And So It Starts

The use of language is powerful stuff.

BBC presenter Amol Rajan has come under fire for using the partisan term ‘pro-life’ to describe anti-abortion activists when discussing the US Supreme Court‘s upending of Roe v Wade.

That is how they tend to describe themselves. Indeed, if you take the time to listen to their arguments, they oppose the killing of human life – so, er, yes, pro-life seems a reasonable description. They are also anti-abortion. However, what’s important here is what it tells us about the BBC. They have a preferred term ‘anti-abortion’ in their guidelines although they do not specifically prohibit ‘pro-life.’ However, that subtle preference tells us a great deal. The Beeb has a stance on the matter. This stance is not one of journalistic impartiality, they are firmly on one side of this debate and this makes it clear. This is why the media cannot be trusted.

The controversial ruling ends Americans’ constitutional right to abortion after 50 years and has angered millions in the US and around the globe.

For fuck’s sake! This is also why the media cannot be trusted as this is an outright falsehood, that the most basic of research would have uncovered. There has never been a constitutional right to abortion in the USA. RvW was bad case law that was used to provide a defacto right, but has resulted in half a century of toxic debate that could, and should, have been resolved by the legislature(s) decades ago. The problem here is that we have people across the world who are ignorant of how the USA works and also what is actually in the constitution. Of course, if the federal government wanted to draft an amendment, then that’s a possibility, in which case, the right to abortion would, indeed, be a constitutional right.

All that the SCOTUS has done here is to undo some bad law and return the decision to the legislatures. It has not ‘taken control of women’s bodies‘ nor is it creating a Gilead style dystopia where women do not have access to abortion. What will happen is that some states will increase restrictions and some will relax them. If women want to have an abortion, they can cross state lines – and that is protected in the constitution.

As an aside, I see that there is a petition being circulated worldwide to demand that this decision be reversed. I will not be signing for a couple of reasons – firstly, I am not a US citizen and me interfering in US politics is as arrogant and outrageous as that arsehole Obama telling me what to vote in a domestic referendum; it’s none of our godamned business. Secondly, the judgment in RvW was an abortion in itself, which even Ruth Bader Ginsberg recognised, as someone who was in favour of change.

“My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum on the side of change,” Ginsburg said. She would’ve preferred that abortion rights be secured more gradually, in a process that included state legislatures and the courts, she added. Ginsburg also was troubled that the focus on Roe was on a right to privacy, rather than women’s rights.

Roe isn’t really about the woman’s choice, is it?” Ginsburg said. “It’s about the doctor’s freedom to practice…it wasn’t woman-centered, it was physician-centered.”

Now that it has been struck down, the USA can join the rest of the world in having the matter decided by the legislatures, not the courts.

While discussing the issue on the Today programme on Radio 4, Rajan twice referred to protesters as ‘pro-life’ instead of ‘anti-abortion’.

This is in spite of BBC News’ in-house style guide which advises journalists to ‘use anti-abortion rather than pro-life, except where it is part of the title of a group’s name,’ The Guardian reports.

Critics argue the term is emotive and feeds into anti-abortionists’ rhetoric about the beginning of life.

That is precisely what they are on about – the beginning of life is the centre of the debate for those opposed to abortion. Of course, as Natalie Solent points out, those frothing at the mouth about this could just take the time to find out what their opponents believe – and no, it isn’t about old white men controlling women’s bodies, as there are plenty of women on that side of the debate as the images in the linked article will show. But women opposed to abortion (which makes sense as the people who actually bear the child for nine months) goes against the narrative, so the narrative must be peddled despite reason, logic or evidence. Of course, if people do actually look at the evidence, do actually listen to what their opponents have to say and understand what they believe, the whole narrative falls apart – just as reading the constitution will tell you that there is no right to abortion therein and never was. It is because RvW has been allowed to stand for so long that the debate has become so toxic, like a festering wound that will not heal.

‘Banning abortions only bans safe abortions, women will die as a result of this ruling and thousands more will be criminalised or face continuing a pregnancy that they did not choose.

