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The importance of words

The importance of words

The correct use of words is always important in the debate over abortion. I remember working on a pro-life campaign brochure a few years ago with a volunteer. I’ll never forget him telling me it took about fourteen hours to come up with the exact assembly of words to complete the message. Yes, exact wording is important!

For example, pro-lifers have long argued ‘a woman’s right to choose’ is a term that should be rejected as the rallying call of the pro-abortion movement. It is after all an incomplete statement. The verb “to choose” is a transitive verb, meaning it requires a direct object. We wouldn’t let anyone get away with saying ‘woman’s right to take’ and neither should we allow for the unchallenged use of ‘woman’s right to choose’.

Recently we have begun to observe that abortion supporters have resorted to calling pro-lifers ‘anti-choice’. This too is an inaccurate choice of words. The author of this article says the label isn’t only ambiguous, it’s dishonest. He says,

The reason why I oppose the choice of human fetal abortion is not because I oppose choices; it is because they oppose a specific choice – human abortion. If one opposes the choice of a man to hit his wife, is that person “anti-choice”? Of course not. The essence of opposing the choice of a man to hit his wife stems from an opposition to violence, not an opposition to choices. Likewise, the essence of opposition to human abortion is not an opposition to choices, but an opposition to killing human life.

Good point and something to think about the next time you are called ‘anti-choice’.


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