Monday, September 26, 2005

An insight

You know what are really the most accurate terms to replace "pro-life" and "pro-choice"?

It's "abortion control" vs. "abortion freedom". Sort of like "gun control" vs. "gun freedom" (although I guess it's usually called "anti gun control").

I happen to support certain types of "abortion control" laws. I happen to know lots of people who are very strongly "abortion freedom". I also know a few people who are much more "pro abortion control" than I am.

These terms actually resonate with my experience! And allow moderates to label themselves on this issues (for a change).

I can't imagine that I'm the only one who as thought of this, so it seems they aren't particularly "catchy" terms. Well, I don't care. I'm using them from now on.


Anonymous Mauro said...

I'd go with "abortion prohibition" vs. "abortion freedom", because that's more like what I see happening.

Most "pro-life" people are not interested in regulating abortion (it already is) but on making it illegal, period, so nobody can do it or have it done.

"Control" implies adding order, processes and checks to something, and that's not the issue here.

9:52 PM, September 26, 2005  
Blogger Barbara Preuninger said...

"Abortion prohibition" is too strong because there are very few people who aim to completely prohibit abortion. Practically everyone makes exceptions for the life of the mother, for example, and most make exceptions for rape or serious birth defects. (Keep in mind that I'm really talking about "pro-life" people generally, and not the leaders of the movement. Some of the leaders are really quite extreme.)

And there are people who support a much wider abortion freedom than currently exists, so how could they be described?

To me, it's a matter of framing the issue, because I don't think of abortion as a human right in the way that free speech is a human right. It may be a necessary evil in certain circumstances, but in most cases, I support policies that help to reduce abortion (especially if they are positive incentives as opposed to negative). I *wouldn't* support policies (whether positive or negative) that reduce free speech. As it so happens, I am more concerned about later abortions than earlier ones (For example, I'm very strongly in favor of allowing "Plan B" contraceptive over the counter, since it's questionable that this even causes abortions in the first place, and if they do, it's the "egg+sperm" variety that happens *naturally* 50% of the time.)

The framing aspect is subtle because on the surface, the practical effect of my view will sometimes make it look like a pro-choice position. But to me, it's very important because I don't believe it is a "woman's choice", unquestioned, to have an abortion. Although bodily autonomy is extremely important, there are other factors to be weighed in.

I also fret over the fact that 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in abortion. I'm aware that most of those are early term, but I would much rather see those 1 in 5 pregnancies prevented in the first place. There are also large numbers of 2nd trimester abortions - as far as I know, it's in the 100,000 range in the U.S. - and to me that's really bad.

If I was strongly "abortion freedom", I wouldn't care what the rates of abortion were, or why people chose them. (And I know many people who espouse this view.) How could I differentiate myself if I could only choose the labels "abortion freedom" or "prohibitionist"?

10:47 AM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Mauro said...

I must say I completely agree with you on the fact that I would rather see those pregnancies that result in abortion prevented in the first place.

The problem of placing one's position on a scale that has only two values (e.g. "control" vs "freedom") will always exist, it doesn't matter what those values are labeled... maybe we could add a percent value to indicate extremism in that position, like in "I'm 34% abortion freedom"? :-)

11:53 PM, September 28, 2005  
Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

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4:33 AM, November 07, 2005  

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