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Published: January 16, 2013 10:19 am to Opinion Column

Abortion by any other name is still abortion

Planned Parenthood has suddenly – and secretively – decided that they are no longer pro-choice. Unfortunately for the babies, they haven’t become pro-life yet, either. For the time being, they are not pro- or anti- anything, although they still cheerfully provide abortion services.

The folks at Planned Parenthood feel that the categories “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are too limiting and too confusing. Personally, I’ve never found them terribly difficult to understand.

“Pro-life” is pretty much self-explanatory: “for life.” Supporting, promoting, and protecting all human life, every human life, from conception until natural death. Go, life! (Applause.)

“Pro-choice” is slightly more confusing: “for choice.” Yes, and what will your choice be today, Ma’am? Hot dog or hamburger?” “I’d like a choice.” “We offer hot dogs and hamburgers here, Ma’am.” “I’d really prefer a choice.” “We don’t serve ‘choice’ here; we serve only hot dogs and hamburgers, Ma’am. So sorry.”

We all make choices every day.  The issue isn't the right to choose, but instead, what it is we're choosing.

If your choice is a hot dog, you want a hot dog. If your choice is a hamburger, you’d like a hamburger instead. Choice is not an object, or a thing; it is a mental process. You can’t eat it; it doesn’t fill you up.

If your choice is life, if you choose life for yourself and others, could we possibly call you pro-life? If so, congratulations!

And if your choice is choice – what is that choice? The opposite of a hamburger is a hot dog, and the polar opposite of life is death. What is your choice? If it’s not life, then it must be death. There is no middle ground here, folks.

I guess the idea is that by steering clear of the “pro-choice” label, Planned Parenthood hopes to be able to reach out to those who don’t call themselves pro-choice. Fewer and fewer people are identifying themselves as pro-choice – possibly because they are waking up to find that the “choice” they’re talking about is death. When folks start to realize that choice can be a synonym for death, the whole “choice” movement starts to crumble. Very few people want to be called pro-death.

It is an excellent business strategy on Planned Parenthood’s part to move away from “choice,” especially as we figure out the hidden meaning behind that tired word. Planned Parenthood does need a new moniker, because as more people understand the meaning of “choice,” Planned Parenthood will have fewer customers, and therefore less cash.

A name can’t change a fact or reality. Just as a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, a death by any other name is just as sad. I could sell those hamburgers we talked about as ground-up-cow sandwiches if I wanted to. Although I might not sell the same number, it’s still the same product, hidden somewhere behind the name.

“Choice” has served as a curtain to cover up the gruesome realities of abortion for the last forty years. But the curtain’s wearing thin now, and unfortunately for Planned Parenthood, a new word won’t easily cover up those ugly truths again. Abortion in America can’t last much longer now.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.” –Deuteronomy 30: 19

About Anastasia Bragg

Anastasia Bragg is a homeschooled high school student and the second of nine children. Her goals are ending abortion, running in the Olympics, and getting her first buck before her older brother gets his. She is a strong Catholic Christian and follows Christ's example by standing up for social justice.
View all posts by Anastasia Bragg

  • http://twitter.com/RomaniaGigantor James Gadea

    Loved the article!

  • Margie

    Beautifully written. TRUTH!

    • Basset_Hound

      FWIW, that’s my daughter’s name.

      • AntiochusEpiphanes

        You must hate your daughter then.

  • Guest

    I like the article, but I think it’s important to realize that there really is no such thing as “pro-abortion.” I don’t think anyone likes the idea of abortion. Ask any pro-choicer and they’ll tell you they don’t like the concept of abortion, they just think it should be an option, thus the name “pro-choice”. I’ve met several who are against abortion, but also against the idea of the government telling women what to do with their uteruses. There are also many pro-choicers who don’t like abortion, but don’t like all the other things the pro-life movement stands for, such as (and this is what they think, I’m not trying to be rude) controlling the sexual choices people make, illegalizing or not allowing gay marriage, vilifying protection like condoms and birth control, combining church and state, and a general sense of putting their nose in their neighbor’s business and judging them. I’m not saying this is right or wrong or that I agree with it, I’m just saying some people get that impression. We have to stop fighting each other, and learn to work together so we can achieve our goal of preventing pregnancies in unsuitable or dangerous circumstances.

