I think that I can give you a hint about the answer to that question. I would suggest that the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish Webpage which is intended to teach the faithful about how to talk about abortion also provides some insight into the campaign to change public opinion. It also, incidentally, conforms to the methodology often used in right-wing crusades. Take a look at it for yourself and then follow me over the fold for some discussion of what strikes me as a very systematic approach to persuasion.
St. Charles’ Borromeo’s rhetorical strategy:
(1)The appeal to authority.
— Religious authority. Since St. Charles’ Borromeo is a church, it is not unexpected that it would appeal to scripture. There are a suite of scriptural references that are intended to suggest that reverence for life trumps other concerns. This is, of course, a religious exercise that should have little weight with those of us who do not subscribe to this particular religion, but, even as such they are vague and open to interpretation – which is supplied with reference to the relevant encyclicals and doctrinal letters.
— Scientific authority. The creators of this Webpage include a list of mostly debunked scientific studies that purport to demonstrate that abortion is harmful to women. According to the most recent American Psychological Association review (PDF) of the empirical literature produced since 1989 on the effects of abortion on women, there are no grounds to conclude that it has any harmful effects.
But since Roe vs. Wade, abortion has been legal and, by implication, the federal law holds that a incomplete, embryonic or fetal life is not equal to that of the fully-developed woman in which it is gestating. How then do we resolve this contradiction and why does the issue persist beyond the bounds of rationality. The answer is precisely because the argument has gone beyond rationality.
Since the 1980s the pro-fetal life contingent,