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The irony of the "anti-choice" description in Ms. Magazine

By Scott Tibbs, December 19, 2008

In a "Feminist Wire Daily Newsbrief" for December 11, Ms. Magazine quoted my statement in the Wall Street Journal and called me an "anti-choice" activist. (I was quoted in the WSJ last week.) I cannot help but be amused at the irony of being called "anti-choice" on the issue of taxpayer funds for abortion providers.

It is abortion rights supporters, after all, who are forcing abortion opponents to contribute financially to an organization we find morally repulsive through our tax dollars. Abortion rights supporters have convinced the government - local, state and federal - to use tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood. As the WSJ points out, "Planned Parenthood receives about $335 million a year" in corporate welfare from taxpayers.

When it comes to tax funding for Planned Parenthood, it is clear who is "pro-choice" and who is not. Opponents of corporate welfare for America's largest abortion provider believe that taxpayers should have a choice on whether or not to contribute financially to the organization. Supporters of government funding for PP take away that choice.

This is why the term "anti-choice" is a flawed description of those who believe abortion should be illegal. Witch the exception of anarchists, everyone is "anti-choice" on something, whether it be illegal drugs, the drinking age, smoking bans or planning and zoning regulations on the use of private property. There is pretty much universal agreement to be "anti-choice" on murder, rape, theft, arson and kidnapping.

I am pro-life, though some would prefer to use the term "anti-abortion" to describe me. That is fine, because I am anti-abortion. But some who describe themselves as "pro-choice" would not be in favor of letting legal adults between 18 and 20 years old choose consume alcohol, as I am. Some who describe themselves as "pro-choice" would not be in favor of allowing business owners to allow smoking on private property, and others who describe themselves as "pro-choice" would support much more strict restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms than I would.

While I have used the term "pro-choice" in the past to describe those who believe abortion should be legal, I believe "abortion rights advocate" (or "abortion rights supporter") is a much more accurate term that is confined to the issue under discussion. I have also used "pro-abortion", obviously, but if one is looking to write a fair and balanced article "abortion rights advocate" would be the preferred term.

Of course, I do not expect Ms. Magazine to be fair and balanced, because they, like National Review and this blog, have an editorial stance that influences their writing. Ms. is honest about that bias, which I respect. That does not make labeling me as "anti-choice" on tax subsidies for abortion providers any less inaccurate or misleading.