    • KJC

      Agree with above post for the most part. The one thing I don’t necessarily agree with is the premise that *all* pro-choicers don’t really like abortion. Some think it’s still bad but don’t want it to be illegal, while others have no moral qualm with it at all. The motto used to be something like “safe, affordable, and rare,” but I think the pro-choice movement’s most outspoken activists today don’t really care about the “rare” part, as they see it like having a surgery for any other common annoyance.

      However, in contrast to the article, I do think pro-choice does actually make sense as a phrase to describe many people in the movement, because I do have friends who feel personally convicted that they would not get an abortion, but they do not want to put their decision on other people by law. They want others to make their own decision. Just like the above poster, I do not necessarily agree with these friends, but I don’t think they are dishonestly labeling themselves when they talk about choice.

      Even among pro-lifers, I would say there are various shades of belief, such as differing opinions about the use of birth control and family planning methods, which are not the abortion of a fertilized fetus. Some people believe it is wrong to even inhibit the potential opportunity for fertilization based on religious background, whereas others base their birth control beliefs on the idea that a person starts at the moment of fertilization and not before.

    • lovethink

      Pro-abortionists CHEERED for abortion at the last Democratic Convention. So yeah, there are a bunch of ‘pro-abortionist’, sick, sad, true.

      • AntiochusEpiphanes

        Still sore about the election results, are we? Let me make you even more sore, Florida rejected a measure banning public funding for abortion by 44.9-55.1% – falling 15.1% short of the necessary 60%. *Public funding* for abortion got more support than Obama.

        Methinks you are losing.

  • Evangeline

    And that’s the truth! Wonderful article, Anastasia!

  • AntiochusEpiphanes

    The homeschooled spawn of parents who decided to create as many children as possible to brainwash. What a surprise that she is completely brainwashed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.larsen1998 Stephanie Larsen

      She’s a better writer than you, hon. They might be onto something.

      • http://www.facebook.com/CassandraAnnChaos Cassi Ann

        Is she a better writer than I, as well? I didn’t want to personally attack the author of the above article in my response. (Because, clearly, she is a child.) With that being said, Antiochus has stated the matter correctly: the girl is brainwashed. Everyone is indoctrinated in some way or another. The difference is that some of us CHOOSE what we are indoctrinated with, and others are taught from birth that the doctrine they are currently being fed is the only choice.

        • Calvin Freiburger

          Ever heard the saying, “he who accuses all convicts one?”

      • AntiochusEpiphanes

        Not sure you noticed, but I did not comment on her writing skills. You may think she’s a good writer, maybe. But she is definitely brainwashed.

    • Julia

      You mean they decided to accept as many children as God sent them to love and nurture.

      Meanwhile, you just go around claiming that anyone who has a different opinion on this issue must be ‘brainwashed’.
      How do you know what she has studied on this topic – fetal development, seen pictures/videos of what an abortion does to an unborn child, etc.?

      If you explain what the procedue of an abortion to just about any 7 or 8 year old, and then asked them whether they thought that was OK or not, they would probably all say it was wrong.
      Seems like its the pro-aborts who have been brainwashed or just don’t care.

    • Guest

      With all due respect, what the heck are you doing here? Why are you wasting your time and energy on a pro-life site when you are decidedly pro-choice? If you’re trying to “wake people up” or change minds, attacks and insults probably won’t get you anywhere. Truly, you have a right to express your opinion, but why do it in such an unreceptive forum? Go talk CALMLY and productively with like-minded or not-so-like-minded people, volunteer at a homeless shelter, exercise– really, anything else is probably more useful than the name-calling.

      • Guest

        What I really and truly meant, after reading many other comments, is can’t we all just get along? Why can’t we work toward preventing unwanted pregnancies together, we’d get a heck of a lot more done. This constant battling over pro-life/pro-choice is alienating both sides, destroying relationships and really getting nothing done. WE must be the change that we want to see, and that involves gritting our teeth, opening our minds and working together.

