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The Moral Veto


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Framing contraception within moral worldviews: the early, radical birth control movement; 2. The mainstreaming of birth control: a new alliance with eugenics and medicine; 3. Dennett's moral worldview and the catholic moral veto: unsuccessful frames for contraception; 4. Abortion before controversy: quiet reform within a medical, humanitarian frame; 5. Abortion and legislative stalemate: the weakness and strength of the medical, humanitarian frame; 6. Looking back: limiting frames, moral vetoes, and cultural Pluralism; Notes; Works cited.

Promotional Information

This 2005 book examines the often surprising history of controversies over contraception and abortion in the United States.

About the Author

Gene Burns is an award-winning teacher and associate professor of public affairs at James Madison College, of Michigan State University. A sociologist by training, he is the author of The Frontiers of Catholicism: The Politics of Ideology in a Liberal World, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1993. He has written articles on social movements, revolutions, and the politics of religion in the American Journal of Sociology, Theory and Society, Sociology of Religion, and other journals.


"...this is a book that can be read with profit by all serious students of its topics." --Keith Cassidy, The Journal of American History "Contraceptive laws and abortion policy are subject to a 'moral veto' unless the framing on the issue is palatable to moderate-middle citizens. So argues Gene Burns in his examination of how, why, and when both contraceptive laws and abortion policies were federal court decisions." -Laura R. Woliver, SIGNS "Burns sheds new light on seemingly well-covered territory. Drawing on extensive archival research on the contraception and abortion debates, Burns convincingly illustrates that social movements can be their own biggest obstacles with it comes to concrete political success." Mobilization Deana A. Rohlinger, Florida State University

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