Narrative Themes in Pro-Life Life Stories
a. The collective portrait of these pro-life women shows how they are not the
reactionary and socially unaware, passive mothers that society pictures them to
b. They endorse women seeking political and econ
I. The Pioneer
a. A few women in Fargo had been pioneers in the first wave of efforts to legalize
abortion in the late 1960s.
a.i. Ronna Hartman, who introduced the first bill to reform abortion laws in
1967, was one example.
b. Hartman learned she only h
a. She was the daughter of a Baptist minister and was a homemaker and part-
time worker in the school system.
b. She had an early sense of differentiation. She connects her activism to
religious principles of social justice learned early on.
a. Understandings of self were reconstituted and realigned with a new social identity
for the actors on the pro-life and pro-choice sides.
b. Ginsburg has chosen to include 6 of the 14 pro-choice narratives for lack of space.
c. A common t
a. She was an activist from the early days who organized defense of the clinic in
b. Kay helped encourage her to be more active on the pro-choice side.
c. Cathy works for CRC, but she is slowing down her activeness for the cause.
d. She ser
a. She has connections to family and the community that must be negotiated around
the stereotyped pro-choice role.
b. Sherry was president of the CRC between 1981 and 1984.
c. She has a progressive sense of dissonance from the ideal female biogr
a. Jan Larson, in 1983, saw the CRC as vehicle to devote her lifes energy to.
b. She was elected to the board of the CRC after organizing a picket at the 1982
c. She brought a new vision and energy to the CRC.
c.i. She bec
a. The abortion debate in Fargo was not simply a Manichean conflict between prolife and pro-choice sides.
b. Ginsburg wanted to know how the activists saw their own lives in relation to the
current activism on the abortion issue.
Historical Shifts and Generational Markers
a. It was difficult to predict a why women on each side of the debate had chosen to
be on that side when one only considered details like religion, education, etc.
b. 80% of the pro-choice women were born betw
Narrative Strategies: Procreation Stories as Counter-Discourse
a. Ginsburgs interest in the interviews is in the formal strategies activists use to
structure and give meaning to the recounting of life stories that distinguish the
women in each group.