I often read the website ZNet. It is a great daily source of articles coming from a perspective that is critical of the media and the establishment. A lot of the content of the site reflects an anarchist viewpoint and promotes the idea of participatory economics. It’s a good site and I recommend it as a daily news stop along with Antiwar.com (which comes from a Libertarian party perspective but is nevertheless a great source of information).
Today, I was browsing ZNet when an article on abortion from the neo-liberal magazine The New Republic caught my eye. The article by Princeton feminist scholar Christine Stansell was entitled “A Lost History of Abortion”, and despite my better instincts, I clicked on the article and started to read it. That is until Ms. Stansell decided to play her hand and use language manipulation from almost the get-go. In the second paragraph, she refers to those who oppose abortions as “the anti-choice movement”.
And that just irritates me to the extreme.
Like the Bush administration and the Republican Presidential hopefuls calling radical Islamic terrorists “Islamo-fascists”, calling those who oppose the killing of the unborn “anti-choice” is to engage in dirty semantics propaganda.
Would Ms. Stansell or others who love to use the term “anti-choice” call themselves anti-choice because they are (presumably) against giving men the freedom to choose to rape woman?
Suppose that we lived in a society where many people considered woman little more than property owned by men (hard to imagine I know). In such a context, there might be plenty of men who consider it their right to do what they please with their female property in the privacy of their own homes. In this society, you would also find people of moral fiber who respect human life, and they would rightly oppose these men and this supposed right to abuse women. Likewise, there are people today who see the unborn child as a human life worth protecting and who at the same time can value human liberty and women as equals to men.
The pro-abortion movement is dishonest to hide the nastiness of abortion behind the positive connotations of freedom associated with the term “pro-choice”.
Before jumping off my podium, I’ll add that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
While the term “pro-life” is less manipulative than “pro-choice”, I still find the term dishonest in many cases because a large majority of the folks calling themselves “pro-life” are anything but in that they support state-sanctioned murder in the forms of capital punishment and war.
Too bad we cannot be honest and simply refer to these different groups as “pro-abortion” and “anti-abortion”.