The Irish Times, a daily Irish newspaper that claims an adult readership of more than 320,000 along with more than 3.6 million unique online users per month, has banned the term “pro-life” from its pages.
The Life Institute reports:
It’s official: in case you missed it, the Irish Times has confirmed what we all knew to be true – the paper has banned the use of the term pro-life as a news description.
In an editorial on free speech and robust debate (the irony), the paper wrote:
“And while this paper, for example, does not allow the use by our reporters in the context of reporting the abortion debate of the loaded term ‘pro-life’ as a news description, the expression may be quoted from others or used by opinion writers.”
The editorial in question, which can be found here (and which is actually not centered on the topic of abortion), is ironic, indeed. The paper first waxes eloquent about ground rules of decency and decries the use of extremist terms in public debate and then summarily pats itself on the back by saying that “to prevent or be unduly prescriptive about the use of such political hyperbole in debate would be dangerously to curtail the limits of free speech and freedom of thought.”
Then, after warning that “[t]he arena of public debate in a democracy is no place for the thin-skinned,” the paper manages to poke its weak spine through its skin by presenting the above-quoted ban as proof of – well, it’s unclear what it’s supposed to be proof of, but the paper obviously prides itself on the ban.
Even more ironic than the editorial’s content, perhaps, is its title: “The Right to be Wrong.” Does the editorial board reserve that right to itself as well? Or only to those who use such egregious terms as “pro-life”?
In reality, it’s not so much the term “pro-life” that’s upsetting, but rather what the term says about those who are the opposite of pro-life: pro-abortion. (Indeed, remember the uproar when the University of Texas student newspaper used this term?)
The fact is that those who advocate for abortion under the guise of “women’s health” or “reproductive choice” are losing, and losing big. They can’t prevent the reality of scientific advancements that show life in the womb. They can’t hide the reality of the countless men and women who are Silent No More about abortion’s devastation. And they can’t undo the reality that today’s young people – the next generation of leaders – are increasingly pro-life.
So instead of trying to hide the reality of the pro-life movement, those who advocate for abortion are trying to hide the reality of their own movement.
It’s no surprise, then, when pro-lifers are described not as pro-life, but as “those opposed to a woman’s right to choose.”
After all, pro-life implies the existence of those who are not. And that’s a label that even the thickest of skins does not want to bear.