Pro-life supporters have been sadly disappointed this week. Recent news reports show that a new Google chrome extension changes the words ‘pro-life’ to ‘anti-choice’ in the web browser.
An extension is a type of software in which you can add additional qualifiers to your browser in order to find specific types of articles. Additional features can be added or taken away. When ‘pro-life’ is typed into the search engine, articles pop up with the words ‘anti-choice’ in them.
There is a clear political divide among politicians and citizens who are in favor of the right to choose to have an abortion and those who are against it. Many on both sides take umbrage with the basic verbiage used throughout the conversation, whether it be pro-life, pro-choice, anti-choice, pro-abortion, etc.
It was an anonymous pro-choice advocate who created this new browsing tool that changes the term ‘pro-life’ to ‘anti-choice’. While the author is anonymous, the program was funded by the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund.
The mission of the Institute consists of “working toward a society in which each person has the freedom to control their reproductive and sexual lives. We believe that building a strong interconnected, yet decentralized movement focused on changing policy and the public discourse on reproductive health, rights, and justice is essential to reaching our goals.” The institute is an advocate for women’s reproductive health, which includes advocating for the right to an abortion.
“We thought it was a really interesting and creative idea … we agreed with her that the language in this discussion really matters,” said Andrea Miller in a recent interview with ThinkProgress. Miller is the president of NIRH.
Miller went on to share her concern that those who identify as ‘pro-life’ are the same people who wish to restrict certain reproductive health services to women. She does not feel that the language used is a fair characterization of those policies. “The term ‘pro-life’ is inaccurate in this argument – although it is a powerful tool in the fight against women’s health rights – as it serves to demonize individuals who are pro-choice by suggesting that in their support of a woman’s right to choose what is best for her own life, they also advocate for death in some way,” she said.
A ‘pro-life’ blogger for Life News shares a different feeling. “Abortion activists are right that language is important. But by creating a tool to eliminate words that their supporters don’t like, abortion activists are exacerbating the narrow-minded thinking that they claim to be trying to end,” wrote Micaiah Bilger.