The Right to Life Movement and Third Party Politics

The Right to Life Movement and Third Party Politics

The Right to Life Movement and Third Party Politics

The Right to Life Movement and Third Party Politics


Exhibits Preface Introduction Single-Issue Parties in American History A Party is Born: Abortion and the Right To Life Party Activists and Identifiers Party Decay, Party Renewal, and Hybrid Multi-Partyism Epilogue Appendixes Bibliography Index


Abortion is, to many, a touchy subject. Therefore, unlike research on most other political subjects, the asking of questions and prodding for information often not only raised eyebrows, but prompted the suspicion-shrouded question, "How do you feel about abortion?" I confess here only to having opinions on the subject.

As I stated often, my concerns and motivations related to this project were and are those of a social scientist interested in learning more about an unusual and fascinating form of political expression, though it is not difficult to understand the suspicions of those on both sides of this issue. Whether one has personal opinions or not, "objectivity" is an unrealistic goal; being fair- minded is not.

I would thus like to thank those leaders and members of the Right to Life Party who responded to questionnaires or assented to interviews, and particular thanks are due those who overcame suspicions or doubts to do so. Needless to say, their input was essential.

Two research grants helped support this work. The first came from the SUNY College at Cortland Faculty Research Program, the second from a SUNY-wide University Awards Research Program Grant. Sadly, SUNY administrators have since decided to terminate this latter program. I hope that this book in some small way testifies to the folly of that decision.

Many of the findings and arguments presented in this book were developed through the preparation and delivery of con-

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