Tuesday, 25 May 2010

On 'pro-choice' and 'pro-life'

Alison in the comments here reminds me of a post I've been meaning to write.

In a discussion of the terms 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' at the Left-Wing Fringe Group Called 'Women' on Facebook, I said:
On 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice', all news orgs should follow NPR's lead on this. I'm OK with being called an abortion rights supporter or whatever. As long as the fetus fetishists lose 'pro-life'.

Here's the link to NPR.
This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.

On the air, we should use "abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)" and "abortion rights opponent(s)" or derivations thereof (for example: "advocates of abortion rights"). It is acceptable to use the phrase "anti-abortion", but do not use the term "pro-abortion rights".

Around the anti-abortion bunfest in Ottawa, I collected some headlines from MSM outfits.

Here the Toronto Star uses 'pro-life' but it is a letter to the editor and the writer of it uses the phrase.

A National Post column has this title: Sense of momentum bolsters pro-life rally.

The Ottawa Citizen has Thousands gather for pro-life rally on Parliament Hill.

And an article in the Toronto Sun has 'US anti-abortion group pleased with Canada' (and doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart?)

CTV covered the die-in protest at Bev Odious's office with Pro-choice protest and XTRA had Pro-choice supporters make presence felt at the National March for Life.

Here at DJ! of course we will continue to refer to the two sides as 'fetus fetishists/zygote zealots/braindead' and 'the sane people' but then we're hardly mainstream.


Luna said...

I prefer pro-birth and pro-choice myself. But I like yours too. :)

The nutbar sister I've mentioned (who has since cut me out of her life, YAY!) says she would adopt or foster a dozen of the FAS kids, but the mean old government won't let her because she spanks her kids. SRSLY.

Kristina Johansson said...

Followed you here from PWPL.

I have no problem with the terms Abortion Rights Supporter and Abortion Rights Opponent. Those are neutral terms that don't frame the discussion in an inflammatory way. In fact, I think I'll start using them now.

croghan27 said...

I agree, Kristina ... I have long objected to the term 'pro-life' being used when referring to anti-choice advocates.

I AM PRO-LIFE! As a part of that I am pro-choice and will not allow people who are trying to impose their view of morality upon me to pretend that I am not pro-life. By allowing choice I am celebrating life - it is them that are (is) limiting and bracketing life.

Danila said...

I'm pro-choice. I like choosing lots of things- what I'll wear, what I'll do, what I say, what I write... i make thousands of choices a day.

Though there are some choices that I don't think is my place TO make. Like whether a fetus/baby gets to live a long and healthy life.
I also CHOOSE to believe that it is not my place to judge those who are pro-abortion. Therefore I believe...

Pro-Abortion, and Anti-Abortion is probably the best way to describe these 2 views.

fern hill said...

Well, of course, at DJ! everybody has freedom of choice.

But while 'anti-abortion' does describe the inclinations of the fetus fetishists, 'pro-abortion' I think, and so does NPR, does not reflect the other side. Many pro-choice people are against abortion for themselves but would not foist their views on others. It's just wrong to call them pro-abortion.

The phrase I really dislike -- mainly for its illiteracy -- is 'pro-abort'.

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