Nope. This is false. Even if some states ban it outright, women can cross state lines should they so wish. They can have a procedure in a neighbouring state that is illegal in their own state and not be prosecuted for it. Abortion will become more difficult for some and as time passes the matter will settle down to a similar situation to other countries across the world. It’s also worth noting here that while there is a risk to the mother’s life in the event of illegal abortions, every single abortion involves the death of the child. This is simply a fact. A fact that gets brushed over, but it is the fact at the heart of the anti-abortionists’ argument.

‘It is of course disappointing to hear a “pro-life” framing on the Today programme – unintentionally or not – but it speaks to the huge power and influence of the groups and politicians at the front of these efforts to control women and push an untrue narrative that they are saving lives.’

That is precisely what they are seeking to do – to save the lives of unborn children.

It is also worth pointing out that the strawmen have been flying thick and fast to the point where you would think that the USA is some sort of medieval society that has old white men controlling half the population’s bodies. This is simply false. Men and women are on both sides of this issue and those opposed are not trying to control anyone’s body, they are trying to prevent the loss of a human life – that is their argument.

As for the USA being overly restrictive, the state of Missouri’s term limit of 15 weeks, which appears to be the trigger for revisiting RvW, is no more so than several European countries, yet I do not see those countries being referred to as backward, as a new Gilead, or worldwide petitions demanding that they change.

The reality is that the U.S. is one of just seven countries, including China and North Korea, that allows abortion past 20 weeks’ gestation.

One final point about this – the hysterical strawmanning brigade are regularly chanting that they believe in the principle of ‘my body, my choice.’ Where were they this past couple of years when people were being forced to take experimental vaccines? Crickets, eh?


  1. Those that control language are trying to control the world.

    Consider using the term ‘Pro Birth’ instead of Pro Life. It is more descriptive and highlights the fact that there is life after birth which tends to gain less attention.

    Equally consider using the term ‘Modified Men’ or ‘Modified Women’ for all Trans people. It short circuits the debates about who counts as a woman (or man), and eliminates the arbitrary assertion of whatever gender you wish to be today.

    Of course the easily offended would shrilly declare use of such term to be ‘hate speech’.

    Those that control language are trying to control the world.

  2. . It’s also worth noting here that while there is a risk to the mother’s life in the event of illegal abortions, every single abortion involves the death of the child. This is simply a fact. A fact that gets brushed over, but it is the fact at the heart of the anti-abortionists’ argument.

    I recently, due to this RvW ruling, had a Whatsapp argument with a couple of friends.
    They refused to even acknowledge that it was killing a child every time. Possibly so they don’t have to face the reality of what they were arguing for.
    They just kept saying “Woman’s body, woman’s choice”. “Men trying to control women.” etc etc.
    Me: “What about the baby’s right to life?”
    Them: “something something rape, child abuse, etc”

    Also, these two people were heavily pro-vaccine mandates. But apparently pro-choice doesn’t extend that far…

    And one is a vegan.
    That’s a circle I can’t square in my head. Eating eggs is wrong because its morally wrong to eat the potential children of an animal. But when its a human to be killed, let’s break out the coat hangers…?
    Anyone help with understanding that position?

    Anyway, I decided to cut them out of my life. I don’t have enough time or energy to deal with lunatic hypocrites.

  3. “The controversial ruling ends Americans’ constitutional right to abortion after 50 years”

    Isn’t this just idiot journalists writing about stuff they know nothing about while being too lazy to do even the most basic research?

  4. “At the moment, I’m blocking any posts that pop up in my feed with this hysterical claptrap.”

    Social media is a waste of your life. Much like the BBC, you are better off without it.

    • I use it for business – my advanced motorcycle training and to sell my books. Otherwise, yes, it’s poison and I’m somewhat disappointed in the lack of thinking among people I’ve known for years.

  5. The eggs that you generally eat don’t have a potential chicken in them as they are unfertilised. The vegan argument seems to be that the chickens are being exploited. I don’t think our chickens are really aware that they are being exploited, they seem to be pretty happy with their situation.

  6. The late ‘Peter Simple’ in the Telegraph asked the question as to why pro abortion voices were never called ‘pro death’. Wasn’t aware ‘pro life’ was being cancelled. The ‘March through the institutions’ continues apace…

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