Some say anti-abortion while others say anti-choice. But are they actually saying the same thing?
If we refer to the dictionary the differences seem minuscule.
Anti-choice = opposed to the concept that a pregnant woman has the right to choose abortion.
Anti-abortion = opposed to abortion or the legalization of abortion.
It is possible that we are splitting hairs in this debate but if we look closer the differences are much larger. Anti-choice tends to be against the entire concept of a woman have the choice to terminate the pregnancy or to carry it out. Meanwhile anti-abortion is simply against the medical procedure itself. At best it is against all abortions if the person is for the criminalization but that is the extreme view of the definition. A person can be anti-abortion but can also be pro-choice. Allow me to explain.
Personally, I am anti-abortion in the sense that I would never choose to have an abortion if I became pregnant. But as a man I of course cannot thus I do not have to make the personal choice. That choice would be up to my partner and I am completely for her making her own choice. I respect and encourage the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices.
I have engaged in this type of discussion before and usually come down to the idea we are merely arguing about semantics and it really does not matter. Tomato – Tamato. Just the same thing said differently.
It is possible this argument is a distraction of the real issue. But I don’t buy that argument either.
The politics surrounding women’s rights have been dominated by right-wing frames and set the left up to fail. They have set the semantics of the debate to evolve around abortion and not the entirety of the pro-choice movement. By demonizing a medical procedure Republicans have been capable of demonizing the sexual liberation of women. For example, the Republican Congress has three atrocious pieces of legislation the curb women’s rights. Taking away family planning and even preventing abortion when it could save the woman’s life.
Christina Paige in her book “How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America” writes how the entire abortion issue is nothing more than a cover for a fundamentalist “anti-contraception” and “anti-sex movement” and not over an unborn fetus.
By vilifying a medical procedure they have been able to use it as a cover to attack access to contraceptive, take away pleasure for women and the overall advancement and well-being of women in general.
Take for example the recent undercover “stings” of Planned Parenthood facilities by Lila Rose. Two people enter the office and claim to be trafficking young girls (even this is dubious because the videos have been edited). Rose says it shows that Planned Parenthood is complicit sex trafficking despite the fact that Planned Parenthood reported them to the FBI and in at least one video this claim of using sex workers has been edited in according to their Brooklyn office. The undercover sting is not about shutting down a clinic that provides a medical procedure. It is entirely about shutting down a facility that provides access to lower income women for basic reproductive services. Condoms, HIV and other STD testing, pap smears, counseling services and so much more. Ending those services is the goal of the so-called pro-life movement.
In reality it is the anti-choice movement. They are not just against abortion (anti-abortion) – they are against access to reproductive care and thus, are anti-sex and anti-woman. This can no longer be called an issue of semantics. It’s an all out battle for woman’s rights.
© Aaron Krager 2008-2013 | Have any questions? Send me an email.