The verbal gymnastics used by pro-abortion advocates are an exercise in obfuscation — and the recent responses to Abortion-Free Utah’s new campaign demonstrate this.
There are two primary questions at the core of the abortion issue. First, what is the status of the developing human being; and second, when is it acceptable to end the life of the developing human being.
The discussions these two questions generate are difficult to have if the unborn baby is referred to using dehumanizing rhetoric. For years, Planned Parenthood called an unborn child “a clump of cells.” This description has failed as developing technology has revealed the astonishing and advanced development of human babies in utero. By week four, the baby’s eyes and ears are beginning to form, and it has a brain and a beating heart. By week six, it has fingers and toes.
Imagine encountering such a being on another planet — the world would erupt in applause at the discovery of an undisputed life. Here on Earth, however, humans at this stage of development are often referred to as “an inconvenience” or “annoyance” that can be easily and rapidly dispatched with little disregard for the life being ended.
Those favoring abortion still cling to terms such as “a pregnancy” and “fetus” in order to dehumanize the growing baby. One Democrat state representative even claimed that babies do not exist inside the womb (which probably comes as a shock to millions of pregnant women and their doctors) and referred to those not yet born as “utero potential individuals.” It takes significant effort to conjure up awkward terms that attempt to describe a baby without admitting that it is a baby.
The second discussion centers on when it is acceptable to end the life of that developing human being — and again, pro-abortion activists employ a range of euphemisms in an attempt to argue that electively ending the life of unborn children is acceptable.
The latest term is “reproductive choice,” which ignores the fact that the choice to reproduce has already been made. Abortionists somehow believe that merely employing this term gives them the moral high ground to end the life of the child that resulted from exercising such choice. A parent does not have the moral right to terminate their child’s life, whether one month after birth or one month before, merely out of a belief that they are entitled to the “choice.”
Another popular refrain — “my body, my right” — also fails to acknowledge in any way that there are two bodies involved. A woman’s right to control her body does not give her the right to destroy the body she invited to develop within her.
We also hear the claim that “women will never be free until they can have safe, legal abortions.” This doublespeak fails on many levels. First, there is rarely a discussion about the lifelong psychological impact upon a woman due to such a decision, on top of the physical impact. Nothing will ever erase the memory of her child. Second, calling abortion “safe” ignores the fact that a living human being — an unborn baby — dies. Abortion is certainly never safe for its victims. Finally, abortionists trumpet the fact that abortion is legal. So was slavery. So was child labor. So were a whole host of things that we are glad are no longer legal.
Finally, abortion advocates tell us, “You have no right to tell me what do to.” Again, this is a complete failure to acknowledge that laws govern the preservation of life and always have. We have every right to pass laws that you cannot murder your 3-year-old child, or your son with Down Syndrome, or your month-old baby. Indeed, one of the primary roles of government is to protect life — and an unborn baby is a living human being.
At the core of the abortion debate is the fact that a living human child is growing. That baby has dignity. It has the right to live. And except in extremely rare circumstances, that right to live surpasses everything.
Semantics aside, abortion is the poisoning or dismemberment of a living, growing human baby. All the war of words will never change this simple truth.
Merrilee Boyack is chair of Abortion-Free Utah, executive director of Family Watch International, an attorney, and author.