It shouldn’t have taken so long for National Public Radio to join many other news organizations in concluding that the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” were deceitful misrepresentations expressly designed to allow advocates to de-emphasize the problems with their positions. Nevertheless, the decision of the organization to stop using the euphemisms was both welcome and correct. After a column on the subject by NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard called for the change, Managing Editor David Sweeney sent out a network-wide memo aimed at ” He continued:
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”.
Next, the public should insist that advocacy groups and their obsequious political allies follow the same policy. The position of Ethics Alarms, for example, will be that any elected official who uses the deceptive terms “pro-life,” “pro-choice,” “anti-choice,” or “anti-life” is either intellectually dim or intentionally attempting to misrepresent the position he or she claims to be supporting.
2 thoughts on “NPR Abandons Abortion Issue Spin”
I’ve often found this whole debate quite interesting because the two sides can’t even agree on what they are arguing about. The “pro-choice” side says a woman has the absolute right to do as she sees fit with her own body and killing a baby is murder. The “pro-life” side says exactly the same thing.
The problem is in the definition of what constitutes a baby and what constitutes the woman’s body. So they are arguing about definitions and don’t even know it.
I fall on the “abortion rights opponent” side for a number of reasons. But, scientifically I think I can prove that an unborn baby is not a “part” of the woman’s body simply because it has a different genetic makeup. The baby’s DNA is different from the cells in the mother’s body.
But point well taken on how labels can be used to spin a political position and even demonize those with an opposing view…
For those who have studied the classics, I have often thought of this as an argument for and against ‘matria potestas’. One side wants women to have the potestas that men have over their children in Rome (although limiting it to the time from conception until the baby breathes it’s first breath) and the other side doesn’t.