Interesting linguistic question – what is an abortion service?

Google has already come under pressure in the past for running advertisements that appear to violate its own policies against misrepresentation in advertising, yet the company continues to publish ads for clinics that seem to offer abortion services but are actually opposed to terminations and try to dissuade women from seeking them out.

Offering abortions, yes, we know what that means. Come over here Honey and lie down while I turn the vacuum cleaner on.

OK.

But abortion services? Is this just some modernism for abortions?

Or, well, are we talking about some wider thing. Say, an explanation that sure, there is indeed abortion. There’s also this mother and baby home. Adoption exits and there’s a massive hunger for new borns. So, now we’ve offered the service of explaining your options, what?

Or even, is there some Federal funding restriction here? It’s possible to gain access to a flow of tax cash if you’re offering “abortion services” but not if you’re offering “abortions”?

17 comments on “Interesting linguistic question – what is an abortion service?

  1. Or “Fertility Clinics” where the aim is the absence of fertility, or “family planning” where the policy is to avoid families.

  2. Family planning is about planning the size of the family. Without it you tend to get very large numbers of children which pretty much rule out any role for the mother in life apart from devoting herself to motherhood. You may well regard this as a desirable and natural state of affairs. Many millions of women would disagree.

    Choosing to limit the number of children is not the same as avoiding having a family.

  3. From yesterday’s Guardian:

    The Trump administration has taken its war on abortion worldwide, cutting off all funding to any overseas organisation or clinic that will not agree to a complete ban on even discussing it.

    To qualify for funding, they can’t so much as mention the word, let alone have it account for 50% of their advertised product.

  4. It’s not that interesting a ‘linguistic question’, it’s more a case of semantic obfuscation.

    ‘Abortion’ is not an attractive word with agreeable connotations whereas a ‘service’ is something positive and desirable (unless conducted by the CoE).

    So coupling the words helps to attenuate the unpleasantness of the original word by introducing the utility of the word introduced in apposition.

  5. Feminism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might decide not to kill their children.

  6. BTW, and apropos of nothing, I was reading about Hattie McDaniel the other day (she was a fine comic actress and the first black Oscar winner after playing “Mammy” in Gone With The Wind)

    She was her parents’ 13th child, which is admittedly a lot of children, even by Irish Catholic or Mormon standards.

    But the world is a better place for having contained Hattie.

    If we choose life, we create new possibilities, new people to share the joys and sorrows of the world with. Choosing abortion is choosing death, and in a way it’s your own death as well as the termination of your unwanted child. Because children are the only real legacy we have.

  7. “‘Appalled’ Democrat urges action after Guardian revealed Google has given $150,000 in free ads to opaque anti-abortion group”

    Let’s rewrite that shall we:

    “Appalled Democrat urges action after Guardian revealed Google has given $150,000 in free ads to a non-profit organisation that is opposed to abortion, like it gives free ads to many other non-profit organisations”.

    Google gives free ads to non-profits. Pro-abortion, anti-abortion. Sites can run ads for non-profits if there’s no other ad available.

  8. “It’s possible to gain access to a flow of tax cash if you’re offering “abortion services” but not if you’re offering “abortions”?”

    I should think it’s far more likely that you can – currently – get a nice flow of tax free cash if you are offering abortions, but not if you’re offering alternatives…

  9. Adverts of this nature were visible on the Tube for years. I could never work out whether they were pro or anti.

    I don’t remember having seen them for a while, I wonder if the numbskulls in TfL have banned them.

  10. “If we choose life, we create new possibilities, new people to share the joys and sorrows of the world with.”

    Well if everyone has 13 kids probably a lot more sorrow… although I don’t think abortion should ever be a form of family planning.

  11. Steve,

    “Choosing abortion is choosing death, and in a way it’s your own death as well as the termination of your unwanted child. Because children are the only real legacy we have.”

    I’d say to any young woman without an heir and a spare to not do it.

    There’s people who get 1 good result. People who have 3 miscarriages and number 4 is fine, people who think they’ll never have children and in their early 40s, it happens, people who have one in their early 20s and that’s it.

    Women have been basically told, mostly by terrible women, to get a life before they have children. To put crap university degrees or going off to the same tourist spots as everyone else above family. I’m not saying raising kids as a teenager is a good option, but people get by.

  12. @Bloke no Longer in Austria May 18, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Week or two ago TfL banned Wimbledon’s (?) ad as it included a bowl of strawberries & cream

  13. It’s funny, in a not funny way, how exposure to the women who want children, rejoice in their feminity and in their ability to give birth (‘give’ being a telltale word in this context), can be juxtaposed with one’s experience of those who deprecate all of those things.

    In my experience, the latter really are bitter, crazy, cooking sherry catladies.

    Plus, more or less the only happy career women I’ve ever met were basically men.

    Its almost as if one part of the female sex has been ganged up on by the other part. The motive appears to me to be spite.

  14. Planned Parenthood in the U.S. provides abortion services: it cuts up the baby and sells the parts.

  15. Edward Lud,

    “Plus, more or less the only happy career women I’ve ever met were basically men.

    Its almost as if one part of the female sex has been ganged up on by the other part. The motive appears to me to be spite.”

    A lot of women are obsessed with status. I’ve never quite understood it. For example: women spend a fortune on dressing for work compared to men. Why? “Oh, to be above the other women”. Yes, but what’s the advantage in that? For men, that’s an advantage because it means you get more women. Women are attracted to power. But men aren’t.

    And I know the excuses “to give kids better opportunities” but really, kids don’t care. You aren’t going to Bali on holiday for the kids. You’re going to Bali to show off your status to your friends. You kids would be happy on a beach in Brittany. As long as they’ve got a beach, a ball and ice cream, kids are happy.

  16. @Bloke on M4 May 19, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    And I know the excuses “to give kids better opportunities” but really, kids don’t care. You aren’t going to Bali on holiday for the kids. You’re going to Bali to show off your status to your friends. You kids would be happy on a beach in Brittany. As long as they’ve got a beach, a ball and ice cream, kids are happy.

    +1 Probably more happy than being forced to wander around a Bali market/temple….

    I think Butlins, Blackpool etc is what children want.

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