Feminist blog Jezebel reports that in an advanced press briefing yesterday, Planned Parenthood revealed a new strategy for how it will talk about abortion.
After polling Americans on how they feel about abortion and about the terms “pro-life,” “pro-choice,” and other language surrounding the abortion debate, the nation’s largest abortion chain is moving away from talking about abortion in the decades-old language of “choice” in favor of language that emphasizes the “difficulty” of the abortion decision.
Planned Parenthood has realized that the demographic they have to pursue and persuade is the majority of Americans who are somewhere in the middle on abortion.
Planned Parenthood Moves to Persuade the Squishy Middle
Most Americans believe it should be restricted in some senses — much more than Planned Parenthood would like — and so they’ve decided to shift from the decisive language of “choice” to the squishy language of moral ambiguity, which is where they would love the abortion debate to stay.
The change is important enough that Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards was on hand for Wednesday’s briefing. From Jezebel:
“It’s an opportunity to talk to an enormous number of people we haven’t been talking to as much as we should,” said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, who was also in attendance to help introduce the organization’s upcoming advertising campaign, which will highlight how complex and personal the decision to have an abortion can be with taglines such as “Only you know what it’s like to walk in your shoes” and “Decisions about reproductive health are personal. You can help keep them that way.”
Trading Old Activists for New
Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens was also on hand explaining that the word “choice” is no longer relevant. She said it spoke to women who had fewer choices at the dawn of the feminist struggle, but that younger women who have all the choices in the world open to them are not moved to fight by the idea of choice.
Clearly this move is a play toward their younger constituency and away from their long-standing, older activist base, who will doubtless be livid that Planned Parenthood is throwing their sacred word, their rallying cry, to the curb. But times change and Planned Parenthood is nothing if not a fair weather friend as last year’s Susan G. Komen funding debacle showed us clearly enough.
And that is the crux of the issue. “Choice” was only ever a piece of rhetoric for the pro-abortion movement, and now it’s become a failed piece of rhetoric, so they’re on to the next thing. They’ll talk about whatever they have to to keep people from considering the clear moral issues in the abortion debate.
Pro-Life Response? Double Down
So what should the pro-life movement’s response be? I move we double down.
Planned Parenthood wants things ambiguous? We will continue to be clear and we will not change the terms of the debate.
We will show the victims of abortion in the public square. We will stand in witness and mourning outside their killing centers and offer help and clarity to abortion-bound mothers. We will continue to expose their moral failings and push our governments to regulate the abortion industry more and more tightly. We will save every unborn baby we can from the abortionist’s clutches.
In short, we will continue to do what we as a movement have always done because we are motivated by principle, not profit; by truth, not ambiguity; and above all, by love for all human beings—no exceptions.