“Miss Dahl was one of numerous students in her class who chose to make speeches about abortion, and most took the anti-abortion side. | ‘I was shocked that there were that many students who felt strong enough and confident enough to speak about being pro-life,’ said Nina Verin, a parent of another student in the class (whose oral argument was about war in Iraq). ‘The people I associate with in town are pro-choice, so I’m troubled
–where do these kids come from?’” Elizabeth Hyatt
–Surprise, Mom: I’m Anti-Abortion (NY Times)
I really doubt that Dahl, the young woman referred to in the story’s headline, would say “Mom, I’m anti-abortion,” just as a young woman whose beliefs moved in the opposite direction wouldn’t say, “Mom, I’m anti-fetus.” Verin and several other non-journalists quoted in the story use parallel language to frame the issue: “pro-choice” vs. “pro-life”. The article notes the rhetorical effectiveness of the phrase “partial-birth abortion” vs. the more clinical, less emotional “dilation and extraction”. I was intrigued by the reporter’s reference to new imaging techniques that make a fetus “seem more human.” When weighing the rights of a pregnant woman against the status of a fetus, how much of the argument is rightly determined by perception, rather than scientific fact that exists independent of observation. A fascinating set of issues to ponder. One big question — why is this in the “Fashion” section of the newspaper?