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Slate's Horrifying Headline Dishonors Dr. Tiller

"Is it Wrong to Murder an Abortionist?" What the hell, Slate?

Slate, I know you get off on publishing thoroughly moderate and traditional arguments couched as contrarianism instead of, say, anything actually groundbreaking or intellectually hefty, but the headline “ Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?” is too far.

First: “Abortionist” is a word made up by right-wing fanatics. They use it to downplay the fact that abortion providers are doctors, often OB/GYNs. It would be like calling a dermitologist an “acne-ist.” It doesn’t really make sense, and there’s already an actual term for what those doctors do. “Abortionist” is a loaded and totally incorrect word, and it’s appalling to see it used over and over again in an article written by a supposedly pro-choice person.

Second: Tiller is not the pro-choice equivalent of Scott Roeder, and Saletan should be ashamed for suggesting as much.

Third: The headine “Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?” suggests that there’s actually some debate amongst reasonable people on that issue. There is not.

Jill Filipovic is a New York-based freelance writer and a law student at NYU. More of her writing is available online at her blog, Feministe.

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