“Abortion Care” Is More Bad Language From the Left

One of the hard-left’s most obnoxious — and most counter-productive — practices is to keep trying to push new words and phrases into popular culture. Conservatives know this and they take advantage of it at every turn.

A couple of weeks ago, at a committee hearing, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) just destroyed a hard-left UC-Berkeley professor who insisted on using PC phrases like “cis women” and “people who can become pregnant” as opposed to that tired old word, “women.”

The left is doing it again — and doing all they can to squander their advantage — on the abortion issue. A phrase that popped up right after Roe v. Wade was overturned is “abortion care.” Not just abortion, but abortion care. Even usually credible news outlets, like the AP, have now incorporated that phrase into their stories on the subject. They don’t just quote liberal pols and activists in saying “abortion care”, but they refer to the practice that way in the reporters’ own texts.

Abortion care is not a neutral term. It is designed to play off the signs you see at pro-choice rallies that read, “Abortion is Health Care.” The idea behind that claim is to reduce a complicated social and moral issue to something very simple. It’s just health care, like treating a skin disease.

It’s more complicated than the sign wants you to believe.

Except that it’s not. Abortion is ending a potential human life. A fetus is not the same thing as a gallbladder.

I write this as someone who is pro-choice, who agreed with Roe, and who feels it was wrong and dangerous for Roe to be over-turned. But, like most Americans, I’m conflicted about abortion. I don’t think it’s a good thing and I wish there were fewer of them. But, on the other hand, they are going to happen anyway, so I think that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.”

The problem with “abortion care” is that it’s too clever by half. It’s an attempt to smuggle the idea that abortion is just simple health care into the popular discourse. It’s subtle enough (as opposed to denying that women give birth, for example) that maybe it’ll work. But I kind of doubt it. For the majority of us, who are pro-choice but conflicted, it sounds off. For us, abortion is a hard and unfortunate reality, not just simple health care.

Initial polls since Roe was overturned are showing that the abortion issue is not working the way Democrats, including me, hoped it would. While the decision has dramatically damaged the Court’s reputation (as well it should), it doesn’t seem to be providing any motivation for voters on either side of the issue. While I still think outrage over the Court’s decision could help Democrats like Tony Evers at the margins, it almost certainly will not reverse the big red wave that is surely coming at us.

It doesn’t help that pro-choice activists have abandoned the effective “safe, legal and rare” for “free abortion on demand without apologies.” Militant language never helps a cause. And it won’t help to try to make a complicated issue simple with a ginned up phrase like “abortion care.”

Want to read more curiously conservative views from a liberal? Pick up a copy of Light Blue: How center-left moderates can build an enduring Democratic majority.


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

3 thoughts on ““Abortion Care” Is More Bad Language From the Left

  1. “dramatically damaged the court’s reputation”. What reputation exactly? Let’s face it, any “reputation” was damaged from the left’s point of view and enhanced from the right’s. What do middle of the road legal scholars think? I’m in favor of abortion but I think the left knew they were walking on legal eggshells the whole time. And they dragged their feet on codifying it into law.

    Both the left and right need to get behind long acting reversible contraceptives, especially in our most “vulnerable” communities. This would go a long way to ensure “rare” abortions.


  2. Nice work Dave
    This is a cool site find.
    I enjoy reading the articles.
    Looking forward to the Light Blue strategy lessons in a Dark Blue community.
    If it were up to me focus on District 3.


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