ABORTION. Could I have picked a less controversial subject to do my thesis on? Well, actually, it’s not JUST abortion. My thesis is more about how the two main sides (pro-life and pro-choice) have chosen to do their advertising and how I have discovered through a lot of research that it just doesn’t work. The pro-life side primarily uses shock tactics to get their point across (such as those mutilated fetuses on signs) and the pro-choice side uses a lot of language many would consider profane (such as, “My CUNT, My CHOICE”), bright and bold pink buses, very bold type, coat hangers to symbolize botched abortion attempts, and more. What I primarily noticed about these strategies is that they are both very bold and very far away from the personal lives of the people that are targeted to take a side. From what I’ve seen, when a person sees a crowd of protesters (or even just a few picketers), if he or she is not on board already with that group, that person does their best to sidestep away (or change course completely).
Most can agree that a mutilated fetus is a disturbing thing to see, however, it is still just an image, usually unaccompanied by any information (factual or otherwise), and does not apply to the vast majority of the population. Neither does a woman yelling about the privacy of her reproductive organs. Minds that are set are very hard to sway which is why my thesis is taking a new approach with the use of storytelling, facts, and with as little bias (zero is the optimum number) as possible. This way, people are not confronted and pigeonholed as murderous whores or misogynist woman haters if they do not agree. They are left to make up their own minds with a different variable free of religious and political discourse among other things.
So with that, I’m creating a website that will lead the viewer in the role of a pregnant woman. There will be different paths to start from (such as underage/adult and planned/unplanned/rape) and depending on what a user chooses, the story will vary and what happens will determine the ultimate fate. The user will go through many things, some helpful and hurtful depending on how easy or difficult she or he allows their theoretical life to go. A possible flaw would be that some would just let themselves have a happy, planned, healthy pregnancy without trying out other options to see how other things could happen. However, like life, I will have things go wrong from time to time based on the national percentages that are also based on a number of other things such as social and economic status.
I’m hoping that storytelling based off of the shared experiences of women from all around the U.S. + facts will give people a new perspective they may or may not have considered before. After all, it is far easier to think that you are not like this or that, that this could not happen to you, that you would act a certain way no matter what, that there is something wrong with person A, B, C and so on. In fact, I’m hoping that after going through the site once, people will be curious as to what the options are and what would have happened differently if one or many things changed. This would be the best outcome because the viewer would be exposed to more and gain a more thorough insight into what can and does happen to the women experiencing these things everyday.
And that’s that (for now). I will be keeping you up to date on my progress so you will be the first to know when this site goes live. Further more, if you would like to participate in my thesis, you may do so by sending me your own stories (tell your friends and family too!) regarding pregnancy (even if it was just a “scare” where you thought you were pregnant and what you did afterwards) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, this is to be as close to real life as possible.
- If you had a happy, complication free pregnancy, send it.
- If you had a planned pregnancy, send it.
- If your pregnancy was planned but you chose or were forced to have an abortion for whatever reason, send it.
- If your pregnancy was unplanned but you chose to continue, send it.
- If you chose to utilize adoption services, send it.
- If you immediately and chose abortion due to unplanned pregnancy, send it.
- If you were coerced to keep or end a pregnancy, send it.
- If you were raped, send it.
- If you tried to give yourself an abortion (herbal, drugs, objects inserted into the uterus, other methods), send it.
- If your decision regarding your pregnancy introduced you to social stigma, ostracism, depression (postpartum, after and abortion, after rape, sexual assault, and just in general), whether you experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted it, etc.
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