So, this starts in a non-fluffy place. Lord Saletan wrote this asinine-even-for-him essay claiming that pregnant women who refer to the sweet little parasites in their wombs as “fetuses” instead of “babies” run the risk of dehumanizing them so much that they’ll end up giving birth and sticking the kid in a freezer. NO SERIOUSLY HE DID. (Note: Yes, that was a tasteless way of referring to a true, tragic story. Fair warning, the post only gets worse in that regard later on. It’s a laugh-so-you-don’t-cry thing, but surely not something everyone will want to read.)
Fortunately, my fellow broad Tracy Clark-Flory took it down so we didn’t have to:
It seems to me that Saletan is irresponsibly conflating pregnancy denial with philosophical beliefs about abortion and fetuses’ personhood. A woman who is considering an abortion can maintain a minor level of disconnection from the fetus, refuse to call it a baby and yet still be able to acknowledge that there is life there. She can do all of this even after having an ultrasound, as Saletan instructs women to do. It’s more complicated than willing herself to see only what she wants to see: People have very different scientific, philosophical, political and religious ideas about when a fetus becomes a baby or a person. Couples often have very different independent experiences of a pregnancy’s “realness,” and early on in a pregnancy, so much of the significance of the word baby is parental projection. But Saletan assumes that his definition of personhood is The Truth with which women must reckon.
Really, that last line is all that ever needs to be said about William Saletan.
Anyway, this led to a g-chat between Fillyjonk and me, and since y’all seemed to enjoy that before, I thought I’d share.