The Campaign Against the Phrase 'Pro Life'

The abortion issue will probably be at the center of attempts to finalize and sign the healthcare bill, if Senators like Ben Nelson are involved. People will be bandying the phrase 'pro-life' around to refer to anti-abortionists. They should stop.

It is a ridiculous piece of propaganda — who the hell is anti-life? — and has permeated even the most rigorous publications. A search on the New York Times website, for example, reveals that they have used it dozens of times (and not always in quotes from others) over the last month or so.

If self-proclaimed 'pro-lifers' were actually 'pro-life', rather than just anti-abortion, they would presumably also be against the death penalty and for increased regulation of guns. But that's often not the case. There is apparently no moral difficulty for many in holding lethal injection as sacrosanct as the embryo.

They would also, as this piece points out, be for increased contraceptive services — because in one sense an unwanted pregnancy avoided is a life saved. But they're not. They're just blindly anti-abortion.

It may be difficult, or impossible, to successfully reconcile the right to choose and those who would deny that choice in the healthcare bill that will hopefully go before the president soon. It's much, much easier for journalistic institutions to stop using the phrase 'pro-life' outside of quotation marks right now. This instant.