No Pun Intended

RECEIVED Thu., Oct. 26, 2017

Dear Editor,
    I get the impression that one of Mary Tuma's goals as a journalist is to see how many times she can work the phrase "anti-choice" into the pages of the Chronicle [see the War on Women's Health page]. Speaking as a pro-choice person, it's just cheap. And it's needlessly divisive and caustic. Certainly Tuma's predecessors at the Chronicle like Jordan Smith and Lauri Apple didn't see a need to beat their readers over the head with their opinions, being more likely to use the just-as-accurate phrase "anti-abortion" instead.
    If a person or group is doing something questionable, that'll be obvious enough if you simply lay out the facts. Tuma's choice (no pun intended) of phrase either bespeaks an insecurity that the reader might not "get it," or else she feels a need to disparage her opponents in a very non-journalistic way.
Michael Bluejay

[Staff writer Mary Tuma responds: My goal is to shine a light on the attacks toward women’s health care, not encourage divisiveness. To the claim that “anti-choice” is “just as accurate” as “anti-abortion”: I consciously and deliberately employ the term “anti-choice” to signify the fact that those who advocate against abortion are also advocating more broadly against a woman’s right to choose what’s best for her body when it comes to reproductive health care in general, and thus, her quality of life and her future. The term “anti-choice” is not meant to be “caustic” as Mr. Bluejay asserts, but to reinforce the reality that lawmakers are not just restricting abortion but women’s bodily autonomy.

Perhaps Mr. Bluejay would be better served directing his media criticism to the many mainstream news reporters who continue to use the phrase “pro-life” when describing the anti-abortion camp, a far more “divisive” and misleading rhetorical term, considering their lack of empathy for survivors of rape, incest, and life-threatening pregnancy complications when crafting and supporting abortion laws.]

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