Pro-choice caucus deems ‘choice’ as ‘harmful language’ in new messaging protocol

It sounds like the all-Democrat House Pro-Choice Caucus is going through a bit of an existential crisis—they’ve decided their own name is “harmful.”

This bright idea comes in a new staff memo, in which the lawmakers advised Democrats with a list of harmful and helpful language around the abortion issue. The word “choice,” it turns out, should be changed to “decision,” since they say the current language in use tends to harm the pro-abortion cause.

The memo comes in the wake of the leaked draft majority opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, which seems set to overturn the longstanding Roe v. Wade later this summer. Congressional correspondent Sarah Ferris, with Politico, obtained the memo, and tweeted an image of its recommendations.

The memo was distributed by caucus leaders Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), but some Democrats appear to be less than enthusiastic about tweaking the party’s messaging in the midst of such a contentious fight, according to Politico’s reporting. Pro-abortion activists have called abortion a matter of “choice” for decades, contrasting themselves as “pro-choice” against the anti-abortion crowd’s “pro-life” messaging.

It wasn’t clear how the “Pro-Choice Caucus” plans to reconcile their avoidance of the word “choice” with their own name—perhaps they’ll change it to the “Pro-Decision Caucus.” Some Twitter users found humor in the irony of it all.

And some Democrats conceded the obvious—that Democratic wrangling over language means Trump is definitely going to have a second term.

The memo also included some other interesting”Abortion Messaging Do’s and Don’ts.” For instance, it determined that it was time to retire the venerable “reduce abortion/’safe, legal, and rare'” and use instead “safe, legal, and accessible.” After all, the notion that abortion should be infrequent is apparently intolerable to Democrats these days.

Meanwhile, “unwanted pregnancy” should be changed to “unexpected pregnancy.” “Conscience clause/protections” is now to be called “refusal of care/denial of care laws,” and “back-alley abortions/coat hangers” should be replaced with “criminalizing healthcare.”

It’s not the first time the pro-abortion crowd has found fault with using the word “choice” when it comes to abortion. Just last year, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts explained that it preferred using the term “pro-abortion” rather than “pro-choice” because to do otherwise is “hurtful to people who’ve had abortions” and “implies that abortion isn’t a good thing, that legal abortion is important but somehow bad, undesirable.”

“‘Choice’ assumes that everyone can get an abortion, and someone just has to choose whether or not they want one. Not everyone can get an abortion when they want one. Black feminists and feminists of color have pointed out that this isn’t the case: the legal right to choose to have an abortion does not always mean someone can actually get an abortion. ‘Choice’ ignores the lived realities of people.”

The new language guide comes a day after the failure of a Senate bill that was intended to legalize abortion up until the moment of birth, as well as prohibit restrictions of any kind nationwide.


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