The Right to Life Movement and Third Party Politics

By Robert J. Spitzer | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE

When politics and technology collide, it is usually to the detriment of both. History is littered with examples of each befouling the other, and of false claims made by each that it could solve the other's problems. Yet it is conceivable that advances in medical technology may, in a few years, largely defuse the abortion question. French scientists have developed a drug, called RU-- 486, that can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus and, if implanted, can cause it to be sloughed off. The drug thus can have both contraceptive and abortive effect (and is appropriately labeled a "contragestive"). A woman taking this pill would consequently not face a prolonged pregnancy, but she might not ever know if this consequence was the result of contraceptive or abortive action by the drug. Such a difference might seem inconsequential, but a pill that could end an early pregnancy without the involvement of doctors or others would dramatically privatize abortion, as it would work up to the sixth week of pregnancy, and combine the up-to-now separate processes of contraception and abortion. It would also take much of the steam out of the anti-abortion movement that now promotes its perspective by dramatizing the human-like features of later- stage aborted fetuses (as in the 12-week-old fetus discussed in the anti-abortion film "The Silent Scream"), and by identifying and targeting both the women who seek abortions and the places that they are conducted. 1 RU--486 is still experimental as of this writing and, if proven safe and efficacious, will not be available for some years.

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The Right to Life Movement and Third Party Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Exhibits ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 3
  • 1 - Single-Issue Parties in American History 5
  • Notes 32
  • 2 - A Party is Born: Abortion and the Right to Life Party 39
  • Notes 74
  • 3 - Activists and Identifiers 81
  • Summary 100
  • 4 - Party Decay, Party Renewal, and Hybrid Multi-Partyism 107
  • Notes 126
  • Epilogue 133
  • Notes 135
  • Appendix 1 137
  • Appendix 2 140
  • Bibliography 141
  • Index 149
  • About the Author 155
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