Washington Post Humorist Defends Standard Newspaper Abortion Terminology

November 29th, 2005 4:35 PM

Today, in his weekly web chat, syndicated Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten provided an unintentionally funny response to a "conservative-leaning" reader. Here's the exchange:

Anonymous: I love (not) that the designations on your poll are "pro-choice" and "anti-abortion." Did you do this purposefully to stir up the righteous indignation of conservative-leaning chatters like myself? Why not change "pro-choice" to "anti-life?" At least make it even, either "pro-choice or pro-life" or "anti-life or anti-abortion."

Gene Weingarten: Bullhockey. These are designations that best describe the positions. They are the ones used by almost all newspapers, which are striving for objectivity.

"Pro-life" is incredibly loaded. I am "pro-life." Who isn't "pro-life"?

Why not just say "pro-decency"?

That "striving for objectivity" bit is a real hoot.

Later, a reader who apparently shares Weingarten's liberal politics weighed in:

Land of Cleve, Ohio: In response to Anonymous, the current administration is anti-abortion but not pro-life because they support the death penalty and war. Pro-choice means you might not like abortion (no one really does) but should be available for those who want or need it. You sir, were correct on the labels.

Gene Weingarten: Well, right.