Anyone who reads the National Post, knows that every Saturday the Letters Editor Paul Russell, writes his own column highlighting:
"Some of the more passionately argued letters received that did not make it into the paper".
This week the theme was: "With contentious issues, the right word is crucial."
This is what Mr. Russell had to say about an apparently contentious word (at least for some), used in a column the previous week in the National Post, that caught the ire of a "pro-choice" doctor. The word is "pre-born child".
"Word choice is important when talking about the subject of abortion. Last Saturday, we ran a column by Scott Barber, in which he talked about “how the terms ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ … have been responsible for confusing the public, sparking political battles and stifling discussion.”
This column provoked many responses, including one from Dr. Gail Erlick Robinson. Her letter stated: “Mr. Barber [has fallen] into another semantic trap promulgated by anti-abortionists. Referring to a fetus in utero as a ‘pre-born child’ is a [linguistic] anti-abortion device designed to instill guilt in a woman contemplating an abortion.”
“It is ironic [that] Dr. Robinson should be critical of the language used to describe the abortion debate,” shot back William T. Weiland. “She assumes that abortion is the norm; otherwise, why use the term ‘anti-abortion’? Dr. Robinson feels it is inappropriate to attach guilt to a woman contemplating abortion. In today’s society, where abortion is widely accepted, it is ludicrous to suggest that such language would instill guilt. The source of the guilt for women who have chosen to abort a child is the abortion itself.”
“One can easily see how desperate and unnerved the anti-life side is becoming when Dr. Robinson has to resort to spin and semantics,” added Cliff Pyle. “If she cannot accept the term, ‘a pre-born child,’ she should drop the term ‘doctor’ from her name and resort to comedy. Her comment that referring to ‘a pre-born child instills guilt’ will do nothing for those who do suffer tremendous guilt after an abortion.”
Well that sews it up for me. Pre-born child. Pre-born child. Pre-born child.