Debate about the terms used in the abortion discussion

Since we can’t have a proper discussion in a poll thread for reasons unknown to me, here’s a thread for it. Original poll thread.

The question was asked,

My answer is yes indeed. I truly think the debate is over a woman’s right to choose, and other people wanting to take away her right to choose (because they don’t think she should have that right).

I agree with you on the Pro-Choice issue.
I’m not for abortions or against it per se- but I AM against the idea though of not giving someone the choice to choose for themselves what they wish to do.

Hence: Pro-Choice makes more logical stance for my position than Pro-Life or Anti-Life or whatever else term is out there.

I do not wish to determine the outcome of your choice, if you choose Life that’s awesome for you. If you Choose Abortion that’s fine by me as well. As long as you got all the facts to make an informed decision and to choose for yourself.
If there is a better name for that than Pro-Choice, I’m open to it as well.

Nobody is pro-abortion.

It is never a good thing. That doesn’t mean that sometimes it isn’t still the better option. And options is what the whole debate is about.

I’m pro-abortion, and unapologetically so. I think it’s often a good thing, and I wish it was more available and used more often.

Having said that, “pro-choice” is a perfectly accurate word. Far more so than “pro-life.”

Good overall or good in and of itself?

I don’t disagree that it is frequently a good choice, the right choice, but what I suppose I was getting at was that nobody enjoys abortion. Women aren’t lying to their physicians to get more abortions the way they might to get more Oxycodone. That’s what I find so particularly distasteful about the “pro-abortion” term. It seems to imply that people enjoy this.

[/apologies if this is a hijack]

I used to think that “pro-life” was the term to be used for people opposed to abortions, but I don’t think so anymore (although I will probably still call them that if that is the name they choose for themselves). Pro-life indicates that you won’t hunt, you think the death penalty is always wrong, and that you won’t hurt someone who is breaking into your house - I think your average pro-lifer fails on all these accounts. Anti-choice sounds far more accurate to me - they are against people having a choice that they themselves don’t approve of.

Both terms (pro-life/pro-choice) couch themselves in positive terms. I don’t think you could re-title them otherwise without your own prejudices working into it.

As I pointed out on the other thread, it’s inconsistent for pro-choice people to call the other side “pro-life.” To do so indicates that they are buying into the other side’s definition of “life” (i.e. that it begins at conception), and that’s obviously not what that side believes.

I mean that, in my opinion, there are a lot of women (and girls) bringing pregnancies to term for whom termination would be a better choice. I don’t mean I wish every pregnant woman would get an abortion (I have three kids myself), I mean that not enough of the ones who should terminate choose to do so, and I wish they would.

Pro choice seems like an accurate description. One can be personally opposed to abortion, can regard it as immoral or just plain unpleasant and still support the right to have one if you want it. What better term for a position that holds both people who say “Abortions? No problem.” and others who say “I don’t like it, but you can have it if you want anyway” than “pro-choice”? Supporting the right to choose is simply the unifying factor.

It’s inconsistent for the pro-life people to call the other side “pro-choice”. To do so indicates buying into the other side’s definition of “choice” (ie, that the fetus has any choice in the matter), and that’s obviously not what that side believes.

Agree with this. The pussy way of doing the pro-choice argument is losing us ground. We pretend like pro-choice is this great thing, yet many pro-choicers turn around and say shit like “I wish we’d have less abortion if we could”

I don’t consider the fetus a person. It’s a medical procedure. It would be like me saying I wish there were less plastic surgeries. I simply don’t care. I wish people would think of abortions more lightly, and not give a care to the fetus they are getting rid of because it’s more akin to cutting your hair than killing a person

shrug I dunno what reaction you wanted, but I think this is probably generally correct (I don’t know, actually, what the “pro-life” folks usually call the other side; “anti-life” is a possibility, but as a word, it seems awkward). It’s all based on one thing: one side thinks a fetus is a human being, and the other doesn’t.

The term “pro-choice” is a downright juvenile attempt to control the language of the debate. Choices are good! Who could be anti-choice!?

It’s almost a useless term that could be applied to anything. I’m pro-choice on the issue of private ownership of fully automatic weapons. How can you be against choice?! Sure, you may not want to do it yourself, but you should respect my choice to do it! NAMBLA is pro-choice on raping kids. Charles Manson is pro-choice on murder.

It makes no sense to wrap the issue of whether or not something should be legal as defining it as advocating there being a choice. It’s implicit in the premise - if something is legal, people have a choice as to whether or not to engage in it. The only way pro-choice has utility as a designation is if we were advocating mandatory abortions for everyone or something.

This is just arbitrary extrapolation of their position on other issues that they do not intend. It’s essentially just you creating straw men position for them to hold so you can point out how hypocritical they are. It’s ridiculous to hold them to the standard of “they must be pro-life on everything, including the death penalty, whether you can kill animals for food, etc!” and then not hold yourself to the standard of “I’m pro-any-choice, including the choice to murder!”. Both extrapolations of those positions are unfounded and rather silly.

I’m not against abortion rights, by the way. I think from a utilitarian perspective legalized abortion has obviously done the world a ton of good. But I think the way most abortion advocates argue for it is full of shit.

