“I had an Abortion.”: The Rhetorical Situation of a Planned Parenthood T-Shirt
DOI: 10.1080/17459430701617929
Title: “I had an Abortion.”: The Rhetorical Situation of a Planned Parenthood T-Shirt
Journal Title: Qualitative Research Reports in Communication
Volume: Volume 8
Issue: Issue 1
Publication Date: October 2007
Start Page: 57
End Page: 63
Published online: 11 Oct 2007
ISSN: 1745-9435
Author: Crystal Lane Swift*
Abstract: This article analyzes the rhetorical situation surrounding a t-shirt sold by Planned Parenthood. Bitzer's model is employed for analysis, and pragmatic and rhetorical implications are drawn. Pragmatically, the t-shirt sets a new extreme for wearable messages in the future. Rhetorically, the message expressed on the t-shirt may be self-defeating: while it seems a step forward for women who have had abortions to be able to disassociate shame from their actions, the message may be perceived as negative to some. Though the t-shirt itself may not serve as an action to strengthen abortion rights, it does seem to serve as a catalyst for discussion. The purpose of the t-shirt is to at least discursively advance the pro-choice cause in the public eye.

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