NARAL Pro-Choice America just published an op ed in Ms. Magazine, a publication that may as well be owned by NARAL. Called “How (Not) To Talk About Abortion,” it focuses on the pro-choice method of skirting around the issue itself using semantics and crummy data.
Firstly… it’s not normal to view Thanksgiving dinner purely as an activism opportunity. Catch up with your family and relax. Don’t be weird. Should this topic come up with the family, there are kind and educated ways to discuss it.
What NARAL Advises… Vs. What You Should Actually Do
- Do not use the phrase “heartbeat bill.” Instead, say “abortion ban before many women know they’re pregnant,” or simply “abortion ban.”
People use the phrase “heartbeat bill” for two reasons. One, because that’s what the lawmakers literally call it. Two, because it prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around 21 days post-conception. To avoid any confusion, this is not when life itself begins. Just the beating of the little heart.
Abortion supporters don’t like that the bills are called such because that ruins the rhetoric that embryos are just blobs (since blobs presumably don’t have heartbeats). Anything that humanizes the preborn, like a heartbeat, is definitely off the table for NARAL readers.
Heartbeat Bill and abortion ban are both perfectly fine to use, in our opinion. Abortion is bad, and banning bad things is quite acceptable. Recommended, even. It’s worth noting to conversational partners who aren’t sure how they feel about these bills that it’s an example of elected officials doing the will of the majority who elected them. Most people are far more pro-life than pro-choice.
2. Do not use “late-term abortion” (which is not medically accurate!) to describe abortion later in pregnancy. Remember that “late term abortion” is not medically-accurate and is a loaded term that Republicans have weaponized to describe abortion later in pregnancy at the expense of women and families experiencing in imaginably difficult situations. Instead, say “abortion later in pregnancy” or “later abortion.”
This one’s a head scratcher. How is ‘abortion later in pregnancy’ or ‘later abortion’ any different than ‘late-term abortion’? Are these not synonyms? The word ‘term’ seems to be the only place the phrase differs, and even that doesn’t really clue us in as to why it’s taboo.
The writer describes ‘late-term abortion’ as something that’s been ‘weaponized’ by Republicans. Feel free to examine below what a late-term abortion is and let us know which of these two things is ‘weaponized.’
The ‘medically accurate’ distinction is baffling as well. Presumably, that just means that the term does not appear in textbooks. An abortion committed after viability (20 weeks and beyond) is an abortion nearing the end of the term of pregnancy. The fetus can respond to stimuli, feel pain, and may be capable of living outside the womb as early as 21 weeks.
3. Do not elevate incendiary and dangerous terms like “infanticide” or “born alive.” Trump and anti-abortion politicians like to bring up “infanticide,” an inflammatory term adopted by anti-choice politicians to falsely describe abortion later in pregnancy or post-birth palliative care. Infanticide, of course, is already illegal. They also like bringing up “born alive” to describe the notion of a baby “surviving an attempted abortion”—which is not grounded in medical science and is intended to evoke disturbing and violent imagery.
This one is almost funny if it wasn’t so intrinsically disturbing. “Surviving an attempted abortion” isn’t grounded in medical science? There are literally HUNDREDS of Americans walking around today who are confirmed survivors of failed abortions (many of whom were maimed in the struggle). Some are even missing limbs. So yes, it does evoke disturbing and violent imagery. Because such imagery cannot be separated from the topic – the two are one and the same.
Abortion facilities are unregulated, caught in scandals all the time, kill and hurt women, and spend unimaginable amounts of money to cover ugly truths and get out of legal hot water. Abortionists have been caught killing babies born alive in attempted abortions… because why not? They want to get paid, the mother wants the baby dead, and no one on the outside has any way to know about it.
Planned Parenthood is as good as caught dissecting babies alive after testimony from America’s longest-standing abortionist, Forrest Smith. He said during the David Daleiden hearings that if Planned Parenthood was selling fetal hearts, which must be harvested beating, there was little doubt that they were altering abortion methods to birth babies alive and dissect their beating hearts.
And Finally… Use Your Phone
This article is full of “facts” like ‘Republicans want to jail women.’ It’s a really quick internet search (of reasonably non-biased sources) to determine that that isn’t true. Abortionists are the criminals and mothers are the victims of this predatory industry (which is another thing worth noting: the pro-life movement is truly pro-woman, too. Berating post-abortive moms doesn’t help anyone).
They also state that most of America is pro-abortion. Most Americans will say they’re on board with Roe v. Wade when asked, “Do you believe in feminist values and bodily autonomy?” which is not what abortion is. Most Americans will NOT say they’re on board with Roe v. Wade when asked, “Is it okay to dismember fetuses at any stage of pregnancy?” which is what abortion is (and is what Roe v. Wade allows). How pollsters ask the questions matters.
So, for review:
- Approach respectfully. Calm speaking voices and kind language goes a long way.
- Use your phone. The entire world of information is in your hand; don’t forget to use it.
- If you are stumped by a question, respectfully ask for some time to think about it and get back to the asker later.
From Students for Life, we hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving! And if you happen to have any abortion-related dialogues, cheers to some hearts softened and minds changed about the biggest human rights issue of our day.