Our fearless Abortion Gang founder blogged about her decision to choose the blog name and this got me thinking about the word abortion. Strangely, antis seem to use it totally freely. Even the new anti ads in New York City subways are part of a campaign called abortion changes you. The only time I remember seeing a pro-choice ad mentioning choice, let alone abortion, was for, wait for it, Manhattan Mini Storage. The tagline overlaid an image of a coat hanger and read “Your closet space is shrinking as fast as her right to choose.” Perhaps others have seen good examples of ads that sent a strong reproductive justice message, if so please send them my way! I’d like to think that someone somewhere is getting this right…
According to Merriam Webster what we like to think of as a miscarriage is actually technically an abortion if it happens during the first trimester, but then suddenly is a miscarriage again in the second trimester. Why the dictionaries are defining abortion and not doctors is totally beyond me.
So what are we really looking for in reclaiming abortion? Handing the term back to the docs and keeping it medicalized? I think it has been made quite clear that at this point that is impossible. Everyone wants a piece of action.
Much like how many liberals “took back” the flag after conservatives seemingly co-opted it under Bush II, I feel we should take back abortion. Antis, who seemingly want the procedure shunned to the point the word is never uttered again, stand tall and say it. Yet supporters of a full-range of reproductive choices, including abortion, refuse to use it because of a possible negative connotation. It is our fight and therefore our word and we should stand by it.