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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.