Our Words Dehumanize ~ words to drop from our PRO LIFE vocabulary

10:18 AM
From Rock for Life newsletter ~

I am going to share with you this short list of terms and phrases that we should drop from our pro-life vocabulary:

Fetus, embryo—These terms are generally used by abortion supporters, but I also notice pro-lifers using these terms often. Fetus and embryo are actually terms referring to stages of development. Their use begs the question, which animal species, during its embryonic or fetal development, are you referring to? For human beings, embryo describes human development from the very beginning of a human being’s life through their eighth week of development. Fetus describes a human being’s biological development from the beginning of their ninth week of development until birth. We should replace these terms with “human embryo,” “human fetus” or “human being during their embryonic (or fetal) development.”

Fertilized egg—This is a dehumanizing term used as a form of pro-abortion propaganda. It is not a legitimate term, since it isn’t scientifically accurate. Human women don’t carry eggs; they have oocytes. Upon first contact of a human sperm and a human oocyte, a newly created human person now exists who is in his/her first embryonic stage of development. It has become popular with abortion advocates these days, in response to the state personhood initiatives cropping up around the country. We need to correct this whenever we see or hear it. Use correct terminology in its place, such as “human embryo.”

Mistake, accident, unwanted, unplanned— These terms have very negative connotations and are very demeaning, especially for the child who happens to overhear some mention of the circumstances in which he or she came into being. Every child is wanted by someone and no one is an accident. God creates every single person with a special purpose in life. A positive-sounding term such as “surprise” should be used instead of terms or phrases that imply that God’s creation of a baby is an unfortunate event.

Pro-choice—This term was developed by a marketing firm employed by the abortion lobby before abortion became decriminalized on January 22, 1973. It has been and still is a very effective term, but still very misleading. It begs the question, what is the choice? The child has no choice when threatened with an abortionist’s suction device, knives and forceps. Replace this term with “pro-abortion” or “abortion advocate.”

Pregnant woman—This term takes the child out of the equation and can make pregnancy sound like a disease. Abortion is often referred to as “terminating a pregnancy.” Instead, use terms such as “mother,” “pregnant mom” or “expectant mother.”

Health clinic/abortion clinic—Health gives the impression that health is being restored to an individual. Similarly, clinic normally denotes a respectable, morally legitimate health care facility. Abortion is murder, not health care, so we should not dignify it with such dignified terms. Replace such terms with “abortion business,” “abortion mill,” “abortion facility,” “abortion center” and so forth.

The abortion issue—Taxes are an issue. Paying for education is an issue. Abortion is not an issue; it’s a tragedy. Abortion is a violent crime that kills a human person and leaves his/her mother scarred for life. You can also replace issue with terms such as “question,” “matter,” etc.

It—A baby boy or baby girl is not an it. Yet that is how many of us refer to children in utero or even at the moment of their birth. I hear this so often: “It’s a (boy/girl)!” Instead, say, “He is a boy” or “She is a girl” or “My/our/their/his/her/the baby is a (boy/girl).”
I’m going to be a ___!—This phrase usually ends with “mother,” “father,” “grandparent,” “aunt,” “uncle,” etc., But it’s inaccurate and dehumanizes the baby, because actually, it’s a done deal! The person speaking is already a mother (or father, grandparent, etc.). If you catch someone (or yourself) saying this, quickly correct it by reminding them (or yourself) that the child already exists, so they (or you) are already a mother (or father, grandparent, etc.).

This is in no way an exhaustive list. It has been compiled to get you thinking and to start a conversation that will hopefully result in pro-life advocates being more effective in changing minds and hearts, which will eventually result in legal recognition of human personhood for all, born and preborn.


Therese said...

What a great post! I had a friend of more than 20 years literally drop me from her life because I refused to use the term pro-choice preferring to call it what it was (pro-abortion). She said it was an ugly term, and I replied that it was an ugly act. It was time for the friendship to part ways. I do continue to pray for her conversion, though.

Kris said...

You are right in that our casualness in language leads to misinformation, and sadder still is when the professionals we rely upon perpetuate these notions. Medical students are taught about the pre embryonic stage, the two week period from conception until uterine implantation (see http://bit.ly/7kvJiP)

Strangely and conveniently most doctors and scientists do not consider a "pre embryo" to be alive, so they will administer medications or perform experiments that will destroy a "pre embryo" and not call that abortion, or another accurate term, killing.

We are seeing widespread incidents of scientist using science to purposely misinform and mislead others. Your post is an excellent way to fight that trend.

novenaman said...

Nice post! Here's a great video about this and my commentary. Feel free to share: Abortion language and terms.

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