What the hell is going on in Texas? American women are losing the abortion battle.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote some thoughts on modern-day propaganda, having recently visited the British Library’s exhibition on the topic.
“How,” I wondered, “does one stay alert to propaganda today, when it’s dressed up as humour or worse, believed so thoroughly to be truth?”
The headline above, from a recent article in the Daily Telegraph, is a case in point. It assumes that women are in favour of maintaining the current levels of abortion ‘rights’, despite a recent poll showing that 50% of women in the US support limiting abortions to before 20 weeks.
It also assumes that anyone supporting stricter limits must be male, and thus that women are losing the battle to men, though the same poll shows that fewer men than women support the 20-week limit.
Cathy Newman, the article’s author, uses the language of freedom (“America, land of the not-so free”) and autonomy/control (“The bill adds to a sense that American women are increasingly losing the battle to control their own reproductive systems”) to paint a picture of this “insidious” situation.
Her assumption is that all right-thinking people would recognise that, difficult though the decision to have an abortion is, it ought to be the decision of the woman, as it entirely concerns how she treats her own body.
The existence of the person affected most by the abortion seems entirely to have slipped her mind in her outrage.
I don’t want to use this post as a place for a full discussion of the rights and wrongs of abortion (briefly, in case you didn’t know, I think it is wrong in almost all cases, because it kills one person and damages another), but as an excellent example of propaganda at work.
This one was easy to spot – have you seen any others recently?