Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Power of A Ban

One article can be emotionally appealing to many different types of people. I read the article the “Anatomy of a Ban”, written by Alina Hoffman and Ann Friedman. This article compares two proposed abortion bans and compares the language that is presented in both of them. The law in South Dakota was not nearly as strongly worded as the one (H.B.1) proposed in Georgia. By reading the texts compared, it makes it clear that the anti-abortionists in Georgia are much more emotionally attached to the issue.
Pathos is more about getting the reader to experience a single emotion. The legislation that will be proposed by Georgia not only makes a much bolder statement, it is a much more effectively worded document. In the article, the Georgia proposal quotes the Roe v. Wade document, making their argument very credible and believable. It quotes, “man’s knowledge is not in a position to speculate as to the answer [to the question of when life begins] (par.5).” The emotion portrayed in this statement shows that the writers of the document do think that knowledge is present, but that it cannot be the determining factor in all decisions.
The article then moves on to talk about if women should be prosecuted for having abortions. South Dakota talked about how they should not be bothered for their personal decisions. However; Georgia went into detail about how women “should be convicted of felony and punished” for the killing of a human fetus (par.9). They present their argument in such a forceful way that makes me believe that this issue is very important to them. Reading the article makes me question if this issue is as important to me as it is to them. Feelings are aroused through the strength of their words, and the position that they are taking on this ongoing issue.
Many reasons are given as to why the anti-abortionists feel that abortion should be banned. Not only do they give reasons as to why it should be illegal, but also ways that legalized abortion has damaged communities and homes in our country. They state facts that make the reader know that what they say is credible, and they also arouse an emotion of fear as they present the harmful damages that abortions can cause families.
The writers of H.B.1 also reach out to another crowd when they reference to Susan B. Anthony. As one of the greatest women in American history, her words about any issue are going to be greatly respected, regardless of the subject. She called abortion “child murder (par.12).” Due to the face that she cared so much about the rights and safety of other people, her statements are very credible. The bill also states that “legalized abortion has had a profound detrimental effect on the health and well-being of citizens of this state as well as the health of the community (par.12).” This poses a threat against citizens of the country and can invoke fear in the hearts of the readers and get them to start to side with their thoughts. The writers of the bill use pathos to get readers to become emotionally attached to the issue. Those reading it start to see the emotion put into the argument and from the fury of the arguers, they begin to feel some of the same fury towards the issue of legalization of abortion.
H.B.1 lays out the ideas of the anti-abortionists very strongly and quite explicitly. However; it is not inappropriate in any way. It is very radical, and many people do not expect it to pass due to its’ extreme nature. The article is bursting with passion and anger as the wishes of the groups are vividly expressed. They start to make one wonder about their moral beliefs by presenting a credible and valid argument with strong and powerful emotion.

Hoffman, Alina and Friedman, Ann. "Anatomy of a Ban." The American Prospect, 22 January 2007. Web. 23 Sep. 2009.

1 comment:

  1. I liked how you addressed what both sides said about abortion and how that relates to word choice and also the effects it has on pathos. I think you could go into pathos more, expanding on how what they are saying effects those living there and reading this argument. How does it affect their emotions?