Meant to add before the board glitched:

To label opponent’s of abortion “anti-choice” is to demonize the opposition. Fundamentally, the abortion issue comes down to whether your beliefs lead you to believe that a fetus is a life or not. If you do believe it’s a life, and the rest of your moral stance is against the killing of innocent life, then it’s a logical conclusion that the fetus’ right to life should be protected. In this case, choice doesn’t enter into it any more than outlawing murder is being anti-choice for murderers. If you don’t feel it’s a life, then an abortion is roughly equivelant to having a mole surgically removed, and again, choice doesn’t enter into it because who would object to that? It’s an issue where reasonable people disagree, because your personal views about the premise generally will vary. To demonize and simplify and falsely attribute motivation to the opposition is to simply turn the issue into something simpler than it is because it’s easier for you.

I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but reading between the lines wouldn’t it be better to say

“contraception would be a better choice” than “abortion is a better choice”?

I don’t doubt either that there are some women (and their spawn) that would be far better off if they had opted for an abortion - and that decision was self evident from the day of conception. But I think those that fall into that group would be better off still if they had invested in a little latex

I think Der Trihs has summed it up better than I can.

I fall right in the middle - I don’t like abortion, I wish there was less abortions and I don’t think abortion is good".

I do think it’s a woman’s choice to make though and not mine. I think the woman should have a “strong” reason to have to an abortion - but I don’t want to put myself (or anyone for that matter) into a position of judging what is a strong reason - the only person to make that judegement is he woman herself.

I don’t think a fetus is a person (at least until it reaches viability - after that the point is moot), but neither do I think it’s just “a collection of cells”. I think that if, left uniterrupted, it would grow into a person - then it should be seen as something more than a “growth to be excised”

And I think this is why pro-choice sums up me position. While I may not like abortion, it is ultimately not my decision to make and not my set of morals to impose.

I also don’t think this weakens the case for pro-choice at all - I think its integral to the case.

No; it accurately describes them. If it puts them in a bad light, that’s because they have a bad position.

Falsely attributing a “concern for life” from people who demonstrate anything but such concern is foolish. The people and groups comprising the anti-abortion movement consistently act to deny women choice, and not just about abortion. And they consistently show a disdain for the life and welfare of others. The problem with calling them pro-life, is that they are lying. The problem with treating them as well meaning people who just disagree with you is that they are not well meaning. They aren’t “pro-life”, and they don’t care about those “babies” except to use them as a weapon against women.

And no, this is not a matter that “reasonable people disagree” on. Calling a fetus a person means either grossly distorting what a fetus is, or what a person is. If killing a fetus is murder, then why isn’t killing a tumor murder? Defining a fetus as a person is a distortion for how the term is usually used that has only one purpose: to justify the oppression of women.

You are doing the equivalent of trying to argue that the people who supported segregation and turning dogs on protesters really supported civil rights, but just disagreed with you on the methods.

Are people who want murder or rape to be illegal “anti-choice”?

Yeah, I’ve already told you what I think of your world view where every single person who disagrees with you on abortion is this cartoonish force of pure evil who are unwaveringly and exactly committed to exactly the same motivation and ideology.

I was once a fetus. I would guess that most people were. Not many were tumors. I’m not looking in this thread to advocate the position that a fetus is a human life, just that there are people who believe this position and their position on abortion comes from it logically.

Every single person who has ever felt that abortion should be illegal all acted with the exact same motivation? I mean - just the logical plausibility alone here should be mind-breaking. You live in such a silly, simple world.

I don’t even know where to go with this one. So much wrong in one sentence.

Okay - first, the position you’re trying to advocate to me doesn’t really exist. I think you may be trying to get at the idea that there are people who aren’t racist and believe in civil rights, but don’t believe it’s the government’s job to enforce societal change. That is substantially different from what you said. Furthermore, my main point here is that the use of the term “pro choice” is intentionally vague and unspecific, and yet only used to apply to the abortion debate and not every other issue on which you could claim to be “pro choice”, because it’s just designed to control the terms of the debate. And… even further, your idea here only stems from what I covered earlier - your unwavering view that everyone who differs from you on this issue is so unified in their ideology, beliefs, and intents as to be a borg-like hive mind bent on oppressing women (including hundreds of millions of self-hating women apparently!), so I reject the idea that believing a fetus is a life is morally equivelant to being segregationist and violently crushing civil rights protests.

No, but that isn’t a good analogy. Forbidding someone to commit murder or to rape doesn’t force them to do anything; forbidding abortion does. Opposing abortion is more like raping than it is like opposing rape.

It’s a “cartoonishly” evil position to take.

No, because that is not a rational position to hold.

No; you are trying to forbid criticism of this movement by holding me to a ridiculous standard. Using your standard, I couldn’t even call the Nazis evil -after all, they weren’t all exactly alike. I believe that the vast majority of the anti abortion movement believes and acts as I described; the outliers are irrelevant. A movement doesn’t need to be some sort of Borglike hive mind before it can be condemned as wrong.

If anything, it’s worse. Forcing a woman to go through a pregnancy against her will is the moral equivalent of tying her to a bed and raping her for nine months. It is one of the most evil things I can imagine.