        • Calvin Freiburger

          Several reasons:

          1.) Unborn babies are our fellow human beings. They have lives and rights and value and interests and futures of their own. Pro-lifers are all for making alternatives easier, but it’s not sufficient. We owe babies protection from violence targeted at them. I assume you wouldn’t say that helping plantation owners find cheaper voluntary workers would be an adequate solution to slavery, right?

          2.) Abortion is evil, and any conversation that pretends this isn’t the case would be fundamentally dishonest.

          3.) The pro-choice movement has zero interest in working with pro-lifers OR even in preventing unwanted pregnancies. The latter is just empty rhetoric that pro-choice politicians and activists attach to their positions to make their abortion support seem more moderate than it really is, and the correlation between their preferred policies and reduced unwanted pregnancy just isn’t there. In fact, just consider the fact that many pro-lifers DO work to help unplanned mothers, via efforts like crisis pregnancy centers, and instead of acknowledging that we’re doing what they claim to want, they smear CPCs.

  • Dan

    Good and bad news–certainly it’s good that fewer Americans are willing to label themselves “pro-choice.” The linked Gallup data shows that people overwhelmingly consider it “morally wrong,” which I suppose is good. However, the same poll showing the overwhelming majority of people who believe abortion is wrong showed an equally clear majority who believed it should be legal in at least some circumstances. I’m not sure how encouraged we should be that so many Americans believe abortion is wrong but acceptable. It appears our culture is failing to understand the difference between right and wrong at a very fundamental level.

    • http://www.facebook.com/CassandraAnnChaos Cassi Ann

      I think what those people mean is that they feel abortion is the wrong choice, but they do NOT feel that they have the right to make decisions for others, regardless of their opinions about the decisions that others make.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gabriel.galvan.14418 Gabriel Galvan

    Right we shouldn’t PLAN to be parents. Babies should be born after a drunken night of partying and an orgasm without condoms or contraceptives. Very smart!

    • lovethink

      Well Gabe, last time I checked pregnancy was not a disease. The longest one can be afflicted is 18 years of child support. Herpes is for life. So all those poor souls listening to Planned Parenthood have gotten us here where CDC reports 1 in 4 teens HAVE a Sexually Transmitted Infection! Thanks Planned Parenthood, your “protection” and ‘just be safe” didn’t help. Oh yeah, most women going in for an abortion USED “protecction” the month they got prego. Lastly, married women of faith have more orgasms than other female demographics, way more than the one night stand crowd. Your team lies, is diseased, and resorts to killing their own children, my team is pro-life, all life, yours, mine, and females in and out of the womb.

      • AntiochusEpiphanes

        With great thanks to Bush’s abstinence programs. It’s funny that teens in conservative, anti-abortion states are more likely to get pregnant. It turns out, Jesus don’t no prevent herpes, y’all.

        • lovethink

          So you are a bigot too. Interesting, but not surprising. Can you think outside the MediaMatters box? If teens don’t have sex, they can’t get prego or diseased. The CDC and the medical community also realize abstinence is the only way to avoid pregnancy and STDs. We have 1 in 4 teens with an STI BECAUSE they listened to Planned Parenthood (who advertises on MTV), music, tv shows, movies, internet, porn…basically all your lefty “your just an animal”, “do whatever feels good to you” medically inaccurate, irresponsible garbage. You and yours are the problem. All you have to hurle are insults because that is all you have. Science and logic, STILL pro-life.

          • AntiochusEpiphanes

            Ah, yes, the PERSECUTION card. Everything is PERSECUTION. Criticism of y’alls beliefs? PERSECUTION. It’s raining? PERSECUTION.

            We have 1 in 4 teens with an STI, because they listened to George Bush’s anti-contraception propaganda known as abstinence (haha) education. That’s why individuals in red states have higher rates of teenage pregnancy.

