Pen v Sword

The recent highlighting of reproductive rights goes to show words’ importance. Most of us know the adage “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I’ve read articles recently which distill the issue into “pro-abortion” and “pro-life.” My first thought is that these terms don’t capture the viewpoints well, and my second thought is that we ought to return to the tenets of journalism, where we expect journalists to use words skillfully and present ideas with care.

Pro-abortion isn’t the same as pro-choice. I think people who support choice expect women to make choices based on cultural, religious, familial, personal, and other factors. The government should provide equitable access to health care, which includes reproductive options.

Pro-life used in the context of reproductive rights is about denying abortions, so anti-abortion may be quite appropriate. Pro-life doesn’t touch on the lives of humans already struggling on our planet. Even less is it concerned about the lives of animals, wild or domesticated. Global warming isn’t part of the human conservation plan either.

The Supreme Court’s decision to repeal Roe versus Wade seems a judicial misstep and equally unprofessional. I thought legal appeals were to be guided by new evidence. In this case, the rationale came down to centuries-old arguments. No current social or physical science information was presented.

Reproductive rights are an important topic. So are others. They deserve thought processes marked by integrity, clarity, and well-developed ideas. Resorting to word-salad verbiage is just a cheap trick.


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