In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion rights activists have been especially vocal in demonizing and denigrating pro-life Americans. For writer Jill Filipovic, one common phrase used by abortion opponents is especially problematic.
While describing a fetus as an “unborn child” might seem innocuous to millions of Americans who believe that life begins in the womb, Filipovic recently shared her belief that it is “another one of these Orwellian terms designed to short-circuit our ability to think and speak about human existence and life with necessary complexity.”
As part of a rambling Twitter thread on Tuesday, she went on to assert that the phrase is used “as a vehicle for replacing reality with right-wing orthodoxy.”
Filipovic was especially incensed by Americans who believe life begins at conception, writing: “A fertilized egg is a child. An ectopic pregnancy is a child. But literally no one actually believes this – including pro-lifers.”
Her effort to police the English language extended to the term “mother,” which prompted her to lambaste even fellow liberals for daring to use the word to describe pregnant women.
“Consider how often even progressive folks use terms like ‘life of the mother’ when talking about abortion exceptions,” she complained. “Is every single person seeking an abortion a mother? Is that language accurate? Why use it?”
Although Filipovic reserved the right to define phrases to suit her own narrative, she was notably less receptive to critics who attempted to coin their own terms in response to her social media missive.
Of course, she is not the only prominent progressive who has attempted to mold language to bolster a political position in recent days. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) sought clarification from a Berkeley University law professor who said that “people with a capacity for pregnancy” would suffer in states where most abortions are now illegal.
Hawley asked Khiara Bridges if she meant “women,” which prompted her to lash out in a tirade that included the allegation that his “line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.”
Filipovic’s Twitter account is filled with far-left denunciations of traditional values, including a post earlier this year in which she claimed that stay-at-home mothers lead to “more sexist men who see women as mommies and helpmeets,” making them “less likely to hire and promote women.”