The Pros and Cons of Words

When you hear or read the adjectives pro and anti their meanings are clear. simply for and against. Some years ago I remember hearing the term pro choice used referring to a woman’s ‘right to choose’ in regard to abortion. And along with that came anti abortion replacing pro life. The interesting thing is that today people who on the side of the right to life use pro life. You do not hear anti life from either side. Instead the pro choice advocates refer to the opposing side as anti abortion. But they never use the term anti life.

I remember some years after the 1973 decision when the term pro choice replace pro abortion and it was quite obviously a smart tactical move on their part. The same people use anti abortion to replace pro life. It worked quite well. So well in fact that a new more positive term has come into use, reproductive rights. Interestingly enough our present culture are pushing to eliminate the word, mother.

In the late 1960’s I read a book by George Orwell written in 1949. In the prophetic novel the word mother was forbidden to be uttered. I recently asked the local library for the book and the librarian said they actually had several copies but they were all out. The other day I received an email to pick up a copy and I did. I was disappointed because it was in Spanish unbeknownst to the librarian. Food for thought.

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