How Anti-Abortion Language Shapes Pro-Choice Advocacy
The anti-abortion camp coined many of the words we use to talk about abortion, leaving our understanding of the practice shaped by an inherent bias against it.
If we accept that language shapes our reality, then it would make sense that the way we think about abortion, the way it’s legislated and regulated, and the polarized debate that swirls around it, has been influenced by terms like “pro-life,” “late-term abortion,” and “fetal heartbeat"—all of which have come out of the anti-abortion movement. Cases like these, in which the anti-abortion camp has created the words we use to talk about abortion, show how much of our understanding of abortion care has been shaped by an inherent bias against it. Some argue the implicit message these words and phrases carry—that abortion is morally wrong and shameful—has managed to infiltrate the pro-choice side of the debate, meaning even the most ardent feminist activists might find themselves inadvertently apologizing for abortion even as they fight for the universal right to access it. On this episode of The VICE Guide To Right Now Podcast, we sit down with Broadly's Marie Solis to talk about her recent story on the issue.
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