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Pro-Abortion vs. Pro-Choice

There is a great deal of debate not only over the subject of abortion, but also the terminology used to discuss the subject. I use the term "pro-abortion", rather than the more generally preferred term "pro-choice", to refer to people or positions that support abortion. I understand that this usage may not please some of those who take this position, and it is not my intention to upset them. However, there are a number of problems that arise when we use the term "pro-choice".

First of all, the term is not necessarily accurate. Although it is correct with respect to the issue of abortion, it is not correct to claim that a person is pro-choice based solely on his or her position on this one issue. People who support abortion can be very "anti-choice" when it comes to other issues. I am guessing that most people who would wish to use the term "pro-choice" would not be in favor of someone choosing to drive 100 mph down a city street or a company choosing to dump its chemical wastes any way it sees fit. Using the term "pro-abortion" keeps the discussion focused on the issue at hand, abortion, rather than debating over the terminology we are using.

Secondly, my directories/listings are about abortion only. It doesn't matter what a person thinks about any other issues, such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph. If the organization supports abortion it belongs in this listing, regardless of whether it is "pro-choice" in any other sense. Being included in any directory or listing at this site should not imply that you have any particular position on any issue other than abortion.

And, of course, if people who support abortion insist on using the term "pro-choice", the people with the opposite point of view will insist on using the term "pro-life", and many who oppose abortion will be quick to claim that people who oppose abortion aren't truly "pro-life" because they don't take a position on some other issue that they feel is in accordance with this label. If people who support abortion object to the term "pro-life", then they need to be fair and not use the term "pro-choice". It is better to use language that directly addresses the issue at hand -- abortion -- rather than distracting from it.

And, of course, each side is trying to take the "high ground" in using such rhetoric. Instead of appealing to some noble sentiment which may or may not be valid in the eyes of those listening, we should (once again) talk about the issue -- abortion. It is typical in our language to use the "pro-" and "anti-" prefixes to describe the two sides of a controversial issue, and so that is what I do.

Also, if one side is talking about "life" and the other side is talking about "choice", then we are obviously talking about two different things. We are never going to make any headway in resolving this issue if we are talking about two different things, and we will only serve to confuse those who might be undecided and are listening to us. Addressing the issue as "abortion", rather than "choice" or "life" keeps the conversation going smoothly without confusing anyone involved or anyone listening.

Using the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" only serves to offend those on the other side of the issue. People who believe that abortion should be allowable are often upset by the use of "pro-life", and feel that it implies that they are somehow "anti-life" or "pro-death". What is the sense of offending these people? In the same way, I find it rather offensive when someone uses the term "pro-choice", implying that I am somehow "anti-choice". I am no more "anti-choice" than anyone else when it comes to choosing where to live, what kind of work to do, or what to eat for supper, and those who like to call themselves "pro-choice" are often just as "anti-choice" as I am when it comes to the right to pollute the environment, rape people, or murder those who are already born. Why use language that only serves to offend one another? Once again, we should stick to the subject and talk directly about abortion.

All these effects keep the two sides fighting, rather than communicating and trying to understand each other. I don't want to fight. I want to engage in open and direct communication which will lead us to deal with this issue in a direct, rational and caring manner.

I suppose I should add one final point. Once this directory is finished I intend to continue and do research that I believe will be important to helping us deal with the problem of abortion. In order to establish my credibility it is important to establish my objectivity. In doing and presenting this research I will be be talking about facts and any position or idea that I share will be based solidly on facts, not some preconceived ideas of my own. If I use subjective language here, will you have any confidence in the results of my research then? I don't think so. I will rely on objectivity and factuality. I will call a cat a cat, a rock a rock, and abortion, abortion.

Perhaps at some point in time we will come up with better language that both sides can agree on and that will foster communication and understanding. Until that time comes, however, I intend to use the terms "pro-abortion" and "anti-abortion".