The Shifting Language of Abortion


Posted: May 14, 2022 12:01 AM

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For about a half-second after the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion in the case that may throw out Roe v. Wade, people who support Roe dropped the talking points and told the truth. California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted that if men could get pregnant, of course abortion would be legal. Joe Biden talked about the right to abort a child. The dropping of the filter was a refreshing reprieve from the typical euphemisms.

For most of my adult life, we haven’t heard the a-word. The National Abortion Rights Action League became NARAL Pro-Choice America when I was in my 20s. But that seems to be changing as of late. A makeshift sign protesting a pro-life prayer vigil in a lower Manhattan Catholic church recently asked us to stop harassing “abortion patients.” (By “harassing,” they meant that once a month, a group of us gathers for Mass at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral Basilica and then walks the almost-block to Planned Parenthood

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