At about this time last year, the folks at Gallup informed us that more Americans identified themselves as “pro-life” than “pro-choice” for the first time (at least since they began tracking the question in 1995).
If you can frame the terms of a debate, you’ve gone a long way towards winning it, even if your position is weak. And I, at age 40, distinctly remember a time when the mainstream, “objective” media refused to call people who want the state to compel women to bear children against their will “pro-life.” They were referred to, accurately and neutrally, as “anti-abortion activists.” I’m not sure when the change occurred — I believe it was gradual — but I now see the term “pro-life” used frequently in mainstream reporting.
It’s obviously not an accurate description. Among the 51 percent who claimed to be pro-life, some large but unknown number favor the death penalty and support “wars of choice.” Some of them — a minority, to be sure — also oppose abortion in cases when the life of the mother would be endangered by carrying a fetus to term. To call people who obviously place very little value on the lives of women (post-birth anyway) “pro-life” is a perversion of the language. It’s pure spin.
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So, what do you all think? Any of the older ontd_p members see this switch in terminology?