Neil Steinberg in the Chicago Sun-Times:
He who sets the terms wins the debate. Take the anti-abortion crowd. They've had much success restricting a procedure that's safe, legal and morally accepted by a solid majority of Americans because they've been able to deploy the concept of "babies."
They are not restricting the rights of women, but "saving the lives of babies"—fat-cheeked, giggling Gerber babies. That's what they're doing, in their minds, and people accept it over the view that they're dictating how adult women must deal with a fetus the size of the period on this sentence.
As happens when twisting language, the "saving babies" metaphor leads to ironies. For instance, if health-care reform sinks—as it seems to be—part of the scuttling will be due to timid politicians loathe to do anything that seems to support abortion. The result? Millions of actual children living in the real world right now will continue to be denied basic health care—some fatally—in the name of protecting embryonic potential children. It's like letting a forest burn down for the sake of a bag of acorns.