I’m old enough to remember a segment in Reader’s Digest called something like “Build a Better Vocabulary” – hell, I’m old enough to remember Reader’s Digest! Whenever I would find a stack of Digests at my grandparents, I would dive right into that feature and try to learn something new.
Anyway, back to topic: for those who look to messaging to solve our many woes, here’s an update:
There’s a lot in these improved phrases, mostly it seems like the Democrats are stripping away some (unintended?) value judgments:
- Choice v Decision: Giving up “choice” for “decision” does feel stronger; it might be simple semantics, but choice felt weak, while decision feels informed.
- Safe, Legal, and Rare framing bothered me because the “rare” part seemed to be giving up ground to the theocrats. Accessible doesn’t have a value associated with it.
- Unwanted v Unexpected: Unwanted plays right into the scolds hands and passes another judgement. Unexpected might also backfire down the road, but it is better than unwanted.
- Conscience v Refusal of Care: It is no one’s business why anyone wants an abortion. Their conscience shouldn’t be even a part of the decision. This change I like.
- Back Alley Abortions v Criminalizing Healthcare: this one bothers me the most. Back Allies and coat hangers were real, even if the Yutes of Today have no experience with them… yet. I am guessing that when they tested it in a focus group because for the moment abortions are safe, legal and accessible, it probably tested badly. Get back to us in a couple of years (sadly) when the Mob is in charge of abortions. At any rate, I don’t like white washing our history.
It is an overall improvement and makes for stronger language, and clearer messaging. I don’t know if this is too little too late, but I’ll try to give it a go when addressing abortions moving ahead.