Jennifer Gunter @DrJenGunter The Gray Lady’s gynecologist (@NYTStyles), sexpert, appropriately confident, lasso of truth, I speak for no one but me. The Vagina Bible (8/27), Jensplaining. May. 11, 2019 2 min read

I have been thinking of these forced birth laws. I the think we need studies of voters who elect the politicians who enact this draconian legislation. Some are likely single issue, some believe the media hype, some are maybe not sure 1

We know from looking at parents who refuse vaccination only 10% are hard core conspiracy theory anti-vax who we are unlikely to reach with education. But their messaging and how they contaminate the information we see causes fear that leads to more vaccine hesitancy 2

We know how questions are worded affect how people respond about abortion. This shows how lack of correctly worded information can have a significant impact 3

We also know hyperbolic headlines like “Do vaccines cause autism” just like “What to make of infanticide claims” reinforce the lie, even if the article dismantled it. We remember hyperbole. 4

So while I initially though businesses moving out of GA was a great idea to send a message, I wonder if that makes voters dig in their heels in a “you cannot tell me what to do in my state” kind of way 5

What if businesses who rightly oppose this forced birtherism stayed in Georgia and committed to educating all employees on the facts and worked on the 90% or so who are likely not hard core, single issue voters? 6

I have no answers, but what I do know is the way we are tackling facts about abortion doesn’t seem to be working. And so, I am just thinking about other ways we could think of reaching people. 7

The vaccine literature tells us that a parent who is afraid of vaccines may often become more afraid when you show them the risks of not vaccinating. That seems counterintuitive, but that is why we need studies! 8

When they’re afraid more fear drives them to a position of indecision then they think if I vaccinate and my kid gets ill it was my fault. If I don’t vaccinate and my kid gets measles then “I” didn’t cause it. Don’t tell me lack of vaccination is a cause, I know, just explaining 9

So when we study vaccine hesitancy we learn how to change the messaging to reach people. We should be doing more of that with abortion. 10

The long game is to stop hard core forced birth politicians from getting elected. Once it affects political fundraising it will be a less attractive issue. 11

I am not saying it will be easy. There are layers or misogyny, patriarchy, power and the belief that the “only just abortion is my abortion.” And so I think we need to give some thought to effective messaging and strategies. 12

You can follow @DrJenGunter.


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