Words Do Matter
I have had it with the debate over the language used to describe abortion.
The argument that the language of the pro-life movement is responsible for the death of George Tiller is preposterous nonsense. It reduces us to nothing but objects pushed about by the forces of propaganda.
The truth is that one does not need propaganda to become outraged to the point of homicide; one can simply look up the details of what the procedure of abortion involves, particularly the partial-birth abortions performed by Tiller. The cold hard facts, regardless of any political spin or the additional words of any commentator, is quite sufficient.
Even some pro-choice commentators understand how absurd it is to try and cover up what abortion is. I quote the feminist author Naomi Wolfe,
The pro-choice movement often treats with contempt the pro-lifers’ practice of holding up to our faces their disturbing graphics …. [But] how can we charge that it is vile and repulsive for pro-lifers to brandish vile and repulsive images if the images are real? To insist that the truth is in poor taste is the very height of hypocrisy.
Indeed! Sadly enough, there are some people on the pro-life side who can’t even acknowledge this. To insist that the truth is in poor taste – that it should be put away, where people cannot see – only begs the question; what is the truth, what are you hiding? If it is something so appalling that you fear it’s revelation in the light of truth, then it is not we who need to change our language, but you who needs to adjust your fundamental moral values.
We have been hearing that ‘words matter’. Yes, they certainly do. The words of the pro-choice movement, the radical feminists, and the politicians that serve them, are partially responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent children. It is the words of that entire movement that have served to dehumanize the unborn child, to convince women that their children inside them are just ‘clumps of cells’, their chattel property, to dispose of the instant they don’t want it anymore.
Pro-choice words have helped to create disposable human beings. Instead of cowering at the onslaught of rage directed at us for simply telling the truth about abortion – truths that any textbook description of the procedure free of any political taint whatsoever would reveal – we ought to be responding with our own well-measured and justifiable anger at the language the pro-choice crowd has used to dehumanize the unborn.
Many of these same people, after all, object to dehumanizing language when it comes to war, when it comes to racism, when it comes to sexism. They object when the generals call massive civillian casualties ‘collateral damage’, they object when black people or Jews or any other group are described as parasites or vermin or sub-humans that need to be exterminated or enslaved. Many of them are educated enough to understand full well the power of words, including the power of their own words. They know full well that abortion could not enjoy popular support unless people think of the unborn child as something less than human.
Maybe they even believe it themselves. Maybe they don’t care. Regardless, there are probably millions of women out there right now who, if not for the propaganda of the abortion lobby, of Planned Parenthood and other organizations, would hold their unborn children in high enough regard to at least put them up for adoption instead of having them butchered and thrown in the trash (which is exactly what happens to them).
So yes, words do matter. Their words have resulted in millions of deaths, have shattered millions of families, have robbed surviving children of the chance to know their siblings, fathers of the chance to know their sons and daughters, society of the chance to try and come to sensible and humane solutions to unwanted pregnancy, and women themselves of the chance of eventually coming to want a child that was, at first, and often in haste, ‘unwanted’. So let us take them to task for their words, and not vice-versa.
And let us continue to insist that, in spite of the horror with which we regard the practice of infanticide and abortion in general, it is for a just society to come to its senses and punish the offenders, not for lone individuals to summarily execute a defenseless man. Abortion cannot be stopped through such means. I am not one of those who categorically condemns all violence at all times – I am not a pacifist. But abortion is a problem that is deeply rooted in our culture of materialism and consumerism, as the late John Paul II so often argued, and that is a problem that cannot be solved with bullets.