Is the word termination a euphemism?
Don’t want the baby? Terminate your pregnancy.
Can’t take care of it? You have the right to choose.
You have control over your body. And it’s legal.
You don’t have to give birth. It’s reproductive freedom!
How Words Obscure Truth
Is termination a euphemism? Let’s answer the question. First of all, what is a euphemism? It is a cover word. We use it to shade the ugly truth about a reality. One we don’t want to face. Relieve an employee or volunteer of her duties. Isn’t this a cover word for firing her? Getting rid of her? Wardrobe malfunction. Isn’t this a euphemism for being inappropriately dressed? False statements. That sounds like a fancy word for lying. Your situation. Often this is a euphemism to avoid naming an uncomfortable issue. And the latest? Alternative facts. This means telling lies. Period.
We can go on and on. This is a politically correct time. And this is not a defense of just blurting out anything that comes to mind. We see what that does. But we can go too far with parsing our words. And this is true in fighting for the unborn. Planned Parenthood lies to women. They lie to the media. And they lie to the public. So let’s go through more euphemisms that have normalized taking the lives of our unborn neighbors.
These cover words get tossed around a lot. Choice. Who doesn’t favor choice? We all like to make choices. In this case, we’re talking about a choice that involves an innocent baby’s life. And it involves lying to her mom, convincing her that it “is for the best.” But this choice can never be undone. It can only be worked through and healed. Reproductive freedom. But if we believe life is conceived at fertilization, reproduction has already happened. Bodily autonomy? I’m all for a woman’s right to control her body. But when she is pregnant? She is carrying another person’s body inside her.
Words Obscure Truth about Abortion
So we see how words cover up abortion. What it is. And what it does. Many pro-lifers want believe the word abortion is a euphemism itself. They want is to call it simple baby murder. Or child sacrifice. But, deep down, we all know that it takes a life. But should we call it terminating a pregnancy? I know that when we deal with the other side, we want to use neutral terms. We don’t want to turn them off. And we know that when women are scared and overwhelmed, they don’t want to be called murderers. But some women do want to abort just for their own convenience. As a form of birth control. They do need to hear the word murder. THey may need to see graphic photos of aborted babies. But do they represent the majority?
Why the Truth is So Hard 2 Speak
Telling the truth is hard! Either we tell it without love. Or we don’t tell it. We’ll look the other way or shade the truth. This is why so many relations remain estranged. Why so many people get fired. A key reason so many marriages fail. And why so many criminal cases remain unsolved. I know that I find it easy to look the other way. And say nothing. But being nice is not being good. Nice people say what we want to hear. Good people tell us the truth. But they tell it in a loving way. They do it in the context of a caring relationship. None of us wants to be confronted by someone we barely know.
“You can terminate your pregnancy.” Maybe we should remove that word from our vocabulary. The word normalizes abortion. And there is nothing normal about abortion. But what word should we use instead? How do you deal with scared women in crisis? Who may have grown up knowing nothing but legal abortion? There is no easy answer. I know that Birthright, a nonprofit, maintains the official position that we must use only neutral terms when dealing with moms in crisis. They forbid even the use of the word abortion. I respect their position. And I know that they exist to help pregnant women in crisis. And their babies. But does this approach shortchange women of the right to know the truth? About what abortion really is?
How Would Jesus Handle It?
So what should we do? Well, maybe we should avoid the terms the other side uses in the abortion debate. I know that pregnancy resource centers have often been criticized for false or misleading advertising of their services. These centers have been denounced for using the word “Choice” in their titles. And criticized for branding themselves as women’s health care centers. I understand why the centers shy away from not wanting to present themselves as anti-abortion. Normally, they disclose that they don’t do abortions or refer for them. But that’s only when they are asked.
How would Jesus handle this situation? Just a casual read of the Bible shows that Jesus always spoke the truth. But always, He mixed in grace when He did so. For example, in the famous case of the woman at the well (John 4), He extended much grace to this nameless woman. Yet He brought up her past near the end of their conversation. This was when the woman recognized that He was more than just a man. The Bible depicts many other such incidents. And in the case of the religious leaders? He called them hypocrites to their faces. Yet He approached every person on a case by case basis. Many with tenderness. Some with severity. All with love. This is how to deal with anyone. Including pregnant women in crisis.
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