We all know that language plays a crucial role in the battle over abortion. And it is no secret that the American abortion lobby is extraordinarily talented in the manipulation and distortion of rhetoric. It is also true that their loyal little lapdogs in the media have memorized and employed all the verbal gymnastics their masters taught them.
Of course, those of us in the pro-life movement cannot control the language these people use to market this holocaust. But the bigger problem is that their deceptions are often so subtle that we don't pick up on them and, therefore, don't expose them. To make matters even worse, sometimes we actually use them in our own conversations. I recently saw a textbook example of this on a Christian talk show. The host is a pastor I know to be unapologetically pro-life and he was introducing a new guest to his studio audience. He gave her name and then described her as having become pregnant at the age of fourteen which then forced her to decide whether to "have the baby" or not.
My jaw dropped at least a foot. Here was a pro-life minister on a national television show speaking about abortion as if someone from Planned Parenthood or the National Abortion Federation was whispering in his ear. This man, though well-intentioned, was oblivious to the fact that this "have-the-baby / not-have-the-baby" jibberish is nothing more than a diversionary scam being run by the abortion lobby.
Let's set the record straight here and now. By the time a woman is pregnant, it is too late for her to decide whether she wants to have the baby or not. She is going to have the baby! The only unresolved issue is whether she will have a live baby or a dead one. That is precisely what this "have-the-baby / not-have-the-baby" nonsense was designed to keep the public from thinking about. It was also designed to dull the consciences of the moms who might be contemplating an abortion. After all, abortion is much more palatable if these women can be deceived into believing that they are not really killing their babies; they're just choosing not to have them.
Unfortunately, the trap this minister fell into is just one of many from the vast catalogue of mindless word games the abortion lobby has assembled. They accuse us of trying to deny women their right to have "pregnancy terminations" when, in fact, it is physically impossible to prevent pregnancy terminations. All pregnancies terminate; our mission is to keep them from terminating with a corpse.
They label abortion as "reproductive health care" despite the biological reality that by the time abortion is a consideration, reproduction has already taken place. In addition, "health care" relates to the prevention or treatment of disease, abnormality, injury or illness. Since pregnancy does not fit into any of these categories, by definition, abortion cannot be "health care."
Let's also not forget that anytime the subject turns to abortions for teenagers, these people are quick to describe abortion as an unfortunate necessity in a nation full of "babies having babies." Amazingly, however, at the moment someone mentions laws requiring parental involvement for minor girls to have abortions, the rhetoric changes. Those same teenagers are never referred to as "babies having abortions." Instead, by some mystical and unexplained force of nature, when these "babies" decide they want to buy an abortion, they instantly become "young women exercising their Constitutional rights."
The list of such rhetorical flim-flams goes on and on and, ironically, I think the public actually sees through most of them. The problem is, the public has also trained itself to look the other way. It may be that they are motivated to do this by the fact that they are living with a wrenching internal conflict. On one hand, the American people see abortion for the crime against humanity that it is and they are growing increasingly queasy about its legality. On the other hand, they have still not mustered the courage to stand up and say it will not be tolerated. To reconcile this conflict, they have chosen to accept a certain level of rhetorical self-deception in the hope that these delusions will sand off a few of abortion's rougher edges. In effect, the public needs to be lied to and the abortion lobby is willing to lie to them.
In the mean time, our job is to hold everyone's feet to the fires of truth.