Maria Adelmann

“Pro-life” and “pro-choice” activists oversimplify the abortion debate by using catchphrases.       Photo credits: Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Elvert Barnes/Flickr, Sylvia McFadden/Flickr, Jordan/Flickr, Duke University Archives/Flickr, Alan Liefting/Wikimedia, University of Toronto Students for Life/Flickr, William Murphy/Flickr, SimonaR/PixaBay, Collage by WhoWhatWhy

The Failed Rhetoric of the Abortion Debate

Debaters on the subject of abortion never really clash head-on — they don’t even talk to each other. They just trade cliches, endlessly recycling words that deny what is really at stake. And “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are just black-and-white abstractions. They fail to address scientific, ethical, and moral gray areas, such as the definition of “personhood” and the devastating effects that anti-abortion legislation has on the actual lives of women.