The left has made an art form of twisting and contorting the English language to avoid exposing their true ideology. By playing with semantics, and smoothly disguising their true intentions, liberals have been effective at swaying public opinion on even the most controversial issues. Consider the recent debate over the 2nd Amendment, and how the left has cleverly replaced the vitriolic “gun-control,” with the more innocuous “anti-gun violence.” By framing this debate with their carefully chosen code words, Americans who believe in their right to exercise the 2nd Amendment are painted as “pro” gun violence. In this day of 30-second sound bytes manipulated by a compliant media, the semantics game has become the left’s lethal weapon to slowly chip away at the Constitution.
But like all liberal’s tactics, eventually the public catches on to their wordsmithing, and the left is faced with the reality that their linguistic contortions are no longer effective. Once their manipulative language has run its course, liberals must abandon it and replace it with something more ambiguous. That is exactly what happened last week at Planned Parenthood.
Forty years since the monumental ruling by the Supreme Court making abortion legal in all 50 states, Americans are still clearly uncomfortable with the idea of abortion, and the term “pro-choice in particular. This year a record low 41% of Americans said they considered themselves “pro-choice” in Gallup’s annual survey.
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Knowing that they are on the losing side of the public opinion trajectory, Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, has made a conscientious decision to abandon the term “pro-choice” and replace it with a subtle, more ambiguous term.
Suddenly Planned Parenthood is anti-label. Really? Wasn’t it the pro-abortion crowd that coined the term “pro-choice” in the first place and then saddled Americans who disagree with them as “anti-choice” and “anti-women?” Are we expected to believe that Cecil Richards and her associates at Planned Parenthood have had an epiphany and are no longer in the business of vilifying those with whom they disagree?
More likely, Planned Parenthood has discovered that like with all of their word games, the logic behind their language manipulation eventually breaks down when carried out to its logical conclusion. If Planned Parenthood and their supporters on the left support a woman’s right to choose, then one would assume that they also support a woman’s right to choose where to send her child to school? How about the right to choose what to feed her child? Not if you live in New York City where sodas and salt have been banned from eating establishments. And the right for a woman to choose which firearm to purchase for protecting her family? …well, the left is working to prevent that too.
You see, Planned Parenthood knows that claiming to be “pro-choice” is no longer viable, particularly since pro-lifers are on to their semantic strategy and calling them to account.
As a result, Planned Parenthood has developed a marketing video that takes this new approach, casting labels like pro-life and pro-choice as limiting and abortion as a complex and personal decision. “We just don’t know a woman’s specific situation,” says the ad. “We’re not in her shoes.”
Keeping the issue of abortion as “complex” and ambiguous as possible allows Planned Parenthood to avoid talking about the heart of the issue which is taking the life of another human – a human that is weaker and more vulnerable than you.
This “gentler” approach also allows Planned Parenthood to frame the debate so that anyone who is opposed to their more nuanced and muddled definition can be easily labeled as unsympathetic and uncompassionate. After all, anyone who would have the audacity to deny “healthcare” to women who are helpless, confused, and frail, will undoubtedly be painted as a nefarious neanderthal. At least that’s what Planned Parenthood is betting on, and Lord knows they have allies in the media to advance that meme.
But while Planned Parenthood might do linguistic gymnastics to avoid stating who they really are (abortion clinics that perform around 350,000 abortions every year, one every 90 seconds) and what they really believe (abortion should be allowed at every stage of development without restrictions), at the end of the day, their change of direction indicates a small but significant victory for the prolife movement.
Albeit it’s taken 40 years, but the prolife movement is finally making inroads into exposing how Planned Parenthood makes its millions of dollars a year. They can no longer cowardly hide behind women’s “choice” to cover for the hundreds of thousands of babies that they kill every year. And they’ve yet to announce a replacement term for the recently discarded “pro-choice.” Maybe because there is no word in the English language, even when twisted and bent, that is capable of disguising who Planned Parenthood is, and that is pro-death.