Rhetorical Analysis

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Despite the United States’ separation of church and state, religious matters continue to have a heavy influence on political policies, matters of health included. This is most apparent today in the matter of public contraception. The editorial “Contraception, Women's Health, and Equal Citizenship: The Missing Horn of the Dilemma,” by David E. DeCosse, reflects on this, claiming that the benefits of birth control to women and their well-being are too great to be ignored due to Catholic religious objections. DeCosse’s piece is effective due to its reliance on facts and statistics, unprovocative moral arguments, and unbiased credibility. The author, David DeCosse, has a long list of degrees: an A.B. from Harvard, an M.S. in journalism…show more content…
All sources used within the piece are credible, with facts coming from Federal Health and Human Services (a government organization) and the Institute of Medicine (a non-profit organization) and moral reasoning coming from the famed philosophers John Rawls and St. Thomas Aquinas. The author and publisher are also very credible, and their religious backgrounds make the editorial less biased and less hypocritical, as DeCosse, a Catholic man, practices what he preaches, effectively distancing himself from religion and basing his opinion solely on facts. This use of ethos is therefore effective because it demonstrates to the reader the plausibility of DeCosse’s position. Beyond ethos, logos is also used to good effect: the primary arguments of the article come from valid evidence, with statistics and facts littering the piece. This is effective as it appeals to the reader’s sense of reason, making the piece difficult to find fault with. Although some emotion is shown in DeCosse’s arguments regarding the history of injustice toward women, as many women can personally relate to this history, the overall piece does not rely on pathos. Although this is to be expected, as the editorial is in an academic journal, the piece would be more effective if it emotionally provoked the reader in a more noticeable way, as it would make the reader more willing to change their

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