"It's impossible to mention the word choice without thinking of the language that has come out of the abortion wars. Back when those battles were first being joined, the religious fanatics realized that anti-abortion sounded negative and lacked emotional power. So they decided to call themselves pro-life."
I don't call myself pro-life. I'm not entirely anti-death penalty. I think I'm probably leaning that way, but typically I'll laugh everytime someone brings up Willie Meggs' solution to jail overcrowding: "electric bleachers". I know, I know... crass. But I do believe there is a distinct difference in killing an innocent child and killing a murdering rapist. But I'm funny that way.
"Pro-life not only made them appear virtuous, it had the additional advantage of suggesting their opponents were anti-life, and, therefore, pro-death."
I think some people, such as abortionists (who profit off of abortion), probably are "pro-abortion" or "pro-death" if you like. I think there are some mom's who have killed and secretly feel terrible about it and so they need constant validation that what they did was OK, even good, "the best thing at the time". I think there are hurting folks who tell everyone with an unplanned pregnancy that they should abort. I think these folks go out of their way to level the playing field, because misery loves company, and it wouldn't be fair if someone else made the compassionate choice and actually got to enjoy their child with no regrets. I only surmise this because I believe I have come across the type first-hand.
"They also came up with a lovely variation designed to get you all warm inside: pro-family. Well, the left wing didn't want to be seen as either anti-life or pro-death, and they knew pro-abortion wasn't what they needed, so they decided on pro-choice."
Didn't the abortion supporters actually come up with slogans first? I mean, abortion was not the law of the land, and they were the ones pushing for it, so didn't they come up with "pro-choice" before anyone thought to counteract that with "pro-life"? Someone slide me the 411 on that.
"That completed the name game and gave the world the now classic struggle: pro-choice vs. pro-life. The interesting part is that the words life and choice are not even opposites. But there they are, hangin' out together, bigger than life."
The "name game" is right. It's a game. "Pro-lifers" are "pro-choice". They're into choosing upholstery to match curtains, into choosing between chunky and smooth peanut butter, into choosing breakfast cereal... the only thing they're "anti-choice" about is the choice to abort. So it's not really accurate to say that people who oppose abortion are anti-choice. Neither is it accurate to call them "pro-life", because plenty of them will shoot a deer and gnaw on its hindquarters, set a spring-loaded rat trap, kill a fly, cheer when Jeffery Dahmer goes up in flames, gun down an assailant, support war, kill countless bacteria with antibacterial Dial...
And to be fair, "pro-choicers" are not typically for the choice to rape a woman or drink while under the influence, or the choice to engage in child porn or any number of things. Some "pro-choicers", such as John Kerry, are even against the choice of two consenting adults to marry one the other if they happen to be the same sex. (Mental note re: Kerry: Killing a child - can't impose "religious" values. Homosexual marriage - no problem imposing actual religious values.") So yes, yes, it's all a big game of words.
"And by the way, during this period of name-choosing, thanks to one more touch of left-wing magic, thousands of abortionists' offices were slowly and mysteriously turning into family-planning clinics."
I'll take "Nell Carter" for $500, Alex. What is "Gimmie a Break"!
"And on the subject of those places, I think the left really ought to do something about this needlessly emotional phrase back-alley abortions. 'We don't want to go back to the days of back-alley abortions.' Please. It's over-descriptive; how many abortions ever took place in back alleys? Or, okay, in places where the entrance was through a back alley?"
Balance. Carlin must be mellowing in his old age.
"Long before Roe v Wade, when I was a young man, every abortion I ever paid for took place in an ordinary doctor's office, in a medical building. We came in through the front door and took the elevator. The three of us. Of course, as we were leaving, the elevator carried a lighter load."