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How Our Words Shape the Debate

ve8QAd   |   February 13, 2014

Words are important. Words are powerful. The words used by both sides of the life issues clearly and frequently shape the value system of those who listen.

Semantics is a critical part of the abortion debate. When pro-abortion activists first adopted the word “pro-choice,” it was no accident. The phrase had a specific intention to elicit a strong emotional response and infer that abortion was a personal freedom. Any time we call them “pro-choice,” we reinforce their argument and help them kill babies. Therefore, we must call them pro-abortion.

In recent years, the pro-abortion movement has adopted new language. Phrases like “reproductive rights” or “reproductive justice” are an attempt to expand and convolute the landscape with the multiple issues they cover. This is merely a distraction. Make no mistake, the crux of their efforts is abortion. Our words must reflect their true intention, which is abortion-on-demand.

In addition, there are other more subtle words to use. For example, I suggest you not speak of them “doing” abortions, but rather of “committing” abortions. To do so immediately places a cloud or stigma over that abortion being done.

It has also become common to speak of experimenting on an embryo and then “destroying it”. Please, never use that phrase again. This human embryo is experimented upon and then he or she is “killed”. There is a dramatic difference in what you are saying. Things are destroyed; lives are killed. It’s biologically correct, and the impact on the listener should be very definite.

I have compiled a list of suggestions that can improve your ability to communicate the pro-life message. Also provided are specifics of why one phrase is better than the other. You may already be using some of them, while others you are not. But do, by all means, take them seriously. Make a commitment that your words will always be life-affirming. Lives hang in the balance, so we must do our level best to protect them.

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