Rob Snow interviewed Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast this morning here.
It’s a good, fair interview, but the host uses the phrase “a woman’s right to choose” multiple times.
I am decidedly against the use of euphemisms to describe abortion. “The right to choose?” There is no such right, neither figuratively nor constitutionally, and of course we are talking about taking a life.
But it got me thinking: Maybe I should use more euphemisms. “Why, Archbishop Prendergast, don’t you support a man’s right to unadulterated, responsibility-free sex?” (One raised eyebrow and an accusing glare…) Well? Why not? Because everyone supports a man’s–and a woman’s–right to fun, free, unfettered-by-future-possibilities-of-children, sex.
Yes indeed, euphemisms could prove very helpful.
Tanya adds: How about anti-consequence? Or, playing on its antonym, pro-unimportance (which would suit Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada just fine, as she’s quoted as saying, “fetuses are not that important”)!
Véronique adds: Just to make it clear: the radio host is using “a woman’s right to choose” instead of “abortion.” Not the Archbishop. In fact, Archbishop Pendergast’s first sentence makes the link between “a woman’s right to choose,” abortion and the taking of an innocent human life.
That being said, I am irked beyond description by the use of “a woman’s right to choose” like it’s some kind of birth right. None of us are born with unfettered rights to choose whatever. A “woman’s right to choose” is not only an euphemism, it’s a lie. But that wouldn’t be the first one.
Andrea adds: Thank you, Véronique. “The right to choose” is indeed, both a euphemism and a lie. And yes, the host used the euphemisms, and the Archbishop spoke against those and did an admirable job, too. Sorry if my post was not clear.by