When Emotions Stall Political Change: The case of abortion and health care reform

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2 Responses

  1. kiyallsmith says:

    Emotions are surely key–I would encourage you to also think about whose emotions and whose health are factors in this political debate. This should also be a question we ask ourselves when there is an outcome (or the absence of an outcome). Who’s health and bodies will be impacted by policies enacted, and who’s health and bodies will remain free? These are also a source of emotional dimensions in a society rife with racism and classism.


  2. dena_t_smith says:

    I agree – that’s part of what I mean by emotions dictating, or at the very least, influencing decision-making in the political realm. For instance, pro-life groups essentially argue that the emotions of the mother are irrelevant if it’s at the expense of a fetus. Certainly only some people’s emotions are considered, while others’ feelings, opinions, etc. are brushed aside. In this post I was thinking more in terms of what I might actually call “political emotions” but I think that looking at the outcome and who’s emotions are actually taken seriously or protected is another extremely important issue. In general, attacks on abortion rights get at the heart of attacks on women’s rights. I would only add to your comment that sexism, in this case, is a major contributing factor because abortion is being used as the issue to stall health care. However, if we pause and think about who is most likely to be affected by the lack of health care reform, then I certainly agree that other realms of inequality such as those created by classism are extremely important to unpack.

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