Sunday, January 15, 2006

What's In A Name?

The abortion debate is not likely to end soon. I've suggested that we try to come together on a position that may not satisfy everyone, but might give a common goal that many of us could agree on. See Let's Make Abortion Rare.

We need a tag that quickly and clearly defines this view. Each side has used a term that tries to capture in a positive way their position.

"Pro-life" replaced "anti-abortion" which was too negative. I've argued that for many people who claim this position, "pro-life" is a misnomer. They should more appropriately be called "pro-birth" because they are more interested in making sure a child is born and much less about it's future. Too many pro-lifers care little about what happens to the mother or child after birth. In their zeal to insure that no abortion ever be tolerated, they lessen the moral weight of their arguments.

"Pro-choice" replaced "pro-abortion" as its proponents tried to remove the moral implications of an abortion. It is not the act or its consequences that are important, it is just important that women have the right to choose. In their zeal to insure that no abortion ever be prevented, they lessen the moral weight of their arguments.

What would be a good tag for people who believe that we should work to make abortions rare through positive actions, but retain the right of women to choose to have an abortion with reasonable restrictions? There is the obvious temptation to call the movement "pro-something". "Pro-rare?" "Pro-moral?" Neither of those is promising. How about an acronym? Keep abortions legal, but make them rare (KALBMTR)? Ugh! Make abortions rare, but legal (MARBL). Better, but someone with more imagination can suggest a better name.

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