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ERIC Number: ED274015
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-May-2
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Private Issue Becomes a Public Issue: A Rhetorical Analysis of "Roe v Wade."
Cooper, Martha
Supreme Court decisions tend to take the form of either (1) an act of justification or argumentation that defends the verdict of the communicator, or (2) a construction of a new symbolic reality that influences the world view of its audience. The "Roe vs. Wade" decision is an example of the merger of these two rhetorical functions. The court needed to defend its decision to abolish state anti-abortion laws and at the same time create a persuasive case for the new perception of acceptable conduct of abortion according to the trimester distinctions. The subsequent judgment on "Roe vs. Wade" was a compromise that elevated the importance of medical judgment, and the creation of a new standard with which the public could identify was weakened by this compromise. Predominate values behind the decision seemed to be legal tradition and the authority of the medical community. However, the one court declaration based on pathos and articulated in active, unequivocal language was the woman's right to privacy which created a new symbol or standard. The rhetorical nature of the court's decision justified the ruling, but it created new points of controversy for public debate. (SRT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A