discuss the topic. The controversy hs evolved through 7 identifiable stages, from emotional narrative to squabbling implementation and stalemate. 1) A "professional" stage of argrument conducted in nonpublic arenas shaped and encouraged a public debate. The issues of argument during this stage were narrow and related mainly to the specific concerns of the various professions. 2) The early public argument began with a "narrative" phase, in which stories of the horrors of illegal abortion were recounted. 3) In interaction with the Civil Rights issue and as a result of weaknesses in the narrative argument, the "auxiliary ideographic" stage focusing on "discrimintion" developed. 4) Feminist concerns spurred the stage of "ntrinsic ideograhic" argument, as the ideograph "choice" became central. 5) In the mid-70's came the complicated stage of "normalization" following legal intervention. Some parties attempted to work out the details of legal abortion, while others escalated the arguments against it. 6) The next stage saw the "stalemate"; 2 mature ideological components presented themselves to the public and compared their values and practices to each other. Finally, the arguments on each side began to reach out for new audiences, and in so doing, to fracture, becoming multi-vocal. 7) The current stage, "fragmentation," signals that elements of a new ideological structure have become widely accepted by the public: abortion is legal, a majority favor a woman's choice, and millions of women are exercising the option of legal abortion. However, this structure is tightly hedged by other values, and choice is thus limited by "life" and "family." The American process of public argument has led to a reaffirmation of the core of each of these values and interests by broadening the vocabulary and altering legal and medical conditions. This study indicates the need for several lines of further research. A fuller explanation of the relationship between the arguments of the women's movement and the abortion controversy is worthy of examination, and an investigation of the generalizability of the 7-stage pattern seems desirable. This essay demonstrate a viable method for rhetorical analyses of social change.
Family Planning Perspectives. 1984 Sep-Oct; 16(5):233-4.Little change is found in recent years in America's opposition to a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion. 9 out of 10 Americans approve of legal abortion for various reasons including supporting women's right to decide. The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) investigated the attitudes of Americans toward abortion in 1965 and since 1972 when restrictive abortion laws were repealed in several states. 1473 Americans 18 years of age and older were interviewed in 1984 and their responses indicate approval of legal abortion ranging from serious health endangerment to any reason, increased slightly over 1983. Health endangerment continued to draw the widest approbation. Other reasons given were serious fetal birth defects, pregnancy as a result of rape, financial disadvantage, being unmarried or not wanting more children. The largest decline in approval from the 1972-1982 average was for poor couples unable to afford more children. No significant pattern in changes of attitude in recent years according to the religion, religiosity, age, race, education or sex of the respondents was found. 2 other 1984 nationwide surveys were taken by the Washington Post and the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and it was found that the majority supported a woman's right to choose abortion or to have an abortion. Results of 2 nationwide surveys taken by the Washington Post and by Louis Harris and Associates indicated majority disapproval of a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion. Westerners, the college-educated, the more affluent and city dwellers were much less likely to approve than the average respondent. Democrats, southerners, nonworking women, rural residents, older Americans and working class people were more likely to approve of an amendment than the average respondent.
Trends and patterns in the attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the United States, 1972-1978.
Research in Nursing and Health. 1985 Sep; 8(3):219-225.The attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the US were studied for the period 1972-78. Purposes of the study were to: 1) analyze the trends and patterns in attitudes toward legal abortion in that period; 2) assess the possible effect of selected demographic, socioeconomic, religious, and fertility variables on attitudes towards legal abortion; and 3) determine the relationship between attitudes toward abortion and attitudes toward selected related issues such as premarital sex, sex education in public schools, birth control for teens and for anyone who desires it, and woman's role in the home, business, and politics. The independent variables found to have an effect on attitude toward abortion were: age, sex, marital status, geographic region, size of place, education, occupational prestige, women's employment status, religious preference, denomination, strength of religious preference, frequence of attendance at religious services, number of siblings, number of children, number of children expected in the future, and ideal family size. The data were drawn from the General Social Surveys (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center each year between 1972-78. A total of 10,652 respondents completed the interviews. Attitudes toward abortion were derived from combining the responses to 6 items which required the respondents to indicate whether or not it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion. Using the Guttman scalogram analysis, responses to the abortion items were tested for scalability and were found to scale well. The single largest group of respondents approved for legal abortion for all of the 6 reasons mentioned and the next largest group approved it only for the hard reasons (woman's health, rape, and possible child deformity). Trends in attitudes toward legal abortion were analyzed by percentage distribution. 2 major shifts in trend were noted in the attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the abovementioned period. In 1973, the percentage of approval rose considerably for each of the 6 reasons. In 1978, the 2nd shift occurred when the percentage of approval declined sharply for all but the reasons of woman's health and rape. Both shifts followed important judicial and congressional decisions made in the US with respect to the abortion issue. Generally speaking, younger, white, never-married respondents, and those who lived in the Pacific, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions, and in the large central cities were slightly more favorable toward abortion than were their counterparts. Education proved to be the most important socioeconomic variable in explaining the variability of attitude toward abortion. Jews showed the most favorable attitude and Catholics the least favorable attitudes toward abortion. Those who came from small families, or who had small families themselves, or who favored small family size ideal were more favorable toward abortion than those connected to larger families. Significant positive associations were found between attitudes toward premarital sex, sex education in public schools, availability of birth control information for teens, woman's role in the home, business, and politics, and attitudes toward abortion. Variability in attitudes toward abortion among white adults in the US between 1972-78 was best explained by the frequency of attendance at religious services combined with the variables of education, family size ideal, attitude toward available of birth control information to teens, attitude toward sex education in public schools, and attitude toward women's role in the home, business, and politics. (author's modified)