Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 16, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

ABORTION AND CHOICE....This piece by Rich Lowry is truly one of the most bizarre things I've ever read at NRO and that's saying a lot:

The right to abortion is as legally secure as ever, but its advocates have never been so apparently ashamed of the practice itself....In April, supporters of Roe v. Wade held a rally in Washington in support of the right to abortion. But you would hardly know it. The rally was called the "March for Women's Lives" well, for the lives of women who aren't very, very young. The word "abortion" was almost verboten among people who support the right to it.

One of the nation's premier defenders of abortion rights is the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. It's a perfectly descriptive name, but the group nonetheless changed it last year to expunge the offending word. It is now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America. It's as if the National Rifle Association changed its name to avoid any association with the word "rifle."

In three lawsuits challenging the partial-birth-abortion ban after it was signed, abortion-rights advocates refused to say "partial-birth abortion." They preferred the terms "intact dilation and extraction" and "dilation and evacuation"....

The linked article says nothing close to what Lowry claims, even though it was published on his own site. "Pro-choice" has been the preferred nomenclature of abortion supporters for decades. And liberal objections to "partial-birth" as a way of describing the procedure in question are of long standing. None of this is exactly new or exactly a secret.

All political organizations use words to frame issues in ways favorable to themselves, and "choice" has been the framing of choice for the abortion rights movement for a very long time. Still, if you go to the NARAL site and click on "About Us," you'll see a 350 word statement that includes the word "abortion" seven times. Surely, Rich, once every 50 words is enough for even you to get the message?

Kevin Drum 1:13 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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