            Science? Oh yeah, that which you spend most of your time attacking: evolution and science-based sex education. Because science shows that your abstinence (haha) education doesn’t work. It turns out, teenagers will still have sex, despite your religious propaganda, y’all. Them sure is stubborn, them must be thinking of PERSECUTING Chris-chans.

          • lovethink

            :), please explain how George Bush managed to talk to todays teens about sex? Was he on Sesame Street? Cameo on Dora the Explorer? I missed it and I’m sure you wouldn’t be mindlessly making stuff up. What I DO know, have seen, still see… is that PP and their supporters push their ‘safe sex’ agenda on almost every tv show, music video and movie targeting teens. Problem, their ‘safe’- isn’t. You make me laugh though, funny guy.

          • AntiochusEpiphanes

            Gladly. Bush spent about $200 million per annum on “abstinence-only” so called education which was prohibited to even mention contraception, except to denigrate it. Studies actually showed that this was worse than nothing for teenage pregnancy, but they had no effect, because science is the devil, and the Christian Taliban isn’t particularly interested in the effectiveness of such measures anyway, y’all.

          • lovethink

            http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2010/02/theory-based-abstinence-education/ wrong again, Anti. Not only does abstinence work, it is the only thing that offers 100% protection. If we can motivate youth to delay sex longer that decreases pregnancies and STDs. Abstinence only education has been “forbidden” in California for decades. 23% of all abortions happen in CA. In addition to being riddled with errors http://liveactionnews.org/problems-revealed-in-california-sex-education-for-students/, CA schools basically just send students to Planned Parenthood. Your team lies and uses children, I just want them to get medically accurate information without gettting SOLD something.

  • Faithkuz

    Pro-abortion folks often stress the complexity of the woman’s situation–the very real difficulies she faces and lack of evident supports. The “choice” in this sense stresses her private wrestling with her individual [economic] circumstances.. While pro-life never refutes the struggles she faces, it is increasingly true that support for pregnant women is available and pregnancy crisis support is growing nationally. In that sense, women who visit the crisis centers find they have MORE information provided and MORE choices than provided at any abortion clinic (when they go in convinced it is their only choice based on pro-choice thinking–Given their stress on complexiy, it is surprising pro-choice people do not spot the HUGE oversimplificaion inherent in their abortion “solution”).

  • http://www.facebook.com/CassandraAnnChaos Cassi Ann

    People who identify as “pro-choice” use the term because no one is “pro-abortion”. Have you ever had an abortion? I doubt it. I haven’t either. I do, however, know more than a couple of people who have. Trust me- it is NOT easy, and it isn’t fun. No one makes that choice because they hate life. They make that choice because God is telling them that the clump of cells rapidly and repeatedly dividing itself within their wombs is either not meant to receive an immortal soul or is inhabited by an immortal soul that is not meant to live the life it would live if it were to carry out it’s current path to gestation and birth. Many people who have abortions have extreme difficulty reproducing in the future. Abortion has dire and far-reaching consequences for all those involved. People who are pro-choice do not support the killing of innocent babies. They support pragmatism (it is cheaper for society to fund an abortion than it is for society to raise a child that isn’t wanted by its parents). They also support the philosophy that sex, pregnancy and parenthood are choices that each individual has the right to make for themselves. The idea that anyone who isn’t ready for a child should abstain from sex is great IN THEORY. History has shown it to be EXTREMELY ineffective in preventing STD’s and teen pregnancy. Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report states that approximately 3% of the family planning and health care services it offered in 2011 were abortion-related. This contrasts with 41% STD testing/treatment, 32% contraceptive services and 12% cancer screening/prevention. Do we all want to choose abstinence for our children? Of course we do! Does God give any person authority over another’s sexuality? No, He does not. God gave each of us authority over our own sexualities. If an individual is going to choose to share its body with another, and those two individuals’ genes get tangled up, it is well within the right of either individual to decide to keep its genes where they are, rather than giving them away to some stranger or allowing them to be born into an impoverished or unsavory set of circumstances. I feel very strongly that it is no one’s business except for the individuals whose genes are directly involved.

