The Language of Life
Many conservatives have mixed feelings about President Trump, but no one can deny that his administration has been a real champion for the cause of life. One of their quieter goals involves making the United Nations come clean in its use of language.
Before you conclude that this is a trifling thing, consider the phrase, “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.” It sounds like something we should all support. It sounds like making sure no one is barred from seeking medical care, and prohibiting forced sterilization or abortion.
But the Trump administration is working to remove the phrase from a U.N. report about “empowering women.” Because when it comes right down to it, “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights” is code for spreading free abortion-on-demand around the globe. Indeed, that is why opponents call the effort to remove the phrase as a push to “restrict access to abortion.”
The Power of Words
It’s important for us to carefully consider the labels applied by those pushing for particular policies. Words have always been one of man’s most powerful tools. Used prudently and eloquently, they carry the power to change our minds, arouse our passions, and stir us to action. But they can also be manipulated to achieve those same ends.
If we don’t care to be herded like sheep to the position some activist wants us to take, we need to consider whether a label actually fits the policy or practice it covers. Let’s look at some examples, just around the issue of abortion.
1. ‘Reproductive Rights’
Those who support liberal abortion policies like to talk about “reproductive rights.” But think about it. At the point when a woman is seeking an abortion, her “reproductive rights” are not at issue. The “reproduction” has already happened, resulting in a new and distinct human being.
If, by some tragedy, some bad actor killed that tiny human being within his mother’s womb, no one would say the criminal had denied the woman’s “reproductive rights.” We would say that he had killed her baby.
Abortion proponents have long labeled themselves as “pro-choice.” It’s natural for them to avoid a label that describes the snuffing out of innocent, vulnerable human life. But why should we accept this construct in which activists support an unjust, inhumane practice by claiming that it’s not really the barbaric practice they support, but rather merely the “choice” of others to engage in it?
Abortion either ends the life of another human being or it doesn’t. And if it does, then a just society cannot permit anyone the “choice” to do it.
3. ‘Empowering Women’
The same crowd that calls itself “pro-choice” suggests that providing free abortions on demand is a critical component of “empowering women.” It’s difficult to take that suggestion seriously when one considers the sordid history of abortion peddlers and their clear connection with social and racial prejudice.
There’s no way of getting around it: abortion has long been the most powerful tool of eugenics, used by rich, powerful elites to “control” the population of those they found undesirable. It has never been any secret that America’s number one abortion provider, Planned Parenthood Federation, was born of a white woman’s passion to reduce the population of certain people groups. It is no accident that today, the vast majority of abortion clinics are situated in minority neighborhoods.
So it’s astounding that the U.N., of all entities, could pretend that the practice of abortion, globally, is one that “empowers women.” Just look at Asia, where abortion has long been used to limit population growth. That practice, combined with the culture’s preference for male children, has resulted in the killing of over 160 million baby girls, simply because they were girls. Who, pray tell, is empowered by that? It certainly isn’t women.
4. ‘Women’s Issues’
And finally, let’s consider the myth that widely available free abortion on demand is the centerpiece of “women’s issues.” I am a woman. These are my issues: Protecting religious liberty and rights of conscience for all people of faith. Enforcing proper limits on government power. Restoring the virtues of modesty, decency, and civility in our culture. Elevating our society’s respect for traditional, male-female marriage that is permanent, exclusive, and based on commitment rather than “feelings.” And last, but not least, ensuring legal protection for every single member of our human family, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, or condition of dependency.
Words matter. They often determine actions. I applaud those who are working, on behalf of all of us, to champion the language of life.