Using controversy over abortion as a lens through which to compare the political process and role of the media in these two very different democracies, this book examines the contest over meaning that is being waged by social movements, political parties, churches and other social actors. Abortion is a critical battleground for debates over social values in both countries, but the constitutional premises on which arguments rest differ, as do the strategies that movements and parties adopt and the opportunities for influence that are open to them. By examining how these debates are conducted and by whom in light of the normative claims made by democratic theorists, the book also offers a means of judging how well either country lives up to the ideals of democratic debate in practice.

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