Euphemism and Abortion Make Strange Bedfellows
By STEVE BELONGER
I taught high school and one of my students was pregnant. She was healthy and had cravings for pineapple. I heard no rumblings of difficulties, so I was surprised when a school official told me Monday morning that over the weekend this student had a "D&C". I didn’t know the terminology. She had to define it for me. Dilation and Curettage - the medical procedure used to scrape the inside of the uterine wall. I couldn’t ask too many questions and the student was back at school on Tuesday. Maybe it was a miscarriage, a sad event for all who endure that.
It wasn’t. I was thrown off by the euphemism. The red herring of calling one thing another word so we don’t have to deal with the one thing. She had an abortion. While the school official may have been trying to be professional or discreet, we should not be fooled by the language of the pro-abortion forces or the liberal media.
The coup de grace in vocabulary deception by pro-abortion groups was defining the baby as a fetus. The word fetus doesn’t sound human at all. It’s a Latin term meaning “young one or little one”. It sounds like a medical term. A glob of misshapen cells or an organ in the body. The appendix, the fetus, the colon. Dehumanizing the baby was the first step in calming everyone’s emotions about ending the pregnancy. It was just a fetus. One NPR host referred to the aborted fetus as “it’s just garbage, throw it away.” Very impersonal.
I worked with a guy who complained to me one morning that he had to drive by Pro-Life protesters who were holding signs with pictures of aborted babies on them. He said, “My daughter doesn’t need to see that.” I asked him what he thought happened in an abortion. To his credit, he answered, “I guess I never thought about it.” I calmly informed him that a baby was killed and pulled out of the womb, like those pictures he saw. His stare told me he was thinking about it for the first time. The fetus had a face.
The Ultrasound is one of the most effective ways to communicate to the mother and father that the being in the womb is what we call a baby. Lots of girls and women change their mind about having an abortion after they see what’s inside them. A baby with a face, arms and legs all curled up in a fetal position. If the baby is not overly modest, you can tell the gender, also. By the way, do pro-abortion advocates refer to it as a “female fetus” or a “male fetus”? No. That might defeat their purpose of dehumanizing that little one.
People use euphemisms when talking about abortion so that they don’t have to face the truth. It glosses over a tragedy, so we all feel better about it. Wait. Maybe so we don’t feel anything at all. Latin terms sound medical and beyond our comprehension. But a baby is more loveable than a Latin word and makes you feel a lot.