Don’t know about you, but it really irritates me when people try to dress up certain words or activities by using kinder, gentler language to make something unpleasant sound less that way.
For example, when a person wants to discuss an “issue” with you and they are really talking about a problem. Or when a pro football team fires its coach and the owner says something like “we wanted to go in another direction,” rather than simply admitting he desired to get rid of the bum who went 0-16.
The problem I have with people using such language in sugar-coating a bad situation to look more palatable is two-fold. You arrive at the same place anyway — yeah, we do have a problem, or the coach is history. But one’s brain must perform extra thought processes in order to decipher the words of someone trying to put a spin on the matter, often to deliberately distort a shocking reality.
It’s this way with abortion, which once again has become front and center in the public eye due to events marking the recent 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing the practice. This included a March for Life by anti-abortion activists in Washington earlier this month, and counter-protests by abortion supporters.
Of course, the pro-life crowd wants Roe v. Wade overturned — especially in light of efforts to place more conservatives on the High Court — which while well-intended might be problematic at this point.
While I personally consider aborting a fetus to be ghastly, inhumane and just plain wrong in the big scheme of things, I don’t see any wisdom in turning back the clock on legalized abortion at this particular time. More on that later.
Similar to how Prohibition in the early 20th century shut down legitimate bars, outlawing sanitary abortion clinics would not stop women from relying on the clandestine operations to the rear of the pool hall. This would be akin to the way speakeasies offering bathtub gin thrived when alcohol was illegal.
Again, more on that later.
Yet I find those who steadfastly defend abortion just as disgusting as the practice itself — not necessarily the individuals, but the language they use.
This came to light with recent counter-protests held in conjunction with the anti-abortion campaigning, including one in Virginia. A “Day of Women” was proposed by new female legislators in that state’s House of Delegates to counter a “Day of Tears” to mourn abortion victims.
They framed their defense of abortion using such terminology as “empowering women” and allowing them “to be in charge of their own reproductive health care.”
Who could argue with those sentiments — on the surface? Everyone wants women to receive equal treatment in the workplace, etc. And when references are made to reproductive health, one automatically thinks of harmless decisions to use the pill or delay a pregnancy while career plans evolve.
However, keep in mind that when such lofty terms are tossed around in the context of abortion, we are talking about employing a suction device to remove pregnancy tissue from a uterus. This also can require using a small surgical tool called a curette to remove any tissue that’s left in the uterus, or check to make sure it is totally empty.
Now even that medical definition (which I, of course, gleaned from an Internet source) is guilty of the same type of thing as the pro-abortion forces. Using words such as “removal of the pregnancy tissue” is just a less-graphic way of saying the would-be human being who could become a scientist or statesman is forcibly extracted from its mother’s body.
I thankfully have never witnessed such a procedure, which in addition to being “empowering” is undoubtedly not a pretty sight.
Aside from the terminology they use to obscure a horrifying event, pro-choicers reflect a major contradiction. People who normally might be willing to fight tooth and nail for children’s health care or amnesty for Dreamers (illegal immigrant kids) then turn around and think it’s perfectly OK to end a baby’s life before birth even occurs.
As I alluded to earlier, the real solution to abortion is not overturning Roe v. Wade; it will involve changing people’s hearts and minds to the point where irresponsible couples won’t use it as a form of birth control. And hopefully beyond that, they’ll see abortion for what it truly is — not a politically correct “empowerment.”
I predict the day will come when folks of the future look back on the abortion era and ask, “What were they thinking?”
Our civilization is never going to attain that enlightenment unless people begin calling abortion by its rightful name — a form of murder.
Tom Joyce is a staff writer for The Mount Airy News. He may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.