Abortion rhetoric in American news coverage of the human cloning debate

  • Jensen E
  • Weasel L
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Abstract

The issue of human cloning has received intense media and political attention since the cloning of Dolly the sheep was announced in 1997. This research explores the discursive basis for support and opposition to human cloning by examining the role of abortion-related rhetoric in constructing the concept of human cloning within the American press. An in-depth content analysis of human cloning news coverage was conducted on a sample of articles collected from the mainstream press as well as advocacy publications with either a pro-science or Christian fundamentalist orientation. Statistically significant differences were found indicating an important role for abortion rhetoric in the human cloning debate. This expansion of abortion rhetoric into the domain of science policy portends a unique and growing problem for resolving bioethical debates within American politics over the future development of biomedical technologies such as human cloning.

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Authors

  • Eric Jensen

  • Lisa H. Weasel

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