We have a window right now, because of the Akin firestorm, to RE-FRAME the debate on an issue that we won back in the 60s, when women talked about CHOICE, and we lost in the last decades, as the right re-framed the debate by calling themselves PRO-LIFE and branding the Dems as being PRO-ABORTION.
We have to re-frame the debate: It's PRO-CHOICE versus ANTI-CHOICE.
Think about it for a moment, if you knew nothing about the issue and someone asked you, are you pro-life or pro-abortion, what would you answer?
NOBODY would be PRO "ABORTION"!! EVERYONE would be PRO-"LIFE."
Back in the 60s, when we first won the right to choose what to do with our own bodies, we defined ourselves as being PRO-CHOICE. It was a winning framing, and we won the debate. We thought we had settled the issue.
But the right, over the past few decades, has RE-FRAMED the debate, and that's one reason why they have succeeded in rolling back so many of our rights. By branding themselves as "Pro-Life" the subliminal message is that Dems are "Anti-Life" -- Murders -- people who like "abortions". (Even the word "Abortion" carries subliminal meanings that are negative.)
I believe that our losing the framing war (listen to everybody -- even Rachel M. and Tamron Hall on MSNBC talk about "Pro-life" versus "Pro-Abortion") is one reason the far-right has made such gains lately in pushing restrictive laws that restrict a woman's right to CHOICE.
This Akin moment is an opportunity for us to RE-FRAME the debate and regain the upper hand, as we demonstrate that Democrats are the party of CHOICE and the Republicans are ANTI-CHOICE.
So long as we CEDE the framing and "agree" to call the anti-choice proponents "Pro-life", we cede them the advantage.
Don't think the choice of words matter that much, or that "everyone" understands what we really mean? Not true. The words matter, on a subliminal level, in deep unconscious areas that respond viscerally, not logically.
Here's an example: We turned the corner on "gay rights" and made huge strides in just a few short years WHEN WE CHANGED THE FRAMING and stopped pushing "gay rights" and re-framed the issue as "equal rights" or "civil rights". As soon as that re-framing became the norm, the momentum switched, and "equal rights" have begun to prevail.
It's the FRAMING that sets the trajectory of the debate. Take the pledge: No more "Pro-Abortion v. Pro=Life". WE ARE PRO-CHOICE. THEY ARE AGAINST CHOICE. THEY ARE NOT PRO-LIFE. AND NO ONE IS PRO-ABORTION!