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The essential role of euphemisms in protecting the “right” to abortion

by | Dec 13, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

The title of Dr. Michael McCutchen’s intriguing column is “Drop the euphemisms and get uncomfortable when talking about abortion.” Euphemism are handy shields to ward off a confrontation—in the case of abortion— with its bloody, unforgiving, and pitiless reality. No wonder pro-abortionists have elevated euphemisms to an art form. The truth must be avoided at all costs.

In  his essay, Dr. McCutchen begins by quoting historian Paul Johnson who observed “Euphemism is a human device to conceal the horrors of reality.” In his own voice, Dr. McCutchen writes, “Sociopolitical movements often use heavy euphemistic language to push agendas. One of the most prominent of these movements is the pro-choice movement.”

So what about the bedrock evasion? “The term ‘pro-choice’ is a self-endowed moniker abortion advocates use to describe themselves.” (Better to describe yourself than leave it to your opponents.) An obvious but important point to make is that the use of  “pro-choice” not only begs the question—what is it you’re choosing?—it is essentially content free, like a wafer.

His second example is found on Planned Parenthood’s website. “Abortion” is listed as “a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy.” Calling abortion a “medical procedure” is “a euphemism that hides the profound implications of the act.”

An example? “Vacuum aspiration” which sounds innocuous enough. It  is a “procedure” where “the cervix is manually or pharmacologically dilated.”

Then “gentle” suction is used to aspirate embryonic/fetal contents. An inventory is then conducted to ensure all the components of the embryo/fetus are present. These are graphic descriptions but are imperative to understand the nature and intent of the act.

We include something from “Clinic Quotes” virtually every day. The site abounds in examples of what women hear when their baby is whisked out of her mother’s womb and the impact on the nurses who are required to be sure there is nothing left behind of the baby  in the uterus.

Just one other…”Reproductive right.” Calling abortion a “reproductive right” is “another attempt to turn the pernicious into the benign.” Dr. McCutchen writes.

Abortion is not about reproduction. Reproduction means “to make again,” referring to humans creating another human being. Actual reproductive rights precede the act of reproduction, and no one believes the right to reproduce should be stripped from anyone. However, an action taken against the product of reproduction is no longer related to reproductive rights. Abortion is a parental act and not a reproductive one. Using the term “right” regarding abortion is a misnomer in and of itself.

Dr. McCutchen ends with an acknowledgement of the truth that “As humans, we are very adept at lying to ourselves and others” to “rationalize our actions and avoid harsh realities. Calling abortion a reproductive right, health care, a procedure, or a woman’s choice is an attempt to conceal the truth.”

So, ultimately, why would defenders of abortion cling to euphemisms? “If we remove all the euphemistic language, we are left to confront what is genuinely happening, the end of human life.

“Maybe we should stop the word games and embrace the uncomfortable. Honest conversations can then begin.”

Categories: pro-abortion
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