How to Write About the Abortion Debate

Daniel Okrent, the first in-house press critic of the NYT, applauds an article on abortion for

avoid[ing] the euphemistic use of those specious and self-serving slogans "pro-life" and "pro-choice," and instead us[ing] "anti-abortion" and "abortion rights" to describe people who are, as it happens, against abortion or are supporters of abortion rights.

I've flip-flopped on which set of terms is preferable. My latest thinking is this: to say that only pro-lifers oppose abortion is to neglect the nuance of the pro-choice position: that abortion is regrettable, but should be legal. Additionally, calling a pro-lifer an "abortion-rights opponent" is both biased and infelicitious.

Therefore, while "pro-choice" and "pro-life" aren't perfect, they're short and useful.

No comments:

Post a Comment