One would think the main demographic of readers at Religion News Service would be conservative-leaning, anti-abortion, anti-Democrat sympathizers who would read an article trashing the DNC platform and would largely pile on in the comment section. At least in my own experience when being covered by RNS, that’s what I found. My perception changed this week. Either RNS readers are more liberal than I thought, or the site was recently ambushed by pro-choice trolls.
On Monday, anti-abortionist Trevin Wax posted a piece on RNS called “Euphemisms abound in the Democratic platform on abortion,” where he made every attempt to “translate” the DNC’s platform on reproductive health, rights, and justice into language that is all about abortion, when really, reproductive health/rights refers to all services performed related to reproduction, including STD testing and prevention, sex education, pregnancy testing, medical needs during pregnancy… the list goes on. Wax failed. He failed so badly that his own readers lit him up for it.
Here’s a sampling of the comments:
The author uses a George Orwell quote to condemn “political” language, and then goes on to says that such missleading language was created to counter the “right to life” language. He says the Right to Life language is based on the Declaration of Independance, something all true Americans believe in: “the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.” He forgets that this is also political language; many a slave owned by its author would see it as less than completely true.
As I read it, the Democratic Party policy unequivocally supports the right to “safe and legal abortion.” It classes this as part of “reproductive health.” However, the phrases ““reproductive health,” “reproductive rights” and “reproductive justice” are not euphemisms, as they include other things, such as the right to treatment for diseases of the reproductive organs, including sexually transmitted infections and and cervical cancer, the right to factual sexual education and advice about contraceptives.
To state or imply that “reproductive health” only refers to abortion is inaccurate and unfair. If the writer wants to decry abortion or contraception, that is fair enough, but attempting to portray the phrases, “reproductive health,” “reproductive rights” and “reproductive justice” as just being about abortion strikes me as less than honest.
For someone purporting to criticize Orwellian language, you engage in plenty of it yourself. Both sides in the abortion debate do this, so please don’t be a hypocrite. Don’t tell me that the Democrats are using “child” incorrectly, when it’s your side that wants to change the longstanding definition of personhood to include “unborn children.” Also, does the “right to life” extend to a woman at high risk of preeclampsia with an unintended pregnancy, or does your new definition override that?
The author goes on to end his piece by committing an appeal to emotion logical fallacy:
But no amount of euphemism can avoid the fact that in “medical waste” bags and freezers of abortion clinics, there are tiny, broken bodies of our fellow humans to be disposed of, all in the name of “reproductive health.”
As pointed out by your own readers, Trevin Wax, that’s not what reporductive health means. Try publishing an honest article and stop making the rest of us writers look bad.