Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2024

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Jan Osborn


This project on the “Pro-Woman, Pro-Life" framing of the Anti-Abortion Movement uses James Paul Gee's theoretical lens on discourse analysis. My research corpus is comprised of historical, legislative, news, editorial, and film data. This project focuses on when the term "Pro-Woman" first appeared in the anti-abortion discourse and how it has been used to reinforce the Pro-Life stance. I argue that the phrase -- "Pro-Woman" -- is a discoursal strategy to appeal to women who are ideologically aligned with the Pro-Choice movement. According to the Pro-Woman, Pro-Life framework, no "feminist" would want to support a practice, such as abortion, that could physically or mentally harm women; therefore, Pro-Choice feminists and feminists in between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice are then left with the ethical dilemma of allowing other women to access a potentially dangerous, even fatal, procedure. Gee's theoretical framework insists that language is used to build in distinct ways, such as making things significant or assuming a particular identity. These methods of analysis, alongside a selection of grammatical tools, help me analyze the use of "Pro-Woman" and argue how it builds and contributes to the Pro-Life discourse. My project aims to investigate how the charged term "Pro-Woman" has been extrapolated to the Anti-Abortion Movement and argue the guilt-driven draw it has on all feminists.


Presented at the Spring 2024 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.