I don’t get emails from people challenging the words I use, well, ever, but just the other day I did receive the following email from someone who apparently didn’t want to comment on the post.
Upon reading your article “Chickens and Eggs and Calls to Murder,” I wanted to bring a particular point to your attention.
Your use of the term “anti-choice” is very misleading, and shows a significant misunderstanding of the term.
The term anti-choice by definition means “one who opposes ALL choices”, no matter what the topic of choice be. The opposition to abortion does not stem from the opposition of choices in general (as the term anti-choice would lead one to believe). Those who oppose abortion are against feticide and embryocide, thus making them anti-feticide, anti-embryocide, or anti-abortion. Just as someone who opposes the choice of a man to hit his wife is not anti-choice, but anti-domestic-violence, the correct label for a person who opposes abortion would be anti-abortion (or anti-feticide, anti-embryocide, etc.)
I would invite you to visit the website www.notantichoice.com to review and read more information on this subject and on the use of the term anti-choice.
The email was in reference to this post.
The emailer can say what he/she wants concerning the language I use to describe positions, but, as people who have been reading for a while will know, I’ve defined “anti-choice” once before. So for those of you just joining us in class, here’s the definition:
The truth is, most of the proponents of SJR127 are not as “Pro-Life” as they claim to be, they are anti-choice. They don’t want you to have any say in your life. They are less concerned about your liberty than their drive and desire to restrict it. They want to regulate your body, mind and spirit in a way that harkens back to “serfdom”, and SJR127 is a step in that direction. I can respect someone who is “Pro-Life” but also votes for legislation to help people through their struggles by supporting contraception, education, jobs and affordable healthcare, but the people that put SJR127 up aren’t those people. They don’t give a crap about you once your born, and if you have a problem, or are living in poverty, or don’t have access to education or employment opportunity, from their perspective, it’s probably something you did.
I’m not saying the person who sent the email is one of these people, I’m not saying they aren’t. I am saying, from an operational standpoint, this is the definition of “anti-choice”. If this seems to lead one to believe that there is an implied opposition to choices in general, that is EXACTLY the message I’m relaying.
Further, the analogy the emailer used is just pure bull. Trying to equate abortion and domestic violence as “choices” is not just a stretch, but a Stretch Armstrong. Try again.
In the post that prompted the email, I kept to this definition, targeting the fringiest of the fringe elements that wish to criminalize abortion, contraception, the rhythm method, and even possibly ovulation through their ridiculous “egg as human” ideas. These people are “anti-choice” because they would exclude everything short of tying off the tip, and possibly even that as well as access to reproductive healthcare and legal medications that both regulate the monthly cycle as well as prevent pregnancy. In short, these people are anti-choice, and if that includes the emailer, then I am confident we have nothing further to discuss.
From a semantic standpoint, since that’s how this whole thing got started, I will say that people who hold “pro-choice” views are not “pro-death” as the radical anti-choice crowd who likes to call themselves “pro-life” would lead one to believe. I can’t think of ANYONE who espouses a “pro-death” or “make abortion mandatory” position. The debate is not about “life” per se, but about when “birth” is. The Choice side holds with thousands of years of precedent that something isn’t born until it’s born. The “other” side believes that something is alive from the point of fertilization.
Finally, no matter what you call them, if people who oppose abortion would spend as much time publicly working to improve reproductive healthcare options for poor expectant mothers, as well as all the other healthcare, educational, economic needs and opportunities for the child throughout it’s life, anti-abortion advocates could make the point moot, by ensuring the situation only came up in extreme circumstances. Instead, they choose a path of vocal prohibition, which is a path that restricts choices, which makes them “anti-choice”.
Ed Note: This is a form letter. I’m told Feministe got the exact same letter just days ago. So, you’re either not a person, or not very creative. Kisses!