It seemed like everything this year revolved around politics and it had everything to do with the 2016 presidential election. It forced people to think about what issues are the most important to them and why and who they vote as our government leaders.
A big issue that always comes up in the United States is the pro-life and pro-choice debate. It comes up everywhere in politics, the news, and social media because people are so passionate about it. It’s easy to pick a side and believe opposing opinions are wrong, in a country that is supposed to be progressive and united it’s become more common to be intolerant of differing views. Where we receive our news has a big part in this because it shapes our beliefs and how we see people who think differently. The argument around abortion is a great example. It’s easy to confuse unbiased news with news that agrees with our own beliefs. How? We all truly believe our opinions are more correct than others. People who are either pro-life or pro-choice both present and perceive their opposing view in certain ways in the media to gain support for their own cause without realizing it.
Pro-Life or Pro-Birth?
In news sources that lean more towards a pro-choice, liberal view they maintain their support by presenting the pro-life movement as religious. Being religious has different conations to different people, many non-believers don’t respect the beliefs of religious people because they pick and privilege what they want out of the bible. The people against abortions feel so strongly because God and the bible tell them that abortions are wrong so they use this reasoning for support. A pro-choice argument is that they do not want religion involved in government. A news source that supports pro-choice will portray pro-lifers as Christian, rich, white, old, and focus on men who support pro-life, much like most of people in government, and why do almost all of them do this? They have generalized pro-life supporters as judgmental and someone who hasn’t experienced an abortion and can’t relate because it discredits their opinion on the topic. It’s a common assumption conservatives are pro-life, being conservative has a stigma of being close minded, racist, sexist, and misogynic to liberals. Pro-choice supporters and media will point out how conservatives support the birth of babies but no support to their mothers and families after they are born
Just like the pro-choice movement doesn’t represent the pro-life movement fairly, the same can be said vice versa. This side isn’t as common in the news but is shared and seen just as much, if not more, through social media. We all have those very religious friends and family that share pro-life propaganda. Many label pro-choice supporters as baby murderers, sluts, and sinners and as horrible as it sounds, it’s effective. It guilts people into being pro-life, they worry about what people will say about them and if they’ll go to hell. They will make pro-choice supporters seem uncompassionate and that pro-choice women are lesser than. The picture underneath comes from a Christian site and they use certain words to back up their reasoning against pro-choice.
Trump & Clinton on Abortion
This year’s election was a big chance for both sides of abortion to push their candidate into office that will support their cause. Not only is it important for voters but it’s urgent for the candidates to gain support to help them win. The democratic nominee Hillary Clinton supports pro-life while her opposing republican candidate, Donald Trump, is against abortions. Both candidates have been known to switch sides in the past so it was important for both to fully support either movement. Donald Trump has been big in the news this year for saying the wrong thing and Hillary Clinton had a lot of controversy around her emails and personal life. The media has used emotional appeal to sway the voters into choosing their preferred candidate. An example is the 2016 Election source interview with Trump and Clinton.
Clinton comes off as educated on the subject while Trump’s answers are unclear and short. They present it this way to imply that a man, Trump, and his supporters, aren’t educated enough to make these kind of decisions for women.
When asked in the last presidential debate what she wanted in a Supreme Court justice, Hillary Clinton did not hesitate to go to abortion. “I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose,” affirmed Mrs. Clinton, to no one’s surprise.
Fox news, and conservative sources, portray Clinton as an evil woman who kills babies and lies, to benefit their candidate’s appeal. They spread that Clinton supports babies being aborted in the ninth month as a fear tactic to what policies she could implement as president and how she doesn’t have compassion.
Abortion in politics is an important topic for a media outlet to address because it shows both political and religious views contrasting or supporting each other. It affects what we think of separation of church and state and how much of it we should let happen.
The media shapes news so it fits with our views, sometimes it’s not so direct but using certain words and make people think a certain way and have real social consquences. It can affect how we see and treat other people without knowing them. Social media, tv, and radio are great ways to spread information quickly but how do we know it’s accurate and unbiased? It’s hard to tell but you can get an idea from where it came from and what the affect of the narrative is.