Opinion

Abortion Advocates Use Euphemisms Because They Are Defending The Indefensible

Fr. Frank Pavone National Director, Priests For Life

Other than a clinic that pays him in cash, an abortionist’s best friend is obfuscation. The more confused the public is about abortion and the less it understands about what abortion entails, the easier life is for the abortion practitioner. He or she does not have to defend the indefensible.

This holds true for “pro-choice” politicians, too. Clarity is their enemy.

Take, for example, the recent exchange between Senator Rand Paul and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Senator Paul, tired of the media asking abortion related questions only to pro-life lawmakers and candidates, challenged the press to ask Representative Wasserman Schultz “if she’s OK with killing a seven-pound baby that’s just not born yet.”

The DNC Chair, apparently indignant that anyone would pose such a fair question, replied in a statement, “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”

Did she answer the question? Not directly, because abortion proponents can never talk about abortion directly or clearly. Instead of talking about a seven-pound baby, Rep. Wasserman Schultz speaks of a “decision.”

Could she be more vague? If she could, I’m sure she would.

The lexicon of abortion-speak has seeped into our discourse so thoroughly that the reality of abortion, to many, is a distant image, if not invisible to the mind’s eye. In fact, the only time you even hear the word “abortion” uttered by a pro-abortion politician or promoter is when it’s said in reference to “abortion rights” or “abortion care.” The word itself is so offensive that it has to be used with an accompanying positive modifier to tone down the reality of what it means.

But like the new “abortion spa” outside Washington, DC, that cloaks abortion in plush robes and serves it with herbal tea, efforts to soften the language surrounding the killing of young lives are designed to soothe. And like the blue smoke and mirrors of a magic show, they are meant to misdirect our attention to keep us from seeing what’s happening. Ultimately, they are dishonest.

At Priests for Life, we have an ongoing campaign called “Is This What You Mean?” It’s an effort to restore truth to discussions about abortion.  It’s simple and direct.

For instance, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could be asked,

Abortionist Martin Haskell testified in federal court, “When you’re doing a dismemberment D&E, usually the last part to be removed is the skull itself and it’s floating free inside the uterine cavity … . So it’s rather like a ping-pong ball floating around … . Finally at some point either the instruments are managed to be place around the skull or a nip is made out of some area of the skull that allows it to start to decompress. And then once that happens typically the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece…”

Typically the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece.” Is that what you mean, Congresswoman Pelosi, when you say “abortion”?

Someone might inquire of President Obama,

Abortionist Warren Hern, in a textbook he wrote, mentioned when discussing pregnancy termination, “A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus.” Is that what you mean, Mr. President, when you say “abortion”?

Or a person might say to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,

When abortionist Martin Haskell gave his sworn testimony in federal court about the procedures he performed, he said, “We would attack the lower part of the lower extremity first, remove, you know, possibly a foot, then the lower leg at the knee and then finally we get to the hip.” Is that what you mean, Mrs. Clinton, when you say “abortion”?

In none of the “abortion rights” speeches of any of these “abortion rights” supporters will you find a description of what an abortion is.

The fog machines of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America have been billowing euphemisms for far too long. Abortion is a billion dollar industry and it can afford to hire public relations and marketing professionals who know the business of selling. But killing is a hard sell.

Maybe that’s why some radical abortion supporters are seemingly giving up the charades and are trying to be more “open” about abortions. Or are they?

Abortion clinic worker and former actress Emily Letts made headlines by having her abortion filmed. At least that was the story. But when you actually look at Ms. Letts’s video, you don’t see her abortion at all. You see her face – she talks to you while lying down – but the child, and what abortion does to that child, is never shown. The procedure itself is off-camera.

Only in the world of abortion-speak could someone say she filmed her abortion without filming her abortion.
It’s time to clear the air and clarify terms. If abortion is really a social good, as the abortion movement is now claiming, it should be honestly discussed and described.  If accurate and objective words sound inflammatory, we need to remember that they’re still accurate and objective – it’s the subject that’s the problem.