Sunday, October 16, 2005

Say 'No' To Pro-Life, 'Yes' To Pro-Ban

The only thing one needs to know to understand how the left and center have allowed the right-wing to control the national discourse are the word 'liberal' and the term 'pro-life.'

It has only been recently that 'liberal' has begun to be re-claimed for the proud heritage behind the name, so now let's adopt a strategy to fight the fraudulent term 'pro-life.'

When it comes to defining ones position in the abortion debate, the term 'pro-choice' is perfectly acceptable, because even the opposition would agree that they are against the right of a woman to choose. Using the term 'pro-choice' does not denigrate their position.

However, use of the term 'pro-life' makes the assumption that those who take the opposing view are 'anti-life,' which is a fallacious argument. That might be the case if those who support abortion rights buy into the assertion that life begins at conception, which many don't. And even if those who do believe that life begins at conception support the right for others to decide for themselves, the appropriateness of having an abortion, it hardly makes them 'anti-life.'

While others have used the term 'anti-choice' to label those who would ban abortion, I can understand why the mainstream media does not adopt it. It takes sides. It labels one side negatively. Seriously, whether it is honest or not, who would want their position to be labeled with an 'anti' anything?

And that brings me to 'pro-ban.'

'Pro-ban' is the flipside to 'pro-choice.' One side represents the right of a woman to choose an abortion, the other side supports a ban on abortions. And it uses lingo that doesn't demonize the opposition.

A term like 'pro-ban' accurately represents their position in favor of banning abortion, while giving respect to the opposition as being 'anti-ban.'

Incidentally, a search on Google found the following results for these entries:
pro-choice 3,610,000
pro-life 5,290,000

We are losing the battle of words and with it the battle of perceptions.

So how about it? Can we start a campaign to contact mainstream media outlets when they use the term 'pro-life' and ask them to use this more accurate term that does not denigrate those who support a woman's right to choose?

1 comment:

gravytop said...

Interesting point, but I don't agree that "pro-choice" and "pro-ban" are, objectively speaking, equivalent in terms of their connotations.

Persons in favor of abortion rights have chosen "pro-choice" because it references something no one can be opposed to -- choice -- but makes absolutely no reference whatsoever to the procedure at issue.

What do you think of when you hear the word "ban?" Me: banned books. Even persons who want gun control call it that, and not "a gun ban."

Can you think of any socio-political movement that proudly calls what it advocates a ban? I can't, at least not offhand.