Saturday, December 04, 2004

Words are important.

Termination of pregnancy, abortion, a medical procedure, killing babies—the words we choose in talking about the act shape the course of our conversation about it. Termination of pregnancy and medical procedure are both clinical terms, designed to keep conversation as unemotional as possible because emotions are not conducive to clear thought and the weighing of risks, benefits and alternatives with a patient seeking to, well, terminate her pregnancy. Abortion is a fairly neutral term and the most common, but one closer to the emotions; we’re more apt to feel something when we hear it or use it. Killing babies is a phrase that is highly charged with emotions—primarily, anger—and is most likely to be used by Pro-Life activists protesting outside a clinic where the more antiseptic terms are used; it is designed to make those seeking an abortion aware of the consequences of the act that they seek: namely, that a baby, whose life has just begun, is going to die—their baby. It is very hard to contemplate having an abortion while focused upon the life to be ended.

It has been proposed that we take up the topic: Ending Abortion. It seems to me, however, that before we discuss ways and means of ending abortion, a prior conversation must take place centered on the question of whether ending abortion is a practical—which I doubt—or even desirable goal. Surely there are many who believe that, while abortions are far from desirable per se and that, in a perfect world, they would be unnecessary, in the world in which we actually live, they should be freely available to those for whom necessity has become a reality. I propose, for our first conversation, that we answer the question:

“Is ending abortion altogether a practical or even desirable goal to achieve in America and why do you think so?”

If you have an answer that conforms to these standards:

  1. Articles for posting should be no longer than 1,000 to 1,500 words.
  2. Reasoned debate only; no ad hominem attacks will be permitted. This will be strictly enforced.
  3. Foul language will be edited or even form grounds for rejection.
  4. Remain on topic.
  5. Other than that, any position on the topic is acceptable.

email it to me at


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