By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
In my past life as an English teacher, I encouraged students’ playful experimentation with language. Words matter, I told my students. Words stir emotions, illuminate a truth, even persuade a foe. Poetry and prose possess power.
Yet, words can be used for more malevolent purposes. They might not illuminate, but darken and distort. They can minimize, romanticize, even glorify that which is ugly, violent, and evil. Words can be used to manipulate those who hear them.
No one knows this better than the pro-abortion wordsmiths.
They have poeticized abortion, luring many with polished vocabulary and rhythmic phrases that seek to dull senses and numb protestations.
Their “ode” to abortion goes something like this:
The right to choose is a private decision between a woman and her doctor and an integral part of her reproductive freedom and health care. The termination of a pregnancy is a safe procedure that empties the pregnancy tissue from the uterus and is a Constitutionally protected right.
Sounds almost harmless.
Until you scratch through the lexicon’s shiny veneer.
Deconstruct this abortion “poem” phrase by phrase, and the blaring truth is a cacophony that pierces our conscience.
“The right to choose”
Choice implies freedom. Yet almost two-thirds of women (64%) felt coerced into getting an abortion and 84% felt under-informed about their options. (Forced Abortion in America) And what is being chosen? Death for another.
“a private decision between a woman and her doctor”
Ninety-three percent of abortions take place in a free standing “clinic” where there is no previous doctor-patient relationship established. An intimate, well-thought out decision between a patient and her long-time physician? No, a desperate decision often rooted in fear. It’s an exchange of cash for services from a complete stranger who profits from that fear.
Reproductive freedom exists –prior to reproduction. Does bodily autonomy extend to destruction of another’s life? As the saying goes “The right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.” The right to manipulate my body ends where another life begins.
Health care extends life. Abortion ends it. There is nothing healthy nor caring about abortion. Traumatized women are left alone to recover and heal and a child is relegated to a medical waste container or worse.
“Termination of a pregnancy”
The natural process of pregnancy is ended by the unnatural killing of a human being. The child is terminated.
“Safe abortion is a euphemism,” said Dr. Beverly McMillan, founder of Mississippi’s first abortion facility.
Between 1973-2014, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 437 women died from abortion complications, but due to under reporting, the number is likely much higher. Kermit Gosnell’s facility killed at least two women and infected them with STD’s. A Philadelphia Planned Parenthood has failed 13 of the last 23 inspections. Missouri’s last abortion clinic failed multiple inspections and called an ambulance 72 times. The list goes on. (see checkmyclinic.org)
Safe? Post-abortive women suffer higher rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide. Nothing about abortion is safe.
“empties the pregnancy tissue”
Eyes by day 19, heartbeat by day 24, skeleton by day 42, this is a genetically distinct, unrepeatable living human, not mere tissue. At implantation, this new life develops a hormone to prevent mother’s body from rejecting it. This is baby’s home.
“a Constitutionally protected right”
There is no right to abortion in the Constitution. Legal scholars on both sides agree that Roe vs. Wade was decided on shaky legal ground, citing the right to privacy as the basis. Consider this from Justice Harry Blackmun’s former clerk, Edward Lazarus, who considers himself pro-choice:
“As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. … Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the … years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.”
But those who compose the ode to abortion care little for facts that might interrupt the smooth rhythm that has been so carefully crafted.
Those of us committed to protecting life, though, will not be fooled by the euphemisms. We will sing loudly our song of truth, drowning out the poetry of death.