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Abortion and Social ResponsibilityDepolarizing the Debate$
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Laurie Shrage

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195153095

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019515309X.001.0001

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From Reproductive Choice to Reproductive Barbie

From Reproductive Choice to Reproductive Barbie

The Politics of Visibility

(p.77) 3 From Reproductive Choice to Reproductive Barbie
Abortion and Social Responsibility

Laurie Shrage (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Evaluates “pro‐life” and “pro‐choice” media campaigns, featuring fetuses and coat hangers respectively, and shows how both reflect individualistic ideologies about responsibility and freedom. Rather than participate in public discourses that construe individual responsibility and liberty as simple moral alternatives, considers feminist political art that raises questions about our collective responsibilities to support others. Also considers visual and performance artwork that draws attention to the way that pregnancy and persons are culturally constructed. Urges reproductive rights activists to jettison the coat hanger image in favor of images that would promote constructive public dialog on access to contraception, child and family support, the duties of all citizens to provide life‐saving help, the positive aspects of enabling women to control their fertility, and the dangers of religious extremism.

Keywords:   abortion, coat hangers, collective responsibility, feminist political art, fetuses, individualistic ideologies, pregnancy, pro‐choice, pro‐life, religious extremism, reproductive rights

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