Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Abortion Lobby and Slick Sales Techniques

A Photoplasty contest at brought to mind how underhanded sales approaches are used to sell abortions.

The Assumptive Close: Don't give the option of saying "No." 

Ask the woman when she wants to schedule an appointment, leaving the issue of whether she wants an abortion in limbo. Once they're at the facility, just process them as if they'd asked for an abortion rather than as if they're just going down the path of least resistance.

Another approach would be asking if she prefers a medical or surgical abortion, what kind of anesthesia she wants, etc., never directly addressing whether or not she wants an abortion.

The Bandwagon

This is the strategy behind the "I Had an Abortion" t-shirts, the "One in Three" campaign, and every other "de-stigmatizing" or "de-mystefying" campaign. The goal is to convince women that abortion is a perfectly normal part of life, a choice routinely made by other women just like them. Nancy Howell Lee's research, published as "The Search for an Abortionist" found that the greatest factor in whether a woman pursued an abortion or continued to term was what she believed her peers would do if they were in her situation. Clearly, the abortion lobby doesn't want to rely on the off-chance that the woman will be surrounded by others who have given birth. Thus, the campaigns to convince women that abortion is exactly what any other woman would do in her situation.

The BYAF (But You Are Free) Technique

This approach stresses that the person is perfectly free to NOT choose the desired abortion. The entire "pro-choice" movement is a macro-example. However, individual abortion centers also use this technique via the promise of "options counseling." The woman is assured that she's just coming in to explore her options, but once her foot is in the door she is far more likely to continue the path she's alread on -- toward an abortion.

Use of Inclusive Langage

This typically takes the form of the macro-sale, in which the abortion lobby presents abortion facilities and practitioners as part of the "woman and her doctor" team looking out for the woman's best interests, also creating a "them" out of anybody who might disapprove of abortion in general or this woman's abortion in particular.

This comes into play in individual cases with "informed consent" and waiting period laws, in which the clinic again paints the Other as trying to meddle in the relationship between the woman and the clinic staff.

Repeating Key Phrases

"Right to choose" doesn't really mean anything by itself. Choose what? But saturation of "your body, your choice," in the culture reinforces the idea that the woman is acting with maximum freedom and independence when choosing abortion rather than birth, even if (as is typical) the woman feels that she is trapped and has no actual choice in the matter.

Altercasting: Putting the person in a role and then presenting the desired act as the natural behavior of somebody in this role

This is primarily macro-oriented. The "Good women have abortions" campaign. Campaigns about how women have abortions in order to be better mothers, better workers, better partners, etc. These desirable women are then contrasted with the welfare mother that nobody wants to be. If you're sombody who is in control of her life, who is responsible, yada yada yada, then clearly you will choose abortion!

This also plays out regarding teens. Note how a pregnant teenager is painted in two contrasting roles. If she continues to term she is yet another example of "babies having babies," whereas if she aborts she is a woman making a choice.

Sounding as if you can read the woman's mind

This gives the impression that you understand and are knoweldable. Of course, anybody with two brain cells to rub together will know that a woman making an abortion appointment is worried about her future, wondering if she's doing the right thing, etc. By stating these obvious facts, the worker gains emotional footage with the woman.

Love Bombing

Odds are that the woman considering an abortion is feeling very alone and isolated. Abortion ads and "counseling" techniques focus on reassuring the woman that the abortion staff are there for her, to suppoprt her and love her, etc. The fact that this purportedly caring relationship will end the moment the woman is discharged from the facility has no emotional reality. The woman feels as if the clinic staff care for her, and that feeling can clinch the sale.

Fear Then Relief

Ramp up the woman's fears. Does she fear that her parents will be angry? That her boyfriend will leave her? That she won't be able to finish school? That she'll lose her job? Let the counseling deeply explore everything the woman fears, then present abortion as the escape pod.

This also cashes in on the fact that fear of losing something that you already have is a more powerful motivator than the prospect of gaining something that you don't have yet.

This is why the abortion lobby hates pre-abortion ultrasounds so much. If the woman fully emotionally grasps the reaity of her unborn baby, then abortion becomes the loss of the baby. Most mothers will risk everything else, including their lives, for their children. The prospective abortion patient who has had a chance to bond with her baby is difficult to close in a sale.

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