    • Calvin Freiburger

      “No one makes that choice because they hate life.”

      We don’t claim they do. However, they are acting on either insensitivity/disregard for that life, or severe ignorance that their baby has it.

      “God is telling them that the clump of cells rapidly and repeatedly dividing itself within their womb is either not meant to receive an immortal soul or is inhabited by an immortal soul that is not meant to live the life it would live if it were to continue on its current path to gestation and birth.”

      Wow. And people accuse US of being religious fanatics who impose unprovable theological views on the freedoms of others……..

      “People who are pro-choice do not support the killing of innocent babies”

      Um, that’s exactly what abortion is.

      “They also support the philosophy that sex, pregnancy and parenthood are choices that each individual has the right to make for themselves.”

      As if we don’t? None of what you described extends to killing one’s son or daughter.

      “Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report states that approximately 3% of the family planning and health care services it offered in 2011 were abortion-related.”

      Wrong: http://www.lifenews.com/2012/01/03/planned-parenthoods-abortions-are-just-3-claim-is-false/

      “it is well within the right of either individual to decide to keep its genes where they are, rather than giving them away to some stranger or allowing them to be born into an impoverished or unsavory set of circumstances. I feel very strongly that it is no one’s business except for the individuals whose genes are directly involved.”

      Huh? So women have the right to kill their unborn children because they own their kids’ genes? Tell me, how far past birth does this psychotic gene-ownership theory extend?

      • AntiochusEpiphanes

        “Um, that’s exactly what abortion is.”

        An aging virgin man in a dress and a pointy hat told you, so it must be true.

        • Sarah

          Ad hom. I guess you couldn’t think of any logical answer.

          • AntiochusEpiphanes

            No argument was made, if you didn’t notice. So instead, I made fun of his blind belief in whatever a man in a dress says. If I were approached by a man wearing a dress on the street, who started ranting that fertilized eggs are babies, would I take his word for it? No.

          • Calvin Freiburger

            I don’t see why you wouldn’t, since that seems to be on par with the logical and evidential standards informing all of your comments.

          • AntiochusEpiphanes

            But sirrah, you are the one taking some man or book’s say-so and make-believe as fact.

          • Basset_Hound

            Um…did you see the article by Sarah Terzo? In her bio, she says she is a member of an organization called Secular Pro Life. That doesn’t seem to me to be taking some “man or book’s say so and make believe” as anything. Then there’s S.E. Cupp who is pro-life AND atheist. Try again with some different ad hominems next time.

    • Julia

      So maybe we should make it legal for parents to kill their 3 year olds because, parenthood should be a choice, and just like you don’t necessarily agree to pregnancy when you have sex, you don’t necessarily agree to parenthood when you give birth. Beside, maybe the parent feels that their child just wasn’t intended by God to grow up into an adult. And besides, it’s no one’s business but the individuals.
      Do you think that a man should have a right to decide not to be a father, pay child support, or even be able to kill his newborn at birth because he has a right to not be a father, etc., ?
      Or do you think, that once a man agrees to have sex with a woman, his choice as far as whether to be a Dad or not ends there, since if the woman decides not to abort the child, he should have to help care for him/her. If you agree with that, then you have a double-standard; sex means consent to parenthood for men, but not for women.

      • AntiochusEpiphanes

        Evidently, you have never heard of contraception. That’s a real shame. It’s always the people you don’t want to reproduce and lower the average IQ even further, who refuse to use contraception.

  • Sonja

    The future looks bright with smart young people like you, Anastasia!

  • Rational Human

    So, your parents had to keep you away from other kids in case you start using your brain?

    • Sarah

      If you think homeschoolers are isolated from other kids, then you have no clue about most homeschoolers live.
      Also, homeschoolers continually out-perform their traditionally-schooled counterparts academically, but I suppose you don’t think that counts as “using their brains”.

      • AntiochusEpiphanes

        I am sure victims of homeschooling are very good at some things. For example, they no doubt can calculate Ussher’s calculation of the age of the earth to the minute. For the rest, they will likely be as clueless as their fundamentalist parents.